Welcome to my collections


Here are some of my timepieces. Click on images for more pictures.


 Scottish Longcase (Grandfather) Clock

Made by Alexander Black,

Kirkcaldy, Scotland c. 1840

Longcase or Tallcase clocks weren't called 'Grandfather' clocks until Henry Clay Work wrote his very popular song "My Grandfather's Clock" in 1870. This clock has a brass time & hour strike movement with recoil (anchor) escapement, a mahogany case with a typical Scottish painted dial. The NAWCC Bulletin of April 2005 (No. 355) has a good article about these dials. The dial shows two Scottish gentlemen observing a battle in the arch, and the spandel corners represent the four seasons. I haven't identified the battle, but it's probably from the rising of 1745, perhaps the battle of Culloden, and I suspect the standing man is supposed to be Bonnie Prince Charlie.


Orrin Hart Pillar & Splat Clock with 30 hour wooden "groaner" movement.

Bristol, Ct., c. 1830

Orrin Hart was born in Bristol in 1789, and was active as a clockmaker there from 1827 to 1833. He then moved to New York state where he died in 1870. Hart used wooden movements made by Chauncey Boardman, also of Bristol.

This is a typical pillar & splat, similar to ones made by Jerome & Darrow, George Mitchell, & Chauncey Boardman himself. I believe this can also be described as a "bronze looking-glass" clock, as it has a lookin-glass (mirror) in the lower half of the door, and the stenciling is done with a bronze pigment.


1898 Waltham Watch 

American Waltham Watch Co. Waltham Ma.

This is a 17 jewel, model 1888, 17 size pocket watch made to be put in a hunter case. I received it as a movement only, and have only found an open face case to house it.

The serial number indicates this was one of a run of watches that began production on May 1, 1898. It wouldn't be known at the factory for days or weeks, but on that date, Admiral Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay, confirming that the United States was a first rank world power. At some point the movement of this watch was engraved "DEWEY, MAY 1, '98" in honor of that battle.



1904 Hamilton grade 974 Watch

Labeled "M.W. Bassett, Hartford, Ct."

This 17 jewel watch was Hamilton's basic watch. It is a very fine watch, and this one keeps time as well as my higher quality railroad watches. Watches of this grade, or it's hunter-cased equivalent, the 975, were often labeled for a local jeweler. Merton W. Bassett was a jeweler in Hartford Ct.

 Approx. 50' between knots, so would take a 28 second sand glass.

 Russian Star globe, used for finding & plotting navigation stars.  

 Russian chronometer "Kirova"; produced by the First Moscow Watch Factory. Probably 1970s, has definitely been used on a ship. Unrestored, top lid removed.  
  Small gimballed liquid-filled boat compass in homemade box with glass top. Unlabeled, but looks like a Starr Compass. Card diameter approx. 1.8", brass bowl approx. 2.75". Calibrated in half points.  Belonged to my Uncle, Earl Cahoon, who died in 1936.


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Text and some pictures copyright Norman Bliss

Page created 2/12/07.

Modified 2/12/07