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Restoration of William Potts tower clock

This page shows a few pictures of the restoration of the Potts tower clock. It is a single train, cast iron, flatbed frame and has a Grimthorp, double three legged gravity escapement. Maker - William Potts, Leeds, England, 1900. I liked this particular movement as the gravity escape wheel is in full view and not obscured by the pendulum or its support mount as is the case in some other makes. Everything about this movement is heavy, rugged and large. This is the first movement I've restored with lantern type pinions, and a planet/ring gear maintaining power system. The size of the escape wheel (7"), and the gravity escape lock/release arms (15") are large. The cast iron frame is 3/4" thick throughout and weighs over 175lbs, a lot for a frame of only 24" square. The condition of the movement as found was rough, as can be seen in the before pictures. One thing about these restorations, especially when the movement is in an inoperable, corroded condition, is the anticipation and hope that all the hard work pays off when the clock is reassembled and put to work for the first time in many years. What a marvel it is to see the bright, polished, intricate parts work as in a kinetic sculpture after remembering how ragged and forlorn the movement looked when I first laid eyes on it! This project was completed 100 years after its manufacture - fitting for it's centenary birthday. I'd like to thank Michael Potts, descendent of the original manufacturer, for making this beautiful movement available to me. Original condition was C- on an A to E scale. Total parts count is 178; restoration time was 120 hours. Project completed October 2000.

                                 Before pictures:

                                 Dcp00310-Rotated.jpg (54947 bytes) Dcp00316-rotated.jpg (77863 bytes) Dcp00362-rotated.jpg (76399 bytes)

                                After pictures:

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Restoration pictures.

Dcp00377.jpg (125673 bytes) Dcp00529.jpg (125268 bytes) Potts132.bmp (3686454 bytes)Dcp00532-A.jpg (56563 bytes) Dcp00567.jpg (118631 bytes) Potts228.bmp (3686454 bytes)Dcp00564.jpg (81813 bytes) Potts260.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts269.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts229.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts241.bmp (3686454 bytes) Dcp00577.jpg (109059 bytes) Dcp00579.jpg (124738 bytes) Potts267.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts278.bmp (3686454 bytes) Dcp00583.jpg (100021 bytes) Potts312.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts318.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts339.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts351.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts379.bmp (3686454 bytes)Potts449.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts451.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts455.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts464.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts470.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts480.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts485.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts518.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts502.bmp (3686454 bytes) Potts395.bmp (3686454 bytes) Dcp00648.jpg (130625 bytes) Dcp00670.jpg (112987 bytes)

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mailto:mfrank1@rcnchicago.com