Chicago Time Lock Co., Chicago, Illinois - 3 movements, Marsh model 1, v.2

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The Chicago Time Lock, Marsh Model 1, v.2. The distinguishing features of the Model 1 v.1 and v.2 are the redesigned movements and the introduction of a half-glass door in place of full glass.

A side-by-side comparison of the Marsh Model 1. Left a two movement, full glass door, designed for manual boltwork and equipped with a pair of v.1 movements. Right, a three movement Model 1,  with half-glass door, v.2, movements and for use with an automatic bolt motor.  

These two photos shows all three of the Marsh style time lock movements. From left, the Model 1, c. 1903; v.1, middle Model 1 v.2, c. 1904; right Model 2 with v.3 movements, c. 1905.

The three versions of Chicago Time Locks Co's., Marsh movements. From left, v.1, v.2 in the marsh Model 1 and the movement , v.3 introduced in their Marsh Model 2, the last design before the take over by Diebold in 1908. The v.3 follows conventional time lock designs seen in other makers. Chicago also changed movement makers from Seth Thomas to Deuber Watch Co. Notice the change in design on the balance and escape wheel cocks.


These two photos show the mechanical design changes that took place in the Chicago time lock movements that distinguish between the Marsh Model 1 v.1, left, and v.2, right. The v.1 movement has a Geneva stop mounted beneath the upper subsidiary 5-day dial; the v.2 substitutes a geared wheel in its place. The hour designations on the dial are reversed between the two because the design change reversed the rotation of that dial. In addition an idler wheel meshing between the subsidiary dial wheel and a new pinion mounted underneath the larger, primary daily winding dial allowing the correct ratio of 1:5 between the main and subsidiary dials. A third wheel meshes on the same center dial pinion from below and through cam work mounted below that gear engages the snubber bar linkage.


The first photo shows the front plate of a v.2 movement. With the primary daily winding dial removed, (winding arbor where red arrow indicates), one can see in the first photo the three additional gear wheels. Left, the one under the 5-day subsidiary dial, next the idler wheel and then the silver wheel controlling the snubber bar linkage. Both the idler wheel and the silver wheel mesh with the same pinion located below the daily primary dial and would be mounted over the winding square arbor. The second photo shows an empty hole indicated by the yellow arrow. This hole was used in the v.1 design for a screw to secure the pivot point for snubber bar linkage. That area is depicted by the yellow dot underneath the idler wheel in the first photo. After the design change was made, apparently the threaded hole was still made in the plate even after it was made superfluous. Probably a batch of movements had already been made to the v.1 design and were retrofitted with the additional holes for the new gear wheels and pinion under the main dial to the v.2 design. The design change happened at or near movement serial number 100. The v.1 movements are numbered 95 and 96 while the v.2 examples are 104,105 and 117.


These two photos show a v.1 movement. These point out the pivoted snubber bar linkage. In the first photo the bottom end that attaches to the snubber bar is next to the red arrow on the left. The arrow on the right points to a stud mounted to the other end of the lever. That stud engages a detent mounted on the reverse side of the Geneva stop and is contacted and pushed to its home position as the subsidiary dial reaches zero. The yellow arrow shows a portion of the screw head partially obscured by the dial pointer bridge. It is at this point that the lever pivots.

The next photo shows the same information but at a different angle. The lever pivot point cannot be seen here. The subsidiary dial turns clockwise as it runs down to zero. Here it is at zero and the stud on the snubber bar linkage is pushed all the way home toward the viewer, this causes the other side of the lever to move in the opposite direction away from the viewer, and is connected to the snubber bar. In this position the time lock is off guard. The snubber bar is spring-loaded, so when the operator begins to wind the movement and the stud is allowed to move as the Geneva stop is turned counterclockwise, the lever is pushed in the opposite direction setting the lock on guard.

Conclusion: The design change was made because the torque provided through the Geneva stop detent acting upon the lever stud was insufficient to ensure a reliable movement of the spring-loaded snubber bar to the off guard position. Furthermore, the Geneva stop design did not provide an accurate position for when the lock wound down to zero and the lever was to push the snubber bar to the off guard position. In the new design, the snubber lever being directly geared to the primary dial attached to the main spring ensured a positive release.

Around 1903, the Chicago Time Lock Co. debuted the first production time lock that offered a ninety-six hour power reserve. Based on a design for which Ernest Marsh would be awarded a patent, the earliest style of this time lock had a nickel plated case housing two or three movements with both larger twenty four hour primary dial and a smaller secondary dial above, numbered with only 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96. The movements do not have a makers attribution, but are probably made by the Seth Thomas company. The balance wheel and escapement wheel cocks are identical to those made by that company. These movements feature a platform escapement that is fully interchangeable between movements. This is based on a similar design used by Diebold where the balance wheel, lever and escape wheels are all mounted to the platform. parts within any platform, however, are not interchangeable between platforms. Tolerances at this time were still too tight to allow for interchangeability between components within an individual platform. The top mounted platforms used by Hall were not interchangeable due to the added complication of their transverse mounting. By the time that company was reincorporated into the Consolidated company in 1880 these still were not interchangeable until about the late 1890's.

The Marsh Model 1, v.1 and v.2 are quite rare. The Model 1, v.1 was in production for less than a year, before the redesigned v.2 movements were introduced. These too were only produced for about a year before the Model 2 was introduced.

Marsh model 1, v.2, c. 1905. 6 1/2"w x 4 1/2"h x 2 3/4"d, case # 38, movements #104, #105 and #117. file 315

Below is the only other example this author has seen of the Marsh Model 1, v.1, (although there surely are others) and is from the Mossman Museum, Nicholasville, Kentucky. While this and the example above are both three movement models, this is designed for manual bolt work and is equipped with v.1 movements and full glass door.


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(1) American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pp 298-299