Chicago Time Lock Company, Chicago, Illinois, Marsh model 2, v.2

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This was the second version of the Marsh model 2. The case has been changed for use within a Cannonball safe, adding a half-metal door with eyelets for the winding arbors. A fourth hole would be present if there was the optional mechanism was to hold the wound time lock open during business hours, see prior example of Marsh model 2, v.1.(1) The manufacture of the case was also changed where all of the movement mounting points were cast into the case rather than being separately riveted posts to rear of the case. A separate rear mounting flange was added for the Cannonball Safe installation taking the place of mounting holes drilled directly in the case rear as in version 1, see below.

The nickel plate with acid-etched daisy flower design was quickly replaced with a plain satin bronze or nickel. In fact, this example is the only one with this case design this author has seen outside of the Harry C. Miller collection, Nicholasville, KY. (see photo below). Production records for Chicago Time Lock are not known to survive.

The patent referred to on the dials is the same as that illustrated for their Marsh model 1. That's interesting since there are many differences in the design of the time lock movements between the Marsh model 1 and this one. Even the snubber bar and movement levers are very different. Perhaps the patent designation was there to act as a protection against litigation, though by this time most of that activity had greatly diminished.

Marsh model 2, v.2, c.1903. Beginning after 1900, the Chicago Time Lock Co. debuted the first production time lock that offered a ninety-six hour power reserve. This was based on a design by Earnest Marsh for which he was awarded a patent. The movements do not have a makers attribution, but are thought to have been made by the Hampden Watch Co. or perhaps its parent Deuber Watch Co., both of Canton, Ohio. The design of and engraving of the escapements is consistent of movements made by these companies at this time. (1) This movement features a platform escapement that is fully interchangeable between movements. Parts within any platform, however, are not interchangeable between platforms. This is why all parts within the platforms are numbered. There are no identifying numbers for the rest of the movement containing the the drive train. I have not tried it, but I doubt that parts are interchangeable between the drive trains. Most other time lock makers used some form of platform escapement with the exception of Sargent & Greenleaf. This probably not a coincidence since other makers relied on outside movement makers such as Seth Thomas and before 1902, E. Howard who used platform escapements in their movements. Other exceptions to this are those makers that used 'off the shelf' pocket watch movements, the first examples are the Yale B through E series (Waltham), then later Consolidated (Elgin, South Bend),  Banker's Dustproof (Illinois),  and Mosler (Illinois, Waltham, Recta). 6 1/2" w x 4 1/2"h x 2 3/4"d. Case #A106, movements #206, #207 and #208. file 268

Below is the only other example this author has seen of any version of the Marsh model 2 with the acid etched, daisy design, nickel plate case (although there surely are others) and is from the Harry C. Miller collection, Nicholasville, Kentucky. Note the missing plating on the door above the first time lock on the left, circled area, in a similar location to to the example illustrated above. Perhaps Chicago Time Lock had unsatisfactory results with the plating company for this particular finish and for that reason it was quickly discontinued. In other time locks with this type of finish there is often evidence of damage consistent with corrosion and wear but rarely from entire sections of the plate lifting away from the case's base metal. This indicates an improper base metal preparation before the plating process. The second photo shows a side by side comparison of a Chicago time lock dial next to the successor company's, Diebold. The Chicago enamel finish as well as the artwork are less refined indicating a change in the enameling supplier.



The case for the Marsh model 2 quickly evolved. The first photo is from the example illustrated and is case #A106. Notice the split mark around the inside perimeter and is highlighted by the fact that the lower half has a gold paint application. The movement mounts are integrally cast within the lower section. A careful examination reveals that the case was made in two sections. The second photo shows the same style split glass door model, case #A148. By this time the case itself is milled from a single casting and the movement mounts were separate posts and riveted into the back of the case. The lever set connects the bolt dog through the side of the case whereas the model illustrated dogs from below the case.


The first close up of the case corner reveals the witness marks for a mated pair of pieces for the case. Notice how the lower half has a corner that is square and deeper than the rounded corner above. If this were one cast piece, that sharp corner would have carried through and the material would not have been available to make the less shallow rounded corner above. The second photo is the later case showing a conventional milling of the bronze casting as seen in most time lock cases.


One of the movements had a broken roller jewel, left. The escapement wheel, right, illustrates how dirty and full of crud the movement was. I found two dead bugs so I guess one could say the movement was buggy.


A Dino-Lite microscope camera is useful to capture close up shots as well as using the jeweler's loupe on top of a still cameral lens. In this case I was lucky in that the broken jewel had quite a bit of its length left above the roller table, so it was a simple procedure to soften the shellac and carefully push the remaining spare length down to the surface of the roller table top. Then the jewel was reinforced with a tiny application of super glue on both sides of the table. There was enough jewel material to reach through the pallet fork and after the remaining mechanism was cleaned it started right up and runs perfectly. If the jewel had been too damaged, then a replacement jewel would have been necessary.


The repaired jewel is in place and the remaining parts are ready for reassembly.

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