Telechron, Inc., Ashland, Massachusetts, USA. Model Type
C, 1926, serial no. 7. Page 3.
Restoration. Fabrication of missing parts.
As received the clock was in some disrepair. In addition to the usual cleaning and
maintenance that would be expected, there were missing parts as well as work needed on the
wood case. I will describe here the work needed for the movement itself. As far as I know
only one other example of the Type C; currently inoperable is known and it too is missing the
following items listed below, as well as a few others.
Author's note: Four years after the restoration was complete,
there was a sale of Henry Warren's personal secretary's effects having many
personal and corporate papers and other ephemera in connection with the
Telechron company, there was also a box small containing an original Type C
tilt table and set of mercury switch tubes (see below). Given the small
production run of the Type C and with only two known to survive, what were
the chances of that?
The first thing I needed to do was to try to get as much information on this clock as I
could in order to reproduces as best I could the missing parts. Fortunately there were a
few very good pictures of this clock and movement in the NAWCC Bulletin, August
1991. These photos were attributed to file photos from the Hall of History Foundation,
Schenectady, NY. I tried to contact this entity for further information but this proved
fruitless. So I went with the photos I had. The first item tackled was the most complex,
the tilt table. Without this part the clock was hopelessly useless. It also has quite a
visual appeal as it moves and has the glass mercury vials mounted to it. All of the parts
excepting the simple wire harness were made by the firm of Buchanan, the same firm
involved with my commission
Above is the best photo available from the Bulletin article, next the movement as
found, the drive weight is present but not shown. Fortunately the bridge for the table
pivot was there, so the overall width of the table arbor, pivot length and diameter as
well as the width of the table itself was readily calculated.
A close-up the section we are interested in fabricating including the tilt table,
mercury vial mounts and counter (poising) weights.
Using the photos and what was extant on the movement a drawing was produced (drawings
are pixilated for proprietary reasons).
Next a paper mockup was made to be sure it would fit properly within the confines of
the movement and have the same proportions as the original in the NAWCC Bulletin
The completed tilt table assembly along with the mercury switches. We were able
reproduce the table and the trim weight with good precision from the archive photos. What
I was not able to do was to get the exact shape of mercury switches. These are shorter
than those shown in the file photo taken from 1920.
These four photos show the original tilt table as found four years after
the replica table and clock restoration were complete. What I could not see
from the extant photos was the Bakelite connecting post which was also used
to secure both mercury tube holders. With hindsight, I should have guessed
this. It would be possible to mount a similar mounting post on the
replacement table at this point to replicate the electrical mount. An
curious point is the lack of the tilt-touch post that should be mounted on
the surface facing the viewer where indicated by the arrow, third photo.
There are no witness marks to show such a post was ever present. That post
is an essential component for the table to function and is clearly shown in
the historical file photos. Other than this the table is fully functional
with the clock. Perhaps there was a design change after this table made;
before that there may have been an extension mounted to the weight designed
to touch the table as configured.
The original mercury switch tubes are too damaged and fragile to use and
replacement tubes that would fit the configuration of the table could not be
located. Since the tilt-table is necessary for the clock to function, I
decided to keep the replica table and safely store the original with the
clock for a possible future solution.
Next a drawing is produced for the connector block based on the file photos determined
in the same manner as was the tilt table. The block is made of Bakelite in the same manner
as would have been done in the 1930's. Die casting is exactly the way the original would
have been created at that time. For the remaining parts that needed to be fabricated
we had a set of originals in the existing movement.
The first copy from original parts is from the one existing motor mount and drive gear.
The clock needs only one motor to operate properly; with the second able to be put
immediately into service should the first fail. This motor redundancy was also
incorporated in the Type A. The original mount is on the right. A second motor was also
The next copy is the reserve weight tray attached to the movement frame. Reserve
weights are kept here for later use on the pendulum weight tray. I had a reserve weight
tray on my Type A which was a perfect fit, so this was used to produce a duplicate for
this clock. The next photo is a wire harness. There were two empty holes right where the
wires would normally pass so I made a paper model to be sure of tolerances.
The tilt table and the electrical connector post installed. The screws on the post were
later reduced in length.