Charles Alvah Smith of Brattleboro, Vermont. No. 506. Wall clock. -SOLD-
This very decorative example is signed and dated. It was made in October of 1944 and is Numbered 506. Apparently, all of his production is signed, dated and numbered. This case is neatly constructed in pine and retains its original finish. It is line inlaid along the front facing frame. The joinery is tight and well executed. The case is constructed much like a bonnet of a tall case clock. Three sides are fitted with glass. The two side panels provide visual access to the movement. The wooden geared movement is wonderfully made and nicely detailed. This example features a rolling verge. The movement is powered by a weight that is decoratively designed. It features an eight sided wooden canister that is line inlaid and well built. The length of the run is determined by the length of the drop. From a normal mounting position, this clock will run approximately 30 hours. The pendulum bob is inlaid with a star pattern. It is suspended by a decoratively turned wooden rod. The dial is paper and applied to a wooden backboard. The hands are nicely shaped and indicate the time on a time ring that features Roman style numerals.
This clock measures approximately 26 inches long from the top of the bonnet to the bottom of the pendulum. The back board is 13 inches tall and 6.75 inches wide. This clock sits out from the wall approximately 5.25 inches.
About Charles Alvah Smith of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Charles Alvah Smith was a maker of very interesting wooden cased and wooden geared clocks. He was born on his grandfathers farm in Guilford, Vermont on November 3, 1866. His parents, Sanford Alvah Smith and Ellen (Hunt) Smith had three children. His father Sanford, owned and operated a business that made carriages for children and later other various wood products likes wooden sleds, tricycles and children’s toys. Charles joined this business in 1889 and quickly moved up through the company ranks. It is here that he learned the trade of fine woodworking. Sometime around 1820, Charles retired after 35 years of being involved in the family business. While in retirement, he developed many relationships with various local business enterprises as a designer. A clever person, he was award as many as six patents that are mechanical in nature. One patent is for a foot pedal starter used in an automobile. A patent second was for a circular woodcutting table saw. An example of his involvement with local businesses was his involvement with the Franklin Motor Car Company. He advised their planning and production divisions.
Charles was a Yankee. He collected scraps of wood from his furniture making business and began to make clocks in his home workshop. He first presented them as gifts and soon went into production sometime in 1931 until his death in 1946. During this time he produced approximately 614 clocks. Each clock he made from start to finish. He made the entire clock to his very high quality standards. For additional information regarding his interesting person, please read, Charles Alvah Smith: Vermont Maker of Unusual Wood Clocks, written by John M. Anderson. This is a soft cover, 60 plus page description of this ingenious Yankee clockmaker which was published by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) in December of 1990.
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