Seth Thomas 12 Inch Drop Octagon. A School Clock retailed by Otto H. Fasoldt in Albany, New York.

This “Drop Octagon Twelve Inch” was made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Thomaston, Connecticut. These clocks a commonly called “School House” clocks because they were often used in school rooms across this country. The Seth Thomas version of this clock is, in my opinion, the model by which all other school clocks are judged.

This is a nice clean example. The case is oak is retains a pleasing finish. The time only movement features brass skeletonized plates. The front plate is die-stamped with the Maker’s trademark and the number “9 1/2” is in the lower left corner. (Please note that the pictures of this movement were taken before this clock was serviced.) This movement is spring wound being fitted with a Geneva Stop winding mechanism and is designed to run eight days on a full wind. The pendulum bob is brass and can be viewed through the glass door in the front of the case. A Seth Thomas set up label is pasted inside the case and is easily viewed when opens the lower door. The dial is protected by glass that is secured in a brass bezel. The dial measures 12 inches in diameter and is painted on tin. It features large Arabic style hour numerals and the Retailer’s name in block lettering.

The Retailer, Otto Henry Fasoldt was the son of Charles Fasoldt, one of America’s most ingenious clockmakers. Otto continued the retail store operations that his father established for a period of time after Charles death. Otto ordered this clock from Seth Thomas in 1904.

This oak cased clock was made by Seth Thomas in Thomaston, Connecticut in May of 1904. It is dated with the Seth Thomas code on the back of the case.

This clock measures approximately measures 23.5 inches long.

About Seth Thomas

Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner, and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry. Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.

In 1810, he bought Terry’s clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman’s Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father’s death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.

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