Turner's Patent 8-day alarm. Sharp Gothic or Steeple Clock made by Chauncey Jerome of New Haven, Connecticut. AAA24

At first glance, this rare example looks like most any other time, strike and alarm steeple clock. But, looks can be deceiving. This clock is constructed with “J. S. Turner’s Patent Eight Day Alarm.” When one opens the door, it becomes evident that something is different.

This clock is unusual in that it has a movement configuration that was patented by Jonathan S. Turner on July 13, 1852. The patent number is 9,123. This patented movement has been found in Beehive clocks as well as in a small OOG case. An example of the later is currently in the museum collection in Bristol, Connecticut. Directions for it’s use are explained in the original label. This label is pasted on to the back of the door inside the case. This unusual movement is spring powered and is designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It also features an eight-day alarm that is fitted between the two main plates of the movement. The alarm train is positioned where one would normally expect to find the strike train. This movement is designed so that the alarm feature is wound once a week. It also features an automatic shut off for the alarm that prevents it from running out the spring each time it is engaged. Once set, this mechanism engages the alarm at the same time during each day of the week. One alarm every 24 hours. In other words, the alarm sounds for a specific duration (in excess of 15 seconds) and then shuts itself off before the spring is exhausted. This is unlike most thirty hour alarms which must be wound with each use. This clock does not strike on the hour. It does not have a strike train.

This case form was originally called a “Sharp Gothic.” Today, it is commonly call it a “Steeple” clock. The case is veneered in mahogany and retains and older finish that has been cleaned. The movement is constructed in brass and powered by two eight-day coil springs. It is wound with a key. The alarm hammer swings inside the bell and hits it on both sides. The keeper for the alarm hammer is mounted to the side of the case. This clock retains it’s original painted dial. The decorative tablet in the lower section of the door is a traditional design. This design features a frosted decoration that was very popular for the period. It is original to this clock.

To my knowledge, seven of these Turner’s Patent clocks have now come to our attention. This is a very fine example. The case measures approximately 20 inches tall, 10 inches wide and 4.75 inches deep. It was made circa 1855.


About Chauncey Jerome of New Haven, Connecticut.

Chauncey Jerome was born in 1793 in Canaan, Connecticut the son of a blacksmith and a nail-maker. He has a storied history in the Connecticut clock industry, becoming one of our Nations giant employers and producers during his lifetime. His autobiography has been reprinted and is available to purchase at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, CT. It is a worthy read.


For more information about this clock click  here .