D. J. Gale's Astronomical Calendar. Wall clock. Welch, Spring & Co. Forestville, Conn.

This is a Gale Astronomical Calendar gallery clock. It was offered in two dial sizes. The smaller had a dial diameter of 12 inches. The larger model measured 24 inches across. In addition, two variation of cases were offered. The rosewood veneered case had less shaping to its moldings as compared to the solid case of oak, black walnut and mahogany.

This is the larger rosewood veneered example. The case measures approximately 30.5 inches in diameter and is 5 inches deep. The rosewood veneer is in outstanding condition. The surface has been wonderfully finished so that the natural grain patterns are vibrant. The wooden bezel is fitted with glass in order to protect the dial.

This dial is painted on zinc and is in very good condition. This example is referred to as the 1871 patent version. It is formatted into five separate displays. The upper dial displays the time with a minute and an hour hand. The lower dial indicates the month of the year. There is also a table that calculates the time of sunrise and sunset during that month. The small hand between DEC / JAN indicates the number of years since the last leap year. The dial on the right will indicate the phases of the moon or the day of the lunar calendar month. The dial on the left indicates the day of the week. The last dial is found around the outside edge or the perimeter of the dial. This displays the calendar date of the current month. All of this is incorporated in a perpetual design which will account for the variation in the number of days in each month and also leap year.

Two coil springs wound through the dial power this clock mechanism. It is constructed in brass and is designed to run eight days on a full wind. This movement does not strike. This example is designed to be regulated with a pendulum. The pendulum has a wood rod and a brass covered bob.

Inside the case, pasted to the backboard is the Maker’s directions for operation. This is formatted with gold lettering on a dark blue background. This label is in excellent original condition.

Inventory number 215004.

This very impressive clock was made circa 1875.

Inside the case, pasted to the backboard is the Maker’s directions for operation. This is formatted with gold lettering on a dark blue background. This label is in excellent original condition.

This very impressive clock was made circa 1875.

Daniel Jackson Gale was born in Waitsfield, Vermont on December 24, 1830. In 1870 he began a relationship with the Welch and Spring Company. They agreed to use his calendar attachment in their clocks. He continued to improve his design and adding complications. He died on June 17, 1901 in Bristol at the age of 71.

About Welch, Spring & Company of Forestville, Connecticut.

The Welch, Spring & Company was formed in March of 1868. This company was formed with the goal of producing a better quality clock than its parent label, E. N. Welch. The clocks offered by this spin off incorporated better woods in the construction of the cases and a higher level of detail work. As a result, Welch & Spring Clocks were more expensively priced. This business was absorbed by the parent company in 1884

Elisha Niles Welch was born on February 7, 1809 in Chatham, Conn and died August 2, 1887 in Forestville. During his lifetime he explored numerous ventures in clock related businesses over his life time. He began his clock career in a foundry that his father owned casting clock weights. In 1841-45 he became a partner in J. C. Brown’s Forestville Mfg Co. He was the first President of the Bristol Brass & Clock Co. in 1850. He absorbed many clock businesses over a relatively short period of time including the Manross clock business in Forestville in 1854 and in 1855 J.C. Brown’s company. Next where the businesses of John Birge, Frederick Otis, and Irenus Atkins. In 1864, he formed them into the E. N. Welch Mfg. Company.

Welch was also a world traveler and a lover of the arts and music. He often invited guest to his house and provided them with entertainment. Several clock models were named after his talented entertainment. One popular model, the Patti V. P. was named after the prodigy vocalist, Adelina Patti. Aldelina was a soprano prima donna. She is described as a beautiful woman who was wealthy, liberated and a nonconformist. She was very popular with men.

Solomon Crosby Spring was born on January 29 1826 in Grandby, Connecticut and died in 1906. He was the son of Thomas Spring and Candace Holcomb. SC began his career in the business of designing, manufacturing and managing clock related activities. He worked for S. B. Terry in Terryville and later moved to Bristol. By 1858 he was in business for himself as S. C. Spring. This company was the successor to the Birge, Peck, & Company. Solomon retired form clock making in 1895.


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