Seth Thomas 12 Inch Drop Octagon wall clock. Mahogany case. Time & Strike movement.

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 others are judged.

This is a special example. The case is mahogany and has been refinished. Mahogany examples do not appear in the marketplace very often. The vast majority of the school clocks seen today are constructed in oak. The fact that this example is mahogany would imply that it was made for a residential setting or perhaps an office.

The spring wound movement is brass construction and is die stamped by the Maker on the front plate. It is and designed run eight days on a full wind. These clocks are very good runners.The brass faced pendulum bob can be viewed through the glass door in the front of the case. This example also has the added features of having a full strike train. That means that this example will strike each hour on a wire gong mounted inside the case. The pendulum bob is brass and can be viewed through the glass door in the front of the case.

The dial bezel is brass and has been recently polished. The dial is painted on tin and features Roman style numerals. The manufacture’s name can be found on this dial. It reads, “SETH THOMAS.” The Maker’s label is pasted inside the clock onto the backboard. The condition of which is good. It lists the place location of manufacture as Thomaston, Conn.

This clock measures approximately measures 23.5 inches long. This is an outstanding example. It was made circa 1900. It is inventory number 218030.

About Seth Thomas of Plymouth and later Thomaston, Connecticut.

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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