Self Winding Clock Company. The "Massachusetts" wall clock.

It is a long standing story in our business that this model the "Massachusetts" was originally made and hung in the Massachusetts State House.

This ornamental cast bronze facade measures approximately 29.5 inches long, 25 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It features a dial that is 14 inches in diameter. The Roman hour numerals are raised. The minute and hour hands are spectacular. They are also bronze and wonderfully detailed. The outer section is decorated with runs of laurel along the sides. At the top is an hour glass and a pair of feathered wings. This is symbolism for the age old adage that time flies.

The movement is categorized as the style "A." It features brass plates and steal gearing. The pinions and arbors are cut from the best tool steel, hardened, tempered and polished. The escapement is a Graham Dead beat with extra large pallets. It is very good quality. The front plate is stamped “Self Winding Clock Co.” It also has the Seth Thomas logo "ST." This movement is powered by a spring that is wound once an hour be a electrical powered winder of the rotary type having three pairs of magnets. The electrical power is supplied by the equivalent of two d-cell batteries. Set up correctly, this clock should run longer than a year before the batteries need to be replaced.

This clock was made circa 1908 and appears in their catalog under that date.

About Self Winding Clock Company New York City.

The Self Winding Clock Company (SWCC) was formed in New york City in 1886 by Charles Platt in collaboration with Henry Pond. This company became a major manufacturer of electromechanical clocks from 1886 until about 1970. The Self Winding Clock Company clock mechanisms were truly revolutionary for their time. The spring powered mechanisms that powered the clock was not wound by hand but with an electric motor. This put the SWCC of New York as one of the first companies in the United States to successfully employ electric energy to power a clock. Their design attached the winding motor below the conventional clock works. The automatic rewinding of the main spring each hour was performed by a small electric motor. A contact switch is mounted on the clock’s center shaft. This is activated after the clock has run for one hour. Then the main spring is rewound one revolution. This rewinding occurs each hour. The power for the motor is supplied by batteries. These batteries are designed to last approximately one year before they need to be replaced. The result is that this type of clock mechanism is never wound by hand and this eliminated the concern that someone may forget to wind the clock. Hence the company name, The Self Winding Clock Company. Their designs were protected by a series of patents.

From the late 1800’s until well into the mid 1900’s, self-winding clocks earned a most important role in horological history. They provided robust and reliable time synchronization across the country. They serviced railroads and other transportation industries, factories, schools, retail stores, and other businesses. Many of them were decommissioned by 1960 and are slowly finding their way into the caring hands of horological collectors.


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