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

This Steeple mantel clock was made by Chauncey Jerome of New Haven, Connecticut. This rare example features a Turner’s Patent Alarm.

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 rosewood 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 J. S. Turner label is pasted to the back of the door. The Chauncey Jerome label is pasted to the backboard of the case and is in good original condition. It is partly obscured by the large cast iron alarm bell which is mounted to the backboard with a single screw. This label reads, “EIGHT DAY ANDTHIRTY HOUR / O.G. & OOG, WITH & – WITHOUT ALARMS, / GOTHICSPRING, / EIGHT DAY AND 30 HOURSHARP AND ROUND TOP / WITH AND WITHOUT ALARMS, / OCTAGON EIGHT DAY CLOCKS, / SILENT AND STRIKING FOR HOTELS, OFFICES &c. / MARINE LEVER TIME PIECES / For Ships, Steamboats,Locomotives and dwellings, / ALL WARRANTED OF THE BEST QUALITY / MADE BY / CHAUNCEY JEROME. / New Haven, Conn.” 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, five 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.


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