INDEX # : 076-C-0394

circa: 1863-1875

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Seth Thomas Clock Co., Thomaston, Conn.

Seth Thomas (1785-1859)
MOVEMENT TYPE Brass, 30-hour, spring driven, T&S, hour strike on cathedral gong. Round movement plates, stamped "S. Thomas, Plymouth, Conn. USA".
CASE SIZE & CONSTRUCTION Base = 10 ¾", Height = 17", Depth = 4"


Original label:
"Patent Spring Brass Thirty Hour Clocks / Made and sold by / Seth Thomas / Thomaston, Connecticut"


Replacement paper dial, poorly installed.

[February 2004] - I participated in Chapter 124's Dial Painting class in February 2004, and this was the first dial I restored.

I stripped the replacement paper dial off the tin dial plate, re-shaped the plate to restore the original bevel, and then restored using a picture of an original Seth Thomas miniature ogee dial as a guide.

The pictures to the left show the dial at various stages of the restoration.


Unusual round movement plates, made prior to 1866? Movement plates are pinned together, but label on case states Thomaston?. Possibly a left over movement put in newer case design. The lower tablet has the original decal, but the black backing has peeled away. It is suggested that this pattern was applied to the glass by using a heated press to make the gold adhere to the glass.
ACQUIRED FROM Auction at the 1994 NAWCC Lone Star Regional at the Arlington Convention Center, Arlington, TX.


Clock not running, case is in good condition, paper dial is a replacement and poorly installed. Alarm movement is missing actuation lever. The dial glass and tablet glass appear to be original, but the dial itself has a replacement paper dial glued on top of the original dial pan.
RESTORATION June 1994 - Cleaned and adjusted movement, cleaned case and set clock to running. Replaced paper dial with a reproduction Seth Thomas paper dial, still not the correct chapter ring size, but will do until I get a suitable replacement.

February 2004 - Restored dial February 2004 during the Chapter 124 Dial Painting Course held at Old City Park in Dallas, TX.


Seth Thomas's Case Factory c. 1885 in Thomaston, Conn.

Seth Thomas (1785-1859) apprenticed to Eli Terry. He along with Silas Hoadley worked for Terry from around 1807-1810 making wood tall case movements. This was the point in history were the mass production of clock movements started. Terry contracted to make 4,000 movements in three years, a feat which had never been accomplished before. Terry had introduced a method of using interchangeable parts to make these movements, an idea he had gotten from Eli Whitney. After the contract was fulfilled, he sold the business to Thomas and Hoadley who continued manufacturing the wood tall case movements. Thomas eventually bought out Hoadley's interest in the business, and began producing shelf clocks with Eli Terry's patented wood 30 hour shelf clock movement. Seth Thomas had an elaborate career making wood and brass movement shelf clocks, and his company became the most well known name in the clock business. In 1853 his company became the Seth Thomas Clock Co., and operated under this name until 1931 when it became a division of General Time Instrument Co. (Seth Thomas's Great Grandson was chairman of the board until he died in 1932). In 1949, The company became a division of General Time Corp. In 1970, became a division of Tally Industries, who still produces clocks with the Seth Thomas Trademark. The town of Plymouth Hollow, Conn. changed it's name to Thomaston in 1866 to honor the clock maker.

Believe this clock was produced around 1863 or earlier due to "Seth Thomas Plymouth, Conn. USA." stamp on the dial plates. This was probably a left over movement from before the Plymouth to Thomaston name change.
REFERENCES 1. "Seth Thomas Clocks and Movements" by Tran Duy Ly, 1996, page 269, figure 976.
2. "Price Guide to Antique Clocks" by Robert & Harriett Swedburg, 1988, pg. 72, picture of similar clock.

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