Michael Gainey's

Master Clock Repair

AWCI Certified Clockmaker

Columbus, Ohio

614-833-0378


 
Herschede Tubular Bell Floor Clock
This clock was photographed after an in home repair
Herschede Dial "A"
The dial above is an excellent example of a  well preserved dial.  Care should always be taken when setting the clock to avoid contact between your hands and the dial to avoid what happened to the dial in the picture below. 
Herschede Dial
in poor condition
In this picture you can  see how a great deal of the silvering on the dial has been worn off due to improper handling.
Herschede Dial
Restored
The dial in the previous picture has now been restored to its former beauty!

HERSCHEDE TUBULAR BELL

CLOCK RESTORATION 

Michael Assembling a Herschede Movement after Restoration

                                                       HERSCHEDE

                                              (pronounced - her - shu - dee)


Those who are blessed enough to own a Herschede Tubular Bell Grandfather Clock are aware of the fine quality of these wonderful clocks.  What they may not be aware of is the special attention these clock mechanisms must receive in order to work properly.  Routine maintenance is of course important but when these fine clocks eventually wear themselves out where will owners go to be certain their fine clock receives the special attention it deserves?  If you are close enough to take advantage of our service we hope you will give us a chance to show you what we can do for your clock. 

 

This page is dedicated to those discerning owners of Herschede clocks and or those who are looking to perhaps own one themselves and are gathering information before purchase.

 

More information on the Hershede clock appears below after the following photos.

Herschede Movement #1 - Extra Quality - Early 1900's
Herschede Movement #1 - Extra Quality - Early 1900's

Why trust Master Clock Repair to restore your fine Tubular Bell Clock movement?

 

First of all, be sure to check the "Qualifications" page for all of Michael's credentials.

 

Secondly, it is important to understand that there are very few people who can say they have significant experience with these large, somewhat complex tubular bell mechanisms.  There are many common clocks that pass through the average repair shop over and over again allowing a repairman to gain a great deal of experience over a relatively short period of time.  This is not true of tubular bell clocks in general and Herschede clocks to be specific.  This is due to the fact that these clocks were very expensive and very few people were able to afford them. Consequently they end up in repair shops only sporadically.

 

To give you an idea of how "rare" they are, we repair approximately 1200 clocks per year yet only see 5 to 10 tubular bell clocks during that same period. Fortunately, after 33 years in the trade, Michael has had the privilege of repairing, relatively speaking, a large number of these clocks.

 

As a result of his experience he teaches a class on the finer and often overlooked points of successfully restoring the Herschede movement.

Herschede Tubular bell parts

Photo above is of the gears and levers that make up the Herschede tubular movement.  This picture was taken after these parts had been cleaned, buffed and the pivots burnished.

Herschede Movement before repair

Movement with levers still on before restoration.

Herschede Movement before

Rear of same movement before restoration.

Restored Herschede Tubular Bell Movement without chime barrel
Herschede Movement after repair

Same movement after cleaning and bushing with levers off.

Herschede Movement after

After restoration.

Another View of Restored Herschede
CONCERNING HERSCHEDE QUALITY

Herschede Hall Clock Company was most famous for their large tubular bell clocks.  Although there were other smaller clocks available the tubular bell clock was the flagship of their line. 

Herschede was one of the last American companies to manufacture their own clock movements.  Many American companies made their own cases but imported German mechanisms to perform the work behind the dial.  During the 1970's Herschede began to suffer as most consumers were purchasing the lower cost clocks being made by Howard Miller, Ridgeway and Sligh.  Although these were fine clocks they could not compare to the quality of the Herschede product.  Under increasing pressure from declining sales, beginning in the early 1970's, the quality and durability of the Herschede movements began to decline and the company eventually went out of business in 1984. 

Although these late production movements were at least equal to all other clock products being made during the same time frame the discerning buyer of a used Herschede clock will look to purchase a more vintage model (prior to 1970).
Fully Assembled Restored Herschede
Herschede Movement #2 - "First Quality"
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HERSCHEDE COMPANY

In 1873 Frank Herschede, the founder of the company, was employed as a watchmaker in Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 16.  Four years later he opened his own shop.  Shortly thereafter he began to notice the growing popularity of tall case clocks.  In 1885 he began to import and sell clocks with movements made by the Elliot Company.  Around this time J. Harrington of England had patented his invention of the tubular bell chime.  Having recognized the popularity of this new method of producing the chime tones for large clocks he began to purchase and distribute clocks of this type.  After 1902 he began to produce the tubular bell chimes on his own and install them in Herschede clocks.  Also in 1902 his son Walter joined the firm and the company was officially incorporated as the Herschede Hall Clock Company.

They now began to display their clocks at expositions and received gold and silver medals in St. Louis in 1904.  Many people who have Herschede clocks have a small plaque inside the front door to their clock that notes this accomplishment.  As a re- sult of seeing this plaque many people think that it is their specific clock that won that particular award.  This is not true.  This plaque simply reminds the purchasers of these fine clocks that the company that made them was an award winning company.  The date on the plaque is also not reliable in dating their specific clock.  The date on the plaque simply indicates when the Herschede Company won the award. 

In 1910, at the urging of his son Walter, Frank Herschede began producing his own tubular bell clock movements.  At this time they began to call their clocks "Crown Hall Clocks" and adopted the familiar crown trademark.

In 1926, the Revere Clock Company was set up to manufacture electrically driven clocks, including both mantle and floor models.

In 1929 sales reached their all time high of $1,200.000 but by the time of the stock market crash in October of that same year sales had fallen to $242,000. 

Continued decline of the clock business led the company to begin making parking meters in 1936.  Later, during World War II, Herschede began supplying the U.S. military with defense related material.

Around 1959-60 the company moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Starkville, Mississippi. 

During a time of financial trouble the company was sold in 1967 to John R. Arnold, a furniture maker and subsequently to Howard W. Klein of St. Louis. 

As noted earlier the company folded completely in 1984.  Fortunately, a gentleman in Ohio purchased all the equipment necessary to continue to make replacement parts for the Herschede tubular bell clock movement and is still in business today.

Source material:  Herschede Clocks, A Selection From Four Catalogues, published by the American Clock and Watch Museum, Inc.  Brief History written by D.J. Blackwell.



 TWO HERSCHEDES ON TESTING RACK
Here we have two recently restored Herschede tubular bell movements.  The one on the left is the more common nine tube, three weight movement and the one on the right is a 7 tube, two weight movement which is designated "movement #5".
 TWO HERSCHEDES ON TESTING RACK
with dials



These two clocks have just been overhauled.  Each Herschede movement is tested a minimum of 4 weeks for a local repair and 8 weeks if the clock is going out of town.  Quality control on Herschede repairs is essential to a proper repair.

The clock on the left has had the weights, pendulum and dial restored.
Counter