Artisans at Willard House (left to right)
Richard Ketchen and Jim Moss
Ketchen workshop - "blueing hands"
The Presentation (left to right)
Joe Brown, Dr. Robinson, Bob Merrill, John Lelievre, Larry Chelmow
The Sixth Annual Horological Workshop was held at the Willard House and Clock Museum in Grafton Massachusetts on Saturday May 23,1998.The workshop was held in association with the Willard House and Clock Museum.
Dr. Roger Robinson purchased the Willard homestead and clock shop in the 1960's ,and the Museum was opened officially to the Public in June 1971. Willard House is a unique place to host such an event-because it is in the same place that Simon Willard and his three brothers began their clock making, and began to set the standard for New England clock making.
Chapter Eight is extremely grateful to Dr. and Mrs.Imogene Robinson for the use of Willard House for this annual event. Workshop members were welcomed to Willard House by John Stevens,on behalf of Dr. Robinson. Larry Chelmow, Chapter Vice President and Program Chair, introduced the program and the guest artisans The guest artisans were distinguished in their respective fields.
The topics were: "Identifying characteristics of the Simon Willard improved timepiece" ;"Heat treatment of things horologicall," and "Ammoniated cleaning solutions."
Three groups were formed and the workshops were presented in various rooms in Willard House., "Simon Willard in the basement,Heat treatment in the Barn, and " Ammoniated cleaning solutions" in the Willard Gallery.
Dr. Nancy Connelly and Jean Haines from the American Clock And Watch Museum in Bristol brought the AC&WM's Traveling exhibit " a display of tall clock castings - a complete movement consisting of plates, time and strike barrel assemblies that were displayed in the Aaron Willard Gallery.
Joe Brown presented a very fine workshop -titled "Identifying characteristics of the Simon Willardimproved timepiece".Workshop students were given a mini-manual,;using slides and the mini-manual, we were able to identify the features that are consistent with Simon Willard methods..Not all the clocks are identical The mini -manual displayed dimensions of the Simon Willard improved time piece ,descriptions of each clock part and all the movement characteristics of a Simon Willard improved timepiece so that we should be able to identify a true Willard .The patent was granted in February 1802.and cost about $28 for a "standard" version Willard clock. For the more serious student of Simon Willard ,Joe recommends the reading of "A Study of Simon Willard Clocks" by Husher & Welch; " A History of Simon Willard ,inventor and clockmaker." by J.W.Willard ; The Willard House and Clock Museum and the Willard Family Clockmakers by Dr. Robinson and Herschel Burt.; and "American Banjo Clocks "by Petrucelli and Sposato..These books are available at the NAWCC Lending Library.
At the end of the workshop we were given a test "find the Willard".Three banjo clocks were on display and we had to identify the Willard The results of the tests were not revealed.! Joe has studied the Willard family for some time and is well qualified with the subject. He talks about Simon as though he works along side him.
Joseph E Brown, FNAWCC,is a Trustee of the Willard House and Clock Museum ,a corporator of the Charles River Museum of Industry ,and Past President, and currently a Director of Chapter Eight Council.He specializes in the museum quality restoration of 18th. century clocks and watches.He has recently completed the cleaning and oiling of the Willard Museum's Goddard watch collection.
Richard Ketchen presented "Heat Treatment for things Horological" in the Willard barn .His presentation was a practical one with demonstrations of hardening, annealing ,blueing and tempering steels.Richard shared his thrifty methods for inexpensive tools in the clockshop. We used the blueing pan to"blue" polished parts and screws,The use of the color change chart to measure the temperature of the metal.How to anneal materials used in the clock, how verges should be hardened;and building up of pallet surfaces to avoid bending. .It was a "hands on presentation with everyone participating.An excellent workshop ,which provided the basis for an exchange of ideas and hints for all.
Richard Ketchen FNAWCC,is a Chapter Eight member and has been repairing and restoring clocks and scientific instruments for nearly thirty years. He is a frequent lecturer and researcher for NAWCC, and has received a NAWCC gold medal for master craftsmanship. He has worked for Harvard University, and done restoration work on their collection of early clocks and scientific instruments on display at the Fogg Museum of Art in conjunction with the Longtitude Symposium.
Jim Moss's presentation "Ammoniated cleaning solutions"took place in the Long Gallery at Willard House.It is a very -controversial subject and he was supported by Linn W. Hobbs,D. Phil.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The presentation was professional and comprehensive with all the sources and references provided.Moss uses the American Society For Metals handbook to define Stress Corrosion Cracking .Slides were displayed simultaneously on two screens,.
We began with the early foundry methods and the characteristics of brass; how it was formed and its impurities and imperfections..The use of cleaning solutions that contain ammonia and its effect on work hardened brass which could damage the objects we are trying to preserve.
Moss claims that "the effect that ammonia can have on hardened brass is no longer a debatable issue--it is a fact" and it is difficult to determine what clock parts are immune to the use of ammonia " so why take a chance."
Several test pieces were displayed,bench tests on strip brass under stress and immersed in supermarket ammonia solutions failed after three days!
Historical methods on clock cleaning were discussed. Safe solutions were discussed "To all of us that love that bright clean look that ammoniated solutions give, this should give us much to think about whether we become believers or not."Moss finished his presentation with an impassioned plea for all to act and call for an alternative for a solution that would preserve our articfacts rather than destroy them."
James Moss is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work (AIC). He has been in full time private practice as a Horological restorer since 1969 and as a Professional Associate Conservator since 1993.He is a director of the New England Conservators Association. He is also a member of the AWI, NAWCC, GBWCC, and British Horological Institute (BHI). He was a CO-founder of NAWCC Chapter 87. He has lectured for many years on the technical aspects of clock repair and restoration for GBWCC, and Chapters 8 and 87. He holds an ASEE from Wentworth Institute and serves as a consultant on micro-mechanical mechanisms to the Arthur D. Little Corporation.
Chapter President Bob Merrill presented Dr. Robinson with a VCR/television, a gift from the Membership of Chapter Eight,for use at Willard House.The VCR could be used as introductions for Museum visitors, the training of museum docents,and promotion of the Willard House videos
This program should have great appeal. Not only are the participants going to leave with useful skills and knowledge, but they also will be left with much to think about.
The workshop sessions will be presented at the Willard House and Clock Museum in Grafton ,Massachusetts. The Workshop fee is $35 ,which shall be paid in advance.There will be no refunds. The workshop fee includes three 90 minutes seminar sessions ,coffee and pastry on arrival, a coffee break,box lunch and an informal tour of the museum
Attendance is limited to 45 Chapter Eight members in "good standing." Due to limited space at the Museum,no guests will be allowed to attend this workshop.Registration will be accepted by mail on a first-come basis and over-subscriptions will be returned.The days events will be as scheduled below . :-
8:00 am Registration, coffee and pastry served in the Willard barn
9:00 am The first of three concurrent 90 minute workshop begin
10:30 -11:00 am A coffee break in the Willard barn.
12:300--1:300 Box lunch will be served at the Willard barn
3:00pm-- Informal tour of the Willard House and Clock Museum
From Mass. Pike, take exit 11, follow Rte. 122 to Rte.140 to Grafton Center.
From 1-495, take Rte 9 to Rte. 30 - turn onto Willard Road at Tufts Campus.
Those desiring overnight lodging
should contact the hotel directly at :-
Marriott Westboro 800-228-9290
Sheraton Milford 800-548-5008
Joseph E. Brown, FNAWCC, CC; is a trustee of the Willard House and Clock Museum,a corporator for the Charles River Museum of Industry, and a Director and FNAWCC member of Chapter 8. Joe is also a past president of GBWCC, and founder, charter member and past director of Chapter 87. He specializes in museum quality restoration of 18th century clocks and watches. He has presented numerous workshops and has written several articles presented in the Bulletin of the NAWCC. Joe will speak on "Identifying Characteristics of the Simon Willard Improved Timepiece". This presentation should allow members to be able to distinguish between an authentic piece and a fake.
Richard Ketchen FNAWCC,has been repairing and restoring clocks and scientific instruments for nearly thirty years. He is a frequent lecturer and researcher for the NAWCC, and has received an NAWCC gold medal for master craftsmanship. He has worked for Harvard University having done restoration work on their collection of early clocks and scientific instruments including the display at the Fogg Museum of Art in conjunction with the Longitude Symposium. Richard's presentation will provide information about heat treating Horological materials. He will cover basic hardening,annealing, tempering, and bluing. Then he will go into hardening and annealing of materials used in the clock. This will also cover non ferrous materials such as brass and silver. Applications will include bluing of screws and hands; how verges should be hardened; and building up of pallet surfaces to avoid bending. This is one where participants should learn new skills to help in their repair and restoration work.
James Moss is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work (AIC). He has been in full time private practice as a Horological restorer since 1969 and as a Professional Associate Conservator since 1993.He is a director of the New England Conservators Association. He is also a member of the AWI, NAWCC, GBWCC, and British Horological Institute (BHI). He was a CO-founder of NAWCC Chapter 87. He has lectured for many years on the technical aspects of clock repair and restoration for GBWCC, and Chapters 8 and 87. He holds an ASEE from Wentworth Institute and serves as a consultant on micro-mechanical mechanisms to the Arthur D. Little Corporation. Jim's presentation on ammoniated cleaning solutions and its effects upon hardened brass - stress corrosion cracking - should not be without its share of controversy. To all of us that love that bright clean look that ammoniated solutions give, this should give us much to think about whether we become believers or not. He will also present alternate cleaning techniques to the use of ammoniated solutions.
Cut at the line and return registration form only
Registration form for workshop May 23,1998--Willard House & Clock Museum
Nawcc #: ___________________________________________
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Return with check payable to New England Chapter Eight
Robert Frishman 53.Poor Street Andover MA.01810
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