My father, Thomas F. MacLaren, worked for Brown & Sharpe for his entire professional life. He began as an apprentice shortly after coming to the U.S. as a farm boy from Merigomish, Nova Scotia. When he retired, he was General Sales Manager, having opened the B&S branch in California, managed the Chicago office and then returned to the home office in Rhode Island.
Just before, and soon after retiring, he acquired two B&S "Watch Clocks." These clocks are described in a B&S catalog dated March 1, 1877:
"The Watch Clock is to be used in Banks, Manufactories, Railroad Station Buildings, Lumber yards, and other places, where a watchman is employed, and serves to show whether he is attentive to his duty.
"The clock has a time dial, independent of the pin circle, which may be used as a standard timepiece for the whole establishment.
"From the pulls at the top of the clock, wires are lead off to the different rooms in the building where the watchman is required to visit. Every half hour the wires in all these rooms are required to be pulled in order to draw back the pin, which, by the motion of the pin circle about the dial, presents itself at that time directly over XII."
Some prices shown are:
One clock for one room: $50
One clock for five rooms: $54
Wires and fixtures: $1.50 for each room
Pictured here are two of the B&S Watch Clocks. The one hanging on my wall has been running for many years and keeps good time. The other, shown in pieces, belongs to my brother-in-law, Peter Baugh. It has not run for a few years. So we removed its works from its case and shipped it to our house in Byrnes Mill, Missouri for friend Bob Porter to examine and repair.
Bob cleaned and lubricated the clock's works. He found "very little wear" and said the clock is "well designed, simple and very well made." He found one problem resulting from a loose thread, and fixed it.
Bob visited our home today to return the works, and to see my clock running. I'm building a shipping case to safely return the works to Peter in Florida. Both clocks will soon be keeping time again, and that's good.
To see a 20-second video of my clock running, click on the photo below:
March 10, 2013:
Phil Williams of Ridgewood, NJ informed me a few months ago of his acquisition of two B&S Watchman's Clocks and sent these photos:
This weekend Phil emailed the following:
Both my clocks are now up & running. I even had keys made for the locks in the doors (unfortunately each door required a different key). I compiled a clock provenance / B&S history as it relates to the watch clocks, and thought you might be interested. I may have sent you some of the pictures and information previously, but here it is all compiled into one document. I also included a couple of pictures and some of the information from your website. I obviously do not intend to start publishing this information, but do hope that it will stay with the clocks into the future.