At Fixoclox, we specialize in the repair, restoration, buying and selling of antique and vintage mechanical Clocks. We are also your Chelsea, Seth Thomas, Russian, and M. Low Military Clock Repair and Restoration Headquaters. Now located on 1553 Slope Rd, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18302 (click on the address to see a Google Map), which is about 110 miles west of our previous location in East Rockaway, Long Island, New York, on Interstate 80.
To contact Bill Marker, you can call (516) 203-5835, and please leave a message, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. No house calls.
If you are looking for a Chelsea clock, for example, be sure to visit our Ebay Page.
Your favorite vintage timepiece broke. Now what? Maybe it was that perfect clock, or maybe it was an important family heirloom. Whatever the case may be, this timepiece is probably close to your heart, and no other timepiece can replace it.
Don't worry. All is not lost quite yet!! At Fixoclox, we understand that every clock comes with its own unique story. We will restore and/or repair your timepiece with precise attention to detail and keep you informed every step of the way. Your timepiece is very important to us. Every clock we repair gets personal attention.
Bill Marker's interest in clocks started in High School with a clock and watch exploratory course that lasted 3 months. The highly noted and revered Henry B. Fried was one of the instructors there. Among Mr. Fried's numerous contributions to horology, he also taught High School Shop. After having served in the Navy, Bill wanted a wind up Navy clock, so he bought one, then two, then three... Pretty soon he was his own best customer and had amassed a lot of clocks. He then started to repair them himself. In 2006, Bill met Harry Wysong, CMWM, Nino Gonzalas, CMCM, and Mark Headrick, CCM. Fixoclox's success is in large part due to their support and encouragement.
The following is some history about Chelsea clocks, provided by the Chelsea Clock Company:
The earliest clockmaker in Massachusetts was Simons Willard who in 1802 invented his famous Willard Banjo Clock with which we are all familiar. Willard's clocks were pendulum clocks and were excellent timekeepers. He made his movements out of cast brass and the beauty of his cases was know and admired. His techniques in clock making are still used today. It still remains a mystery as to where Willard learned his unique skills.
Edward Howard was an apprentice of Aaron Willard, Jr., nephew of Simon Willard. Howard started a business for himself in 1840. Ten years later he and a newly acquired partner started making watches and at that time moved to Waltham. In 1857 Edward Howard returned to Roxbury and started another factory know as the E. Howard Clock company, which is still in operation but is now located in Waltham. One of Howard's apprentices was Joseph Eastman. Eastman started the business that is now the Chelsea Clock Company in 1886.
During this time watchmaking advanced to its present excellency and while the watch escapement type of clock had been made in a limited way for use aboard ship, it was argued that it could make an excellent timekeeper, that it would run in any position, and that it would not have to be set plum on the mantle as pendulum clocks did. It would be small and compact and lend itself to small cases. In 1886 Eastman built a factory on Everett Avenue, in Chelsea Massachusetts, and called it the Eastman Clock Company. After experiencing operating difficulties, the name of the company became the Boston Clock Company and the business was bought by Charles H. Pearson of Brookline in 1897. At this time he changed the name yet again to what it is now known as today, the Chelsea Clock Company, the "Timekeepers of the Sea."
While the early days of the company were somewhat stormy, the same devotion of the idea of making the finest quality clock has always been maintained. There is not a clock company in the world whose product even approaches the quality of the product produced by Chelsea.
One of the early developments of the Chelsea Clock company was the making of the Ship's Bell clock. This particular item proved to be a very popular one, not only for use at sea, but also for home use. The Ship's Bell clock and non-striking clocks are found in every port in the world. In addition to the use of Chelsea clocks in the home and at sea, they are used in a great variety of instruments for recording purposes. In water stage recorders they are used in Russia, Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and many other places. Many of these clocks are used in measuring of the water supply in the cities of New York, Chicago, Boston, and a dozen other cities. Practically every hydroelectric development in the country , such as TVA, is based on information gathered by instruments over a period of ten years which are operated by Chelsea's clocks. They also measure the amount of water taken out of the Great Lakes for sewage disposal of the City of Chicago.
The uses for Chelsea's clocks, which are generally built to customers specifications are quite varied and sometimes rather unique. For instance, Chelsea's clocks are used tin the measuring of the electricity generated by Niagara Falls. The time spent in the air by the "Question Mark", the first endurance airplane, was recorded by a recording barograph operated by one of Chelsea's movements. The standard altitude barograph used by the Army, Navy, and practically all the air lines, is operated by one of Chelsea's movements. These movements have in this period found their way to many airports the world over. Each one of the pilots who have attempted high altitude records for airplane flights carried with him a sealed mechanism which automatically record their altitude. This mechanism was of course a Chelsea movement.
Macmillan used an number of Chelsea clocks to record the magnetism at the North Pole during his famous Arctic Expedition of 1922. both these clocks and the clocks used by Admiral Byrd for recording temperature, pressure, and humidity on his South Pole expedition were specially oiled with low temperature oil before these explorers set out on their adventures.
During World War I and II, Chelsea furnished thousands of clocks to the armed forces for use aboard Liberty ships, submarines, destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and aircraft carriers. Any number of Chelsea's special movement are used in connection with fire control mechanisms on battleships and also with dead reckoning tracers. The U.S. Army has used many of Chelsea's clocks in all of it's fields of operation to record messages through a message center. Chelsea has been called upon to develop movements which operate under water to record the depth of cable cutters as well as movement which can be dropped from a an airplane at several thousand feet and still operate after striking the water.
Chelsea makes a capital point to carry a rather extensive program of development both in their movements, machinery and operations. Quite a few of the machines used in this plant have been developed and built right there.
The Measurement of Time...
The measurement of time has been accomplished by various means for many centuries. The first periods of division were day and night caused by the revolutions of the earth upon its axis. The sun dial was one of the earliest types of timekeepers. It was used as early as the year 2000 B.C. and for several hundred years was the only type of timekeeper in existence. Sun dials were only practical during the hours of the day when the sun was shining. The desire to mark the hours of the night led to the adoption of the water clock which measured the time by amount of water which passed through a small hole from one vessel to another. by keeping the water in the vessel from which the water flowed at a constant level to maintain the same pressure, a fairly accurate indication of the passing hours was given.
Sand glasses, or hour glasses as they are commonly know, were first used to measure time in the latter part of the 9th century. They were made in practically the same form as the hour today. These glasses were used for all sorts of purposes form speechmaking to cooking. They were also used at sea for it was important in the early days of navigation to know the speed at which a vessel was proceeding so its position could be calculated.
The earliest clock worthy of our modern definition was made by an English monk around the year 1335. From the 14th century on clocks were made in principle like the clocks of today but they did not have any dials or hands, but were made to strike the hours on a bell.
The early clock makers were great artists but very poor mechanics. The time keepers of three to four centuries ago were masterpieces of design. The makers spent years decorating their cases, but these clocks were not very accurate in comparison to the standards of today. As soon as Galileo had discovered the law of the pendulum in the year 1580, he was to work on a timepiece that could make use of his discovery, however it would be almost 100 years before this principle was applied to clocks.
One problem that faced the clockmakers of this era was the lengthening and shortening of the pendulum rod by the expansion caused by heart and contraction due to cold.
The immense importance of accurate timekeepers for ascertaining the position of a ship at sea was apparent very early. In 1598, over 100 years after the discovery of American, the king of Spain offered a reward of 100,000 crowns for the invention of such a timepiece since a pendulum was impractical at sea. It was more than 175 years later that the first chronometer was invented, and the present type of escapement used in watches and high grade clocks was made.
The placing of jewels in the bearings of clocks was the invention of the Swiss in 1700 and today the Swiss still furnish most of the jewels used in watches and high-grade clocks. These jewels were mostly sapphires from India and Australia, although today they are almost entirely synthetically made.
The earliest American clockmaker was Thomas Harland, who came to this country from England on the ship that carried the tea that was thrown overboard in Boston Harbor in 1773. He settled in Norwich, Connecticut and had as one of his apprentices Eli Terry who was later called "the father of American clockmaking". Clocks during this period were almost entirely pendulum floor clocks, the movements were made of cast brass and cast iron. Terry made his first clock in 1792 and it is now owned by his descendants and is in good running order. Fortunately for Terry, Paul Revere has made great strides in the rolling of brass and copper sheets about this time.
Today, the Chelsea Clock Company is celebrating its 103rd anniversary of fine American
clockmaking. The company has seen the product line expand from marine style clocks to
beautiful jewelry pieces which are used more and more for corporate awards, recognition
gifts and incentive items. This is the new Chelsea and they look forward to serving a new
generation that appreciates a tradition of American craftsmanship.