The First One for July 2009

Photos: Andy showing New Haven clock in original condition; the restored clock.

My first clock was a New Haven long drop regulator that I bought at a local auction. The crowd was gathered around the old garage on the property as the auctioneer pulled out miscellaneous items from the dim interior. The clock that I bought was in pieces in a washtub along with some emergency reflectors, old fruit jars, a radiator hose, several cans of rusty nails, and an assortment of greasy rags and dried up paint brushes. I bought the whole assortment, washtub and all. As I went forward to collect my purchase, a woman in the front turned and said “Who would pay two bucks for that bunch of junk?” I spent the winter rebuilding the case, had the movement repaired, and ended up with a nice looking clock and a new hobby. I still have the washtub and the reflectors. I am sad to say that I traded the clock off in a moment of weakness when someone offered me a fabulous return on my two dollar investment.
-Andy Elder (MO)

Photo: L. Ingraham gingerbread kitchen clock.
I used to accompany my mother to estate sales in her quest to find antique bisque figurines. It was during the summer of 1977, roaming through one of these houses, when I spotted what was to become the very first clock in my collection. It was an L. Ingraham gingerbread kitchen clock. After a few minutes of tense negotiations, my mother was able to get the price reduced by $10. I purchased the clock for $30 and could not contain my excitement! At the time, having no knowledge of clocks, I was not aware that my first clock was missing its entire top bonnet. Luckily, my clockmaker had a “junker” sitting around whose bonnet fit seamlessly into mine. My clock was now complete... and what a beauty!
Now 31 years later, and blessed with an extraordinary collection of clocks, I still fondly recall that special day in the summer of ’77 whenever I glance over at my L. Ingraham gingerbread clock.
-Jeff Ziering (NJ)

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