Tall Case Clock (1957.34.1)

The Dominy craftsmen offered several tall clock models, from simple and inexpensive to complex and costly. This is an Eight-day strike, repeater alarm clock with key-wound weight-driven works indicating the hour, minute, day of week, and date of month and a bell striking the hour with one or more (repeated) chimes corresponding to the hour.

On November 7, 1799, Nathaniel IV charged David Gardiner of Flushing, New York, £36 ($90 at the time) for what he called “an Horologiographical, Repeating, Alarm, Monition Clock,” his fanciest model. He deducted £1.16s. for the English-made dial that Gardiner supplied, and 8 shillings for lead weights (weighing twelve pounds, each) that he recommended Gardiner purchase from a forge called “Yules Air Furnace” in New York City.

The painted sheet-iron face made in Birmingham, England, has been removed so the works can be easily seen. The two twelve-pound weights drive separate but interconnected time and strike trains that indicate, and chime, the hour. The alarm mechanism is set using the small, square-toothed brass wheel on the central arbor behind the hands. It is driven by a small weight suspended from the right side of the works.