Published: November 6, 2012
The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc, (NAWCC) conducted a Mid-Eastern Regional on October 25′7 at the York Expo Center on the York Fairgrounds. The event was hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter #1 and members came from all across the country, including California, Maine, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Washington state and Canada.
A tailgate event began early Thursday morning, ending at 1 pm, and at 2 pm, the Mart Room opened where members could set up tables and offer timepieces and related objects from their own collection to other members of the association. The Mart Room continued to be open all day Friday, and the better part of Saturday, with close to 400 tables laden with all manner of clocks and watches, as well as books and literature related to clock collecting and manufacturing. Only members of NAWCC and their guests were allowed to buy and sell in the Mart Room, and about 850 people attended the event.
A special loan exhibition, arranged by Lee Davis of York, featured a large collection of iron front clocks on loan from members. Iron front clocks, which probably should be called cast metal front clocks, became popular in the 1850s and 1860s when springs became available to furnish the motive power for clock movements, replacing heavy weights. As a result, clock case designers were free to invent many new styles that incorporated smaller and more pleasing cases with a wide variety of design and color. Davis has had an interest in clocks for the past 46 years and has spent that time doing reverse paintings on glass for clocks. “There was a need for reverse painting for clocks, I taught myself how to do it and have been doing it ever since,” Lee said.
The schedule of events included two guest speakers, Arlyn Rath on Friday with a talk on Nicholas Muller, a designer of iron front designs in New York City. She is the author of the recently published book Nicholas Muller, Horologist Extraordinaire, which was available at the talk. On Saturday, Charles Fairbrother spoke about his experiences casting metal clock fronts. He is a retired toolmaker who operated a clock shop in Newburyport, Mass., for four years and then another 20 years from his home.
The Philadelphia Chapter #1 has presently 280 members and will meet again on December 2 at the Holiday Inn in Fort Washington, Penn. Those interested in learning more about NAWCC, contact David Gorrell, 1179 Dicus Mill Rd., Millersville, MD 21108, or 410-987-5915.
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