A new and beautiful Turret Clock, has been built lor the Hall Tower of this city, by Messrs. Sherry Byram, of Sag Harbor, L. I., and it is now in the course of being placed in its proper position. It was something much wanted, viz., a first-rate clock of American manufacture—one that will keep time equal, if not superior, to any in the world, and this we believe will be done by this new clock. The frame of the clock is composed of iron and composition metal, the length of which is four feet, the width two feet, and the height two and a half feet, or, including the bed, plate, and pedestal, the whole height is four and a half feet. The weight ot the whole is about 1,000 lbs., 300 lbs. of which are iron and steel, the remainder brass and composition. The works are so constructed that any wheel may be removed without disturbing the next. The large or main wheels are twenty inches in diameter and weigh 60 lbs. each ; the other wheels are all in proper proportion, and of the purest brass hardened in its composition. The barrels are also of brass, ten inches in diameter, and of length sufficient to receive sixteen turns of the cord, which gives the clock eight days of running time. The arbors are of castT steel ; the pivots hardened to the highest degree of temper, and run in bosses of a compound metal, which, from its nature is almost free from friction ; and from several years' use, is found to be almost perfectly unaffected by wear. " o To the barrel of the time train is attached a retaining power, similar to that used in lever watches and chronometers, which keeps the clock going while the action of the weight is taken off in winding. The wheels and pinions are all cut in aliqupt numbers, so that any wearing that may occur in the gearing will only serve to continually diminish the friction ; and so smooth aM perfect are their operations, that, although the time train weighs near 200 lbs., it is now running with a power of only about sixty lbs. weight. The escapement is of the old well-tried dead-beat form ; the escape wheel is 6j inches in diameter, and although its acting part is near one inch upon the pallets, yet, from the neatness of its construction, its weight is only ten ounces, and turns on its pivots in two splendid jewels. The pallets are of the finest agate, one inch in length and breadth, set in sockets of steel, and exhibit a very refined skill in mechanical manipulation. The pendulum rod is of a peculiar kind ot wood, 168 inches in length, and swings once every two seconds ; and has a brass lenticular weight of 120 lbs., with a compound r gula-tor and compensating fixture, so arranged that while it is utterly unaffected by the most extreme chaiiges of temperature, the performance of the clock may be corrected with the most minute certainty to almost perfect measurement of time. The spring by which the pendulum is suspended is near two inches in width, but its thickness is only 5-1000ths of an inch. The pendulum is not attached to the frame of the clock as is usually done, but is suspended to a strong iron support secured to a standard braced with great strength, thus preventing any possibility of the rocking of the frame that would occur from its vibrations with so heavy a body attached. An application has been made for a patent, through our Agency, tor this beautiful pendulum. A powerful winding gear is affixed to each barrel, and the parts so constructed that the pinion is shifted from one barrel to the other, and disengaged when the weights are wound up. In speaking of church clocks, a correspondent of one of our monthly cotemporaries justly speaks of the very inefficient church clocks scattered throughout our country. In fine clocks, he says, " we Americans, with all our boasted skill and ingenuity, are very far, behind some other nations." He also proposes a new device, named a remontoir escapement, recently invented by a Mr. Dent, of London, which he thinks will make.all our church clocks go as correctly as chronometers. There is just as much mechanical skill in our coun- '? try as in any other, and we have no donbt j but this new clock of Messrs. Sherry By-ram's is equal to any in Europe. The churches throughout our country can be furnished with clocks that will keep time, if they choose to save money by paying for good workmanship instead of losing it by buying cheap clocks, " to deceive time and all the parish." Better, have no clock in a church or steeple, than a poor one.
This article was originally published with the title "New Clock for our City Hall" in Scientific American 8, 31, 242 (April 1853)