Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:13:30 -0400

Colonial Manufacturing Co. Zealand MI

From: T.C.

Finally I can contriute to the list!! Over 20 years ago, I began I working for Colonial Mfg. Co., managing their service department and acting as their company historian. I would have been the one to field these questions had they arrived during my tenure with the company.

Question From Jerry Hayden: >I just purchased a two weight, five tube, Westminister chime G/F clock. >The movement is marked Colonial Mfg. Co. at the bottom of the back plate >and Pat'd Jan. 12-09 and the number 5221 is at the middle of the back >plate. The case style and the heavy movement plates are very much >Herschede-like. From some cursory research, I see that Colonial Mfg was >located in Zeeland, Michigan; so was Herschede. I would like to know if >anyone knows: >1. whether these two companies had any corporate relationship or >supplied each other with cases or movements?.

Answer: The companies had no corporate relationship. Colonial made cases and purchased movements from Herschede during the war years. At one time Herschede had a movement serial number log that could be used to identify and track all their movements. I do not know the current location of this log. >2. the two weight chime movement is more complex than a normal three >weight movement and does not have a rack and snail or any obvious way to >determine the number of hours to strike. Is there anything in the >technical literature that describes my movement and in particular, the >chiming/striking mechanism. The Stephen Conover comment that was supplied by Murray Falk is likely the best suggestion for finding a technical description of the movement. I seem to remember seeing an assembly drawing of the movement. I'll pursue this further if there is any interest. >3. Anything further of interest about my clock. Typically, Colonial imprinted, or branded, their model number on each tall clock. This number normally can be found on upper quarter of the rear of the case. Colonial began serial numbering their production cases in the 60's (As I recall, they began numbering their Henry Ford Museum reproduction models much earlier.). The serial number logged the specific model, movement and dial used along with the date that the clock was completed and ready to be packaged for shipment. The first two digits of Colonial's production model clock serial numbers generally indicate the year that the clock was produced. I say generally, because in the early 70's (1974ish), they WAY overestimated their production and had serial number stickers that lasted well into subsequent years. This situation may have reoccurred in later years too! So, consider the first two digits of their serial numbers as the approximate year! This serial numbering system was not employed for the Henry Ford Museum reproduction models. Each of those models had their own serial number log, with the first of each model being given the serial number of 1. Subsequent clocks of a given model were numbered sequencially. For example, the first model 5030, a Joseph Doll reproduction clock, was given the serial number 1, the second clock was given the serial number 2, and so on. This system generally held true, although I am aware of a few exceptions.

From: John Collins jcollins@DIAMOND.NB.NET >

Question:>Colonial, on the other hand, supposedly imported all of its movements from >Germany

Answer:. Not so. Colonial used a variety of movements. In their early years, New Haven, Gilbert, and Herchede to name a few. They did primarily use German movements though. Winterhalder, Urgos, Mauthe, Erhardt Jauch, Gerbruder Jauch (sp?), Kienninger, and Hermle, for example. As I understand it, following WWII, they even imported movement parts from Winterhalter and assembled them in Zeeland. These movements were marked "Miller", and one of the Winterhalder family grandsons (Tony Winterhalder) moved to Zeeland to assist with this project.

I hope this information is helpful. Regards, T.C.


© T.C., Reproduction without permission prohibited , except for personal use.

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