Our Mission

Our Mission

Cabarrus Time Savers is a non-profit organization that has set out to identify and restore important public time pieces in our community. We consider tower and street clocks to be an important part of our history, in Cabarrus County. For many decades, people planned their day to day lives around clocks in the public eye. We are dedicated to preserving, repairing, and restoring these clocks.

The purpose of this blog is to bring you history of our local horology, news of our current projects, and provide a means to communicate with the community when we need help with historical facts and locating clocks and missing parts for these clocks.

If there is a clock in the community that you feel is important to our history that may need to be repaired or that may even be missing and would be important to locate and put in place, please reach out to us.

Scott Schmeiser

Monday, September 4, 2017

First Presbyterian - E. Howard

For now, just a sneak preview of the E. Howard that lives behind the walls of the First Presbyterian Church, in Concord, North Carolina.  Beautiful clock and well maintained.  Stay tuned for the full story.

Keeping time...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New for 1874 - Seth Thomas Now Sells Tower Clocks

In the late 1860's, early 1870's, a merger took place with A.S. Hotchkiss and the Seth Thomas Company.  The Seth Thomas Company wanted in on the tower clock business and they felt that A.S. Hotchkiss was the man for the job with his great reputation for fantastic tower clock designs.  The new clock designs, under the umbrella of the Seth Thomas Company, would be shown in the 1874 product catalogs.

Below are pictures of the movements offered in 1874 as shown in the 1874 Seth Thomas Catalog.  The very bottom picture shows the specifications for the #12A that was purchased for the Cabarrus County Courthouse in 1876.  The graphic above the description depicts the #14, which has similar features as the #12A, just on a much larger scale for larger installations.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Southampton Village E. Howard Clock - Another Threatened Installation

I just ran across this story of another clock installation that caught my attention.  5 generations of care and more than a 140 years of tradition are being threatened by the installation of a cell tower inside the church's steeple, which would make caring for the clock impossible and ultimately force the clock to be removed or replaced with a modern electric clock.  Just another example of how and why these tower clocks are being threatened.  Please visit Dan's Papers to read more about the story and the Corwin family.

NOTE:  The story of this clock was first released in 2012, but it very much sets a theme of what's happening around the world, currently.  Some modernization just cannot be stopped, but when a community pulls together, it shows they can fight for their history and traditions.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Purchase Record Found

After months of searching, I finally came across the purchase record for the A.S. Hotchkiss clock in the Cabarrus County Courthouse.  The mystery is solved and it tells us a lot more about the clock.  The clock was purchased by the Architect of the courthouse, George S.H. Appleget, who was based out of Charlotte, NC.  The big thing that threw me for a loop was the clock not being a model 6A, which it must be EXTREMELY close to.  Now I have to research their numbering system.  I'm assuming the overall function and design will be the same as the 6A, but with some minor difference like the pendulum bob and a small step in the frame top, or possibly even that it was designed for the bell to sit below instead of above.  In any case, I do believe this to be the correct purchase record.  Now to learn more about their numbering system.

NOTICE!  This photo may not be used or reproduced in any manner and should not be considered an official document.  This photo is a clipping of the Seth Thomas records provided by NAWCC.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oxford, Mississippi A.S. Hotchkiss Restoration

Below is a video I often share when people ask about the restoration process that a community will often see.  This restoration is especially important because it is a very similar A.S. Hotchkiss clock to our very own installation in the Cabarrus County Courthouse.  The restoration was done by clock restoration expert Lloyd Larish from Faribault, Minnesota.  The clock underwent a full restoration which involved completely removing the movement from the building and reinstalling upon completion.  This will be a very similar process to ours and will take several years to complete.  We also plan on displaying the restored movement in the courthouse for all to enjoy before reinstalling it high above in the tower.

Enjoy the video! (Written, Directed, and Edited by Barrett O'Donnell)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

346 Broadway - An E. Howard Clock Story

A topic I'll be posting quite a bit on is tower clocks and stories of tower clocks that have been restored or existing clocks that have escaped the clutches of a society that has been technologically evolving.  One of the largest threats to horological history is the the advancement of technology in time keeping.  This happens with any technology and has for centuries.  An ongoing trend in Tower and street clocks is for them to fall victim to lack of maintenance, and instead of fixing what's there, they are often "modernized" or even completely replaced and sometimes even completely removed.

Below is an example of a wonderful E. Howard on 346 Broadway, in Lower Manhattan, New York City.  The clock Movement is an absolute masterpiece of time, construction, and technology.

Here is a link in the TribecaTrib to the long and successful legal battle:
Saving the E. Howard on 346 Broadway

Also another article shown in Hyperallergic:
Tribeca Clock Will Remain Mechanical

And a great video on YouTube

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Our kickoff project is a rare tower clock built by A.S. Hotchkiss that resides in the dial room at the very top of the historic Cabarrus Courthouse in Concord, North Carolina.  The courthouse was built in 1876 and has seen many renovations and even escaped being demolished in the 1970's, thanks to the community's efforts to stand up and protect history.

Over the years the courthouse has seen roof repairs, interior repairs, facade restorations, and implementation of a theater in place of the old courtroom.  The one area that remains mostly untouched is the clock tower belfry and clock components.  

The clock was built by A.S. Hotchkiss under the Seth Thomas Company and was believed to be constructed between 1869 and 1876.  The clock featured a time and strike train that was wound by hand well into the mid 40's once a week until an electric unit was fit into the existing clock movement frame in the mid 1940's.  Since this time, the clock has seen time periods of functional issues and lack of maintenance, ultimately preventing it from keeping time, striking the bell, or functioning at all.  We are setting out to lead a full restoration on this clock and all its components. This clock is somewhat rare, with fewer than 10 model #6A's believed to have been produced by Hotchkiss during this time period.

We are currently looking for any information related to this clock and its history.  It is missing several pieces related to its function as a mechanical clock.  These pieces were removed in the 1940's when it was converted to electric drive.  These pieces include the original wood pendulum, brass set dial, escapement components, hand crank(s), and fly governor assembly.  These pieces will be reproduced for the restoration if they are not located, however this will be extremely costly.  Please contact us for any information leading to the missing parts or any historical facts related to this clock.

The ultimate plan for this project is to restore the clock to a functioning state and restore as much of the original mechanical movement as possible.  The weight drive system cannot be put back completely as originally designed due to the construction of the theater and modernization of the building.  A new weight driven system will be installed with an auto-wind feature for time and strike trains and current dials (which are not original) will be replaced with back-lit dials resembling the original design intended by the maker.  Much of this project will be completely within the community with help from Phil Wright at the Tower Clock Company in South Charleston, Ohio.  Phil will help us with reproducing the missing pieces, constructing new dials for the building, designing and building an "era correct" looking weight-drive system, and helping with miscellaneous restoration details and commissioning of the clock.  Phil also has a wonderful example of an A.S. Hotchkiss #6A, which makes this a very unique situation.  Phil's clock is almost completely intact and will serve as a wonderful reference for our restoration.

Currently we are striving to raise funds for this restoration so we can execute our plans and bring a functioning clock and bell back to the city of Concord.

Please stay tuned for more updates...

First Presbyterian - E. Howard

For now, just a sneak preview of the E. Howard that lives behind the walls of the First Presbyterian Church, in Concord, North Carolina.  Be...