The Maker's Mark


This photo illustrates the methods used in the making of a clock in the 1700's.  Brass clock movements were made one at a time and rolled brass sheets were not available.  This brass tall case endplate was made of cast brass.  Cast brass is by nature very soft, so the clockmaker (or more likely, one of his assistants hammered the plate repeated in a process called planishing. This process hardened the brass sufficiently to be used for clocks, but the hammering left a very uneven surface. The surfaces where next filed to flatten them and improve their appearance. The file marks can be seen on this plate especially in the upper left quadrant.  This particular plate had a casting flaw which left a low spot. The file did not touch this low spot hence leaving the rough hammered surface visible in the lower right quadrant. Also visible on this plate are the maker's scribe marks used to lay out the wheel pattern for the time and strike trains. Of less notable interest is the blob of solder used later in the clock's life to fix a broken chaperon spring. 

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