Ian D. Fowler

Uhrenrestaurator u. Uhrenhistoriker

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Three Wheel Clocks with four hour dials

Ian D. Fowler
Eugen R.P. Denkel
A Franklin clock with a four hour dial is one of the strangest horological phenomena. This type of clock was made for a period of about 70 years in very small numbers. Today there exist examples of longcase, wall and bracket clocks and there is also some early documented evidence of other examples.

In his "Clockmakers Dictionary" of 1855 Ferdinand Schade [2] still defines the term "Franklin Clock".
On plate I of his dictionary this clock is illustrated. Thus it still must have been an accepted concept among clockmakers in Germany.
Original Franklin Clocks differ from conventional clocks in two main ways : - the train and the dial.
The train consists of only 3 wheels (including the escape wheel) and two pinions. The typical motion work with minute wheel, reverse minute wheel, pinion and hour wheel are not used at all in these clocks.
So a special type of dial was needed, and this is the distinctive feature in contrast to other clocks. It is basically a four hour dial showing the minutes i.e. 240 divisions, but the following variations occur:-

Bild 1
1. The Franklin Dial first mentioned in Ferguson's "Mechanical Exercises" [3]

2.1 The Franklin Dial first mentioned in Ferguson's "Mechanical Exercises" [3]
In the centre of the dial is a 3 coil spiral engraved or painted which is divided into quarters corresponding to the four hours taken for one revolution of the single hand. The periphery of the dial has a minute ring for 4 hours, i.e. 240 divisions. The clock has a single centre hand the point of which indicates the minutes and its shaft passes over the centre hour sectors.

For one revolution the hand has taken four hours to cover all four hour sectors. These are numbered from one to twelve on the three coils of the spiral, see illustration No...... The user of the clock must know roughly what time of day it is in order to read the correct hour number from the right sector. Thus telling the time with this clock must have created problems. Nevertheless, the hourly indication by means of the spiral was retained, at least experimentally, by clockmakers such as Grant, Smeaton (the famous English civial engineer), and the royal clockmaker Vulliamy.

2.2 Ferguson´s Dial [3]
Franklin also provided a small seconds dial which Ferguson dispensed with in his first simplification of Franklin´s dial illustrated in Lloyd´s Dictionary [4]. At the same time the spiral disappears in favour of three concentric rings divided into 4 quarters. These rings were then used in later Franklin clocks by Kinzing, Klug and Porthouse et al. Ferguson tried to reduce further difficulties in telling the time. In a further design he reintroduced the conventional minute hand revolving once an hour with the hours and seconds indicated on discs seen through apertures in the dial.

This later design proves Ferguson’s rejection of Franklin’s four hour dial although he (Ferguson) retains Franklin’s simple three wheel and two pinion train.

2.3 Kinzing and Roentgen´s dial-
In Neuwied the makers of Franklin clocks employed the first modified dial by Ferguson with concentric rings.
Each of the three rings is divided into 4 and the periphery of the dial is marked with the 60 minutes of 4 hours (i.e. 240 minutes), every 5 minute division being numbered. In addition to this in order to ensure the exact indication of the 12 hours there is a smaller hour hand pointing to the appropriate concentric ring visible in an aperture in the body of the central minute hand. This flirting motion is achieved by a unique mechanism, invented in Neuwied, attached to the minute hand revolving with it under the dial plate to be described below.

3. The History Of The Franklin Clocks And The People involved.
The invention of the four hour dial with three wheels and two pinions is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. The term "Three Wheel clock" is also used as in the German speaking countries "Dreiräderuhr". Benjamin Franklin is also the most interesting personality associated with this type of clock. To understand what motivated this invention we must know a little more about this important eighteenth century character. Benjamin Franklin was born on the 17th of January 1706 in Boston Massachusets.
Bild2. Portrai of Bejamin FranklinIn 1718 he began an apprenticeship as a printer with his brother James. In 1724 at the early age of 18 he embarked on a trip to London where he stayed until 1726. He worked as a printer with Palmer and then with Watts. After his reutrn to Philadelphia he established himself as a printer in the years following. He started up as a publisher and became interested in politics. He was also author of various social criticisms and philosophical publications. Among other public offices he was secretary of the Assembly and of the Philadelphian Postmasters. In the winter of 1739 he first experimented with the stoves which he invented and which still today bear his name.
In 1743 Franklin became acquainted with Archibald Spencer and the latter’s experiments with electricity. In 1746 he began to experiment with electricity himself and in 1747 Franklin corresponds with Peter Collins in London about his experiments. In 1751 the results of his Experiments & Observations on Electricity appear in London. His discoveries and deductions form the basis of a new pattern of physics and even today many of his statements are still valid. Franklin was honoured by several universities for his above mentioned activities. In 1753 he was awarded a M.A. at Harvard, and at Yale. On November 30th 1753 he was awarded the Coply Medal of the Royal Society in London. By now Franklin must have been a man of renown in informed circles in Europe. In 1756 Emanuel Kant describes him in an essay as "the Prometheus of modern times". In the same year he became a member of the Royal Society. This international popularity plays an important role in connection with the Franklin clocks by Kinzing and Roentgen from Neuwied and reference will be made to it later. [5]

3.1 The reasons why Franklin developed the clock.
As already mentioned Franklin was very much involved in public affairs and the politics of the North American Colonies. By inventing this type of clock he was presumably trying to provide the early settlers with a cheaper alternative. It might be thought that such a simple clock with so few parts would cost less to make, and the material costs would be reduced in comparison to the traditional English longcase clock that was still copied in the colonies. The latter could only really be afforded by wealthier members of the society. Franklin was well aware of the needs of the early colonists in North America and was very interested in improving the general conditions of his fellow people. His knowledge of their plight coupled with his scientific and technical experience inspired him to invent such a clock.
Ferguson, on the other hand, could have had different reasons for developing the Franklin clock. He was an astronomer and scientist and thus more interested in producing an accurate timepiece. Obviously a clock with as few parts as possible is not so much subject to faults in the mechanism and qualifies as a precision timekeeper.  Ferguson was born 1710 in Keith, Banffshire. In his youth he is said to have looked after sheep. From 1743 he lived in No.4 Bolt Court, Fleet Street, London. He made a living by painting portraits and received an allowance from King George. He also spent a lot of time on scientific research, published astronomical tables and gave lectures. In 1773 he published both the clock designs mentioned above in 2.1 in his book entitled "Mechanical Exercises". Initially he describes Franklins Clock as follows:- “A clock shewing the Hours, Minutes, and Seconds, having only three Wheels and two Pinions in the whole Movement. Invented by Dr. Franklin of Philadelphia”. [3] Thus attributing the invention to Franklin. At the same time he states that some clocks according to the “Doctor’s” design had been made. He then refers to his own design mentioned earlier in the description of the dials. In the following years various English clockmakers also employed Ferguson’s design. Well known examples exist by Sam Olive of Lewis, H. Ward 1770, and W. Thompson 1775. Franklin Clocks were supposed to have been made also by Barber of Lincoln, John Smeaton of York and his friend Hindley.
A few years earlier, however, in 1764 Franklin embarked upon yet another political mission to London representing North American colonies. Thence he went on a three month long journey through Germany in 1766 and became a member of the Göttingen Academy. From August to October of 1767 he stayed in Paris meeting scientists and intellectuals. In 1769 he returned and became a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences in 1772. In 1776 he set out on yet another political mission to Paris and stayed until 1785. In 1777 he moved into a house in Passay near Paris and it became a lively centre of intellectual intercourse in Parisian society where Franklin was much sought after.

3. Franklin in Paris.

Franklin’s stay in France and Göttingen could have provided the impulse for the construction of German Franklin clocks. In the meantime he had become quite renowned, and famous people such as Novalis, Körner, Schiller, Herder and Goethe showed repeated interest in Franklin. Goethe recorded that he followed Franklin’s experiments with interest from an early age. Franklin was also acquainted with the French philosopher Marat who was a close friend of the famous watchmaker Brequet.
4. Portrai of James Ferguson
In 1757 Franklin returns to England and stays until 1762. During this stay he meets James Ferguson the astronomer and a life-long friendship ensues. In 1757-1762 Franklin travels to Scotland and North England, Wales, South-West England, and on the Continent through Flanders. During this period he was awarded honorary doctrates from St.Andrews in Scotland and from Oxford. The first mention of a Franklin clock is in 1757. A footnote on page 233 of Henderson´s book of the life of James Ferguson , published in London in 1870 records:- we have in our possession a small Franklin Horologe, the dial plate is thick brass, 3 inches in diameter... The works are of extraordinary strong watch attached to the back of the dial. (Benj. Franklin LLD,1757, is engraved on the back of the dial outside the watch works).- [6]

4. The Franklin Clock by Roetig of Hachenburg (formerly Neuwied) 
During research into Franklin clocks made in Germany we hit upon an interesting newspaper article by Anton Lübke "Die berühmten Uhrmacher von Hachenburg" [7]. “The famous clockmakers of Hachenburg. Lübke mentions that Roetig is reported to have made a Franklin clock. Translated it reads: - "It was Anton Roetig who, for many years, was the specialist for organ and harp musical clocks in Roentgen & Kinzing's firm in Neuwied. His birth date is unknown (sic), but he died in 1805 in Hachenburg where he started business in 1782 after he sold the Count of Wied a clock "a la franklin" for sixteen Reichsthaler. Apart from ordinary wall clocks he is reported by chroniclers to have made complicated musical clocks with organ pipes and strings. In his book "Abraham und David Roentgen und ihre Neuwieder Möbelwerkstätte" Huth states (incorrectly) that examples of Roetig’s work are unknown.[8] Thus one might conclude that Roetig must have made a Franklin clock in 1782 or probably earlier either on his own initiative or for Kinzing (?). Lübke's article poses more questions at one and the same time:-
1. What is the source of Lübke's statement that Roetig made a Franklin Clock.
2. How did they know about such clocks in Neuwied.
3. Is the clock in question one with hour indicating mechnism in the minute hand like the later clocks signed “Roentgen& Kinzing”.
Unfortunately our research has, to date, been only partially successful so that we can only offer some ideas and speculation. With reference to 1: - Lübke has most likely culled his information from Huths book "Abraham und David Roentgen und ......." published in 1928. Huth cites the Wied family archives as his source. Dr Fabian, however, in his references some fifty years later states that the documentary evidence of this clock no longer exists. [9] With reference to 2: - Ferguson’s "Mechanical Exercises" was reprinted many times in the eighteenth century and was well known to those interested in science and astronomy outside England. The Count of Wied at that time could be considered as one of these enlightened individuals. It was fashionable in such circles to take an active interest in scientific studies. The Count of Wied would also have heard about Franklin's travels and his papers on electricity. Thus such an interest in the person of Franklin could have resulted in the wish to own a clock "à la Franklin" and Roetig´s clock could have been commissioned by the Count. As Roetig was a recognised expert in the construction of complicated musical movements it is by no means improbable that he could have invented the hand mechanism characteristic of the Neuwied Franklin clock. Mechanical parts which perform linear movements are not uncommon in organ making and Roetig could have been well acquainted with such things. Unfortunately no other mention of a Franklin clock by Roetig could be found as yet. Lübke also writes in general about the problem of finding clocks by Roetig:- "Although the author has tried very hard to find clocks by Johann Anton Roetig he has not succeeded. However, it is very probable that somewhere musical clocks by him do exist and many a clock with a musical movement signed by Roentgen & Kinzing was in fact made by Roetig." (Translation)
Contrary to this we can say that a few clocks signed "Roetig" presumably by Johann Anton Roetig, do exist around Hachenburg. These, however, are simpler longcase clocks (the "Wanduhren" or wall clocks referred to earlier) [10] although one could mention the famous "Window Clock" by his son Friedrich Wilhelm Roetig - a swinging pendulum with a form of Ellicot compensation where the face and movement are incorporated in the bob. A clock signed Rettig Hachenberg (sic)  similar to the French "circles tournants" variety exists in the Prague National Museum of Technology. In 1782 Roetig leaves Neuwied and sets up business in Hachenburg where he was born. Whether the reason for this was anything to do with the afore mentioned clock remains pure speculation. It is also worth mentioning that Roetig was a Catholic whereas Kinzing was a Mennonite and Roentgen a Moravian. Religious disagreement could also have been a reason for their parting company. There could equally well have been economic reasons for his returning to Hachenburg or simply the wish to work independently in his home town where a clientele for ordinary domestic longcase clocks had at this time, as in many other German towns, developed. Most of the clocks still in existence today signed by Roetig from this period correspond to the latter type.
If, at some stage, authentic documentary evidence turns up to verify that the clock "à la Franklin" was made in 1782 and assuming the dating of the Kinzing Franklin clocks between 1785 and 1790 is correct, then Roetig must have made the first Franklin clock of this type in Germany and perhaps even modified it.
In an interesting sentence Lübke remarks:- "....that a large proportion of the musical clocks by Kinzing were made in collaboration with Roetig whereby Roentgen & Kinzing took all the credit and knew better how to advertise their products than the more modest Master Roetig. Master Kinzing is not to be found in Carl Schulte´s "Lexikon der Uhrmacherkunst" published in Berlin 1901 althought Johann Anton Roetig is recorded as a producer of large domestic clocks with organ and harp playing movements"

5.The Franklin Clocks Made By Roentgen And Kinzing, Neuwied

It is quite possible that Roentgen and Kinzing met Franklin or close acquaintances of the latter in Paris. Roentgen and Kinzing were there on numerous business trips between 1774 and 1785 at the same time as Franklin was in residence there. Roentgen and Kinzing advertised in French newspapers which in turn reported about the two artistic craftsmen. They were a topic of conversation like Franklin himself whose attention they could not have escaped considering the number of visitors he had.
What caused Roentgen and Kinzing to build Franklin clocks?  We are not aware of any Franklin clocks made in Paris at this time. Likewise there is no documentary evidence of such clocks in French horological treatises of that time. It is very probable that Franklin’s fame and popularity inspired Roentgen and Kinzing to begin constructing a Clock "a la Franklin".Bild 25. Franklin Clock made bei Kinzing / Neuwied, case made by Roentgen.
The clocks existing today, however, prove that these Neuwied craftsmen were aiming at a quite different clientele from that for whom Franklin and Ferguson originally intended their designs. For the Neuwied craftsmen only wealthy people were considered as potential customers whom they had perhaps seen in Paris associated with the famous Franklin. Fashionable Paris society had developed a mania for all extraordinary novelties. Likeweise Franklin was by no means unknown in Germany and there could have been a market here too as mentioned before. 

A simple clock for poor settlers or a plain precision timepiece for an astronomer as Ferguson intended did not really fit into the tradition of the house of Roentgen and Kinzing, but instead a decorative piece of furniture with a hint of scientific inventiveness. The simple Franklin clock would not have inspired any enthusiasm among Roentgen and Kinzing’s prominent customers. The basic Franklin clock would have to be refined. The hand mechanism is such a refinement. Either Roetig had already worked on the hand mechanism or it was invented in the Kinzing workshop at this stage. Moreover a precision timekeeper would have to be created. To achieve this it was thought that the use of a dead beat pinwheel escapement with compensating pendulum would be suitable. Maintaining power during winding was effected by the use of Huygen´s endless rope. Contemporary French precision timekeepers used these features very often and the movements were basically quite similar. Alongside England France was a leading clockmaking nation at this time and a movement incorporating these standard features must surely be in demand. The Franklin dial with the three concentric rings could also be used as a good sales argument. A clock like this must sell well. This type of Franklin clock is supposed to have been made between 1785 and 1790 in Neuwied and a certain period of preparation must be allowed for before such a clock came on to the market - perhaps a year or more. So the planning for the construction of such a clock could have begun before 1784 at a time when France still seemed a good market for it. Times changed, however, and by 1785 the state of France was practically bankrupt. Roentgen must have foreseen the state of affairs as he sold his branch in Paris on the 27th December 1785 to a Mr. Frost. Obviously he no longer saw France as a potential market for his products including the Franklin clocks. The French Revolution 1789 made this once and for all quite clear as Roentgen & Kinzing’s former customers began to flee from France. Consequently only the traditional markets in Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia and Denmark were left. If one considers where the existing clocks are to be found today or from where they originated this theory seems very feasible.

7.The Franklin Clocks By Jacob Klug Of Mainz
Not so far from Neuwied in the city of Mainz another clockmaker by the name of Jakob Klug also made around 1800 two Franklin clocks very similar to the Neuwied Franklin clocks. The two clocks signed by him differed from those made in Neuwied in that they also showed the date and day of the week.[11]  The cases, however, are not in the style of Roentgen. Little is known about Jacob Klug. On March 6th 1797 he married the widow of one Peter Schmidt, Anna Margaretha Franziska Schmidt, neé Balser. Klug died on 24th June 1833 in Mainz. More research will have to be done into the persons of Schmidt and Klug in order to verify whether Peter Schmidt is identical with Pierre Schmidt of Mainz who produced the clock illustrated in No 988 in Maurice’s "Die Deutsche Räderuhr". This clock is very similar to the clock by Roentgen and Kinzing illustrated in Fabian List No 38. Furthermore the question remains as to whether there is any link between P. Schmidt of Mainz and the Schmidt whose name appears on clocks signed by Achenbach and Schmidt Neuwied. It could therefore be possible that the basic movements of the Franklin clocks by Klug originated from Neuwied. This seems to be the case with the clock signed "Reichel in Koestritz" which is almost certainly housed in a Roentgen case. It is well known that Roentgen disbanded the workshops and stock in Neuwied before the French revolutionary troops reached the eastern side of the Rhine. Moveable stock was transported to various places in Thüringen including the area around what is today known as Bad Koestritz. Dr. Fabian in his learned book deals with the Franklin clock by Reichel [12] in detail and refers to the connections with the Neuwied workshops.
Yet another Franklin Clock with a mechanism somewhat similar to the Neuwied examples with a complete perpetual calendar is exhibited in the Mainfränkisches Museum in Würzburg. It is signed on the back of the dial “J.Kaderhand”. A clockmaker of this name remains unknown. The movement is smaller than the aforementioned examples, but resembles the workmanship of clockmakers in cities on the Main such as Mainz, Aschaffenburg and Würzburg. [13]

6. Franklin clock called Kaderhand clock.

8. The Neuwied Franklin Clock in The Collection of The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London.

In 1989 we became aware of a Franklin Clock in the Collection of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London which in all probability was made in Neuwied by Roentgen and Kinzing. The movement of this clock is very similar to the Koestritz clock in that the brass pillars between the plates are straight and not turned. Unfortunately the London Clock is not signed, but the dial and hand are identical to the Neuwied Franklin clocks. It has of course the pinwheel escapement. The form of the case, however, differs somewhat from the Neuwied clocks although the door, plinth, height of the case, and other details are very reminiscent of Roentgen. Sir George White was kind enough to supply information about the provenance of the clock. It was bequeathed in the Nellthrop collection by a Mr d'Alquin in the late nineteenth century who had purchased it in Neuwied. This seems to verify our theory. [14]

9. Technical Details Of The Franklin Clocks
As already suggested Franklin probably intended to provide a clock as economically as possible. The movement was to have 3 wheels and two pinions. The ratchet wheel could also be omitted and replaced by a spring hoop between the great wheel and the driving pulley engaging in the spokes of the former as was usual in the thirty hour English longcase clocks with Huygen’s endless rope winding. In his diagrams Ferguson suggests the following wheel counts.

Escape wheel 30 teeth
Escape wheel pinion   8 teeth
Intermediary wheel 120 teeth
Intermediary wheel pinion 10 teeth
Great wheel 160 teeth

One assumes that the conventional recoil escapment with a seconds pendulum was used.  Wheel counts from other clocks are not all known, but that of the Porthouse clock is recorded as follows:-
Escape wheel 42 teeth
Escape wheel pinion 6 teeth
Intermediary wheel 72 teeth
Intermediary wheel pinion 6 teeth
Great wheel 84 teeth

This does not allow the use of a seconds pendulum or seconds dial.

The Porthouse clock is described in detail in English horological literature. If the wheel counts suggested by Ferguson or Franklin are used large wheels with many teeth had to be made which was not so compatible with cheap production. Likewise the dial with 240 divisions would need very careful engraving or painting. We could even conclude that the cost saved on materials was made up for by the cost of production. Porthouse managed with wheels with fewer teeth by using 6 leaf pinions, but also included a striking train which also made the movement more complicated. To what extent later examples deviated from Franklin and Ferguson’s wheel counts is not known, but the clocks tend to become more complicated (e.g. the Vulliamy clock) and retain only the 4 hour dial.

Roentgen and Kinzing introduced their version relatively early in the history of Franklin Clocks retaining the three wheels and two pinions in a half "inverted train" as it were (i.e. the escape wheel is planted at the bottom of the train although the arbor of the pallets at the top)

Escape wheel 30 teeth
Escape wheel pinion; 6 teeth
Intermediary wheel 96 teeth
Intermediary wheel pinion 8 teeth
Great or minute wheel 120 teeth

Kinzing used Huygen´s endless cord winding and a ratchet wheel and ratchet is mounted on the inside of the front plate. As the train is inverted the escape wheel is at the bottom. Kinzing employs here the pin wheel escapement as in some of his other clocks (the organ clocks with the Apollo bronze, the regulator for Noble, the equation clock for Leipzig). The pin wheel escapement was a French invention, but widespread in Germany by this time. The form of the pallets is here unique. They are pivoted at the top of the movement and consist of one long arm and a shorter arm screwed on to it. Each arm ends in an impulse pallet. (See photos) This version, seemingly devised by Kinzing still has the advantage of imparting a short impulse and the stability of the construction is insured by the shorter arm instead of two long arms; the disadvantage being that the two arms are not as easily adjustable as two arms fixed on the same axis. This type of pin wheel escapement seems only to have been used by Kinzing on the Franklin clocks. The pin wheel itself was cut in one piece from a brass blank rather like a verge wheel instead of the usual French system where holes were drilled into a disc and pins inserted. This type of pin wheel is also to be found in Kinzing & Achenbach’s table clocks with dead beat escapement the combining pin wheel with small flat set of pallets. The production of such a pin wheel is not so complicated and probably more exact than the usual method but it has the disadvantage that broken pins cannot be so easily replaced.
The pin wheel escapement is used in precision pendulum clocks, but in the case of Kinzing’s Franklin clocks the escape wheel pinion has only six leaves. By modern standards this disqualifies his clock as a precision timepiece. For practical purposes a six leaf pinion does not act smoothly enough. In England at the same period precision regulators had at least ten leaf pinions. However, it might be too critical to reject this without taking into account that contemporary French regulators used pinions with fewer leaves. Kinzing also employed Huygen’s endless rope drive to achieve maintaining power with all its practical disadvantages - another feature reminiscent of French regulators. The principal defect of his clock, however, is also its special trade mark - the hand mechanism.

9. The Hand Mechanism Of The Neuwied Franklin Clocks
The ingenious system moves within a few minutes the smaller hour hand in the aperture of the minute hand to indicate another hour ring every four hours when the large minute hand has completed one revolution and passes the sixty minute mark at the very top of the dial. Because of the excessive restistance and friction caused by this procedure the movement needs twice as much more power to drive it during these few minutes than when the hand mechanism is not being engaged. In practical terms the movement needs a weight of less than 1000 grams to drive it without the hand mechanism and about 1800 grams with it.

7. Hand mechanism of the Neuwied Franklin clocks, reproduction.

Turning with the main wheel arbor there is a cylinder into which the minute hand is fixed. At the other end of the cylinder is attached a stepped rectangular plate at the end of which is mounted a 6 pointed star wheel. On the star wheel pipe is also attached a double headed cam. Down the length of one side of the plate there is a raised slide which passes through the inside of the cylinder carrying at this point a long pin which engages the extension of the smaller hour hand on the underside of the minute hand thus controlling it. At one end of the slide there are two small pins (resting on the edges of the curved cams); on the other end of the slide a long flat spring is attached which presses the pins lightly on to the cam and returns the slide to its original position after three revolutions of the minute hand. (see photos)* Each time the large minute hand (and the cylinder and plate accordingly) complete one revolution every four hours the star wheel engages a pin fixed to the front plate which causes it to move 120 degrees (i.e. two points of the star). Thus the cam is turned simultaneously and this circular movement of the cam is converted into a linear movement of the slide as the curves of the cam lift the pins one after the other. The movement of the slide is transferred to the small hour hand by the long pin in the cylinder (see photos). The cam and the pins are so positioned that the slide and hand fall back to their starting point after 3 revolutions.

11. The Pendulum Of The Neuwied Franklin Clocks
As already mentioned Kinzing used a nine rod gridiron compensating pendulum with either spring or knife- edge suspension. To use a double suspension spring at that time was quite advanced as it was not so easy to construct. Even if Roentgen and Kinzing introduced some innovations as far as the movements suspension and case were concerned this creativity is lacking completely in the construction of the pendulum itself. The design of the pendulum was copied from the contemporary French examples in practically every detail. It is obvious that they were modelled on the pendulums in some clocks by Berthoud. It is not as if only one technically exact version of this construction is possible. Other variations still retain the compensating effects as proved by examples from other clockmakers of this period. It could be that Kinzing was wary of experimenting with the pendulum preferring to play safe. In all probability there was no pyrometer available in Neuwied to test the materials employed for their coefficient of expansion and thus the exact temperature compensation. This branch of clock making would have been new to the clockmakers of Neuwied. The fact that Germany was not a naval power at this time and, as opposed to France and England, did not have such an important merchant navy, the need for and construction of precision timepieces was not very widespread. As far as we know Kinzing and Roentgen used compensating pendulums of this type only in their Franklin Clocks, the regulator built for James Noble in Barby/Elbe, the equation clock for the city of Leipzig, and another equation clock similar to the latter sold in auction in London in 2003. The month going clocks have centre seconds and Harrison´s maitaining power. They are equipped with a conventional train with higher leaf pinions than the Franklin clocks and thus on a par with typical precision timekeepers. They are in fact comparable with French precision pendulum clocks of the period by such makers as Le Paute or Berthoud.
It does not make technical sense to use a precision compensating pendulum in a clock with complicated striking mechanism or, as here in the Franklin clocks, with a hand mechanism as these cause unnecessary disturbances in the train affecting the exactitude of the pendulum. It would be interesting to know whether Kinzing was aware of this when he fitted the pendulums to his Franklin clocks.

12. Conclusion

The history of Franklin clocks ends here. Individual clockmakers took up Franklins design well into the first half of the nineteenth century and made sporadic examples of this type of clock. It seems as if Roentgen and Kinzing were the only  two  to produce a series of this type of clock, the others were just "one-offs". [15] Nevertheless all attempts to introduce an alternative to the traditional twelve hour - two hand system of the telling the time for domestic purposes have failed, eg. the decimal time of the French Revolution period, the twenty four hour dial, and even the digital watches.
The authors of this article have continued the tradition of Franklin clocks by reconstructing one along the lines of the Kinzing movement with the hand mechanism. Mr. Fowler made the movement and Mr. Denkel the compensating pendulum. We are very grateful to Goodacre Engraving for producing an exact replica of the dial. 
The reconstruction of the movement inspired us to do some research into the history of Franklin clocks in general. We would of course be very grateful for any information  which would answer any questions posed in this article. It would also be very interesting to know if Franklin clocks became at all widespread  in North America. As far as we know Franklin clocks were not made in France where at that time there was a lot of enthusiasm about England and America.

[1] Neuwied is town on the eastern side of the Rhine, just north of Koblenz. It was built in the seventeenth and eigthteenth century by the Counts of Wied, who guaranteed freedom from religious persecution, thus attracting religious minorities. The latter included skilled craftsmen. Among these were the Moravian family of cabinetmakers, Roentgen, and the Mennonite family of clockmakers, Kinzing.

[2] Schade, Ferdinand: Uhrmacherlexikon, Weimar 1855, Reprint Osnabrück 1981.

[3] Ferguson, James: Select mechanical exercises: shewing how to construct different clocks, orreries and sun-dials... London, Strahan 1773 / 1778 / 1790.

[4] Lloyd H. Alan: The Collector's Dictionary of Clocks, South Brunswick Ney York 1964,  p. 90, pl. 225 226.

[5] Pütz Manfred: Franklin Benjamin Lebenserinnerungen, München 1983 ISBN 3-538-06572-1

[6] Henderson Ebenezer: Life of James Ferguson FRS, Edinburgh, London, Glasgow 1867.

[7] Lübke, Anton: Die berühmten Uhrmacher von Hachenburg. in: Westerwälder Zeitung, Heimatblatt der Rhein Zeitung für die Westerwaldkreise. Ausgabe F N 7210A Nr. 209, 1962.

Hachenburg is a small town 25 miles north of Neuwied  in the remoter Westerwald. The town was the residence of the Counts of Sayn-Hachenburg.

[8] Huth, H.: Abraham und David Roentgen und ihre Neuwieder Möbelwerkstatt, 2. Aufl., München 1974.
Roentgen, David, son of Abraham, German cabinetmakers by appointment to nearly all ruling families of Europe in the second half of the eigthteenth century. David introduced a revolutionary classical style around 1780. He was very much a business man and created extravagant furniture. Peter Kinzing supplied complicated clock movements for his elaborate cases.

[9] Fabin, Dietrich: Kinzing und Roentgen Uhren aus Neuwied. 1983. ISBN 3-922923-28-3, S. 77.

[10] Wall clocks - what is probably meant here are 30 hour or 8 day duration striking clocks housed in simple wooden cases which could be also stood on a trunk to produce a simple longcase clock. Such clocks made at this period signed Roetig (Rettig) are known of in the Hachenburg area contrary to Huth´s statement. They were made in the surrounding areas (Siegerland, Sauerland, Bergisches Land) in considerable numbers in this period.
[11] Erbrich, Klaus: Präzisionspendeluhren. München 1978. S. 142, 145.

[12] Erbrich op.cit. S. 144.

This clock is now in the Museum for German History in Berlin.

[13] Fowler Ian D.: Uhren aus fünf Jahrhunderten, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-932461-15-0, S. 272.

[14] The Worshipful Company of the Clockmakers: Catalogue of the Museum of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers of London in the Guildhall Library,

[15] Other clocks from England and Ireland:
a. other Franklin Clocks are known of in the Anglo-Saxon countries. One is a wall clock by Porthouse of Penrith dated 1810 and one by Austin of Dublin dated 1820. 

b. Other Specific Examples of Franklin Clocks
There is a clock by Samuel Roi in the museum of la Chaux de Fond with a spiral indication in the centre of the dial but with  a three hour dial and four coil spiral- ie. not a Franklin dial. The minutes are indicated on the spiral between the hours. A speciality of this clock is that the hand alters in length continuously. It is not known whether Roi was inspired by the Franklin dial or not.

In the Kernstock Museum in the castle of Festenberg there is a late eighteenth century clock by Sebastian Fuchs. It has a conventional set of hands and 60 minutes divisions on the periphery of the dial. It also has, strangely enough, the three concentric rings with the four hours shown in arabic numerals.

There is a longcase clock of one year duration made by Anton Schmied of Vienna at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The hours are indicated on a subsidiary dial showing the twelve hours twice. Two other subsidiary dials show seconds and date. Schmied used the Franklin dial in order to simplify his gear ratios ( a wheel and pinion could thus be saved).

A Franklin Clock by Baumgärtinger of Bad Mergentheim was sold in auction in Switzerland in 199?. It is presumed to have been formerly in the possession of the house of Thurn und Taxis in Regensburg.

The Black Forest Franklin Clock was exhibited in an exhibition “Und ewig ticken die Wälder” in the State Museum of Baden in Karlsruhe 199?......................

A South German (Austrian) or Swiss Franklin Clock with a painted dial was exhibited in an exhibition in La Chaux de Fonds 199?...

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