2010 Symposium Workshops

NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium
On Conservation, Restoration, and Repair

October 28 – 30, 2010
Crowne Plaza Williamsburg at Fort Magruder
Williamsburg, Virginia

Conservation is defined as "a careful preservation and protection of something; the planned management of a resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect."

Restoration is defined as "an act of restoring or the condition of being restored, as a bringing back to a former position or condition."

The Time Symposium examines the theories of conservation and restoration, i.e., preserving an article so that further destruction does not occur versus restoring items to like original condition.

Workshops and live demonstrations on various aspects of clock and watch restoration and repair will be presented.

The NAWCC 2010 Ward Francillon Time Symposium continues the tradition of the James Arthur Lecture Series Time and Its Mysteries, the legacy of James Arthur and the lecture series named in his honor. From the first NAWCC Seminar in 1980 and the first Arthur lecture in 1984, the symposiums have examined horology in a variety of ways – the cosmos, the necessity for timekeeping, the mechanics, the makers, the influences, the beauty, and the styles. (A further description of the lecture series may be found at the conclusion of the Symposium information.)

Demonstrations / Workshops

The following presenters are presented in alphabetical order.


Lee H. Davis –York, Pennsylvania

Lee Davis, an NAWCC Star Fellow, has been involved in clock tablet research and painting for over 40 years.  A retired educator, he has served as an NAWCC Director and as Acting Executive Director and Acting Bulletin Editor. He has had many articles published in the Bulletin and was the author of Supplement No. 18 "The Greek Revival Influence on American Clock Case Design and Empire Clock Case Development."

Lee has served as officer in several chapters and is currently treasurer of Keystone Chapter No. 158.  Lee has contributed many volunteer hours at the NAWCC Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, PA.  Lee was chair of the NAWCC 2010 National Convention in York and has served as chair of the NAWCC Mid-Eastern Regional.

Presentation: Comments and Thoughts on Connecticut Clock Tablets, ca. 1820-1850

The presentation examines the changing trends in Connecticut clock tablet designs with emphasis on stenciling and gold leaf applications.

Robert G. Draucker–Midlothian, Virginia

Bob Draucker has been collecting, restoring and repairing antique clocks for over forty years.  An NAWCC Star Fellow, he is a member of the NAWCC Old Dominion Chapter No. 34 where he has served in all officer positions.  He served as an NAWCC Director from 1983 to 1987 and served two terms as NAWCC Secretary from 1987 to 1991.  Bob is the owner of Antique Clock Restorations in Midlothian.

Presentation: The Best by Every Test–The C. F. Sauer Clock

The presentation covers a history of the C. F. Sauer Company, a Richmond-based purveyor of spices, seasonings, extracts and flavorings, who celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1987.  The company, whose market area was primarily in the southeast part of the United States, received many awards at various expositions and world fairs for their product excellence.  These awards were widely acclaimed in their advertising materials and numerous promotional giveaways.  Among the giveaways presented to outstanding retailers was a wall clock with an acid-etched and gold leafed glass commemorating the various awards.  Today, the clock is regarded by many as one of the most unique advertising clocks of time.

Covered in the presentation are the case styles used, the manufacture of missing case parts, case restoration as well as the restoration of the acid-etched glass and reverse-painted lettering.  Techniques to best restore the clock to its original condition will be presented.  The program concludes with the re-manufacture of a limited-edition centennial clock and the steps involved in the process.

David J. Gorrell–Millersville, Maryland

Mr. Gorrell has been the proprietor of the Millersville Clock Shop since 1964.  For 38 years, he taught in the Baltimore City Public Schools.  He has served two terms as president of NAWCC Philadelphia Chapter No. 1 and is currently serving as Secretary / Treasurer.  A member of the NAWCC Program Committee, he is also an instructor in the Field Suitcase Workshop program.  He is General Chairman of the NAWCC 2010 Mid-Eastern Regional and was Mart Chairman for the NAWCC 2010 National Convention, both held in York, Pennsylvania.  In 2007, Dave served as Program Chairman for the 2007 Ward Francillon Time Symposium on Effects of Mass Production on the American Clock Industry.

Presentation: Veneering:  techniques, pitfalls, and ways to avoid them

Mr. Gorrell will explain the methods of preparing a piece for veneering, choosing the proper materials, and finishing the repair.  He will emphasize the problems many novices encounter while trying to veneer a piece and how to avoid or camouflage those problems.  Forming and gluing techniques will be discussed.  Finishing the piece and trying to render it invisible will conclude the presentation.

John S. Hubby–The Woodlands, Texas

John Hubby is chair of the NAWCC Board of Directors.  Elected to the position of NAWCC Second Vice-President in 2001, John served as chair of the Merger Task Force joining the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. with the NAWCC Museum.  He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2005 and 2007 and served as vice-Chair for the 2007-2009 term.

John's collecting interests are varied, but perhaps he is best known throughout the Association as an authority on torsion clocks.  He chaired and presented at the Time Symposium on torsion pendulum clocks (held in St. Louis in 2003).  Many pieces in the exceptional exhibit supporting the topic were from his personal collection.  Items from his collection have also been featured at the NAWCC Museum.

John is active in numerous NAWCC chapters, including his first chapter – First Australian No. 72, his home chapter – San Jacinto No. 139, and the International 400-Day Clock Chapter No. 168.

Presentation: Brass Refinishing

The material presented in this workshop is extracted from the NAWCC F105 400-Day Clock Service and Repair Field Suitcase Workshop program developed by FSW Instructor John Hubby. Basic procedures for cleaning, polishing, and finishing of brass parts are demonstrated. Suggestions and recommendations are provided for materials to be used for cleaning, polishing, and finishing. The methods presented cover all types of brass decoration, trim, or main case parts and include treatment of brass parts to which other types of finish have been applied such as chemical treatment, nickel or chrome plating, gold gilt, and painted or lacquered finishes.

Chad and Kay Mitchell–Catawba, South Carolina

Chad and Kay Mitchell are the owners of Timesaver Dials, specialists in handpainted antique clock dials, located in Catawba, South Carolina.

Presentation: Conservation and Restoration of Clock Dials

The presentation shows the before, during and after procedures of conservation and faithful restoration of antique clock dials, and the skills required.  Addressed will be the best time to restore a dial and examples of natural ageing, deliberate damage and accidental damage.

Techniques of silver plating, restoration using drafting and artistic aptitudes will be discussed:  ageing a dial, spray painting, gold leafing and dial preparation for conservation.

Richard S. Robinson–Smithfield, Virginia

Rick Robinson is a member of the NAWCC Old Dominion Chapter No. 34.  He served as Chapter President for the 1998-2000 term and is currently serving as Chapter Vice President.  As a member of the NAWCC Program Committee, he was instrumental in the update of the Speakers Bureau Book.  Rick has served in various capacities on Mid-Eastern Regional committees and is the chair of the upcoming 2011 Mid-Eastern Regional to be held in Hampton, Virginia.  He has been a frequent lecturer and has served as auctioneer at chapter meetings.  Rick was the recipient of an NAWCC Fellow Award in June 2010.

Rick has been the owner of Robinson's Antique Clocks since 1992.  Prior to that, he was involved in vocational education in the Virginia public school system.  Both he and his son are licensed auctioneers in the State of Virginia.

Presentation: Replacing Bushings in Worn Pivot Holes in Brass and Wooden Movements

The program covers the disassembly and bushing of brass movements, including reasssembly, and the installation of bushings in a wooden movement.

L. A. 'Tuck' Tompkins–Ashland, Virginia

L. A. 'Tuck' Tompkins apprenticed to a watchmaker upon his discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1946, giving him the distinction of being involved in the trade of clockmaking and watchmaking for nearly 65 years.  He opened his first store, Tompkins Jewelers, in Ashland in 1959, specializing in retail jewelry and clock and watch repair.  He sold the business to his daughter approximately twenty years ago.  Tuck continues to work in the business from his home bench.  Tuck is a member of the Old Dominion Chapter No. 34, where he has helped produce a number of programs on various aspects of repair.

Presentation: The Restoration of an English Captain's Watch

The Captain's Watch (one mainspring driving two time dials) featured in the presentation originally belonged to the great-great-great-grandfather of another Old Dominion Chapter No. 34 member.  The watch is marked Joseph Johnson, located on Church Street in Liverpool, England.  Records show that Mr. Johnson was a watchmaker from 1805-1830.  The program is a step-by-step documentation of the details of the restoration process.

Joel Warren – Trumansburg, New York

Joel Warren has been actively involved with Ithaca clocks since 1961 and has been a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. since 1876.  He is the Founding President of the Ithaca Clock Museum.  Joel is considered a Master Clockmaker in that he can design, make or restore any part for any clock, new or old.  A two-time winner in the People's Choice award in NAWCC Crafts Competitions, he has been a frequent guest speaker at NAWCC events.

Joel has been researching, and more importantly, practicing the traditional regiments of clockmaking for many years.  From his perspective, experience is the best teacher; therefore, over the years he has become proficient in the various regiments of the "trade".  He has learned to rely on his hands and judgment, rather than a 'crt monitor' or 'computer x y z plot'.  He learned the machine trade from the "old guys" who could turn a taper by hand, on the fly.  He learned the art of wood carving by trail and error . . . over a 38-year period.

Presentation: 19th Century Clock Cases, A Day at Work to a Work of Art: The Environment, Machinery and Techniques of the Period

Mr. Warren will share his "trade" experiences, encompassing high production wood working, machining and metal spinning.  He has found that one of the more interesting aspects, and a "sub division" of clockmaking is the art of foundry patternmaking.  Without this un-glorified element, the entire industry would be in trouble.  Joel states that he actually loves the idea of making something in wood or metal that creates a void in another substance . . . that creates something in iron or brass to the exact tolerances (after shrinkage during the cooling process) needed to complete a project.