Winterhalder & Hofmeier

There were several great names among German clockmakers in the 19th and 20th centuries, including Gustav Becker, Junghans, Lorenz Furtwängler, and Winterhalder & Hofmeier, just to name a few. All these clocks are very desirable and collectible. Not much is known about Winterhalder & Hofmeier of Neustadt in Baden, but they made clocks for export, like the mechanism below, which was sold to the Colonial Clock Co. of Zeeland, Michigan, around 1920. The Winterhalder family began making clocks around 1730. The name Winterhalder & Hofmeier appeared around 1850. The company ceased production in 1933.

The following photos were taken during disassembly. The parts are large and heavy, when compared to other grandfather clocks. The design of the levers, particularly the chime lift lever, is quite similar to the design of the Herschede #1 mechanism with nine tubular bells. I believe the Herschede #1 design was based on the Winterhalder design.

Fig. 1

The pallet assembly is particularly heavy and has the beat adjustment on top. These two features require that the time weight be heavier, in order to provide the power needed to move all this weight back and forth.

Fig. 2

The posts holding the plates together have tapered pins on the front plate, and screws on the back plate.

Fig. 3

 

Fig. 4

The last photo shows a more complete view of the pallet assembly and the Graham escapement. The design of the pallet assembly looks like it was based on an Elliott design. You can also see the adjustable governors, the click for the power reserve, and the beveled gear on the second wheel for the chimes. The parts are massive and the quality is second to none. Winterhalder & Hofmeier were competing with Elliott and Herschede in the global market for hall clocks with tubular bells, and all these clocks were terrifically expensive at that time, most of them costing as much as an automobile.

Fig. 5

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