Our family's Black Forest Cuckoo Clock
by Rick Simons
My Late Brother-in-law and his wife, my sister, were stationed in Germany (Army) from late 1969-thru early 1972 in the area I believe is called Bauhmholder. They perchased this cuckoo clock during Oktoberfest 1972, incidently at the same time during that, they were on the cover of the military magizine "Stars and Stripes" with a 4 page feature on thier lives as a military family overseas.
I was 12 years old at the time and remember how exciting it was and I told their story during classroom show and tell! I was a very proud little brother, from a very small rural town in Oregon.
My brother-in-law thought a Black Forest cuckoo clock would be a great gift to bring home to his new in-laws. So they took their time and picked out a middle priced clock, and one that they were promised was made in Germany in the region known for clocks and easy to operate,(battery) made of wood and not plastic like the ones sold in volume to foreigners at a cheap price!
So according to my sister they bought it for $35.00 American from a small little clock shop. She said the store, and its owner looked like they just stepped out of the pages of Disney's Pinocchio, and the shop keeper was a spitting image of Geppeto!
The shop only sold excellent quality clocks. Well, they managed to bring it home in one piece, unlike some of the rest of thier belongings. You would know what I mean if you ever had the displeasure of the military moving you!
So my parents loved the clock! It ran perfect until 1984 when after our father suffered a number of strokes and began not to remember how to change battery and reset the hands. The last time, according to my mother, she discovered the clock was gone and he with his broken speech told her it was broken and he placed it into the attic.
There it sat until yesterday, 9/21/2010, when I, the little brother, now 50 years old rediscovered the clock.
Well, my big wonderful brother-in-law Arvid is gone now, but he isn't alone. He and my other HERO "My Dad" are together. Cancer and pain free, and able to walk and talk and watch over the whole family, until we all someday join them.
I hope God, if there is one, when the time comes, will think that I will be worthy enough to walk with them! I already know my Heros think that I am, they both told me so before they passed away.
Well, I got a little off course. So back to the clock - on the mechanical parts inside there is written, "E. Schmeckenbecher, date? 25-72"
I'm guessing part and serial no# GM 1884288 1892176 then a stamped label that looks like a malformed heart with the words "REGULA" in center and a pine tree below it.
Can somebody give me some info. Its worth in todays market? If there is someplace I can get a schematic for it? (exploded view), or used parts?
I took the clock apart carefully and lightly blew the dust of the whole mechanism, gears, etc. and lightly oiled it. One of the bellows is torn, I carefully put it back together and placed a new "D" battery in it and followed the directions on back of access panel and chazam! it worked!!
Well the clock ticked and keeps time but it doesn't want to cuckoo! I double checked it again and all looks good, but no luck. When the hands get the where it should strike the hour it makes a sound like the gears skipped and it just continues on keeping time.
Shouldn't the electric motor (which works)start to turn some additional gears to begin to set in motion the cuckoo bird then the sound of the bellows and the dong sound according to the hourly time?
Please I need help. any help. pictures of an actual working clock similar to mine, a close up view of the open back. I can admit before I took it apart I told myself to take a picture of the insides before removing anything so I could use it for furture reference!
Well self had great intentions, but the phone rang and I got side tracked - end of story. But I have a great memory and belive its all back like it was. But I'm not perfect either! Ha Ha!
If you spin the gear that runs the rods that operate the bellows and the cookoo bird and gong, it all runs perfect, but it's like a gear isn't meshing when it comes time to all work automatically!
OK, its somebodys elses turn to give me their opinion, or all the information they can. Please, any help would be greatly appreciated to bring this old, loved family clock and its memories back. My whole family would be grateful!
Thank You! Rick Simons