William S. Johnson 30 hour clock

by Brenda Christensen
(SLC, Utah, USA)

William S. Johnson Clock

William S. Johnson Clock

This clock has been in my husband's maternal family since at least 1957, which is when my husband remembers being lifted up to wind it by his grandfather, Rufus Johnson.

When the house in Concord, CA was remodeled, a niche was built above the fireplace for the clock.
I am trying to date this clock. It may have been a wedding present to the grandparents Johnson.

It's label states "Manufactured and Sold by William S. Johnson, 49 Courtlandt St. New-York"
I can find little to no information about William S. Johnson, clockmaker, other than he may have been a competitor of Seth Thomas.

It has original glass held in by wood, the "I" is imperfect, as in hand painted. There is some damage to the case where some of the OGEE veneer is missing.

My Mother in law is quiet on this, stating that she doesn't remember the clock's history, only remembers it in the parlor. That's the earliest known history of the clock.

The latest history is that last year my father gave us a hideous clock for Christmas and when I returned it, I made a deal with the clock shop to have their master clock person repair the movement and hand manufacture the missing pieces for the credit on the clock we did not want. When it was finished, my husband built a shelf for it with original lumber from our 1906 home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If anyone has any information to help my research, please write a comment to this page.

Talk about living history!

Comments for William S. Johnson 30 hour clock

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How many William S Johnson clock makers
by: Anonymous

So I don't understand. One William Sidney Johnson made clocks in New York City in the 1840's and a different William Sidney Johnson made clocks in New York City in the 1850'S? I'd like to correspond with the one who is related to the William Sidney Johnson through Govenor McIntire's wife. I have one of the clocks but I'm not 100% sure that the clock maker is our ancestor. The Govenor did make the comment to his university that his wife's father was a famous clock maker in New York. I've tried to find this family for half a decade.

16 Courtlandt
by: Nancy S

I purchased a similar clock at an auction in Philadelphia, PA about 20 years ago. Some of the paper inside is missing but I can see
16 Courtlandt...New York"

The frame is walnut veneer, I believe over a pine case, and it is spring driven with key included but it is not in working order.

The clock has a wooden face with numbers done in blue ink, and on the bottom behind the glass front is a colored naval battle scene with two ships; one ship in the fore front with a British flag and the other with an American colonial flag.

Wm. S. Johnson Ogee Clock
by: Peter Padavana

I purchased my Wm. S. Johnson Ogee mantel, brass clock in December 1985 from C.H. Hartzell clock shop in Camden, Maine for $225.00. The label on the inside reads Wm S. Johnson brass clock, manufactured and sold at 16 Cortland St., New York, New York.

It has reverse painting on glass front. It was stated on my receipt that the clock was made in the period of 1841-1848.

I still have the original wood clock face although
had a new wood face reproduced in 1990. I also had cables replaced, replace seatboard, strike pulley adjusted and replaced handshaft pin. Cost: $l00.

This clock has run continuously and strikes on the hour perfectly. I wind this clock faithfully between 8-9 A.M. since I bought it.

My wife and I love this clock dearly.

How many William Sidney Johnson's
by: Anonymous

I don't understand WHY you think there are two brothers or two people making clocks at the same time who have the same name. I have a clock that looks almost identical to this one that was made by William S Johnson with the same Cortland address in New York. I have been looking for more info on him for thirty years. My ggg grandfather had that name, was born in 1816 and died in 1873 or so I have. my gg grandfather was married to "his daughter" and was govenor of Colorado. In the biography given on Govenor McIntire it states that his wife's father was a famous clock maker in New York. How many famous Clock makers by the name of William Sidney Johnson are there in that time frame??

William Johnson, Clockmaker
by: Fred Hallman

There's a lot of information you can obtain if you go to Google.com and type in William Johnson, Clockmaker. You can find numerous articles about the Johnson's Family. He may have been a twin, and also a maker of musical organs.

I inherited such a clock
by: John L.White

I inherited such a clock from my father (born in 1887) who inherited it from his mother's estate (1939). I have had it in my possession since his death (1965). It is a dual weight pendulum crude chime (spiral wound wire). I needs reconstruction but its works are not corroded The house on its glass face (with a carriage and several people in the foreground, is identified as "Hancock House - Boston". The frag- mented instruction sheet glued on inside face of the back of the clock identifies the clock as "Improved Clocks - Manufactured and Sold by William S. Johnson 3 Courtland Street New York." It is interesting to note that the street number is "3" instead of larger numbers given for William S. Johnson clocks described in other websites revealed by my "Google" search. You may call me at 707-839-9527 for more information.

Another William S. Johnson, Different Address
by: Anonymous

I have a clock in for repair that I have been trying to date. I found you on the internet. This clock is an OG Made by William S. Johnson,
20 Courtland St, New York. It must be one of the brothers you speek of in this article. If you have any additional info, I would appreciate it.
I am a clockmaker. 16 MARCH 2009

About Your William S. Johnson Clock
by: Bill Harveson

This is a very nice example of an Ogee clock. There is not a lot of information written about William S. Johnson, but your clock can be dated quite accurately because he only made clocks in New York during the 1850's.

Also, in the 1830's and '40's, there was a William Johnson making clocks in New York that could be a relation to W.S.Johnson. Maybe someone else will know and post it here.

This earlier W. Johnson took over the clockmaking concerns of Joseph Ives, who at that time was in debtors prison.

Thanks for the interesting story.

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