Categories: Bristol, Business and Industry, Expansion and Reform, Invention and Technology

Noble Jerome’s Clock Patent Model

Collection: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Object: Patent Model – Striking part of clocks

Noble Jerome clock patent model, 1839 - National Museum of American History

Noble Jerome clock patent model, 1839 – National Museum of American History

Maker: Noble Jerome

Place: Bristol, Connecticut

Date Made: 1839

Noble Jerome submitted this clock patent model to the US Patent Office along with his patent application in 1839. Providing a working  model to the Patent Office was a common requirement for inventors up until the 1880s. The Office granted Noble a patent for his clockwork innovation, which reduced the number of wheels used in the clock’s movement. Additionally, his design improved the count wheel (the notched wheel that regulates the number of strokes in sounding the hour) by constructing it from a single piece of metal.

The design had been proposed by Noble’s brother, Chauncey Jerome, whose Bristol clock-making business had been adversely affected by the 1837 nationwide depression that had already closed a number of local factories. Chauncey’s idea for a simplified clock with workings made of brass was a drastic change from the wooden clockworks then being produced. The prototype Noble Jerome built demonstrated that the new design would allow this weight-driven, one-day clock to be mass produced more cheaply and in much greater quantities.

The clock came to be known as an “Ogee,” named for the S-shaped moldings used in building the case.

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Documents

Jerome, Noble. Patent Number 1,200 - Striking Part Of Clocks. 1,200. Bristol, CT, issued June 27, 1839. Link.

Books

Jerome, Chauncey, and Lockwood Barr. History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years, and Life of Chauncey Jerome. New Haven, CT: F.C. Dayton, 1860. Link.
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