John Moeller Street Clock Project

Sponsored by the Kitsap County Historical Society


John Moeller, long time jeweler in the Charleston neighborhood of Bremerton, WA has donated his street clock to the Kitsap County Historical Society. The transfer took place on April 11, 2002, the 121st anniversary of his father's birth. George H. Moeller purchased this clock in 1928 from Joseph Mayer, Seattle, WA. and installed it in front of his jewelry store on Farragut Ave. His son, John took over the business and when the shipyard expanded, moved to 322 Callow Ave. in 1954. He took the clock along and it has been an important part of the Charleston scene ever since. For this reason, the restored clock will be returned to its Callow Ave. location.  

 

 

 

 


John Moeller, Leon Jaussaud and Terry Ayers

The bezel coming down.


John Moeller and Terry Ayers holding the E. Howard movement.
Terry Ayers of East Bremerton, a member of the Mt. Rainier chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, will restore the movement and motion works of the Moeller clock. Mr. Moeller had kept the clock well oiled and it was running until just before removal. It has not had a complete overhaul since 1954. Leon Jaussaud of Manchester, restorer of the Jorgen Nelson clock movement, will be providing technical assistance and consultation.

The movement is powered by a 100 lb. lead weight which must be wound up once a week.

Terry Ayers working on the bezel

The clock was removed on April 29, 2002. Sean and Colen Corey of the Bremerton Public Works Department provided extraordinary skill in removing the clock without incident to clock or bystanders and helpers. Bremerton Public Works under the direction of Operations Manager Robert Tulp are once again providing invaluable support and a place to keep and work on  the big pieces during restoration. They will also provide a new concrete base and reinstall the clock upon completion of the restoration.  

     

     

One of the Corey brothers jack hammering the base out of the sidewalk.


The E. Howard motion works.
The superb quality of the Edward Howard motion works is apparent in this close-up. the motion works are located between the dials. Movement is transferred up the pole by a long thin rod. This is converted to hour and minute motion for the two dials by this device.

We found a very interesting surprise underneath the rock hard filler material behind the brass nameplates on the base. This label confirms the origin of the clock and helps to date it. Joseph Mayer and Brothers started a jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business in 1897. Joseph split off in 1922 forming the Joseph Mayer Co. He specialized in street clocks and Mayer Brothers concentrated on the jewelry side of the business. Mayer was an agent for Edward Howard of Boston, MA, one of the foremost street and tower clock makers in the country. By the time this clock was sold, Joseph was designing and manufacturing the cases in Seattle and buying the movements and motion works from Howard. George Moeller must have purchased this clock used. The Jorgen Nelson clock, also purchased in 1928, has a very similar pole, head and finial on the top. The movement and motion works are very similar to these but manufactured in Seattle by Joseph Mayer.

Paul Middents, project coordinator, holding a broken dial.

One of the heavy translucent glass dials was fractured during the Nisqually earthquake in February 2000. This dial must be replaced. Dial restoration is being contributed by retired Bremerton sign painter, Dale Brittingham. The clock case will be sand blasted and receive a state of the art powder paint coat from Kitsap Powder Coating of Poulsbo. Dale Gerber owner, contributed the powder coat for the Jorgen Nelson clock. He is giving us a good deal on this restoration but needs to be paid this time around. Port Townsend Foundry will be providing replacements for the fractured scrolls on top of the clock.

We hope to keep costs under $7000 for this restoration. The Jorgen Nelson clock cost about $10,000 to restore. Tax deductible donations can be made to the Kitsap County Historical Society .

If you have any questions please contact Paul Middents, project coordinator.

Check this link to see our recently completed restoration of another Joseph Mayer clock.

Return to Paul Middents Home Page.