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 Reid Heilig | Home > H.Heilig Clock  
H.Heilig Clock

This clock mechanism was made as best as we can discern by Henrich Heilig between about 1720 when it is thought that he arrived in America and 1741 when Hanover Township was divided into 2 townships: New Hanover and Upper Hanover. At some point this clock was attached to the musical part by whom we do not know-it could have been Henrich, a son or grandson or someone else. The frame that holds it all together is a blacksmith's work of high craftsmanship with its dovetailed connections, etc. This clock was put up for a mail-in auction at Schmidt's Antiques in New England in the early 1980s. The winning bid was made by Jack E. Wallace of Oneida, NY. Unfortunately Schmidt's did not keep any records as to where they obtained it. He sold the clock to the co-author of the book "American Clockmakers and Watchmakers" a Thomas J. Spittler about 2008 who then sold it to an antique clock dealer Walter Bailey in Owensville, Ky. I traced the clock down and at considerable time and expense I purchased it in 2010 so that it was back in the Heilig Family. I have consulted with several clock people both here and in Germany (Dr. Graf of The German Clock Museum in Furtwangen) and our cousin Kay Heilig has sent pictures to John Robey the English Tall Clock expert. All are in agreement as to its approximate age but not much else. There has been great discussion as to whether it could have been made by Henrich before he came to America but this I consider to be very remote for 2 reasons: the name Hanover on the clock is spelled in the English manner not as it is Spelled in Germany, ie always with 2 Ns and the script in which H. Heilig and Hanover are engraved are English and not the German which would have been Fractur and the cursive style would have been "Kurrent" both of which the Pa. Germans did all their records etc in German for more than 100 years after arriving in America before they switched to the English style. This shows that Henrich was a quick adapter. The common agreement is that the clock is pretty much hand-made in the German style and that the musical mechanism is made on a more sophisticated lathe than the clock was. The screws are made in a style that were made in the 1600s and very early 1700s. The latest info (2012) indicates that the musical mechanicism was made by George Hoff who came over twice to America. His second trip was on the ship "Polly" on its apparrent maiden vogage to the colonies. He evidently had a relationship with Henrich while he lived in Philadelphia for 5 years. I believe this is the source of the mistaken idea that the Heiligs came on the ship Polly which was not even built when they came in 1720. More about this later.

In April 2014 I was able to have the clock at the annual Heilig reunion at Grace Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC and set it up on a test stand so that it ran WITHOUT STOPPING for the whole 3 hours we met together and I demonstrated the striking of the clock. This was due in part to the assistance of two very generous clock experts who mentored me by phone to be able to repair and to build several needed parts to get the clock back into running order:these two men are George Bruno of Torrington CT and Dr. Follett of New York. No clock restorer wanted to work on this 270+ year old clock but we three put it back into beat. My daughter Beth was a big help in many of the things I needed to do under these two men's super guidance!
Date(s): May 19, 2011. 1 - 3 of 3 Total. Shared
Triggers with Numbers  (February 2014)
1. Triggers with Numbers  (February 2014)  (February 7, 2014)
192 Visits
4 Images
Shared Album
the works
2. the works  (May 19, 2011)
339 Visits
17 Images
Shared Album
The Music Mechanism
3. The Music Mechanism  (May 28, 2011)
4897 Visits
6 Images
Shared Album

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