Category Archives: Time Recorders (Punch Clocks)

Simplex Time Recorder. 1920’s. Lightweight Time Recorder.

A nice, clean Simplex Time Recorder.

Simplex Time Recorder. 1920’s.

Simplex Time Recorder. 1920’s.

The first time recorder I added to my collection. This is the smallest of my punch clocks. At 40 lbs., this is a lightweight, considering the fact that some of my other punch clocks weigh-in at almost 90 lbs. Mind you, I have never hung a time recorder on the wall!!

Relationship Building

One reason we love time recorders so much is because of the daily personal relationships we like to imagine hundreds of employees having had with these machines once upon a time. A child can have a fond memory of laying on their grandparents’ living room floor listening to the rhythmic tick tock of a mantel clock and feeling peace. A wife can remember the long, slow gong of the grandfather clock in the hallway the moment she received news on the telephone of her husband’s passing.

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Synchromatic Time Recorder (Stockhall Marples)

This Synchromatic Time Recorder (mid 1800’s) is my favorite time recorder. I have a background in engineering along with some machine shop experience.  I appreciate well engineered mechanisms. All my favorite clocks are large, well engineered clocks. As such, time recorders are probably my favorite type of clock.

Synchromatic Time Recorder

Synchromatic Time Recorder

Huge Movement

I love the huge movements installed in these machines and the time recording mechanisms are always intriguing. I have yet to find one that disappoints. The downside is that they are not always the most attractive clocks to have on display in the home.

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Attention Gledhill Brook Gurus

Gledhill Brook HeadquartersHello Horologists! We are attempting to drive Gledhill Brook-centric traffic to our sister site and Gledhill Brook Headquarters:

What Will You Find

  • A blog with GB-specific questions
  • An owner’s gallery with images from other fans like you
  • A resources page for those of you attempting to repair or date your clock
  • Archival and historical information about the GB company and its products.
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    As some of you who visit our site regularly may have noticed, our Gledhill Brook Time Recorder posts have received far and away more traffic, questions, and queries than any posts about any of our other clocks. We, therefore, felt there was call for a site dedicated exclusively to these timepieces. So, we have created a sort of Gledhill Brook fan site.

    A Gledhill Brook Fan Site

    GledhillBrook.Com is an infant right now, but we hope to continually add to it, both as we ourselves do more research and as we recieve information from other GB lovers around the world.

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    Final Update: Gledhill Brook Time Recorder Restoration

    I have now completed the Gledhill Brook Time Recorder Restoration. I purchased this machine from a person who advertised the sale of three IBM master clocks in a local paper. I called the seller and arranged to meet him at a storage facility.  When he opened the door to the locker I found three IBM clocks: one master clock and two slave clocks. All were electric powered and in need of lots of work. There were also several large boxes of parts.

    In the back I noticed a Gledhill Brook case. All the parts were removed and it had been partly sanded down. I asked about the parts. The seller said that perhaps they were in these boxes; he wasn’t sure. Gledhill Brook Time Recorder restorations are ones I’m particularly proud of, as English clocks hold a special place in my heart and I know the stories and people that come to me through these clocks, even if I’ll never know the details.

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    UPDATE: Gledhill Brook Time Recorder Restoration. Punch the Clock!

    gledhill brook time recorderThe cabinet and movement of this Gledhill Brook Time Recorder are now finished and the movement is back in place.

    Next Steps

    The next step is to dismantle the Time Recorder mechanism, clean and reassemble. This part is by far the brunt of the work because there is so much rust and oxidation.

    Dismantling and reassembling these punch mechanisms can be challenging as I have never found any literature or assembly diagrams. I rely solely on digital photos to document the assembly before I take anything apart. There are so many parts that it would be almost impossible to reassemble without a reference.

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    Gledhill Brook Time Recorder Restoration or What to do with a Clock in a Box

    gledhill brook time recorder restorationWe have a  Gledhill Brook Time Recorder restoration which was actually purchased as a box of parts and a case. Most of the clock appears to be complete with the exception of the hands and a few small parts that I will be able to fabricate. Fortunately, I have a complete Gledhill Brook clock from which to work.

    Rolls Royce of Time Recorders

    As I’ve stated in a previous post, if one ever has an opportunity to work on one of these clocks you will soon realize why they are regarded as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of time recorders. Huge chain fusee movements fitted with Harrison maintaining power.

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    CONCLUSION: Finishing up Simplex Time Recorder

    After concluding the repairs and reassembly to the punch part, I had simply to wait while The Dial House, expert restorers out of Dallas, Georgia, worked their magic on this Simplex time recorder dial.

    Simplex Time Recorder dial

    And what an incredible job Marth Smallwood and her staff have done. See for yourself:

    Simplex Time Recorder face before and after

    See the previous posts about this project:

    Time recorders are some of our favorite clocks. Check out our category page for other units in our collection. The movements for these clocks tend to be larger and easier to work on, a factor a watch repairman would scoff at, perhaps, but to each his own.

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    Update on the Simplex Time Recorder repair.

    Here’s an update on our simplex time recorder repair. I have completed the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly of the time recorder mechanism in what’s turned out to be a rather complex Simplex punch clock. Prior to disassembling, I cleaned the recorder with a degreasing agent to remove most of the heavy grease and dirt. This revealed the details of the smaller parts often hidden under years of built up grime.

    Simplex time recorder Before cleaning

    I was unable to find any literature on this time recorder mechanism on the web. These mechanisms are quite unique and very complex. There were many variations manufactured, so I had no references available if I ran into difficulties on the reassembly. Therefore, I photographed (as well as taking some video) every step of the disassembly process.

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    National Time Recorder. ca 1900.

    This National Time Recorder specimen is the only Time Recorder in my collection with a ‘day’ indicator.

    This clock is in its original ‘un-restored’ condition. As you can see, I have lots of work to do this winter!!

    I will post updates as I work through the restoration process…….to be continued.

    Day Indicators

    The cascade front and day indicators are the most collectible time recorders.

    Time Recorders

    Work is an incredible online site full of valuable information about the history of English time recorders. It’s worth a browse through if you are as interested in them as we are.

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