NAWCC Chapter 50 Puget Sound
Possible Future Restoration Projects
Theodor Jacobsen Observatory
Joseph Mayer/E. Howard Master Clock
Theodor Jacobsen Observatory University of Washington

The Transit Room of the observatory has a Joseph Mayer master clock with a Howard No. 0 three legged gravity escapement, zinc and steel compensated pendulum and Mayer patent electric winding system. The clock is in very complete, original condition and could be restored to running order. It was installed in 1912 as a master clock for a time system serving the university. The observatory itself was built in 1895 and is the second oldest building on campus. It is open to the public on the first Wednesday evening of the month for tours and star parties. The dome contains the original 6 inch refracting telescope.

Mayer master clock showing the Howard No. 0 movementJoseph Mayer patent bicycle chain electric wind system

Behind the dial of the Mayer master clock showing the Howard No. 0 movement with gravity escapement. The clock is very similar to the Broadway clock. (Left)

The Joseph Mayer patent bicycle chain electric wind system. Mayer patented this in 1912. The clock was installed about that same time. (Right)

Joseph Mayer/E. Howard master Clock
Broadway Performance Center (Old Broadway High School) 
Seattle Central Community College
The foyer of the performance hall contains the master clock which once stood in the principal’s office of the old Broadway High School.  This clock was installed in 1911 and is very similar to the UW observatory clock. It was restored sometime in the early 1980’s by the watch and clock school that used to be associated with the North Seattle Community College. This clock too is in reasonably original condition and could be restored to running order.  Both of these clocks have recently been examined by Paul Bellamy and Leon Jaussaud and documented by Paul Middents as part of his Joseph Mayer research project.

Broadway High School
Paul Bellamy left and Leon Jaussaud examine a Howard/Mayer master clock that once served Broadway High School (Seattle’s first high school).

Sigmund Riefler Astronomical Regulator No. 201
Astronomy Department University of Washington
This clock now hanging outside the Astronomy Department office in the UW Physics and Astronomy Building, once hung on a concrete pillar in a temperature controlled cabinet in the Transit Room of the Theordor Jacobsen Observatory. The clock was made by Riefler in Munich Germany and purchased by the university in 1909 to serve as the master clock for the observatory. It could be regulated to the stars using a transit telescope also made in Germany. The Mayer-Howard master clock could be synchronized with the Riefler regulator, thus providing an accurate local time before the time signals were readily available by telegraph or wireless. Chapter 50 members Rubens Sigelmann and Tom Payne examined and photographed the clock in 2010. Both of them along with Paul Bellamy, Leon Jaussaud and Paul Middents revisited the clock in 2013 in conjunction with a visit to the observatory. Middents has researched and documented the regulator. It constituted the state of the art at the time for mechanical timekeepers. Restoration would require a highly skilled clockmaker.