• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron, please register and join us. When registering, please provide your CITY and STATE as your location!

My Church's Tower Clock

The Diesel Doctor

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2019
After church today at Makawao Union Church, Paia, Maui, I went up in the tower to check the clockworks. It's a two-faced Seth Thomas that was installed in 1917. It keeps very good time with little adjustment. It is lubricated with whale oil. The church has a permit to use the oil. Seth Thomas products must have been grandfathered after its use was banned. Only the west facing hands are hooked up. (pic# 4) The east side faces the trade winds and the face and hands being made of iron deteriorated very fast they have been removed. Note patch on the east wall (pic# 6) S/N 2017 in the Seth Thomas clock registry shows shipping info and assembly pieces. March 12 1916 Spalding Construction Co Kahululi, Maui, T.H. % Matson Navagation, Bn ED. % Santa Fe.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

georgineer

Registered
Re: My churches tower clock

That's a handsome clock. How do you get a supply of whale oil these days, or are you managing on existing stock?

George
 

Onan Dan

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
03/16/2019
Re: My churches tower clock

The Church is Beautiful and the surroundings amazing how long those clocks will run when taken care of Thank you:)
 

Harry

Administrator
Re: My churches tower clock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, with many photos . . .

Makawao Union Church is a church near Makawao on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It was founded by New England missionary Jonathan Smith Green during the Kingdom of Hawaii. The third historic structure used by the congregation was designed by noted local architect C.W. Dickey and dedicated in 1917 as the Henry Perrine Baldwin Memorial Church. In 1985, Makawao Union Church was placed on the Hawaii[2] and National Register of Historic Places.[1]

In 1870, Henry Perrine Baldwin his wife, Emily Alexander Baldwin, and their children joined the church. Henry served as organist for over forty years. Baldwin and his brother-in-law became wealthy co-founders of Alexander & Baldwin. On January 5, 1878, Rev. Green died; Asenath Green would maintain the church until she died in 1894, and then daughters Mary and Laura.[3]
His son Joseph Porter Green (1833–1886) served at the church and was elected to the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1860.[4]
In 1888, Baldwin offered the church a site for a new building, on the foundation of the former Paliuli Sugar Mill near what is now called Rainbow Gulch and Rainbow County Park.[5] The mill was named for Pali uli (literally "green cliff"), the place in Hawaiian mythology roughly equivalent to the garden of Eden.[6]
This church, a New England style white frame structure, was dedicated on March 10, 1889. The Pāʻia Community House, finished in hardwood on the inside, was built in 1914 adjacent to the church. The Community House, with its large auditorium and 40-foot (12 m) deep stage was used for plays, operettas, school graduations, concerts, lectures, silent movies, and dances. The site of the old church, 20°51′42″N 156°18′46″W became the cemetery. Later the Maui Veteran's Cemetery was built adjacent to the church cemetery.
A native Hawaiian pastor John Kalama served at both Makawao and Poʻokela until his death in 1896.[7] The original building stood until about 1900.
The "Daily Bulletin Newspaper, Honolulu Oct 2, 1889 pg3 Announced the purchase of a new pipe organ built for the church, by the NY firm of Roosevelt. A small organ of one manual/pedal & 6 speaking stops. This being purchased, by Baldwin while he was in New York, he paid a visit to the organ Company.

The frame church was razed in 1916 and construction began immediately on a new Gothic Revival style structure. The new building was designed by architect Charles William Dickey (1871–1942), whose mother was Emily Baldwin's sister.[8] It has been called "one of his more outstanding works." The stone church was dedicated on September 2, 1917. It was about the same size as the frame building, and also used the original Paliuli Mill foundation. Henry Alexander Baldwin (known as "Harry"), Henry Perrine's son, was featured speaker, along with William Hyde Rice. The organ was donated in the memory of Harry Baldwin's sons Jared Smith Baldwin (1889–1914) and Leslie Alexander Baldwin (1898–1901).[9]
The walls were built of reinforced concrete with native basalt lava rock veneer. The roof was covered in slate from Vermont. Four stained glass windows and the bell were reused from the old building. A Seth Thomas clock has three faces on the Norman style tower. The main entry is through oak doors in the tower.[10]
Austin Craig Bowdish was the pastor at the dedication. Augustine Jones became a pastor in 1921. The 1938 Maui earthquake[11] damaged the community house, but not the stone church.
On June 29, 1985, Makawao Union Church was placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places as site 50-05-1610,[2] and December 17, 1985, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii as site 85003227.[1] It now calls itself an "interdenominational, community church with Congregational heritage".[12] As of 2010 the pastor was Rev. Dave Schlicher.[13] The road past the church was named Baldwin Avenue for the Baldwin family. It is located at 1445 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao, Hawaii, 20°53′32″N 156°21′3″W.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makawao_Union_Church

Seth Thomas (1785 – 1859) was an American clockmaker and a pioneer of mass production at his Seth Thomas Clock Company. Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry.[1] Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.[1][2]
In 1810, he bought Terry's clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though he chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman's Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father's death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth_Thomas_(clockmaker)

Top 10 Things to Do in Paia & Haiku . . .

https://www.prideofmaui.com/blog/activities/paia-haiku-north-shore
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
Whale oil is one of the best lubricants ever used. It can't be made, only harvested from whales by direct removal or by rendering the oil from the blubber or whale fat. Right whales were called so because there was a large reservoir of fine oil within their heads. Whale oil was used in automatic transmissions of all manufacturers until the mid-1960s when whale hunting was banned due to overhunting. Although the ban on whaling was supposed to be worldwide, the Japanese have relatively ignored the ban, due to their need for food and byproducts. Native Indians are allowed to hunt for a given season, although their harvest is limited in scope compared to the japanese fleet of whalers.

As far as I know, it is illegal to import whale products unless you have a special permit to do so. back in the 17 and 18th centuries, whale oil was used in lamps, much like the use of kerosene was used in the early 20th century. it did produce a better light and did not smell like Kerosene did though. As for a lubricant, many fine clocks and watches used it. there was and is no better lubricant, and man had not been able to duplicate it.
 

ulgydog56

Registered
Built by craftsmen to last and keep good time, I've seen that on big ben they use old English coins and set them on top of the weights to adjust time by a second or two and it works perfectly. :bonk:
 

Harry

Administrator
Back in the late 60s, the old farm that I bought had a 1932 John Deere GP. Cleaning it up and getting it ready to run, I went to an old local dealership, that had people that "knew" about the tractor and in fact, they even had a set of N.O.S. pistons and other parts on hand for it, although I didn't "need" them right then. Anyway, I remember discussing with them which oil to use in the transmission. Answer: whale oil. :eek:
 

The Diesel Doctor

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2019
Moving from the clock and bell tower to the interior of the church. The wife and i went to church our today and i can`t help but to be amazed at the craftsmanship required to build this beautiful place. The woodwork (structural and decorative), the stained glass windows, the organ and pipes and the iron chandelier. 100 years ago those people were not only craftsman in there trades but you can see and feel the pride they had in there work. ALIMG_4088.jpgIMG_4091.jpgIMG_4094.jpgIMG_4096.jpgIMG_4098.jpgIMG_4104.jpg
 

Pete Spaco

Registered
I know some clock makers and clock repair people who say that light weight Mobil1 is better than whale oil for clocks.
They don't use any oil other than that for the clocks they work on..
 

The Diesel Doctor

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2019
Christmas eve went to church we went to church and i noticed this organ console shell. It had been in storage and put out for display at the back of the sanctuary. Some history here. Mr Baldwin lost his right arm in an industrial accident at the Paliuli mill trying to adjust the rollers. I got goose bumps when i put my hands on that wood. AL
 

Attachments

Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
I think anyone can USE whale sperm oil, its just that no more is being imported. Not that there isn't considerable stock still in circulation, or that some "sneaks" in over the border. Many other countries think the ban on whaling is stupid. Still, humanity DOES have the capability to wipe out a specie, and given enough $ might still do so.

Since the 1840s sperm oil was the mainstay product of New Bedford's William Nye company. Sometimes containers of sperm oil come available on Ebay - always advertised as "pre-ban." Or so the sellers say. One can not be fully sure if what one buys on Ebay in an opened container is truly what one buys.

I remember a not quite full one quart metal Nye container with "military" olive drab and numbers selling in the multiple hundreds of dollars. Probably originally issued to someone with an M1. But that pricing is free enterprise.

I myself bought a 1/2 oz glass bottle with the unique 19th century Nye label on it, obviously "New Old Stock." I think I paid about $20 total including shipping. I figure there is enough there to keep my hunter case Waltham pocket watch (the one my cell phone replaced) lubricated into the next century.

There is debate on whether today's "synthetic" lubricants are in fact "better" than sperm oil. Synthetic DOES have a flatter viscosity/temperature curve - but is lubrication of watches all that dependent on consistent viscosity? There may be other properties of sperm oil which are less documented.

Joe K
 

radiodoc

Registered
Diesel Doctor if you get a chance perhaps you could record a sound byte and post it here for us...I think pipe organs are awesome.
 

The Diesel Doctor

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2019
Moving from the clock and bell tower to the interior of the church. The wife and i went to church our today and i can`t help but to be amazed at the craftsmanship required to build this beautiful place. The woodwork (structural and decorative), the stained glass windows, the organ and pipes and the iron chandelier. 100 years ago those people were not only craftsman in there trades but you can see and feel the pride they had in there work. ALView attachment 371448View attachment 371449View attachment 371450View attachment 371451View attachment 371452View attachment 371453
Some more of the stained glass.
 

Attachments

Steve Kunz

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
That is a beautiful church. Your first picture in post one looks like a painting.
Our church had a pipe organ, they took it out in the early 70's. ☹ I remember when I was in about 2nd grade the school was next to the church, going out for recess one day and seeing them carrying the pipes out putting them on a truck. It was up in the choir loft in the rear of the church.
I think the clock was modernized to electric at one time, it has been about 40 years since I was up there, but all four still work. I remember the long driveshaft going up to the clock faces. The bell also had an electric striker put on it, used to have to go pull the rope to ring it. 🔔The new priest won't let anyone go up there now, so who knows what changes have been made lately. o_O
 
Top