How Do You Care for Seth Thomas Antique Clocks?

The most important consideration in caring for a Seth Thomas antique clock is to handle it gently. As antique clocks are sensitive to movement, the mechanism should be stopped and the pendulum secured before moving the clock. The clock should be lubricated well every three to five years, and a thorough professional cleaning is recommended every 10 years, suggests Pacific Antique Clocks.

A Seth Thomas clock owner should keep the clock on a level surface, out of direct sunlight and away from furnace drafts and baseboard heaters. Do not expose it to extreme temperatures.

If the clock has two winding mechanisms, one for the minute hand and one for the chimes, it is important to wind them both at the same time. To adjust the time, the minute hand can be gently turned clockwise, but never forced. Do not move the hour hand independently; it will turn as the minute hand turns. The clock also may have a small adjustment for the pendulum. To make minor adjustments, usually turn left if the clock is running fast or to the right if it is slow. If the clock stops working or needs cleaning, take it to a professional clock shop.

Seth Thomas began making clocks at his factory in Connecticut in 1810 after apprenticing for several years. Many Seth Thomas clocks are still in use today. The first clocks were tall clocks with wooden movements. In 1817, the first shelf clocks were made, and in 1842, brass movements began replacing the wooden mechanisms.