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The Pequegnat Clocks — Canadian Timekeepers

Clock Basics

Various key clock features are used to date and identify the many models in the Museum’s collection, some of which appeared in two or more variations over time, for example, Pequegnat’s Maple Leaf model. The firm produced over ninety models during its thirty-nine year history.

Pequegnat clocks: Maple Leaf models
Arthur Pequegnat had good business sense, and he recognized that the Maple Leaf (CSTM 1975.0279) would be popular, and that having different styles of cases would make this model even more appealing. He sold these, and a few other models, by the case to retailers across Canada—for just $5 per clock when bought by the case of six! (CSTM, trade literature collection, L25116)

Glossary Interior of a Pequegnat clock

bezel metal ring surrounding the clock face
bushings (4) in models with steel plates supporting the gear trains, these are the brass or bronze insets in the frames that support the gear train axles
card the dials on some early models were simply thick printed paper card stock; most dials were metal while some were spun metal (polished on a lathe) or even coated with porcelain
cathedral gong (3) flat rod bent in a spiral form as the sound source for the chime
gear train (6) a sequence of toothed wheels (gears) rotating on pinions to transfer the energy stored in a clock’s main spring or weights; the gears’ rate of rotation is controlled by an escapement and slowed by pairing small to large gears, with the motion finally transferred to the hands of the time piece
gong (2) round metal “bell” for the chime, sometimes used with rods or cathedral gongs
main spring (5) one or two coiled springs that drive or maintain the motion of the gears
movement the main spring, gears, pendulum, and controlling mechanisms of a clock
pendulum (1) swinging bob that regulates the clock’s rate (concept discovered by Galileo in 1637, and first applied successfully by Christiaan Huyghens in 1657). Pequegnat used many different pendulum lengths (14 cm to 81 cm (5½ in. to 32 in.)) that beat different rates per minute; gear train combinations ensured the time maintained by each model was correct
regulator more precise clock, sometimes with seconds hand and the day of the month, often intended for public or railway clocks
rod one type of sound source for the chime; usually metal but occasionally of wood
sash decorative ring surrounding the clock face

Early models of mantel clocks have an ornamental “sash” surrounding the clock face but this feature was replaced about 1913 with a plain sash or just a simple bezel.
Pequegnat clock: Sashes
Sashes, from left to right: Bijou (CSTM 1975.0250); Canuck (CSTM 1975.0287); Simcoe (CSTM 1975.0270); Beauty (CSTM 1975.0304)
Clock models can also be dated by the presence or absence of a 12-cm (4¾-in.) chapter ring on the kitchen and gingerbread models, which were made until 1916. Most dials on these models are thick paper card, though some are metal, but all have Roman numerals.

On 1 January 1917, anti-German sentiments during the First World War spurred residents of Berlin to change the city’s name, though Kitchener appears to have been adopted informally by many merchants as early as February 1916. Pequegnat changed the name on his clocks and in his advertisements to Kitchener certainly by early 1917, perhaps even as early as 1916, and also changed the spelling of the Berlin model to Berlyn. Printed labels found inside the clocks may have continued to show Berlin for a year or two, but the name on the clock face was probably changed immediately.