Book WELCH CLOCKS, 2nd Edition
by Tran Duy Ly

First Published 1992

2nd Edition Revised and Enlarged in 2013 by
215 Shadowood Drive - Johnson City - Tennessee 37604-1128 USA
Phone:  423-283-9004  - Fax:  423-283-9001

576 pages - 8 1/2 x 11 and 1750 quality illustrations and photographs.
Smyth sewn hardbound on white gloss enamel text with 2013 Price Update $89.50
For Special Discount please click on " SPECIAL PRICES."

Review by  R. O. Schmitt - -

Collectors of American clocks will not want to miss having the greatly anticipated 2nd edition of "Welch Clocks" in their horological library. But before I review the detailed information contained in this treatise, let me give you a bit of history.

I first met the author, Tran Duy Ly, in 1974 at the Dearborn (MI) NAWCC regional. At that time he displayed several clocks including an Ansonia double statue swinger, and a Parlor 3 calendar, plus a variety of clock and watch reference books by other writers. Six years later, enroute to Boston, I stopped by Tran’s house in Fairfax, VA….and was amazed to find him and his wife, Vicky, busy in the basement, working on the first edition of their first book "Clocks, A Guide to Identification & Prices."

I still recall my excitement in 1980, leafing through a hand pasted proof copy, (affordable computers were still a few years away) contents all well organized by manufacturer and model with a complete index…..and I knew on the spot that such a book would be well received by clock enthusiasts. Now, 32 years and 17 books later, I am equally excited by these 576 pages of "Welch Clocks, Second Edition" with 69 pages of beautiful Alarm & Novelty clocks (including 12 unknown); 72 pages of Double Dial Calendar clocks including B. B. Lewis, B. B. Lewis & Sons, Burwell, Carter, Gale, Lewis, and Solomon S. Spring, plus some unknown models; 10 pages of simple calendars, including Franklin-Morse. Continuing, there are 18 illustrations of Carriage clocks; 167 pages of Hanging Clocks & Regulators, 29 pages of Enameled Iron & Enameled Wood mantel clocks; 3 pages of Mantel Clocks-Marble & Onyx; 3 pages of Mantel Clocks-Metal Cases; 41 pages of Patti related clocks & clocks with Patti movements; 120 pages of Mantel Clocks-Wood Cases include quite a few of Unknown models; an 18 page addendum includes 21 Unknown clocks, followed by 43 pages of Beat Indicators, Keys, Movements, Shields, Weights and Pendulums.

Finally, the comprehensive index is perhaps the best job the Lys have ever done. First the clocks are separated by category, such as "Mantle Clocks, Enameled Iron." Then following this section, all clocks are listed by their NAME (a vast improvement). For instance, if you get a call asking you about a "Mascot," you don’t have to know whether it is a novelty or metal, just look under "M" and you instantly see page "116" at your finger tip.

Welch clocks have long been recognized as the "Cadillac" of Connecticut clocks, and the history of the company’s organization and progress is very colorful. Noted author and horologist Chris Bailey provides all the vivid details in 15 pages of The E. N. Welch Manufacturing Company and its predecessors, subsidiaries and successors [Sessions]. Additional detail has been provided by Robert E. Reichell, also a fellow of NAWCC, who explains the history of Adelina Patti, Elisha N. Welch, Solomon Crosby Spring, Benjamin B. Lewis and Daniel Jackson Gale.

This interesting "page turner" contains not only the line drawings and photographs of virtually every Welch model produced, but also includes over a hundred endorsements from prominent collectors worldwide. Perhaps the only sad note in the book appears on page 3, where Tran explains that this work will probably be his final publication. How we wish this were not so.

In ending my own comments, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to both Tran and Vicky for their diligent efforts in publishing all of their reference books. I and my staff at the auction service would find it nearly impossible to properly identify all the clocks consigned to us, if it were not for the "Ly books" at our desk. Theirs is a job WELL done.