Sandberg Jewelers  LLC
Clock and Watch Repair

Setting an Ithaca Calendar Clock

My instructions are followed by text from an Ithaca Calendar Clock Company Label


Setting the time:
To set the time turn the minute hand clockwise to 12 and count the number of strikes.  It should strike the number the hour hand indicates.  (Do not move the hour hand, it will turn on its own as you advance the minute hand.)  You will need to set the clock observing AM and PM.  When the hour hand reaches 12 Midnight the calendar will advance.   If it does not advance then it is 12 Noon.  Continue setting the minute hand clockwise until you reach the current time.  Be sure to let the clock finish striking each hour before continuing.

Synchronizing the strike:
If the hour hand does not agree with the strike then use the strike correction wire to adjust.  The wire hangs just to the left of the pendulum.  Each time you lift the strike correction wire it will trip the strike.   Trip the strike, count the number of strikes and repeat until the strike count is what the hour hand indicates.

Setting the date:
This Ithaca Calendar Clock has a detent release lever that can be activated by pulling a small wire on the top of the clock just left of center.
While lifting the release lever wire, turn the calendar date hand clockwise.  Do not turn this hand without lifting the release lever and do not turn counter clockwise.  The hand should turn easily, never force it to turn.
Each time the calendar hand is advanced past 31 the month cylinder will advance one month.

Setting the day:
While lifting the detent release wire, reach through the pendulum window and move the day cylinder forward to the day of the week.

Determine leap year position:
If the clock has been stopped for an unknown period of time it will be necessary to determine the leap year setting for February 29th to appear properly.  If you have access to the back of the clock mechanism you can use this method as an alternate to the label instruction.  With the back removed you will notice a snail shaped cam in the center of the clock mechanism.  By turning the minute hand clockwise, set the clock to 12 Midnight (this may take up to 24 turns). The calendar actuating lever riding the snail cam should fall when the hour hand reaches 12 Midnight.  If not then set the clock hands to 12 o’clock and then manually turn the cam until the lever has just fallen (the cam can be turned independent of the gear it is attached to by a friction clutch).
Now you can lift the chime actuating lever with a finger and let it drop.  Each time you do this the calendar will advance one day.

Lift the detent release wire and set the calendar hand forward until you reach February 27th.  Now lift the chime actuating lever with a finger and let it drop.  The calendar should now read February 28th.  Lift the chime actuating lever once more and let it drop.  If the calendar now reads February 29th you have found leap year.  If not repeat from the beginning of this paragraph until it does (it can take up to 3 repeats).
 Now the calendar is set to the last leap day, say February 29, 2012 for example.  You will now need to set the calendar forward to the current year. Say today is April 21, 2014 for example, you will need to lift the detent release wire and set the calendar hand forward 12 turns (one year), February 28, 2013 and then another year to February 28, 2014.  Then continue forward to April 21st (or current date).  Set the correct day of the week and then set the time.  If it is after noon you will need to set past 12 Noon.

Text from an Ithaca calendar clock company label:
Preserve This
TO SET IN MOTION-- Remove the pendulum ball and key from their fastening at the bottom or top as the case may be.  The time now stands at 5 minutes before 11PM. Turn the minute hand forward till the right hour is reached REMEMBERING that the Calendar changes at midnight and if the clock is to be set in the afternoon the time must be worked forward THROUGH 12 HOURS AND THEN TO THE RIGHT HOUR. Be careful NOT to move THE HOUR HAND BY ITSELF as the Calendar would not change at the proper hour.  Set the clock in its position and attach the pendulum ball.  The clock must be perpendicular to secure a prefect a beat.

TO SET THE CALENDAR-- Raise the wire on the top of the Clock and turn the pointer MODERATELY forward (NEVER BACKWARD) until the right month and day of the month appear.  Still holding up the wire, turn the day of the week upward till right.  This process can be employed at any time to correct the calendar if wrong.  Every clock, before leaving the works, is tested thoroughly, both as to the clock time and calendar, and the Calendar being set on the right year when the clock is packed, will give the Leap Year and other Februarys correctly unless interfered with, or worked ahead of time.  But if this should occur, it can readily be set right as follows: Raise the wire as above, turn the pointer forward  until a February is shown, and then place the pointer on the Figure 29 drop the wire and if the pointer cannot be moved you have a leap year February.  Calling this 1892 of the last Leap Year, work forward as before to the right year and month.  If the pointer is not held fast on the figure 29, continue the process until it is.

CAUTION-- Use NO OIL ON THE CALENDAR.  It is not needed and will work only injury when used by attraction dust and clogging the machine.

TO REGULATE THE TIME--  Raise or lower the pendulum ball by means of the nut below it.

• If the clock does not strike correctly raise the small wire at the left, under the seat on which rests the time movement, and repeat till it strikes correctly.  But this cannot be done within 15 minutes of the striking hour. This clock strikes the half hours..  

Calendar actuating lever and snail cam