MAS-D100173: MAS-D100173; Kent; Clock parts; Image 1 of 3

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Unique ID: MAS-D100173

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

This record refers to the clock parts recovered as part of a group of finds. The finder described the items as 6 clock parts, the square glass from the clock face and the copper clock face from a grandfather clock, which suggests these finds represent parts of two separate clocks.

Three of the clock parts, manufactured in a copper alloy, are circular and bear teeth around their circumference indicating they are part of the clockwork mechanism. Two other parts, also in copper alloy, are circular but without evidence of teeth. One has three screw holes arranged around a central circular aperture and a ridge running around its circumference. The verdigris corrosion on this item only affects one half of the object, suggesting that it has been partially protected whilst on the seabed. The remaining item is considerably more corroded, though it still appears to be made from a copper alloy. It comprises a hollow circle with a band dividing the central aperture in equal halves, opposite the end of this band are two circular fixing points with screw holes attached to the outside central circular element. The central band has a square hole in its centre, which is unlikely to be much more than 5 mm across. There is an additional element that obscures the upper half of the central circular element which cannot be accurately described from the object.

The sixth clock part described by the finder is a flat copper alloy plate with a minimum of 18 holes drilled into it in addition to two square, one rectangular and one open rectangular aperture/s. At the top of the item is what appears to be a latch or clip. This object appears to be part of the mounting for the mechanism, and several of the drilled holes bear the shadows of where bolts and screws would have been attached. Most notably though is the inscription S Thomas, Thomaston C, US which can be observed. This refers to the manufacturer of the time piece, the Seth Thomas Clock Company, details of which are described in the next section.

A square piece of glass is described by the finder as being the clock face associated with the clock parts described above. Consultation online with examples of clocks manufactured by S Thomas support this use for the glass, as some of their models do have square faces.

The final object relating to clocks is a large oval ring of copper alloy which is described by the finder as the clock face from a grandfather clock. Its size, in comparison to the glass face, would certainly suggest it is from a different larger time piece. To the bottom right of the photograph it is possible to observe a hinge on the outside of the ring, whilst diametrically opposite a possible catch can be seen. These features suggest an opening element, presumably holding an oval glass clock face, may have attached to the recovered item. No other diagnostic features are immediately apparent from the photo provided.


All of these items were recovered from the wreck of SS Pomerania, a German ocean liner steamer built in 1873 by J. Caird & Co., in Greenock. This vessel was one of many owned by the Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG); a transatlantic shipping enterprise established in Hamburg in 1847 that transported hundreds of thousands of emigrants from Germany, Scandinavia, and eastern Europe to the United States, Canada, Latin America, and other destinations around the world. The ship sank in 1878, 5 miles SE of Folkestone whilst carrying 109 passengers and 111 crew en route from New York to Cherbourg and Hamburg, last from Plymouth, following a collision with Welsh barque Moel Eilian and resulting in the loss of 55 lives. NRHE and Kent HER reference numbers cited in this record refer to the wreck of SS Pomerania.

Seth Thomas Clock Company - One of the clock pieces identified from this find bears the inscription S Thomas, Thomaston C, US. Seth Thomas (1785-1859) was a clock maker from Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, USA. He began making clocks at his site in 1814 and established the company in 1853, which was passed to his sons and continued as a family business into the 20th century. In 1931 the company became a subsidiary of the General Time Instruments Corporation and eventually passed from family control, General Time announced its closure in 2001. Shortly after the death of the company's founder in 1865, the town of Plymouth Hollow was renamed Thomaston in his honour. This then firmly dates the manufacture of this clock to between 1865 and 1878 when the Pomerania sank. ( accessed January 2020).

These items were found with a spoon/fork handle (MAS-D100174), a decorative lead object (MAS-D100146) and crockery fragments ( MAS-D100138).

Sub class: An instrument used to measure the passing of time.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: With finder

Wreck details

Droit number: 320/17


Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Date from: Exactly AD 1865
Date to: Exactly AD 1878

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 26th March 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: P T

Other reference numbers

NRHE monument number: 883110
Other reference: Kent HER Number: TR 33 SW 26
Droit ID: 320/17

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TR2329
Four figure Latitude: 51.01711498
Four figure longitude: 1.17805502
1:25K map: TR2329
1:10K map: TR22NW
Display four figure position on What3Words
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Diving
Current location: With finder

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: MAS
Created: Wednesday 2nd May 2018
Updated: Thursday 9th April 2020

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