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Fox Run Resident Harry Burt is Restoring a Rare 129-Year-Old Grandfather Clock

November 16, 2012

NOVI, MI (November 16, 2012) -- Fox Run retirement community resident Harry Burt is now restoring a historical 129 year-old American grandfather clock that is just one of two such clocks in existence built by Walter H. Durfee in Rhode Island.
The restoration work has been taking place in the Fox Run Hobby Shop for the past three months.  Burt hopes to have the mahogany grandfather clock in working order by the end of November - just in time for the upcoming holiday season. The grandfather clock will then be displayed in a prominent place on the Fox Run campus in Novi, MI.
Burt is restoring the grandfather clock to its original condition and making it fully functional again, with its pendulum gong once more sounding the hour. Thus far, all of the mahogany wood has been carefully hand rubbed to its original condition and metal parts cleaned of a century of grime.
The grandfather clock is more than 8 feet tall and 22 inches wide at base. It has a 16 inch waist and is 12 inches deep. It is a two-weighted standard American grandfather clock. Walter H. Durfee reintroduced grandfather clock to the American people in 1882 after the grandfather clock industry had gone dormant by 1820.
He made the "Rolls Royce" of the American grandfather clock for a period of 20 years, according to Burt.
Burt purchased the grandfather clock this past September from its previous  owner in California. He learned about the grandfather clock from his membership in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.
Burt and his wife Jo have collected an assortment of clocks since the 1960s, with a fondness for clocks built by E.N. Welch Manufacturing Company in Connecticut (circa 1860-1895).
Burt and his wife moved to Fox Run in August 2011 from their former home in Rochester, MI. He worked as an automotive parts supplier to the Big Three automakers in Detroit. He has done extensive research on Walter H. Durfee and has published articles about the clock maker.