A few longcase clocks were made in America in the 18th and early 19th century. These were similar to provincial English longcase clocks, or had wooden movements similar to Black Forest clocks.
Early in the 19th century, the “wag on the wall” became popular. This was a weight-driven wooden clock with a pendulum swinging in front of the dial.
The first American shelf clocks were made by Simon and Aaron Willard. These were about four foot high with a wide base section like a chest-on-chest. In 1802, Simon Willard also invented the banjo clock. This had a circular dial above a tapered trunk and a box-shaped base. Other makers produced variations of this design, such as the lyre clock, which had curved sides, and the grandole clock, which had a circular base.
Ely Terry, was the first to produce cheap clocks in quantity. In 1806, he undertook the production of a single order of 4,000 clocks. In doing so, he not only devised a factory for making them but also methods of distribution and retailing. Ely Terry’s first clocks had wooden mechanisms. Until 1845, American clocks, even shelf clocks, were driven by weights because America at the time lacked the technology to produce clock springs.
In 1810, two of Ely Terry’s staff, Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley, bought the business from him. In 1813, Thomas sold his share to Hoadley and founded his own business, the Seth Thomas Clock Company. In 1838, Thomas began making clocks with brass movements rather than the wood movements that had been used by Terry. The Seth Thomas Clock Company was very successful and stayed in family hands until 1932 when it became the General Time Instruments Corporation. The factory closed after a flood in 1955 but reopened under the Seth Thomas name. It remains the longest established American clock-making company.
Antique American clocks available now
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Antique Seth Thomas Miniature Mantel Tambour Style Dark Finish Regulator Clock
on June 19, 2019 at 5:18 am
AU $115.27End Date: Friday Jul-19-2019 15:18:07 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $115.27Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]
ANTIQUE SETH THOMAS RARE "UTICA" CITY SERIES WALNUT PARLOR CLOCK W/ LYRE MVMT.
on June 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm
AU $554.43End Date: Thursday Jul-18-2019 3:00:39 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $554.43Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]
ANTIQUE SETH THOMAS ADAMANTINE WIND UP MANTLE PENDULUM CLOCK WITH KEY USA
on June 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm
AU $145.25End Date: Wednesday Jul-17-2019 23:56:38 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $145.25Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]
Antique Seth Thomas #5 "Boudoir" Gothic Dresser Clock Mechanical 4 Jewels
on June 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm
AU $87.55End Date: Wednesday Jul-17-2019 2:58:21 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $87.55Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]
1920’s Antique Seth Thomas Mantel Shelf Clock Working Adamantine
on June 15, 2019 at 10:07 am
AU $153.21End Date: Monday Jul-15-2019 20:07:38 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $153.21Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]