Edward East

Edward East, one the most noted of English makers, was at work by 1620, and became watchmaker to Charles I.Henry Jones was at the height of his fame about 1673, and Samuel Betts about 1640. Thomas Tompion, known as the “Father of English watchmaking” had by 1658 attained much renown. He was succeeded by Daniel Quare, who had a shop at St. Martin’s le Grand, London, in 1676.

Petre Clare, A Manchester Clockmaker

Peter Clare, a local clockmaker, made a clock for Manchester Corporation.From 1848, this was the official clock for Manchester, showing the current time as measured at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.At first, astronomy was used to regulate the clock to Greenwich Time. After 1852, the Royal Observatory transmitted the time hourly by telegraph. The clock stood in the Town Hall on King Street where people could use it to set the time on their own watches and clocks. Greenwich Mean Time was not adopted as the national standard time until 1880. The clock was moved to the Manchester Cheshire Art Gallery in 1912.

The Seth Thomas Clock Company

In 1853 Seth Thomas incorporated the Seth Thomas Clock Company “so that the business would outlive him,” according to ClockHistory.com. Thomas died six years later, and the town of Plymouth Hollow was renamed Thomaston in his honor.After Thomas’ death many new styles of clocks were launched by the company he had founded, based on patterns and machinery purchased in 1859 from the creditors of Silas B. Terry, another clockmaker, who had gone bankrupt. Spring-driven clocks were introduced by Seth Thomas in the 1860s; three years later the company also began making perpetual calendar clocks.Subsequent models included walnut kitchen clocks, marble clocks, black wood mantel clocks and chime clocks, the latter introduced in 1909. Electric clocks were developed in the 1920s, and Seth Thomas them introduced in 1928. One of the most famous clocks in the world, the four-faced clock in New York Cheshire’s Grand Central Terminal, was made by Seth Thomas.

Seth Thomas

Seth Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He became an expert carpenter.At 22 years old, he went to work for clockmaker Eli Terry in Northbury, Connecticut. He took to the art of clockmaking and prospered, so much so that in 1810 he bought out Terry’s factory with a partner. Three years later he bought out another clockmaking business in Plymouth Hollow and relocated.He began making clocks under the Seth Thomas name, priding himself on the quality of his work. Seth Thomas clocks soon became known all over the country for their quality and high level of craftsmanship. Initially, Thomas continued to make tall wall clocks with wooden movements and swinging pendulums, but in 1817 he shifted focus to wooden movement shelf clocks housed in pillar and scroll cases. In 1842 brass movements were introduced and by 1845 wooden movements were phased out completely.

Origin of The Grandfather Clock

In 1656 a Dutchman named Christian Huygens was the first person to use a pendulum, as a driving device, in clocks. This was the birth of the Grandfather clock or, to use the correct terminology, Long Case clock.The first Long Case Clocks were produced in Britain, after the London clock maker Ahasuerus Fromenteel sent his son to Holland to learn about the use of a pendulum.For the first 15 years clock makers struggled to develop a pendulum device capable of keep accurate time. By 1670 an anchor escapement had been developed, that when used in conjunction with a pendulum great accuracy could be achieved. This development ensured that history would remember Britain as the dominating producer in the world of clock making. Names such as Joseph Knibb, Thomas Tompian, George Graham, and Daniel Quare all come to mind when discussing the history of Long Case Clocks.The earliest cases were made from oak and were architectural in appearance. Higher quality clocks would be finished with ebony or pearwood.Later cases were made from high quality African mahogany. Today, beautiful examples of what is called “flame mahogany” can also be seen.Early dials were square and made of brass. In 1772 Osborn & Wilson, from Birmingham, introduced the white dial. These early dials had simple decorations, such as birds or strawberries. By 1830 small painted scenes, in the corners and arch, were depicted on dials.

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