Tom Spittler has had a longtime interest in both American and British grandfather clocks. He is fortunate to have lived in England twice, thus gaining firsthand knowledge of both the clocks and the places where they were made. He is a Star Fellow of the NAWCC and the seventh recipient of the NAWCC James W. Gibbs Award for Literary Achievement. Tom writes a monthly column in the British magazine Clocks and has written numerous articles for the NAWCC Bulletin as well as every major horological publication written in English. Tom, his late wife Sonya, and Chris Bailey wrote the major reference American Clockmakers and Watchmakers.
In the early 19th century, wood tall clock movements and cases for those movements were produced in southwestern Ohio. The primary maker of the movements was Luman Watson and other makers such as Read & Watson, A. Read & Co., and Orlistus Roberts will be discussed. Also, the cabinetmakers that made the cases for those clocks will be covered in detail.
Joseph Katra’s horological interests began in the late 1960s, and he became a member of the NAWCC in 1972. He has been involved in both New England Chapter 8 and Maine Chapter 89, as a NAWCC National Director (1987-1991), National Treasurer (1991-1995), became a Fellow of the NAWCC in 1989, and a Star Fellow in 1991. Joe has been a trustee of the Willard House and Museum since 1979. He acquired an interest in Maine clocks while living in Maine and has published two books NAWCC Supplement #17 on Clockmaking, and Clockmakers in Southern Maine and Clockmakers and Clockmaking in Maine (1770-1900) published in 2008.
The slide presentation will cover the manufacture of handcrafted clocks and timepieces in Maine during the period of 1770-1900. The historical and biographical documentation of these makers will be supplemented by photographic examples of their craft, the result of nearly thirty years of research on a subject not extensively discussed in early American horology.
Philip E. Morris, Jr. started collecting clocks while he was an undergraduate student. Later his interests turned to the clocks of Joseph Ives and wooden movement clocks leading to a serious study of wooden movement tall clocks about eight years ago. With the encouragement of Ward Francillon, Philip began writing a book in late 2003 documenting his study of wooden movement tall clocks. To date his research has identified more than 650 men and women who were actively involved in the wooden movement tall clock trade. When completed, it is Philip’s goal to provide a useful reference book that will aid the reader in identifying clocks by a comparison with photographs and to provide relevant background information on the clockmakers, their firms and the host of others involved with their manufacture and distribution.
Ward Francillon was considered by most collectors to be the world’s foremost authority on the identification of wooden movement clocks. Over a lifetime Ward accumulated the largest study collection devoted to wooden movements. The collection included clocks, movements, data sheets and thousands of photographs. Joe was given access to Ward’s study collection and related research materials, and visited them frequently to gather additional information for his book. During Joe’s last visit, he had an opportunity to photograph Ward’s clocks. In this presentation Joe will give an overview of the collection and provide some commentary on each of the clocks.
Robert C. Cheney has lectured at decorative arts and clock collecting conferences throughout the
. He is a third generation clockmaker, consultant to over thirty museums including Old Sturbridge Village, a past board member of The National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut. As Scholar in Residence at the Concord Museum, he published Roxbury Movements and the English Connection, 1785-1825 in the Magazine Antiques, April 2000. His other writings include numerous articles, book reviews and Clock Making in
, 1725-1825 with Philip Zea. Robert is presently the resident clock specialist with Skinner Auctioneers in Boston.
Working as America’s first entrepreneurs, the Willard clockmakers utilized a finely-divided Lancashire (England) and local journeyman network. The Willards perfected a “factory” system of manufacture under many roofs and on two different continents. This presentation will offer a re-interpretation of the shop structure and the trade of making painted dial tall clocks during the heart of the Federal period (1790-1825) in Boston. Robert will detail the transatlantic trade of horological materials, local and international journeyman networks and complex business and personal relationships among craftsmen of this period. This story is the earliest recorded large-scale production of domestic timekeepers in America.
33 Marrett Road
(intersection of Route 2A and
Free parking. For driving directions, go to www.nationalheritagemuseum.org
Cost: $70 each (lunch included)