New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC


Holiday Inn at Boxborough Woods Massachusetts


by Brian Wilcox

The featured speaker was Richard Philbrick and a workshop "Lithographs Transfers and Decals" was presented by Astrid Donnellen .

347 Members and their guests registered for the day's events. The program included two speakers and lunch. The mart opened at 8.30 A..M. with 95 tables.

Chapter President,Bob Merrill opened the meeting with some sad news . He announced the passing of John L. Richardson ,from Cape Cod Chapter.Chapter Eight Member's thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of John.L.Richardson.

The President presented Awards Of Merit and Achievement to several Chapter Members. Mr. & Mrs Joseph Delaney were recognized for dedicated work in the organization and the implementation of Chapter Eight Marts. Joe is the Mart Chairman, and second Vice President of the Chapter. His wife Ethel provides the balance to ensure smooth running of the Chapter Mart.

The Chapter Treasurer, Bob Frishman, was also recognized . Bob has reorganized the Chapter Membership from card to computer, reorganized meeting
registration, and introduced several cost- cutting improvements.

An Artisan certificate of Merit was presented to Astrid Donellen for her services to Chapter Eight. She has presented several workshops: including a workshop seminar at Williard House.

The morning workshop "Lithographs Transfers and Decals" was presented by Astrid Donnellen. Her talk covered latter forms of clock decoration, lithographs, transfers and decals. The workshop was well attended with many questions from participants.

Astrid has been studying and teaching decorative arts since 1966.She is a Master Craftsman and Certified Teacher for the Historical Society of Early American Decoration.. She has specialized in the art of restoring and reproducing painted clock dials in the early English tradition. She is a member NAWCC, and Chapter Eight, and works in Boston.

Dr.Nancy Connelly the Executive Director at The American Watch and Clock Museum, talked about the exhibit on display in the mart room and provided an update of the activities at Museum in Bristol. She also introduced the Museum intern, Shellene U. Willard.who is the recipient of Chapter Eight Intern grant.

Our beloved "Mr. Waltham", Pat Caruso, discussses the NAWCC exhibit with Dr. Nancy Connelly

The featured Speaker was Richard W.Philbrick, His presentation was about Simon Willard`s Astronomical Timepiece with its complex calendar features.This rare clock,there are only two surviving,is part to Dedham Historical Society collection, and was recently part of the special exhibit at The Willard House.The features of the clock include a perpetual calendar mechanism, with tables for longitude and latitude; rising and setting of the sun and the moon . The presentation was confined to the engravings on the timepiece and was very specific and precise..It was also very provocative.

Richard challenges the belief that Paul Revere engraved the Willard clock and identifies the engravings that Paul Revere charged Simon Willard for in 1781-82. His research indentifies the clock that Simon Willard advertised in 1783-84.and the paper uncovers gross errors in Simon Willard perpetual calendar that in todays marketplace would have resulted in a recall !!

The Afternoon presentation was a change in format from the usual workshop and was well attended, it attracted some faces not normally seen at the Afternoon workshop.He has been a serious collector and reseacher of early American clocks and a member of NAWCC since 1960. Richard started his research on the Dedham clock at the urgings of his friend Charles Parsons of New Hampshire.He still collects a little and will work on an occasional clock but he likes research best of all.currently when time permits he is studying the day book of John Doggett 1802 -1810.

Richard Philbrick and Dr. Robinson at luncheon table

On Wednesday October 22nd Mr.David Morgan the NAWCC President ; Chapter Eight President Bob Merrill, and members attended Willard House to view the special exhibition of 20 early clocks ,featuring a rare collection of 30-hour clocks. It was indeed a unique experience, Dr.Robinson and Herschel Burt guided us through the display, Herscel discussed each clock in detail, together with several qualified horologists from Chapter Eight made the event a grand experience..We add a snip from Tom Bartels recent "on the road "email letter to the NAWCC Members Forum:- " The museum's first special exhibition opened on October 11, and will run through November 9. "Early Willard Clockmaking: 1766-1800" features 14 thirty hour "primitive" clocks made by Simon and Aaron Willard in both Grafton and Roxbury.

Herschel Burt is to be commended for the untold hours spent gathering, photographing and examining the clocks. The display is breathtaking, and the many museums and individuals who loaned these special pieces are to be congratulated for this once in a lifetime exhibit. . A 38 minute video tour of the WHM has been under production for over a year, and is now available at NAWCC and the WHM. Thanks to Trustee Joe Brown and Chapter #8 for their efforts and financial support of this project. Chapter #8 has also sponsored two Robinson Lectures this year, both of which were well attended by NAWCC members and local residents. Next year's special exhibit will be Simon Willard lighthouse clocks. "

Michael Friedman was recently appointed as assistant Curator at The Willard House. Michael had been recently working at Willard House as part ot the Chapter Eight intern program, and has proved an a tremendous asset to the museum--Congratulations Michael and good luck.

New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC


PLACE: The Holiday Inn, Boxborough Woods, Massachusetts.The Hotel is located on the east side of Route 1-495 at exit 28.Those desiring overnight lodging should contact the hotel directly at 508-263-8701.

7:30 AM Registration name tags available for those members who preregistered. Registration table open for "walk-ins".
8:00 AM Mart area open for setup by table holders.
8:30 AM Mart opens.
9:30 AM Workshop - "Lithograph Transfers and Decals "
Astrid Donnellen will talk about latter forms of clock glass decoration -lithograph transfers and decals. Past presentations have been primarily concentrated on reverse glass decoration used on the earlier clocks. This will cover latter forms of decoration.
11:30 AM Mart room closes for luncheon break.
11:45 AM Richard Philbrick is the luncheon speaker
"The Willard Astronomical Timepiece "
Dick's presentation will be a brief overview/summary of the Simon Willard 30 hour astronomical timepiece. This rare time piece is owned by the Dedham Historical Society and is one of two known to survive. This talk is actually an introduction to our afternoon workshop, which will cover the subject in detail.
12:00 PM Luncheon
1:15 PM -- Workshop /Seminar -
"The Willard 30 Hour Astronomical Timepiece "
Dick will now give a detailed presentation of this unique piece. Features include a perpetual calendar mechanism, tables for sun and moon rising and setting, tides and longitude and latitude. The presentation will be centered on the engravings of this timepiece, including recent research as to who may have done this work.
1:15 PM Mart room reopens until 3 PM.

We have had a wonderful year celebrating the Willard legacy. Your comments were universally good. It was a challenge to select so many unique and special people and programs. Many of these people went above and beyond. Did you know Steve Petrucelli arrived from China for his presentation?

Don't miss the National Seminar at Bristol October 23-25.

Our featured speaker today is Richard Philbrick. He has been a serious collector and researcher of early American clocks for many years, a Member of NAWCC since 1960. He retired from the Air Force in 1959 as a Full Colonel. He continued in his specialty as an aerial photographer with ITEC, retiring as Vice President Of Research.Dick then ran a book store in Orleans. He is currently Selectman in Orleans.>

Our morning workshop presenter is Astrid Donnellen, Astrid has been studying and teaching decorative art since 1996. She is a Master Artisan and Certified Teacher for The Historical Society of Early American Decoration and Society of Gilding. She has specialized in the art of restoring and reproducing painted clock dials in the early English Tradition, as well as ornamentation and reverse painting on glass.The presentation today will cover techniques used in the mass produced clocks during the second half of the nineteenth century.

The luncheon presentation is going to be very brief - this is in response to many inputs I have received from the last several meetings. The detailed presentation will be given during our afternoon workshop/seminar period. This presentation should be a treat as it will not only cover some very high tech mechanical features for its day, but also will go into detail on the engravings.

My telephone number is 781-828-1626

The Membership Committees recruitment drive is under way.The October Workshop Newsletter is being sent to all NAWCC Members in the New England States and Chapter Members in other surrounding States.The Council believes that the activities of The Chapter are extremely worthy and excellent value, we feel we would like to share our events with our fellow Members of NAWCC who reside nearby, Please take a moment and review next years program . We also appeal to all Members to share their knowledge with us in the form of a workshop or presentation about their Horological experiences .Please call me or the Program Chairman at 781-828-1626 .

At this meeting we are reviving the DOOR PRIZE, tickets will be issued at registration, the drawing will take place "midmorning"--TWO prizes will be offered in the form of vouchers value $50. redeemable at the mart .

Chapter meetings in 1998:

January 31,1998----Sturbridge
April 04,1997---------Boxborough Woods
May----------------------Willard House Workshop(no date)
June 06,1998---------Boxborough Woods
August 08,1998------Boxborough Woods
September--1998----Annual Symposium(no date established)
October 10 1998----Boxborough Woods

Next years programs- "The Mass Produced Clock and Watch "
The Program Committee Chairman Larry Chelmow and the Program committee are working hard on the program for the coming year. Next year`s theme will allow much latitude in subject matter. With five meetings scheduled, They will attempt a breakdown of three meetings that will feature clocks and two meetings that will feature watches. There will also be an attempt to mix workshops so that there will be something for everyone.


18th, NAWCC SEMINAR "TIME AND TIME AGAIN" October 23-25 1997, Bristol, Connecticut



Special Exhibition of 30 Hour Clocks at Willard House

In keeping with Chapter 8's theme for 1997, The Willard Legacy, Willard House is sponsoring a special exhibition of 15 early Grafton and Roxbury 30 hour clocks made by Simon and Aaron Willard. The Exhibition opens October 11, following Richard Philbrick's presentation on Simon Willard's Astronomical Timekeeper at the Chapter 8 meeting in Boxborough, and run-through November 9, 1997. This is the first time in its 26 year history that the museum has sponsored a temporary exhibition of clocks, so your support is crucial for its access, as well as an indication of support for future special exhibits. Make plans now to visit the museum to see this exhibition Tuesday - Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday 1-5. All Chapter 8 (and NAWCC members) are admitted free, and autumn is an excellent time to visit.Plan on spending the day in the Blackstone River Valley: seeing the fall foliage; picking apples at a nearby orchard or farm stand; touring nearby historic sites, including the Blackstone Canal; and visiting the best house museum in Central Massachusetts! Encourage your family (they enter free too!) Groups of 6 or larger are welcome by appointment. For more information, please call the museum at 508-839-3500.

Volunteers Needed at Willard House!

Several volunteers will be needed to assist with tours of the museum's special exhibition from October 11-November 9, 1997. Chapter 8 members are encouraged to show a strong presence at the museum during this time. Each member will act as an ambassador of the Chapter, as well as the National organization, to the many visitors who will travel to Grafton to see this once-in-a-lifetime display of early Grafton and Roxbury 30 hour clocks made by Simon and Aaron Willard.

Because of the importance of the clocks in the collection, additional manpower is needed to monitor the clocks during the four weeks they will be on display.
Rest assured, you will NOT be required to give tours of the entire museum!

Docents will be located in the Simon Willard Gallery to monitor visitors and answer questions. Shifts can be as short as 2 hours or as long as 6 hours, depending on your schedule and interest. Please contact John Stephens at the museum (508-839-3500) or at the October 11 Chapter meeting to pick a shift that best fits your schedule.

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