history eli terry clock co  - mackey's antique clock repair parkersburg wv


Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair
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Eli Terry was born at East Windsor on April 13 1772 he was the son of Samuel and Hildah Burnham Terry. Eli completed his apprenticeship in brass movement Clock making there  in 1792  nine patents from 1797 to 1845 was issued to him. Eli  terry was the first American that actually produced clocks in volume . he invented and perfected the wood movement shelf clock he was a master of difficult Horological Principles he was a good business man and made and merchandised large numbers of clocks  by 1800 possibly  one or two workman were making several wood movement clocks at a time using waterpower driven saws.

 in 1806 Eli terry contracted with Levi and Edward porter of Waterbury Conn. to make the then unheard of number of 4,000 wood " hang-up " clock movements dials and hands. by 1809 the clock movements were completed and this is important to note that Eli Terry and the  4,000 movements may have been the first of the mass production with interchangeable parts in the united states of America in 1812 Eli Terry Assured himself that he could manufacture and sell the shelf clock so the time had come to set up shop and produce the shelf clock and by 1814 the short or shelf clock was devised, made and introduced by Eli Terry. after 1823 Seth Thomas started to make the 5 wheel gear train movement in the pillar & scroll case and the printed label did not have Eli Terry patented clock . there was a law suit between Eli Terry and Seth Thomas but in April 1829 Eli Terry voluntarily drooped his law suit against Seth Thomas 1816 to 1835 the clock industry main clockmakers were Eli Terry, Samuel { his brother } Seth Thomas, Silas Hoadley, Chauncey Jerome and Ephraim Downs. all of these men originally worked on clocks at Plymouth Connecticut . 

it is interesting to note that Eli Terry was the only apprenticed clockmaker Samuel was a harness maker and the other four were trained as carpenters. 1825 Chauncey Jerome invented the  "bronze" looking glass and was  Labled Jerome & Darrow. in 1830 Joseph Ives returned to Bristol and the 8 day wrought brass strap movement  was introduced and this brought serious competition to the wood movement. Eli Terry designed a 8 day wood movement introduced as Eli Terry & Sons about the same time another feature brought by the firm of Jerome & Darrow was the  "brass bushed " 30 hour wood movement. by 1840 the wood movement was rapidly declining and by 1850 there were very few wood movement made and eventually wrought brass movements took over . Eli Terry died at the age of 80 in February 24 1852 


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