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11 Willard Street
North Grafton MA 01536


The Willard House & Clock Museum is a historic place with festive roots, right in the heart of Massachusetts. Come visit us for a guided tour of our museum.


Simon Willard and His Clocks by John Ware Willard


Simon Willard and His Clocks by John Ware Willard


78 Illustrations with 4 in color

From the back cover:

Simon Willard (1753-1848) was the inventor of an improved clock works which he called the "Willard Patent Timepiece," but which is known to antique dealers and collectors and clock fanciers as the "banjo clock." This low-cost reprint of John Willard's study covers in detail Simon Willard's long career and the clocks that have long been regarded as masterpieces of American craftsmanship. 

The major portion of the book is on Simon Willard himself. There is a full biography, with many anecdotes about his childhood, his friendship with Thomas Jefferson, his apprentices, etc. Chapters Two and Three, devoted to specific Willard clocks and to correcting many errors about the craftsman, identify the woods he commonly used, describe how he signed his clocks, and how the glass fronts and dials were decorated, explain the mechanism of the Patented Timepiece, and contain information on finishes, prices, top ornaments, the characteristics of imitators, and dozens of authenticating details. These notes cover not only the Timepiece, but hall and shelf clocks, Regulator clocks, and such special Willard creations as the clocks in the Supreme Court building at the University of Virginia, and in the magnificent Franzoni case in the Statuary Hall of the Capitol Building. A check list contains 25 positively identified WIllard clocks. 

The rest of the book is devoted to the accomplishments of Simon WIllard's associates and family: his sons Simon, Jr. and Benjamin Franklin; his grandson Zabdiel; his elder brother Benjamin; his younger brothers Aaron and Ephraim; his nephews Aaron, Jr. and Henry; his apprentices; Charles Bullard, apprentice to the man who painted Willard's glass fronts and dials; cabinet makers; and members of a related clock-making family, the Willards of Ashby, Massachusetts.

The illustrations are a major asset of the book. Thirty-eight full-page plates show 33 clocks, facsimiles of letters, bills, newspaper items, WIllard homes and factories, etc. Four clocks are shown in color inside the covers of this book. Other figures show tools, patent drawings, and portraits of family craftsmen. 

Unabridged republication of the original (1911) edition. Formerly titled "A HIstory of Simon Willard, Inventor and Clockmaker." Author's preface. 38 full-page plates. 15 additional figures. x+133pp. of text. 6 5/8 x 9 3/8. Paperbound. 

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