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Object Record

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Object Name Clock, Shelf
Catalog Number 2000.21.146
Collection Timepiece
Other Name Salem Bridge
Date 1822-1822
Description A double decker, mahagony veneered, pillar shelf clock with a flat top and original reverse painted glass lower door. Turned mahagony columns. Painted iron dial with seconds bit below the XII, signed H. Clark, Plymouth. Dial painted by Samuel Curtis, Boston. Eight-day brass movement, rack and snail strike. Cut-out front plate, solid back plate, attached to the backboard of the case. Weights suspended from pulleys mounted on the top outside of the case.

Though first developed by Herman Clark (c.1783-1838) at Plymouth Hollow (now Thomaston), most of the clocks with this type of cast brass 8-day rack striking movement were produced in the village of Salem Bridge (now Naugatuck) by various firms, and have become known as Salem Bridge clocks. Herman Clark was apprenticed to Eli Terry around 1797. Terry was at that time making both brass and wooden tall clocks. About 1804 Terry and Clark formed a partnership and produced wooden tall case clocks. About 1817, Clark built a shop for the manufacture of a rack-striking, brass movement shelf clock, which incorporated several features of Eli Terry's June 12, 1816 patent for improvements in brass and wooden shelf clocks: the verge or pallets located on the outside of the front plate and removable without disassembling the movement; the weight cords running up over pulleys at the top of the case allowing the weights to run down alongside the movement the full length of the case. The painted iron dial of this clock is by Samuel Curtis of Boston.
Maker Heman Clark
Material Wood, brass, iron, glass
Place of Origin Plymouth, Connecticut, USA
Notes From the Collection of J. Bryson and Mary Louise Moore, FNAWCC #8127

Updated by Cara M. Lower 8/12/14