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Massachusetts Clockmakers

A look at other Massachusetts clockmakers besides the Willard family.

The Mullikens

Newburyport, Mass., had a number of clockmakers who did excellent work. Samuel Mulliken was one of the best. He was born in Bradford, Mass., in 1720, came to Newbury in 1750. He built a house and shop and repaired as well as made clocks till his death in 1756. Jonathan, son of Samuel Mulliken, advertises as follows in the Essex Journal and Merrimac Packet, for May 25, 1774:

Jonathan Mulliken Informs his customers and others that he still continues to carry on the clock and watch making business in all its branches at his shop near the Town House in Newburyport, where may be had the best of chimes or musical clocks playing seven different Tunes upon twelve bells. Eight day or common one day clocks equal to any imported from Great Britain.

Samuel Mulliken, Jr., son of John Mulliken, was born in 1761. He served an apprenticeship to Jonathan, his uncle, and afterward married his widow. He was known in Newburyport till 1789-90, and he is probably the Samuel Mulliken who came to Salem, Mass., at about that time, and advertises that he will barter clocks for "English and West India Goods and country produce".

The Balch Family

Daniel Balch, born in Bradford, Mass., in 1734, moved to Newbury, Mass., in 1757, and made and repaired clocks for thirty years. That some of his clocks are still owned in Newburyport and in going order, testifies to their excellence. He was one of those merchants who undertook more than one business, since one was hardly enough to take care of the large families of those days. His advertisement in the Essex Journal and Merriinac Packet, for January 5, 1774, reads as follows:

Early garden pease, beans, and seeds of all sorts: red and white Dutch clover and hemp-seed. Dried herbs, viz; sage, balm, marjoram, thyme. summer and winter savoury etc. and all sorts of seeds suitable for the West Indies, to be sold at the Sign of the Clock, Newbury Port.
At the same place may be had the best Eight Day Clocks and Watches, four-timed Chime Clocks and c, made, mended and repaired by Daniel Balch.

Two makers of chime clocks for a town so small as Newburyport, seems to indicate that the rich sea-captains and merchants who lived there wanted the best.

Daniel 2nd, born 1761, and Thomas H., born 1771, were sons of Daniel senior, and well-known makers of clocks, Thomas continuing in the business till 1818.

Charles H. Balch, born 1787, a member of the same family, was a clock and watch maker of Newburyport, and his shop was on Merrimac Street, like those of his contemporaries. He was appointed superintendent of town clocks in 1817.

David Wood, born 1766, was also a clockmaker of Newburyport, and had a shop in 1792. He made those clocks of the "Massachusetts pattern" David Wood was in business many years, for as late as 1824 he advertises, "new and second hand clocks for sale".

Paine Wingate made and repaired clocks in 1803 in his shop in Merrimac Street, Newburyport, Mass.

Nathaniel Forster opened a shop in the same town, on State Street, in 1818, from which he advertises that he carries on the "clock and watch-making business in all its branches"

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