American Banjo Clock – The America’s First Wall Clock

The American Banjo clock is the first wall clock in America. The advent of pendulum clocks and the early development of contemporary clocks in Europe concurred with the British migration of North America.

Further, the British settlement was home to several noted natural philosophers like Benjamin Franklin who took a dedicated interest in the recent scientific developments and also a wealth of craftsmen which sought to cash in on the new developments, including wall clocks.

Even if the craftsmen in Massachusetts started to build wall clocks in the 18th century, most of their makings were clones of the European styles until 1802, at what time one of those craftsmen patented the American Banjo clock.

It was the first truly American clock which launched a style in American clock improvement which continues to these days. The 19th century American Banjo clocks have quite significant value as the items of the collector in the present day, but economical replicas are available as well.

At the time of its beginning, the American Banjo clock was acknowledged to be the Improved Timepiece, with the references of Banjo being added later as a result of the similarity between the musical instrument and the clock.

The basic shape is geometrical in nature and a circle at the top of this clock has the clock face, below that there is a trapezoid that can serve as the throat of the clock. At the bottom of this throat, there is a lower box that the shape is rectangular. Many American Banjo clocks lacked any shape of chiming or striking mechanism, so just indicated the time by the face that was atypical for the age.

Most of original American Banjo clocks were made mostly of mahogany wood which was imported to New England from West Indies and used local chestnut and pine for the secondary woods.

The mechanism of the clock itself was mostly made out of steel, brass, and metal in particular. Most of the outer surface of this clock was surrounded by glass. Furthermore, one of the key attributes of the American Banjo clock was the use of decorative glass plates that gave the clock a unique look.

These glass tablets and plates had more in common with the making of engravers than painters and involved some different types of geometric design including the complete line work and semicircles. In addition, the price range differs dependent on when the clock was made, who manufactured it, and its current condition.

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