06-19-2015, 09:56 AM #1
Goddard Pocket Watch - New Museum Acquisition
LUTHER GODDARD POCKET WATCH ACQUIRED BY NATIONAL WATCH AND CLOCK MUSEUM
COLUMBIA, PA: The National Watch and Clock Museum recently acquired a rare and important pocket watch by early American watchmaker Luther Goddard. This early example of American craftsmanship is in excellent condition, and its workmanship is achieved by only a few. The Museum is honored to add this outstanding pocket watch to its collection.
"This is why we exist: to ensure that objects like this very important, early American technological achievement are available to be enjoyed by the public and not stored away in a private collection." says Museum Director Noel Poirier. "Watchmaking was one of America's first industries, and this watch represents one of only a handful of these incredibly early examples to survive."
Luther Goddard was one of America's earliest watchmakers. He began his career in 1778 at the age of 16 when he apprenticed under his cousin, Simon Willard. He later settled his own homestead where he farmed during the summer months and fixed clocks in the winter.
By 1790 he built a full workshop and small foundry. However, by 1807 Congress, under the leadership of President Thomas Jefferson, enacted the Embargo Act of 1807 to economically coerce England and France to respect American trade during the Napoleonic Wars by banning all exportation to the two countries.
Luther Goddard saw this situation as an opportunity and converted his clock shop into a watch factory. This is considered the first major push for the watch trade in America, and Goddard is the first American watchmaker to create serialized timepieces. In total, Goddard created only about 600 watches before he died in May 1842.
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