My Tall Clock made by Anthony Ward in 1724

Gyro Gearloose

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May 23, 2022
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Greetings all, new kid on the block here!

I signed up a few days ago because of my interest in 400 day clocks (I enjoy restoring them as a hobby), but I thought for a first post this old tall clock that has been in my family for generations might be of interest to you.

This tall clock by Anthony Ward, made in Philadelphia in 1724, has been in my care for the last 25 years, and has been in my family since about 1880, and is still running strong and keeping near perfect time.

My father inherited the clock from his great great aunt Grace who was born in 1853 in Lancaster Mass., and died there in 1960 at the age of 107 yrs. There was a letter written by Grace which accompanied the clock when my father took possession, an excerpt of which I quote below:

"A few facts about the clock built by Anthony Ward in 1724.
It was found by Dr. Kerlin in a second hand shop in Philadelphia. The case was strong, but the inside works were somewhat battered and useless. Dr. Kerlin took it to Elwyn where it stood for some years. When Mrs. Clapp the Matron was leaving, Dr. Kerlin offered to exchange the clock for an article of much more value to the institution than the clock.
Mrs. Clapp had it put in perfect condition and left it to me in her will."

Grace's comment that "the inside works were somewhat battered and useless" seems to be born out as the movement and clock face are no longer original to each other. For instance there is no gear train in the movement to change the date wheel. The chapter ring bears his name, and the tall case does seem identical to the few examples of Anthony Ward's work, even with the rarely seen "Beehive" sarcophagus top as can be seen by comparison to existing examples of his work, of which according to my research, only 6 remain in existence (my clock would be a 7th).

I have done extensive research on Anthony Ward, and the following excerpt from my research follows. It's a fascinating read, derived mostly from old newspaper articles and court records. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I.

Cheers,
Frank B.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Anthony Ward was one of the earliest clockmakers working in America, yet little is known about him. Born in Lanlivery Rural in 1670 and by 1705 working in Truro, both in the county of Cornwall, England, Ward was admitted on 27 May 1717 as a Freeman in Philadelphia, PA, by the Common Council. But Ward was said to be working in New York City by 1724. He advertised on 18 February 1729 in The New-York Gazette, "Several Bags of good new Hops to be sold very reasonable for Money or Country Produce. Enquire of Anthony Ward, watch-maker in New-York, and know further." Ward took Samuel Craig (1708 - 1746) of Freehold, Monmouth County, as an apprentice. Craig married Ward's daughter Gertrude on 8 November 1736 in Monmouth County.

Both clockmakers were living in Freehold by 1746. The 3 November edition of the New York Weekly Post Boy carried the notice that "Whereas Mary, the wife of Anthony Ward, of Freehold, in Monmouth County, Clock maker, hath lately eloped from her Husband, and strives to ruin him in Debt, besides leading a lewd and dissolute Life; this is therefore to forewarn all Persons from trusting her on her Husband's account, for he will pay no Debts she shall contract from the Date hereof."

Samuel Craig died near Freehold on 17 November 1746. The inventory of his estate taken on 3 February 1747 contained the following, "Carpenters toolls, blacksmith toolls, & a clock" valued at 18 pounds 18 shillings, "All the old Iron, Copper, Brass, Instruments & Materials for Making Clocks & Watches & tools of each trade, with a jack, the 1/2 of which is" 3 pounds 10 shillings, "The 1/2 of an old Brass Kittle, & the half of a Table Clock" appraised at 4 pounds, 12 shillings, 6 pence, and "Debts Due by Sundrie Persons & an old watch" estimated at 64 pounds. Anthony Ward held the other half interest in the tools, equipment, brass kettle and table clock.. The elder clockmaker (Anthony Ward) died on 6 December 1746, also in Freehold and only nineteen days after his apprentice / son in law / and apparent partner. Both individuals were interred in the Old Scots Presbyterian burying ground in what is now Marlboro Township, Monmouth County, as was Catherine van der Hiden, a daughter of Ward who passed away on 10 January 1747. Given this close range of death dates, it appears that some fatal illness had struck in the Ward and Craig families. The Craig House, under construction at the time of these deaths, still stands on the Monmouth Battlefield State Park and is open to the public seasonally."

Besides the pics I'm attaching 2 PDF docs. One is from a Sotheby auction of one of Ward's clocks, and the other shows an example of Ward's work on page 5 (the center photo) with the description of same on page 6.

TALL CLOCK.jpg HOOD.jpg FACE 1.jpg FACE 2.jpg PENDULUM.jpg
 

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new2clocks

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Apr 25, 2005
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Greetings all, new kid on the block here!

I signed up a few days ago because of my interest in 400 day clocks (I enjoy restoring them as a hobby), but I thought for a first post this old tall clock that has been in my family for generations might be of interest to you.

This tall clock by Anthony Ward, made in Philadelphia in 1724, has been in my care for the last 25 years, and has been in my family since about 1880, and is still running strong and keeping near perfect time.

My father inherited the clock from his great great aunt Grace who was born in 1853 in Lancaster Mass., and died there in 1960 at the age of 107 yrs. There was a letter written by Grace which accompanied the clock when my father took possession, an excerpt of which I quote below:

"A few facts about the clock built by Anthony Ward in 1724.
It was found by Dr. Kerlin in a second hand shop in Philadelphia. The case was strong, but the inside works were somewhat battered and useless. Dr. Kerlin took it to Elwyn where it stood for some years. When Mrs. Clapp the Matron was leaving, Dr. Kerlin offered to exchange the clock for an article of much more value to the institution than the clock.
Mrs. Clapp had it put in perfect condition and left it to me in her will."

Grace's comment that "the inside works were somewhat battered and useless" seems to be born out as the movement and clock face are no longer original to each other. For instance there is no gear train in the movement to change the date wheel. The chapter ring bears his name, and the tall case does seem identical to the few examples of Anthony Ward's work, even with the rarely seen "Beehive" sarcophagus top as can be seen by comparison to existing examples of his work, of which according to my research, only 6 remain in existence (my clock would be a 7th).

I have done extensive research on Anthony Ward, and the following excerpt from my research follows. It's a fascinating read, derived mostly from old newspaper articles and court records. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I.

Cheers,
Frank B.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Anthony Ward was one of the earliest clockmakers working in America, yet little is known about him. Born in Lanlivery Rural in 1670 and by 1705 working in Truro, both in the county of Cornwall, England, Ward was admitted on 27 May 1717 as a Freeman in Philadelphia, PA, by the Common Council. But Ward was said to be working in New York City by 1724. He advertised on 18 February 1729 in The New-York Gazette, "Several Bags of good new Hops to be sold very reasonable for Money or Country Produce. Enquire of Anthony Ward, watch-maker in New-York, and know further." Ward took Samuel Craig (1708 - 1746) of Freehold, Monmouth County, as an apprentice. Craig married Ward's daughter Gertrude on 8 November 1736 in Monmouth County.

Both clockmakers were living in Freehold by 1746. The 3 November edition of the New York Weekly Post Boy carried the notice that "Whereas Mary, the wife of Anthony Ward, of Freehold, in Monmouth County, Clock maker, hath lately eloped from her Husband, and strives to ruin him in Debt, besides leading a lewd and dissolute Life; this is therefore to forewarn all Persons from trusting her on her Husband's account, for he will pay no Debts she shall contract from the Date hereof."

Samuel Craig died near Freehold on 17 November 1746. The inventory of his estate taken on 3 February 1747 contained the following, "Carpenters toolls, blacksmith toolls, & a clock" valued at 18 pounds 18 shillings, "All the old Iron, Copper, Brass, Instruments & Materials for Making Clocks & Watches & tools of each trade, with a jack, the 1/2 of which is" 3 pounds 10 shillings, "The 1/2 of an old Brass Kittle, & the half of a Table Clock" appraised at 4 pounds, 12 shillings, 6 pence, and "Debts Due by Sundrie Persons & an old watch" estimated at 64 pounds. Anthony Ward held the other half interest in the tools, equipment, brass kettle and table clock.. The elder clockmaker (Anthony Ward) died on 6 December 1746, also in Freehold and only nineteen days after his apprentice / son in law / and apparent partner. Both individuals were interred in the Old Scots Presbyterian burying ground in what is now Marlboro Township, Monmouth County, as was Catherine van der Hiden, a daughter of Ward who passed away on 10 January 1747. Given this close range of death dates, it appears that some fatal illness had struck in the Ward and Craig families. The Craig House, under construction at the time of these deaths, still stands on the Monmouth Battlefield State Park and is open to the public seasonally."

Besides the pics I'm attaching 2 PDF docs. One is from a Sotheby auction of one of Ward's clocks, and the other shows an example of Ward's work on page 5 (the center photo) with the description of same on page 6.

View attachment 710729 View attachment 710730 View attachment 710731 View attachment 710732 View attachment 710733
Frank,

Welcome to the forum.

Beautiful clock!

Regards.
 

Brunod

Registered User
Jun 8, 2021
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Oh oh! Sorry, I didn't really notice that you were using the same Avatar. Here's the new one. Hopefully no else is using it!
No problem, I really like it and you didn't have to change, even if this one is very nice too ;)
It was funny to see (nearly) the same.
Best horological wishes :)
 

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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It's always exciting to see a survivor such as this one, especially one that has some documentation about its history. That it has been in your family for what, 140 years, and was already about 80 years old when that acquisition occurred is astonishing.

It's a beautiful clock, to be admired and appreciated for generations to come.

P.S. Gyro Gearloose and his little helper with the light bulb for his head have been my heroes since I was a little kid, and some of their more fantastical gadgets probably inspired my desire to become a scientist and engineer.
 

Gyro Gearloose

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May 23, 2022
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Rocky Mt. High
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It's always exciting to see a survivor such as this one, especially one that has some documentation about its history. That it has been in your family for what, 140 years, and was already about 80 years old when that acquisition occurred is astonishing.

It's a beautiful clock, to be admired and appreciated for generations to come.

P.S. Gyro Gearloose and his little helper with the light bulb for his head have been my heroes since I was a little kid, and some of their more fantastical gadgets probably inspired my desire to become a scientist and engineer.
HA HA! When I was a little kid my parents gave me a mail subscription to the Disney comic book series. Gyro was hands down my favorite character, followed by Uncle Scrooge and his 3 cubic acre money vault filled with coins that the Beagle Boys were always scheming to steal. Fun memories!

As to to Anthony Ward's clock, thank for your comments and appreciation.

Cheers,
Frank B.
 

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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HA HA! When I was a little kid my parents gave me a mail subscription to the Disney comic book series. Gyro was hands down my favorite character, followed by Uncle Scrooge and his 3 cubic acre money vault filled with coins that the Beagle Boys were always scheming to steal. Fun memories!

As to to Anthony Ward's clock, thank for your comments and appreciation.

Cheers,
Frank B.
Same here - that subscription to Walt Disney's Comics and Stories helped me learn to read. Who could forget Magica DeSpell and her foof bombs?! And I'm still looking for a copy of the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook!
 

Gyro Gearloose

Registered User
May 23, 2022
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Rocky Mt. High
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Same here - that subscription to Walt Disney's Comics and Stories helped me learn to read. Who could forget Magica DeSpell and her foof bombs?! And I'm still looking for a copy of the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook!
Well I had to go look that one up. Wasn't familiar with Magica DeSpell. Google says she appeared in 1961. My Disney comic book days were back in 1953-54 or so. I guess that makes me the old guy here... sigh.
Good luck on that Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook, looks like there a real rarity. Not a single one on eBay, or anywhere else on the interwebs as far as I can see.
 
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Brunod

Registered User
Jun 8, 2021
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I still own the 3 Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook, french version ! Tome one and two + the handbook of Gyro Gearloose, but in french we name him Geo Trouvetou which means "Geo Findsall"
 
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