Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Clock
Catalog Number 1955.30
Maker Birge & Fuller
Date 1844-1847
Material(s) Wood/Brass/Glass/Paint/Paper
Dimensions H-32.25 W-15.75 D-5.75 inches
Description This is a veneered triple decker case clock with gilt and faux wood grain painted columns. This piece has bullseye molding atop one of the columns and possibly is missing a pediment linking the bulleyes. The face is made of wood with a white hand painted background and black Roman numerals. The middle section has a glass panel that is reverse painted picture of manor house seated along a river. The lower panel is a glass door with a reverse painted gilt floral design. The piece has a brass eight day movement. Inside the back of the lower panel is a paper label that reads "PATENT BRASS/ EIGHT-DAY/ CLOCKS,/ MANUFACTURED BY/ BURGE & FULLER, BRISTOL, CONN./ AND SOLD WHOLESALE AND RETAIL/ WARRANTED IF WELL USED/ Direction for Regulating the Clock..."
Notes Old card claimed this clock was a gift from Thomas Lincoln to Austin Gallagher prior to 1816 but history of manufacture makes this impossible. John Birge (1785-1862) was an important figure in the American clock industry, and had many successful partnerships. Birge settled in Bristol, CT around 1815, was trained as a carpenter, and set up business making carriages. He was not a clockmaker, but had a good head for business, and around 1822 he invested capitol in a clockmaking venture under the name Merriman Birge & Co. From 1833 through 1837, he was involved in several firms including Birge, Case & Co., Birge, Gilbert & Co., and Birge & Gilbert. In 1837, the firm Birge, Mallory & Co. was formed with principles John Birge, Ransom Mallory , Sheldon Lewis, Thomas Fuller, and Ambrose Peck. The firm was known for their triple decker shelf clocks, and continued producing 8 day and 30 hour brass movement shelf clocks through 1843, when the firm was dissolved. Birge and Fuller then produced similar clocks through 1847.
Collection KHS Museum Collection
People Birge & Fuller
Lincoln, Thomas
Gallagher, Austin
Subjects Clock & watch industry
Clock & watch making
Clocks & watches
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS