History: Clock and Inverted Banjo Essay

Submitted By raol35work
Words: 393
Pages: 2

Banjo is a type of clock, so named because its upper portion is shaped like an inverted banjo. It was invented by Simon Willard; originally of Grafton, Massachusetts, First patented in 1802 by brothers Aaron and Simon Willard the banjo clock was one of the most popular clocks of its time. Despite the patent, it didn’t take long for other clockmakers to jump on the bandwagon and copy the Willard's design. Unfortunately for collectors of banjo clocks, many Willard banjo clocks do not carry their maker’s name, so it is often difficult to identify who made it.
I've chosen this item because I was very interested in clocks and how they used it before I was even born; something about banjo clock has always captured my mind. It's originally called an Improved Timepiece, the clock later became known as a banjo because it looked similar to the musical instrument. Its white, circular face, painted with black numbers mostly Roman numerals, flows into a long, tapered neck, which meets at a square base. Thin pieces of curved brass often run down the necks of these clocks, and brass sculptures, most commonly of an eagle, routinely crown their tops.

Banjo clocks had eight-day movements, which means they only had to be rewound every eight days. They were originally designed as wall clocks, but due to their immense popularity, variations meant to sit on the mantel, were soon created as well, albeit in smaller quantities.
Because of their popularity, banjo clocks spawned numerous…