George & Cathy Goolsby Clock Donation

The National Watch & Clock Museum is pleased to announce that members George and Cathy Goolsby have generously donated their lifetime collection of important early American clocks made by clockmaker Joseph Ives to the Museum. Many of these clocks were exhibited for the first time at the 2017 Arlington National Convention, and they were the single largest collection of Ives clocks ever assembled. Ives is one of America’s most celebrated clockmakers, and he is well known for his innovative construction features. Among these are roller pinions intended to reduce friction in the trains of his clocks, lever or wagon springs used to provide motive power, and his tin plate movements that he claimed needed no lubrication. The Goolsby collection is noteworthy for its breadth and scope. There are examples of Ives’s earliest work, which included his tall clocks produced circa 1810. Examples of most of his known early experimental clocks are also represented, and a few of these can only be found in this collection and nowhere else. The collection also features clocks manufactured by others through the mid-1840s that utilized Ives’s technology such as Birge and Fuller, who are well known for their wagon spring shelf clocks.

In addition to the Ives collection, George and Cathy have also donated their collection of Salem Bridge shelf clocks. These interesting clocks were produced in the Connecticut Naugatuck River Valley during 1817–45 and feature eight-day movements with rack and snail strike. This grouping constitutes the largest single collection of Salem Bridge clocks available for public display. Among the clocks in this group is a Bishop and Bradley clock with a stunning reverse-painted glass commemorating Lafayette’s visit to the United States in 1825 that is considered by many to be the finest example of Salem Bridge clockmaking.

In total, this generous donation included more than 70 clocks, for which the Museum offers its gratitude to George and Cathy. You are invited to come and see these remarkable clocks that have been recently placed on display at the Museum.

For a guided tour of the Ives exhibit at the 2017 Arlington National Convention, click here.

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