Solomon Osgood of Dracut, Massachusetts. A clockmaker, blacksmith and a distinguished mathematician.

This cherry cased tall clock was made by the clockmaker Solomon Osgood of Dracut, Massachusetts.

This masculinely proportioned tall clock case is constructed in cherry. This fine example has a presense that exudes confidence. Imagine Mike singletary standing in the room. This case measure a mere 7 feet tall. In addition, it has a dial that is an inche wider than the New England standard of 12 inches. The result is a case that projects a sense of self assurance.

clock is 12 inches across. It should also be noted that this case is only 7 feet tall. This example presents itself in stout proportions due to the combination of a shorter case and a larger size dial than commonly found in New England tall clocks.

The case is supported on a double stepped molding. The lower section is nicely shaped into feet and an apron that exhibits five separate drops on the front. This visually elevates the case up off the floor. This foot detail is somewhat unusual. It is quite nice. The waist section centers a rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with an applied molding. The front corners of the waist are fitted with fluted qurater columns. They are stopped with brass rods and a serured on both ends with brass quarter capitals. The hood or bonnet is fitted with a pierced an open New England style fret work pattern. Three finial plinths, each of which are capped at the top, are fitted with brass ball and spiked finials. The bonnet columns are also brass stop fluted. These are mounted in brass capitals and are freestanding. They flank the bonnet door which is arched in form and fitted with glass. This door opens to access the dial.

This painted iron dial is signed by the clockmaker. Below the calendar it reads in block lettering, “Solomon Osgood / DRACUT.” Floral patterns of a species that is somewhat uncommon to tall clock dials are depicted in each of the four spandrel areas and in the arch. These are surrounded by raised gesso decorations that are highlighted in gilt paint. The time ring is formatted with Roman style hour numerals. Smaller Arabic numerals are used to mark each of the five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is located in the traditional location.

The movement is constructed in brass and is weight driven. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind and strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The striking system features a rack and snail set up. The cast iron bell is mounted above the movement. The movement is good quality.

This clocks stands approximately 7 feet tall to the top of the center brass finial. Measured at the feet, it is 20.5 inches wide and 10 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1805. It is inventory number UU-85.

About Solomon Osgood Jr. of Dracut, Massachusetts. A clockmaker, blacksmith and a distinguished mathematician.

Little is currently known of the life of the clockmaker Solomon Osgood. The first Osgood that settled in American came to this country in 1638. His children and grand children settled in the area north of Boston in towns that included Andover, Newbury, Salem, Medford, Massachusetts and also southern, New Hampshire towns like Concord, Pelham and Milford. Ancestry records indicate that there were two people, father and son, named Solomon Osgood that lived in the town of Dracut. The first was born in Andover, Massachusetts in 1734 and died in Dracut in 1805. His parents were Josiah Osgood and Abigail Day. He married Jonna Colburn (Coburn) who was born in 1723 and died in 1765. They had a son whom they named Solomon Jr. He was born on May 23rd, 1762 three years before his mother died. Solomon Jr. married Pheby (Phebe) Colbrun (Coburn) on March 5th, 1801. Solomon Jr. died on May 26th 1841. He was 79 years old.

Currently, three tall clocks are known to us that are signed by the clockmaker Solomon Osgood on the dial. Two of these clocks are signed Solomon Jr. One of these signed Junior clocks has a pendulum that is engraved with the number “9.” The third clock know to us is signed “Solomon Osgood.” This may indicated that the third clock was made after his Father’s death. It was a common practice to drop the Jr. designation once the parent died.

In the Town History of Dracut and an article published on February 7th, 1896 about the Early Osgoods, we are able to piece together a bit about their lives. During the Revolutionary War, Solomon hired Asa Coburn as his military substitute to travel to Ticonderoga under Capt. John Ford. Coburn was paid 10 dollars for his service. Solomon is listed in the December 31, 1793 rolls voting against the purposed building of the new meeting house in Dracut. He is also listed as having a pew in the Presbyterian Meeting House. He served the town in June of 1796 as an assessor. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for Dracut in 1812. He is described their as a clockmaker, a blacksmith and is distinguished in mathematics. His blacksmith shop was located on Mammouth Road.

Middlesex county property records form 1790 indicate that Solomon Osgood of Dracut, blacksmith, sold 100 acres of land in Fitzwilliam, NH to Francis Whitcomb of Fitzwilliam, NH county of Cheshire, NH, yeoman. This document was signed by Solomon. This information was found in a set of period documents (1788-1807) which involved Solomon Osgood. One of these documents, from 1807, lists Solomon’s trade as a clockmaker.

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