Nathaniel Mulliken (I) of Lexington, Massachusetts.

Nathaniel was a member of a very important family of American clock makers. He was born in Bradford, Massachusetts on August 8, 1722. His parents were John and Mary (Poore) Mulliken of Bradford, Massachusetts. It is thought that he served his clockmaking apprenticeship to his uncle Jonathan Mulliken (b. circa 1701) who was working in Bradford as early as 1735. Nathaniel also worked in Bradford until approximately 1751 when he married Lydia Stone. She was the daughter of Deacon John Stone of Lexington who lived near the town line of Lincoln. It is said that Nathaniel left a clock with the Deacon “on trial.” When he returned for payment, the courtship began with his daughter. Together, Nathaniel and Lydia bought a small house and shop on Massachusetts Avenue across the street from the lower entrance of the cemetery. Nathaniel was also a blacksmith and was proud of the andirons he made. They had at least two children that also made clocks. Nathaniel Jr., was born on March 30th, 1752 and Joseph was born in on April 9th, 1765 in the same town. Nathaniel live and worked in Lexington until his death in 1767. It is thought that he trained other clockmakers besides his sons.Benjamin Willard moved to Lexington to learn how to make brass clocks. He is also thought to have trained Daniel Balch of Newbury, Massachusetts. Nathaniel’s son John (born 1754) was a cabinetmaker and is recorded as making clock cases. At Nathaniel Sr.‘s death, the business in Lexington was continued on by Nathaniel Jr. He maintained this business until the shop and the house were burned to the ground on April 17, 1775 by British troops while retreating back to Boston from Concord. A signed Mulliken musical movement designed to play lively tunes during the week and a Psalm tune on Sunday was reportedly found in the knapsack of a wounded British soldier lying on the Boston Road in Malden or Medford. Nathaniel Jr. died the next winter at the age of 24.

Very few Clockmakers lived and worked in the states during this early time period. Pre-Revolutionary clocks made in this country are quite rare and very few exist. The majority of clocks that would have been available during this early time period would have been from English sources.

Nathaniel Mulliken (1722-1777) Lexington, Massachusetts. A pre-revolutionary American tall case clock.

A most important and handsome butternut case tall clock made by Nathaniel Mulliken of Lexington, Massachusetts. Very few Clockmakers lived and… read more