Benjamin Cheney of East Hartford and Berlin, Connecticut.

Benjamin Cheney was born on September 8, 1725 in East Hartford, Connecticut. His parents were Benjamin, who was originally from Newbury, MA and Elizabeth (Long) Cheney. They had three children. Benjamin was the oldest. It is thought that he served his apprenticeship, beginning about 1739 under the guidance of Seth Youngs in Hartford. Benjamin owned his own shop in Hartford in about 1745 where he made both brass and wooden geared clocks. It appears that he may have been the first clockmaker in America to make wooden geared movements. It is thought that he made far more wooden geared examples than the brass made clocks. His wooden made movements are very distinctive in that they are robustly made and oversized by comparison to other makers. Benjamin trained a number of clockmakers including his younger brother Timothy (b.1731 — d.1795) and John Fitch (b.1758 — d.1808). He also trained four of his sons, Ashel (b. 1759 — d.?), Elisha (b.1770 — d.1747), Martin (b.1778 — d.1855) and Russell (b.1772 — d.?). His most famous apprentice was Benjamin Willard of Grafton, MA (b.1743 — d.1844). Benjamin Cheney died on May 15th, 1815 at the age of 90. He is buried in Berlin, CT where he finished his life living with his son Elisha. Elisha’s home was located at he top of the hill, south of Bowers Corners. Benjamin worked there in the shop until he became enfeebled in body and mind. A single stone in the graveyard east of the Jarvis farm marks both Benjamin’s and his wife’s Deborah Olcott ( b.1738 — d.November 3, 1817) resting place.

Benjamin Cheney of Hartford, Connecticut. An 8-day brass movement tall clock. Timothy and Samuel Loomis cabinetmakers working in Windsor. 29004

This very unusual cherry case form retains an older finish. It is closely related to a group of cases that are… read more