Silas Burnham Terry Wall Regulator. Terryville, Connecticut, circa 1840.

This very early wall regulator was made by Silas B. Terry of Terryville, Connecticut. This clock was made circa 1840 and shares the form that Arron Willard, J. N. Dunning and Abel Stowell were making in Boston some 15 years earlier. Terry’s version differs in that the dial is not concave and that the case is approximately four inches longer.

I believe that this form was originally designed for a commercial application. It maybe one of the earliest clock forms built for that purpose in America. We have found similar clocks in limited numbers over the years signed by the clockmakers Aaron Willard, Abel Stowell and J. N. Dunning. In fact, I was fortunate to appraise an Aaron Willard example on the Antique Roadshow in 2007. One can easily speculate that this form did not survive well due to the lack of a personal connection as a result of being owned and or being displayed by a business establishment of some kind. Interestingly, the form was extensively copied and slightly modified by others over the years. First the Terry’s of Connecticut and then E. Howard, Seth Thomas, Boston Clock, etc. all offered clocks made in a similar form which were successfully sold.

This fine example is constructed in mahogany having New England white pine as a secondary wood. The mahogany veneers positioned on the front surfaces of the case are richly grained. The top of the case is fitted with a turned wood bezel. The iron dial is protected by glass. This dial measures 11 inches in diameter and features Roman hour numeral figures inside a closed minute ring. The lower door is trimmed with a cock-beaded molding. The construction of the back of this door is unusual in that it is framed. Through this door one can access the brass faced pendulum bob for regulation and cast lead weight. One can also view the Maker’s label which is pasted to the weight board.

The brass constructed movement is unusual. The backplate is a square that is attached to the backboard with four screws. The from plate is a circular form and is skeletonized. This is secured to the back plate with three taps that are pinned to posts extending from the backplate. The brass gearing is located between these plates. This movement winds at 7:30. It is weight powered and designed to run eight days on a full wind.

This clock was made circa 1840. It is 34.25 inches long, 13.75 inche wide at the bezel and less than 4 inches deep.

About Silas B. Terry of Terryville, Connecticut.

Silas B. Terry was born on February 1, 1807 and died of a heart attack May 20th, 1876. He was one of eight children born to Eli & Eunice (Warner) Terry. He worked in various clock making enterprises. Some of which included the firm S. B. Terry & Company (1852-1853), and Terryville MFG. Co. (1853-1854.) In 1854, Terry went bankrupt and took a job as a general manager of the William L. Gilbert & Company in Winsted, Connecticut. In 1861, he took a job as superintendent of the Waterbury Clock Company . In 1867, he formed the The Terry Clock Company at Waterbury with his sons. Silas’ early clocks were well made and often had interesting movements. The evidence of his work suggests that he loved to tinker.


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