John Bailey II (1751-1823) is among the most influential clockmakers in America. A Quaker working in the southeastern Massachusetts towns of Hingham and Hanover, he established a sizeable shop in which he trained the majority of the successful clockmakers makers who populated this thriving region. The impressive list of his apprentices include his younger brothers Calvin and Lebbeus, his own son John Jr. [III], Joseph and Joshua Wilder, Joseph Gooding and Ezra Kelley. No fewer than fifteen clockmakers were trained by him, who then in turn trained the following generation of over twenty clockmakers.
With the brilliant mind of an inventor, John Bailey II produced tall clocks beginning during the Chippendale period with brass dials and traditional cases. His clocks continued right on through to the formal Federal period styles with elaborate inlaid woods and painted moon phase dials. He also produced early Massachusetts shelf clocks and some very fine dwarf clocks. His lasting influence on American clockmaking is substantial through both his innovations and his cultivation of new clockmakers.
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