Simon Willard is considered America's most well known clockmaker. He was born in Grafton Massachusetts April 3, 1753 and died in Roxbury, August 30, 1848. He was a highly prolific and innovative clockmaker for over sixty-five years. A patriot during the revolution, he moved from Grafton to Roxbury with his brother Aaron in 1780 where they produced a great variety of clock forms and continuously experimented with new styles.
Willard's famous “Roxbury” tall clock cases are easily recognized by their fine details, pleasing proportions and rich mahogany. A Simon Willard antique tall clock is considered by sophisticated collectors to be among the most highly prized antique forms.
During his early career in Grafton, Simon Willard worked to produce a compact and affordable wall clock. The results of this effort were the rare Grafton Wall Clocks often referred to as Willard experimentals. He improved upon this form over several years until he arrived at the clock we refer to as the “banjo” clock, Willard called it his “Improved Patent Timepiece”. He had succeeded in making an attractive, accurate and compact timepiece that could be purchased for a fraction of any tall case clock. This wildly popular form is still reproduced today.