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Thursday, 18 July 2013 05:10

Stretch: America's First Family of Clockmakers

A constant complaint voiced by early settlers of Philadelphia and its environs was that “they scarcely knew how time passed, nor that they hardly knew the day of Rest, or the Lord’s day, when it was.”1 William Penn (1644–1718), Pennsylvania’s founder, was among them when he insisted that city residents have a means for telling time so that “the hours for work and meals to Labourers are fixt, and known.”2 Their need to know the time of day and day of the week set the stage for the arrival of Peter Stretch (1670–1746), one of early America’s most celebrated clockmakers.

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