Pearsall & Embree 
Joseph Pearsall and Effingham Embree were in partnership together in New York from 1781 to 1789. The Pearsall family were Quakers and very successful merchants. Joseph and his younger brother Thomas had a clock and watch shop together near Burling and Beekman Slips on the East River by 1770. Their partnership dissolved in 1772 but both brothers continued in the trade and advertised the sale of clocks and watches imported from London. Effingham Embree may have learned the craft from relative Joseph Pearsall. They became partners in 1781 and worked at the corner of Beekman's Slip in 1781 and at 43 Queen Street in 1783. No doubt it was Pearsall's trade connections that enabled the firm to import their own line of "Pearsall & Embree" engraved watches from England. 

After the partnership ended in 1789, Joseph Pearsall, watchmaker, was listed at 36 Queen street in 1790 and 250 Pearl Street in 1794. Effingham Embree's shop was located at 185 Queen Street and 275 Pearl Street in 1794. Note that streets named after the crown were eliminated after the Revolutionary War; Pearl Street was extended to eliminate Queen Street and therefore the address listings above may actually be the same physical location. Embree continued to sell and repair watches and clocks, and evidently also continued to import watches now engraved with his own name, Effingham Embree.

 
Pearsall & Embree
 
Pearsall & Embree
 
Pearsall & Embree
 
Pearsall & Embree

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
Pearsall & Embree
53221
New York
1786

Description:
Nicely finished fusee movement with a verge escapement, round baluster pillars, signed enamel dial with beetle and poker hands, and signed and numbered dust cap. Matching silver pair cases with London assay date mark for 1786 and case maker's mark "NTW" (Nicholas Thomas Wood, Clerkenwell, London). A duty mark of King George III used from 1786 to 1798 is stamped within and indicates that tax was paid on the silver case (Priestley, 28). 


References and recommended reading:
  • Mary Ellen Embree LeBien, Embree Remembered, The Extraordinary Lives and Times of Robert and Effingham Embree, 2002
  • AWCO.ORG has published further information about Thomas Pearsall and Effingham Embree compiled by historian David Grace. It can be found under the "Collections" tab.
  • Philip Priestley, Watch Case Makers of England, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin Supplement No. 20 (1994)