Asa Whitney

Asa Whitney was a renowned clock maker in New York City. He was listed as a silversmith, watch and clock maker at 104 Gold Street by 1798, and at several other New York locations on Roosevelt and Water Street before his death in 1812.

The elongated reliefs on the movement of this Whitney watch, serial number 53, are distinctive and appears to evidence finishing work performed in Whitney's shop in New York City.

Asa Whitney Clockmaker
Asa Whitney Pocket Watch

Asa Whitney Pocket Watch

Asa Whitney Watchmaker

Asa Whitney Watch

American Watchmaking

The variation allows the top plate to be removed to adjust the escapement without having to disassemble the entire watch. This watch is discussed in David Cooper's article: John Cairns (1751-1809) and Other Early American Watchmakers (Cooper, 35). The movement has a fusee and verge escapement typical from the period with round baluster pillars. The dust cap is signed and numbered which is often an indicator of a good quality watch. The watch is signed Asa Whitney, New York, serial number 53.

Early American Watchmaking

Contract Watch

TC RC Case Maker

The silver pair cases with London assay letter for 1805-06 and maker’s initials "TC RC" for Thomas & Richard Carpenter of St. John Street, London. Watch paper from John Polmanus, New York located within the watch case.

Early American Watchmakers

References and recommended reading:

  • David Cooper, John Cairns (1751-1809) and Other Early American Watchmakers, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 336, (February, 2002), pp. 26-38

  • Richard Newman, Colonial and Early American Watchmakers, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 389 (December, 2010), pp. 692-706