Bliss & Creighton Pocket Watch

John Bliss and Frederick Creighton were distinguished chronometer makers who worked in New York from 1837 to 1855. They imported rough movements (also called unfinished movements, movements in the grey, and ébauches) from England and finished them in New York. They exhibited several of their chronometers at the American Institute's Exhibition in New York In 1848 that were entirely made in America (Randall, 87). John Bliss apprenticed to Benjamin Lord in Rutland, Vermont in about 1808 and prior to the partnership with Frederick Creighton worked at 135 Water Street in New York City (Voss).

Bliss and Creighton Pocket Watch

Bliss & Creighton Pocket Watch

Few examples of pocket watches made by Bliss and Creighton are known. A movement signed Bliss and Creighton, serial no. 19225, is in the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, Ct. The museum also has a movement signed John Bliss, serial no. 2556 with an up-down indicator in its collection.

Early American Watchmaking

Bliss & Creighton
Bliss and Creighton Chronometer

This Watch is pictured and described in David Cooper's article: John Cairns (1751-1809) and Other Early American Watchmakers (Cooper, 36) and is wonderfully inscribed "Made in the year 1853" on the back plate. The high quality fusee movement is serial number 19527 and has a right angle lever escapement and bimetallic compensating balance with Bliss and Creighton's distinctive tapered balance arms. Later silver consular case.

Article Colonial Watchmakers

Additional 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

  • Anthony Randall, The Time Museum Catalogue of Chronometers, The Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois, 1991

  • William Erik Voss,