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April 13, 1772: Born in East Windsor (now South Windsor), Connecticut
Apprenticed to Thomas Harland and Daniel Burnap, master clockmakers.
1792: Terry completes his apprenticeship builds his first tallcase (“grandfather”) clock with a silvered dial engraved with his name.
1793: Terry moves to Northbury (then part of Watertown,) Connecticut, and started his own clockmaking business at age 21. Married Eunice Warner, with whom he had nine children.
Terry’s business at this time consists mainly of clock and watch repair, metal engraving and sales of eyeglasses. He slowly starts building his clockmaking business. He charges about $25 for just a clock movement and dial (equal to approx. $400 in 2009 dollars.) Although his earliest clocks use both brass and wooden movements that he makes himself by hand, he decides to focus exclusively on making clocks with wood movements. The wooden movements are less expensive, allowing him to sell his clocks for less.
1797: The United States Patent Office grants Eli Terry the first U.S. clock patent.
c.1800: He hires two assistants and starts wholesaling clocks in lots of one dozen. His most expensive tallcase clocks sold for around $70 (about $1250 in 2009 dollars.) Their dials had both minute and second hands, the phases of the moon, and finely crafted cases. He sold less expensive tallcase clocks as well, some for as little as $18.00 (around $318 in 2009 dollars.)
c. 1807: Terry sells his
December, 1839: Terry’s wife, Eunice, dies.
November, 1840: Terry marries again, to Harriet Peck, a widow, with whom he has two sons.