Terry, Eli

Terry, Eli

(1772–1852) inventor, clock manufacturer; born in East Windsor, Conn. After an apprenticeship (1786–92), he made his first clocks by hand. He turned to using water power to drive his tools (1800) when he established the U.S.A.'s first clock factory in Plymouth, Conn. In 1807 he formed a partnership with Seth Thomas and their factory eventually produced 10,000–12,000 clocks per year. Terry himself patented ten improvements in clockworks and introduced several popular innovations in clock design.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.