Thomas, Seth


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Thomas, Seth,

1785–1859, American clock manufacturer, b. Wolcott, Conn. In 1812 he sold his partnership in a clock business established by Eli Terry and set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks at Plymouth Hollow, Conn. (renamed Thomaston in his honor c.1860). He also built and operated a mill to roll brass and make wire for his clock factory. The business was continued and expanded by his son, Seth Thomas (1816–88), and the clocks they manufactured became known throughout the world.
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Thomas, Seth

(1785–1859) clockmaker; born in Wolcott, Conn. He started out as a skillful woodworker invited to manufacture clocks in partnership with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley (1807–12). He began his own factory in 1812 and in 1814 bought the rights to Terry's popular shelf clock, developing a highly successful business, which he incorporated as Seth Thomas Clock Company in Plymouth, Conn. (an area which was later renamed Thomaston in his honor). He became extremely rich from his clock manufacturing and other enterprises including a cotton mill and a brass-rolling and wiremaking factory.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.