Purchased and owned by Dr John Dalton FRS, this splendid mid 18thcentury time piece has remarkably been passed down through the many generations of his family. In late 2013 the clock was shipped back to the UK from New Zealand where it had been for many years and in the possession of a member of the Dalton family. Having been bequeathed to another Dalton ancestor, this time Cambridge-based, the new owner and custodian commissioned AAMR to undertake the restoration and conservation of the clock for the next generation.
Constructed using Pinewood for the carcase and Mahogany for show-wood the clock-case was in poor condition with numerous previously badly executed repairs including the use of incorrect timbers, many detached components and traces of bird/insect droppings. AAMR will restore / conserve the woodwork, with the actual clock mechanism or `movement` being cleaned and re-set by a clock specialist.
Dr John Dalton FRS
Dr John Dalton FRS [1766 – 1844] was a pioneering chemist, meteorologist and physicist born near Cockermouth, Cumberland [Cumbria] and from early days he demonstrated a keen interest in mathematics and meteorology. In 1787 he began to keep a meteorological diary in which, during the succeeding 57 years, he entered more than 200,000 observations, resulting in his re-discovery of George Hadley’s theory of atmospheric circulation (now known as the Hadley Cell) .
In 1793 Dalton moved to Manchester where he continued to develop his scientific knowledge and was later appointed teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy. Through research into both his and his brother’s sight he concluded they were colour blind and that the condition must be hereditary, Daltonism becoming a contemporary common term for colour blindness.
In addition to the introduction of the Law of Multiple Proportions and Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures concerning the pressure of gases in liquids, today known as Dalton’s Law, it was his continuation of meteorological studies that led him to the most important of all his investigations, those concerned with atoms and the atomic theory in chemistry, with which his name was to become inseparably associated.
John Benson Clock-Maker
John Benson [1723 – 1790] a well known English clock maker lived and worked in Whitehaven, Cumberland [Cumbria]. As a highly skilled and much respected craftsman his work was mainly in high quality brass dial 8 day long-case clocks with rolling moons. Many have centre calendar work and simple rise/fall, ebb/flow, tidal indicators, and include clocks with music, quarter-chiming and astronomical indications. Twenty or so clocks have been attributed to him, most often constructed in superior red walnut or mahogany-wood cases.
Benson was a pioneer of a clock movement feature then erroneously termed `white dials or enamel dials`, but in fact these were dials made by a process known as Japanning, whereby a hardened paint surface was fused to sheet iron and hand painted with numerals and decorative features.