Monday, September 24, 2012

The Farrers of Pontefract- Watch Makers

Our prompt for creating a layout this week was Occupations. I have several that Id like to do a layout about but I chose to start with the Farrers of Pontefract because, well I thought that being Watchmakers might be easier to find out something about their work than some of my ancestors who were Agricultural Labourers or other less interesting professions.

But in actual fact I really had quite a bit of trouble finding out  much specific about the Farrers watch and clock making business  ( except I did find a bankrupcy discharge notice for Joshua Farrer from 1831.

I notice it says here his real estate will be sold – I must investigate what he owned and where he went after this.



Anyway back to my layout. It came together quite quickly and Im quite happy  with this layout even though I have no photos of Benjamin nor Joshua Farrer at this point. I used my Secret Desires Value Collection and a few other clock themed embellishments from other kits – and used the Census and a photo of  a Benjamin Farrer watch that I found on google to illustrate this layout.

My journalling here reads:

The earliest watches were made before 1600, but they were driven by weights and not particularly practical for carrying, and were not particularly accurate either. The was no precise way to cut the gears and so that the art of watchmaking was not particularly accurate. - however the popularity of the time piece grew and watches became more of a jewellery piece and were engraved, enamelled and pierced decoratively. These pieces which could be quite ostentations were worn as a pendant or a pocket watch. The original cylinder design changed to the circular hinged domed cover device . By 1625 though with the Puritan Movement the unadorned watch became more popular for men .
Gradually accuracy was increased with the introduction of balance and spiral springs and because of this increase in accuracy, a minute hand and dial subdivided into minutes was added.
It was by the late 1700s that watches became accurate enough to be significantly useful and by 1800 the pocket chronometer was a readily available accurate time piece.
Benjamin and Joshua Farrer were part of a family of watch and clock makers based in the Pontefract region .The family had been making time pieces since as early as the late 1600s. It is understood that there was an Abraham and a William Farrer who could have been brothers or father and son who were highly proficient clock makers based in Pontefract. by 1690. - Charles Farrer who was born in 1761 and based himself in Doncaster, was making beautiful, ornately painted long case clocks .
Benjamin and Joshua born 1788 and 1790 respectively were brothers both listed in various trade directories in the early 19th century as Silversmiths, watch and clock makers, and at least one son of Benjamin carried on the family business

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