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Lighthouse Clock

A work made of white pine, mahogany veneer, enamel, brass, and gilt and silver mounts.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of white pine, mahogany veneer, enamel, brass, and gilt and silver mounts.




Simon Willard and Sons
American, 1753–1848
Roxbury, Massachusetts

About this artwork

In 1819 Simon Willard applied for and received a patent for the first American alarm clock. He intended for the clocks to be portable so that one could use them around the house or while traveling. Patented by Willard under the name “alarm timepiece,” clocks like this one are now referred to as lighthouse clocks for their marked similarity to the Eddystone lighthouse in the English Channel off Plymouth, England. This particular clock descended in the family of Simon Willard’s brother Aaron.


On View, Gallery 172


Arts of the Americas


Simon Willard and Sons


Lighthouse Clock


Roxbury (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1825–1830


White pine, mahogany veneer, enamel, brass, and gilt and silver mounts


74.9 × 26 cm (29 1/2 × 10 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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