Edward Duffield and 18th-Century Pennsylvania Horology

Bob Frishman

Edward Duffield, clockmaker

Bob Frishman’s forthcoming book is a comprehensive biography of Colonial Philadelphia clockmaker Edward Duffield (1730-1803). Far more than a typical 1700s ‘leather-apron mechanic,’ Duffield made some of the finest American longcase clocks and he was one of his city’s richest men. He was an active citizen and Anglican Church leader during crucial years in Philadelphia’s and America’s history.  He was a lifelong friend of Benjamin Franklin and served as an executor of the great patriot’s will.  We also will learn about Duffield’s fellow clockmakers at work during the second half of the 18th century.


Bob was Chair of the NAWCC Time Symposium Committee from 2014 to 2022, creating and organizing five groundbreaking international conferences on unique horological themes. Since founding Bell-Time Clocks more than 30 years ago, he repaired and restored nearly 8,000 clocks and sold nearly 1,800 vintage timepieces. He has published more than 100 horology-related articles and lectured to more than 100 audiences about the history, culture, and technology of timekeeping.  An NAWCC member since 1980, he is a Silver Star Fellow and a Liveryman of London’s Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.