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Encyclopedia > Thomas Tompion
Thomas Tompion
Thomas Tompion

Thomas Tompion (1639–1713) was an English master clockmaker and watchmaker known today as the father of English watchmaking. His work includes some of the most important clocks and watches in the world and his work commands huge prices whenever it appears at auction. His apprentices included George Allett, Edward Banger, Henry Carlowe, Daniel Delander, Ricard Ems, Ambrose Gardner, Obadiah Gardner, William Graham (nephew of George Graham), George Harrison, Whitestone Littlemore, Jerimiah Martin, Charles Molins, William Mourlay, Charles Murray, Robert Pattison, William Sherwood, Richard Street, Charles Sypson, William Thompson, James Tunn and Thomas White many of whom became important clockmakers in their own right. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (617x828, 31 KB) Summary Brittens Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, 1st Edition, Britten FJ, 1899 Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (617x828, 31 KB) Summary Brittens Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, 1st Edition, Britten FJ, 1899 Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States. ...


Thomas Tompion was born around 1639 and was baptized on 25 July 1639 in Northill, Bedfordshire, England. He was the eldest son of a blacksmith, also named Thomas Tompion, and probably worked as a blacksmith until 1664 when he became an apprentice of a London clockmaker. Very little of his earlier years is known. The first reference to Tompion in London is recorded around the end of 1670 in Water Lane (now Whitefriars Street) off Fleet Street. is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ... Northill is a village in the county of Bedfordshire, England. ... Bedfordshire (abbreviated Beds) is a county in England that forms part of the East of England region. ...


Tompion was an early member of the Clockmakers' Company of London - he joined 1671 and became a master in 1704. He was also one of the few watchmakers to become a member of the Royal Society. He joined in partnership with Edward Banger in 1701 until about 1707 or 1708. The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. ... A watchmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs watches. ... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ...


When the Royal Observatory was established in 1676, King Charles II's selected Tompion to create two clocks based on an escapement designed by Richard Towneley, that would be wound only once a year. They proved to be very accurate and were instrumental in the accurate calculations for astronomers. Royal Observatory, Greenwich. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ...


Due to his relationship with the scientist Robert Hooke he made some of the first watches with balance springs. These were much more accurate than earlier watches. He also invented the cylinder escapement that allowed him to create flat watches. He also worked on the spring escapement. Robert Hooke, FRS (July 18, 1635 – March 3, 1703) was an English polymath who played an important role in the scientific revolution, through both experimental and theoretical work. ... For other uses, see Watch (disambiguation). ... The balance spring is a scientific device invented by Robert Hooke. ...

Plaque in Fleet Street, London, commemorating Thomas Tompion and George Graham.
Plaque in Fleet Street, London, commemorating Thomas Tompion and George Graham.

Tompion's clocks are known for their ingenuity of design and robust construction. His three-train grand sonnerie bracket clocks are masterpieces. Another of his innovations was to create a numbering system for his spring and long-case clocks which is thought to be the first time that a serial numbering system was applied to manufactured goods. Fleet Street in 2005 Fleet Street is a famous street in London, England, named after the River Fleet. ... George Graham (1674?-1751) was an English clockmaker and inventor and a member of the Royal Society. ...


In 1711 Tompion joined in partnership with George Graham, who later developed the spring escapement further after Tompion's death. He also continued Tompion's scheme to number his watches in three series: plain, repeating and special. George Graham (1674?-1751) was an English clockmaker and inventor and a member of the Royal Society. ...


Thomas Tompion died on 20 November 1713 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Many of his clocks are still operational today, including two of his one-year clocks in Buckingham Palace. is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1713 (MDCCXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ... Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial. ...


Examples of his work

  • An eight day double pull repeating table clock in ebonised case. London. c 1700. Moyse's Hall Museum Bury St Edmunds UK
, Bury St Edmunds is a town in the county of Suffolk, England, and was formerly the county town of West Suffolk. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Thomas Tompion Clocks and Biography (758 words)
One famous name dominates the great period of English clocks in the 17th century, that of Thomas Tompion, who gave to the clockmaking craft the skill and genius of a wonderful artist, for artist he was most emphatically, and was recognised as such at the court of Charles II.
Tompion was born in 1638 and died in 1713, and the clocks and watches he made created a reputation for English work even in those lands of accomplished craftsmanship, France and Germany.
Thomas Tompion, according to the records of the Clockmakers' Company was born in North-hill, Bedfordshire, and is said to have been originally a flsmith.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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