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Independent Order of Odd Fellows Shelf Clock
ca. 1870
John Haley Bellamy (1836 – 1914); E. N. Welch Clock Co.
USA: Connecticut, Forestville
Walnut, brass, paper
20 x 14 x 3.5 in.
Special Acquisitions Fund
96.008

Wood cased shelf clock; the case-front painted with a red wash and carved with Independent Order of Odd Fellow symbols. The case interior bears the paper label of the E. N. Welch Clock Co. of Forestville, CT. The 38-hour brass spring-wind movement is stamped "E. N. Welch/ Forestville, Conn./ Patented Aug. 30, 1870." The back of the case bears the paper label of "Niels, Ward & Co./ Charlestown" [MA] with design patent date of Sept. 10, 1867.


In 1870, wood carver John Bellamy received a patent for a “new and useful Pattern for Clock-Fronts.” He and other workers produced the case fronts produced in Boston-area shops. With multiple designs featuring symbols important to Masonic and fraternal organizations, Bellamy sought to attract consumers associated with these rapidly growing groups in the late 1800s. This clock features symbols associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal group.