Eli Terry Clock—The Eli Terry Pillar & Scroll Clock was the first shelf clock built in the United States. Eighteenth century clocks used wooden movements which were too deep for a shelf clock. Construction was limited to tall clocks. Eli Terry developed and patented a thin wooden movement in 1816 and the Connecticut shelf clock industry was born. Terry also developed the concept of interchangeable parts to economically mass produce his movements a century before Henry Ford.
Well known clockmakers Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley got their starts as joiners building tall clock cases for Terry and subsequently were licensed to start their own businesses making this popular shelf clock. The next thirty years saw over a hundred thousand of these inexpensive clocks made and sold to homes throughout the country.