Friday, January 3, 2003

19th century banjo clock on new U.S. 10-cent stamp

By Syd Kronish
The Associated Press

It's a simple clock, but it changed the way we told time in America.

An artistic rendering of the face of a banjo clock is the newest stamp in the 2003 schedule. The 10-cent stamp features the elegant timepiece made about 1805 by Simon Willard (1753-1848) of Roxbury, Mass.

It's the second stamp in the new American design series by the U.S. Postal Service.

The art in the new stamp depicts the clock's painted iron dial, which has simple scrolled hands, Roman numerals and a keyhole. The dial is crowned with the patriotic symbol of an American eagle.

Willard and his brothers were well-known clockmakers in the Boston area during the first half of the 19th century. Known for his inventive designs, Willard in 1802 patented a new style of wall clock, later called a banjo clock because of its shape.. Its popularity made it one of the most famous designs in American clock making.

The new 10-cent American clock stamp, designed by artist Lou Nolan, will be released Jan. 24. First-day covers may be obtained by calling (800) 782-6724.

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19th century banjo clock on new U.S. 10-cent stamp