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James Doull was born in Scotland in 1785 and immigrated to the United States in 1806 at the age of 29. In 1807, he is listed in the Boston tax records as working with Clockmaker Aaron Willard as a journeyman. This suggests that he came to this country highly skilled and must have been trained overseas. Because he is listed for only one year in Boston, it is assumed he moved to Charlestown shortly after this date. In 1823 he moves to Pennsylvania and he took up residence in Philadelphia. He is listed there until 1856. Over the years we have owned a number of clock made by this Maker. These forms include tall case clocks, shelf clocks and wall timepieces.
Aaron Willard (b. October 14, 1757, Grafton, Massachusetts Bay; d. May 20, 1844, Boston, Massachusetts, US) was an entrepreneur, an industrialist, and a designer of clocks who worked extensively at his Roxbury, Massachusetts, factory during the early years of the United States of America. While at the family farm at Grafton, Aaron Willard developed his career conjointly with his three brothers, who became celebrated horologists too (though Aaron's and his brother Simon's creations are the most significant). Both brothers moved to Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, (where the peninsular town of Boston joined to the mainland) where they developed one of the first modern American industries, independently from each other. Simon and Aaron Willard's clocks were the first economically accessible timepieces of the country.