Back in 1809, an embargo was placed by the United States that nearly diminished all trading with other countries. This proved as quite the milestone in the history of watchmaking, especially for Luther Goddard. Mr. Goddard is known in horological history as the first serious attempt at watchmaking in America. His beginning success was largely contributed to by the fact that he started his endeavors at the same time as the embargo which limited the importing of European pocket watches.
Luther Goddard had initially started out as a clockmaker, but later switched to watch making. When his business first started out, Goddard’s son, Parley Goddard, joined the company. The company continued to be successful until the Peace Treaty was signed in 1814 and Europe was able import their pocket watches to the United States again.
European watches were less expensive than Goddard’s product thus making them the more popular purchase choice. Luther and his youngest son, Daniel Goddard opened a watch repair business in Worcester, Massachusetts while Parley continued at pocket watch making long enough to manufacture 70 more timepieces before he returned to his initial livelihood of farmer. His father, however, held onto his love of timekeeping, repairing and creating watches until 1842 when he passed away.
Images provided by: oldwatch.com