Back in the mid 1800s in the Province of Canada (1841-1867), rich people could afford to purchase an expensive clock that would have been made in a "big city" in eastern North America or imported from Europe. But the vast majority of residents did not have the money to spend on one of those clocks, and many families functionned very well without any clock in the home, especially in rural areas.
By the early 1840s Seth Thomas and other American clock manufacturers were changing from wood movements to sheet brass produced locally in Connecticut to stamp out the gears and movement plates. See our WOOD GEAR CLOCKS IN CANADA Gallery. This new process with sheet brass also created interchangeable parts, the same as the earlier wood gears method, and continued to lower the average cost of the "mass-produced" clock movements.
In the 1850s and 1860s several residents of Leeds County, east of Kingston in Canada West (Ontario today) and also some men in the Toronto / Hamilton area were importing Seth Thomas thirty-hour and eight-day, weight-driven clocks with their own customized labels. Those clocks were sold mostly door to door by the peddlers travelling, of course, by horse-drawn wagons over unpaved roads back then.
In this Gallery we show many examples of these earliest brass-movement clocks from the museum's collections.