18th Century Clock at Joseph Priestley House

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

An exuberantly styled marble mantle clock, decorated with ormolu and capped by a figural grouping of nesting birds, once belonged to scientist, theologian, and natural philosopher Joseph Priestley (1733-1804). According to the donor, the clock, made by Guy d’Amour, Paris, was given to Priestley by the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) in appreciation of his support of the French Revolution. Upon moving to America, Priestley settled in Northumberland, where construction of his residence overlooking the Susquehanna River was completed in 1798. Recognized by contemporaries as an intellectual virtuoso, Joseph Priestley is best remembered as “the quintessential eighteenth-century scientist.” The Joseph Priestley House interprets the life and contributions of this remarkable individual, whom many would call a Renaissance man.