American Silversmiths

John Birge
Lydia Hopkins
John Birge


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John Birge
  • Born: 4 May 1785, Torrington CT
  • Died: 6 Jun 1862, Bristol CT

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • , . John Birge was trained as a carpenter, and set up business in Bristol making carriages. He was not a clockmaker, but he did have a good head for business, and around 1822 he invested capitol in a clockmaking venture with Dr. Titus Merriman. The company produced clocks under the name Merriman Birge & Co. In 1830, Birge became a silent partner in the firm of C. & L. C. Ives. During this period, it is believed he may have also produced some clocks under his own name. From 1833 through 1837, he was involved in several firms including Birge, Case & Co., Birge, Gilbert & Co., and Birge & Gilbert. In 1837, the firm Birge, Mallory & Co. was formed with principles John Birge, Ransom Mallory (made cases for Chauncey Jerome prior to joining in this firm), Sheldon Lewis, Thomas Fuller, and Ambrose Peck. The firm was known for their triple decker shelf clocks, and continued producing 8 day and 30 hour brass movement shelf clocks through 1843, when the firm was dissolved.
  • He was a partner circa 1822-1830 with Titus Merriman in Bristol CT as MERRIMAN, BIRGE & Co.
  • He was a partner in 1844-1849 with Thomas Franklin Fuller in Bristol CT as BIRGE & FULLER.
  • He was a partner in 1849-1855 with Ambrose Peck, Samuel Taylor and William R. Richards in Bristol CT as BIRGE, PECK & Co. After Birge's retirement, the firm continued until 1859.
  • He appeared on the 1850 census taken at Bristol CT, listed as a clock manufacturer.

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