© Donn Haven Lathrop 2008
Emeline Loomis, the daughter of Abijah and Margaret (Barrett) Loomis was
born 27 July, 1811, at New Hartford, Connecticut. Of her early life,
little is known---we must assume that she had what education, most
likely in domestic duties---was considered proper for young women of
that day. She moved into the horological limelight at the age of 22
when she went to work for Garret Smith Blakeslee of Plymouth Hollow,
Connecticut. She was employed as a dial painter, one of 13 women hired
by Blakeslee between 1830 and 1834. Blakeslee was in the business of
supplying finished components of clocks and clock cases to clock- and
Miss Loomis first appears in this entry in the Blakeslee Account Book
when she was "hired in":
Commenced Work & Boarding
April 7, 1834
There are no further entries concerning Miss Humphrey, so we can only
speculate on the length of her employment by Blakeslee. Both of these
women can be safely be called Miss. Were either of them married,
according to the mores of the day, any contract for their work would
have been negotiated by the husband, with the actual worker---the
wife---merely peripherally mentioned. Earnings would also have been
paid to the husband.
Emeline Loomis worked for Blakeslee for a total of 48 weeks (not
necessarily consecutive), for which she was charged $60.00 for her board
at $1. 25 a week. Other charges appearing in the account book are two
cash advances (one of $10. 00 on 8 September, and one of $5. 00 on 15
November), and three charges (15 August, $3. 18; 12 September, $2. 05;
15 November, $1. 98) on her account at a local store. In those 48
weeks, her total known expenses were $82. 21. I suppose she would have
been considered a spendthrift.
I think it is safe to assume that her work-week extended through 6 days,
and began early and ended late. April 7, 1834 was a Monday, and the
full (consecutive) 48 weeks would therefore extend to the last day of
February, 1835. At the end of her 48 weeks Emeline was credited with
"figuring 9, 283 faces and filling 35 faces", for a total of 9, 318
dials. She therefore worked a (possible) total of 286 days (if we
assume that she worked 6 days a week), and finished an average of 321/2
dials each day. For her efforts she was paid a total of $232. 50,
or just under 21/2 ¢ for each dial.
The final settlement of her account with Blakeslee
was on 21 March, 1935, when she was paid $150.29 in cash. And she was
well paid---by comparison---perhaps because she was not charged for
"lost time", or days off, during the course of her employment. Of this
situation, Dr. Snowden Taylor wrote in his discussion of
The Account Book of Alpha Hart (TIMEPIECE JOURNAL, Spring 1993, Pg.70):
Clarena Apley was charged for "lost time" for "sleigh ride
to the Village," "one evening to Mr. Barns. 2 evenings at home.
evening to Doct. Marshs," "one afternoon and evening at Mr. Austins."
etc. Having fun cost money!
The wages for other women in Blakeslee's employ vary from a high of $78.00
to a low of $26.00.
After Emeline ended her employment with Blakeslee, she returned to New
Hartford, where three years later she married Henry H. Peck on 27 April,
1838. There were no children of this marriage, and her husband died in
New Hartford in about 1878. Eight years later the 66-year old Emeline
married Frederick Kellogg of Terryville, Connecticut, who died in 1898.
She was a mere 97 years old in 1908 when the Loomis genealogy noted
that "Her mind is as clear as ever and she reads and writes without
Emeline Loomis Peck Kellogg died on the 6th of June, 1911,
just weeks short of her 100th birthday.
The data for this article were taken from the microfilm of Blakeslee's Account Book
for 1830-1836, which is now in the collections of the American Clock
and Watch Museum. Grateful appreciation is extended to Dr. Snowden
Taylor, Mr. Jacque Houser and Mr. Chris Bailey for permission to quote
from their researches.
BLAKESLEE, Garrett Smith, Account Book, Microform, courtesy of the
American Clock and Watch Museum, Bristol, Connecticut.
DeVOE, Shirley Spaulding, The Tinsmiths of Connecticut. Middletown, Conn.,
Published for the Connecticut Historical Society [by the]
Wesleyan University Press. 1968
HODGES, Theodore Burt, Erastus Hodges, 1781-1847: Phoenix Publishing,
West Kennebunk, Maine. 1994
TIMEPIECE JOURNAL: Dr. Snowden Taylor, The Account Book of Alpha Hart,
Spring, 1993; Jaque Houser, Emeline Loomis - Dial Painter,
Chris Bailey, Additional Notes, Fall, 1994.
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