Dominy Craftsmen Collection

November 11th, 2014

Three generations of the Dominy family of East Hampton, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York functioned as craftsmen from ca. 1760 to ca. 1850. Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737-1812) was a woodworker and metalworker producing tall case clocks, furniture, and repairing thousands of pocket watches. His son, Nathaniel Dominy V (1770-1852) practiced all forms of woodworking. His activity included work as a furniture joiner, millwright, house carpenter, cooper, and supplier of agricultural tools to farmers in East Hampton township – Sag Harbor to Montauk. Nathaniel V’s son, Felix Dominy (1800-1868) was trained to be a clock and watchmaker. He worked primarily as a maker of tall case clocks and repairer of pocket watches over a short time span of ca. 1815 to 1828 when technological unemployment forced him to forego craft activity and take a job as keeper of the Fire Island lighthouse.

Direct descendants of the Dominy craftsmen kept together and preserved the craftsmen’s shop equipment, tools, and manuscript material on their original site until 1946 thus preserving the only complete record of craftsmen working in colonial America and the New Republic.

The Dominy Craftsmen Collection will contain a revised and enlarged digital edition of With Hammer in Hand by Charles F. Hummel; the extensive collection of Dominy family manuscript material in the Joseph Downs Manuscript and Printed Ephemera Collection, Winterthur Library, Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware; a video-taped lecture about the Dominy craftsmen; and a brief description of books owned by the craftsmen and members of their families.

Explore the entire collection.

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