October 6, 1783 — Benjamin Hanks patented the self-winding clock today when he obtained a 14-year intellectual rights patent for the apparatus that could wind itself and operate by the use of air. Plus, it would automatically continue to wind itself up and operate until the mechanical parts wore out due to friction.
A goldsmith, instrument maker, clockmaker, bellfounder, and foundry owner, Hanks is also generally credited for being the first person to make bronze cannons and church bells in the United States. His first large church tower bell was mounted in 1780 at The Old Dutch Church in New York.
In 1797, he crafted the first two bronze cannons made in the United States; they were carried by the First Company of Connecticut Artillery.
Words of Wisdom
History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.