Joseph Drayer (1790?-?) was known to be an active clockmaker in the 1820s in the Lebanon, PA area. Little is known about him other than he was listed on the Lebanon County tax list in 1822, and listed as an inmate of the Lebanon County prison in 1822. His name was also recorded on a Lebanon County property deed in March of 1829. A very impressive tall case clock (circa 1820s) bearing Joseph Drayer’s name is now housed in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors museum (see photo below.) It is made from cherry wood and features brilliant inlaid work of an American eagle on the trunk door. Interestingly, this clock case is very similar to known clocks attributed to the prominent clockmaker Jacob Eby from nearby Manheim, PA (especially the inlaid American eagle design.) The brass clock movement includes sweep second hand and calendar features and a moon phase disc. A central brass finial of an American eagle compliments the inlaid case work. The use of American eagle motifs in furniture design following the War of 1812 represented an upsurge of patriotic feelings in early America.
Neither his actual date of birth or death is known.
Drayer, Joseph (1790?-?)
Joseph Drayer - Cherry Tall Case Clock - Bottom of Hood and Eagle Motif
Joseph Drayer - Cherry Tall Case Clock - Front View of Dial
Joseph Drayer - Cherry Tall Case Clock - Full Left Side View