Bob Frishman has repaired, restored and sold antique clocks for nearly forty years. In 1992, he founded Bell-Time Clocks, named after a Harper's Weekly engraving by Winslow Homer depicting New England mill buildings and workers. Having scaled back his clock repair and selling activities, he now devotes most of his time to research, writing, lecturing, and conference organizing.
BELL-TIME by Winslow Homer, Harper's Weekly, July 25, 1868
Bob Frishman, a Fellow of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, is chairman of the NAWCC Time Symposium Committee. He solely created and organized groundbreaking conferences: 2016 "Clocks at Winterthur"; 2017 "Horology in Art" symposium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 2018 "Cars, Clocks, and Watches" at the Henry Ford Museum; and the upcoming 2020 "Horology 1776" at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. He assisted in organzing 2019 "Time Made in Germany" in Nuremberg, Germany. He is a past-president of NAWCC New England Chapter 8 and was in charge of producing all of the chapter's many meetings, workshops, lectures and educational programs. As a scholar of horology, he has published more than 100 articles in Maine Antique Digest, Watch & Clock Bulletin, and elsewhere, and he has given more than 100 presentations to historical societies, service organizations and academic groups. In 2016, he was admitted as a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, the professional guild in London, England, chartered in 1631. In 2017, he became a Proprietor of the historic Boston Athenaeum, receiving share 28 formerly owned by the family of famed New England scientist Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838). In 2019, he became "Museum Director" of the Horological Society of New York, creating horological exhibits for America's first watchmaking guild founded in 1866. He presently is researching and writing a book on Edward Duffield, a colonial Philadelphia clockmaker, to be published by the American Philosophical Society; and for that project he is a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Library Company of Philadelphia.
After graduating from George Washington University in 1973, he worked ten years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., as a speechwriter, legislative assistant and press secretary. The next ten years he was Vice President and then President of AKKO, Inc., his family-owned acrylic furniture manufacturing company. He served as a member, and then chairman, of the Lawrence (Massachusetts) Planning Board. From 1993 to 2003, he was one of three trustees of The White Fund, Inc., a Lawrence-based charitable foundation, and a trustee of the Lawrence Public Library. Age 67, he is married to art, antiques, and history writer Jeanne Schinto and lives in Andover, Massachusetts, his home town.