A former Congressional speechwriter, Bob Frishman offers illustrated non-technical lectures, usually at no charge, for service organizations, historical societies, senior centers, museums, public library friends, and other organizations seeking an enthusiastic speaker. Each talk is specifically tailored and updated for the host group, runs no more than one hour, and can be followed by an informal "road-show" appraisal session when attendee clocks can be identified and evaluated. He displays clock movements, reference books, and auction catalogues along with dozens of quality projected images to enhance each lecture.
Please scroll to bottom of page for listings of upcoming and past presentations.
TELLING TIME - The first and still most popular lecture presents an overview of clock and watch history, styles, makers, values, collecting, repairing and cultural importance. More than 100 projected images will illustrate familiar and unusual timekeepers from his own and museum collections and from the more than seven thousand clocks he has serviced.
TIMEKEEPING AND TIMEKEEPERS IN EARLY NEW ENGLAND - This talk originally was presented as a paper at the 2009 Dublin Seminar in Old Deerfield Village, but has since been expanded with much additional information including Henry David Thoreau's banjo clock and his thoughts on the regularly scheduled trains passing the cabin on Walden Pond. With more than 100 digital images, the lecture offers a history of clocks and watches in New England beginning with the arrival of the Mayflower up to the adoption of standard time by the railroads in the late 19th century.
THE CLOCK IN THE PAINTING - During the past several years, Bob has been collecting fine art images which have a clock somewhere in the picture. From Van Gogh to Dali, Titian, Homer, Magritte, Hopper and Rockwell, these artworks often are familiar to art lovers but have not often been joined together in this way. Digital images of more than one hundred paintings from more than five centuries are projected and described in an educational and entertaining combination of art and clock histories.
CLOCKWORK IN THE KITCHEN - Based on 2014 presentations to the Culinary Historians of Boston and the Roger Smith Food Technology Conference in New York City, this lushly illustrated lecture tells the story of kitchen timers, clocks, and 'roasting jacks' designed to steadily turn meat grilling in open-hearth fireplaces. For centuries, clocks in kitchens regulated meal times, timers became increasingly important as cookbook recipes designated more precise cooking times, and wind-up roasting jacks performed the hot, tiresome and dangerous work of evenly cooking meat over open flames. This presentation appeals to everyone interested in the history of food preparation as well as in culinary timekeeping.
RUFUS PORTER: YANKEE ARTIST, INVENTOR, PUBLISHER -Rufus Porter (1792-1884) is best known for the scenic wall murals and individual watercolor portraits he produced as an itinerant New England artist. However, he also published best-selling instructional books and was the founder in 1845 of Scientic American magazine. He was granted more than twenty patents for innovative mechanical inventions, anticipating the future of dirigibles, revolver firearms, agricultural machinery, and more. His only known signed clock is in Bob Frishman's collection.
Suggestions for customized clock-related presentations will be gladly considered.
October 7, 10:30 a.m., New Bedford Whaling Museum, "History of Marine Timekeeping"
October 9, US Coast Guard Auxiliary Constitution Flotilla, Base Boston
October 16, 12 p.m., Fall River (MA) Lifelong Learning
October 23, 1:30 p.m., Andover (MA) Memorial Hall Library, "The Clock in the Painting"
PREVIOUS LECTURES and programs have been presented to the following (and other) groups and organizations:
Gibson House Museum, Boston
NAWCC Chapter 182, Canberra, Australia
NAWCC Chapter 72, Sydney, Australia
Raynham (MA) Historical Society
Henry Ford Museum, NAWCC "Cars, Clocks, and Watches" Symposium
Dartmouth (MA) Historical & Arts Society
Chelsea Jewish Foundaton, Peabody MA
NAWCC Madison, WI Chapter
NAWCC New Hampshire Chapter
NAWCC Vermont Chapter
Dighton (MA) Historical Society
Lynnfield Senior Center
Society for Industrial Archeology "New England Clock and Watch Factories, Inside and Out"
Boston Athenaeum, "Horology at the Athenaeum"
West Dean College, West Sussex, UK "Horology in Art"
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, "Horology in Art" NAWCC Symposium
Bamberg, Germany, annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Chronometrie
Salem State University Lifelong Learning Institute
Rufus Porter Museum (Bridgton, Maine)
Braintree (MA) Department of Elder Affairs
Mass. Watch/Clock Makers Association
NAWCC Maine Chapter 89
North Reading (MA) Historical Society
Stonington (CT) Historical Society
Queens College, Department of Anthropology
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
NAWCC Webinar "Hidden History: Clock and Watch Records in the Riggs Archive at Winterthur"
Bullard Memorial Farm (Holliston MA)
Clinton (CT) Historical Society
Winterthur Museum, NAWCC "Clocks at Winterthur" Symposium
New York Horological Society (New York City)
Leach Library (Londonderry NH)
Old Colony History Museum (Taunton MA)
Townsend (MA) Historical Society
Burlington (MA) Historical Soceity
NAWCC New England Chapter 8
Horological Art Chapter, NAWCC National Convention, Louisville, KY
NAWCC Old Dominion Chapter, Williamsburg, VA
NAWCC Pacific Northwest Regional, Tacoma, WA
NAWCC Connecticut Chapter 148
Lawrence Heritage State Park, White Fund Lecture, Lawrence, MA
Greater Boston Watch & Clock Collectors
Billerica (MA) Historical Society
NAWCC Webinar "Horology in Art" (see link on home page)
American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol, CT
North Andover Historical Society
Retired Men's Association (Sudbury, MA)
Newton (Mass.) Rotary Club
Historical Society of Cheshire County, Keene, NH
The Roger Smith Food Tech Conference, New York City
Medford (MA) Historical Society
Culinary Historians of Boston, Radcliff College
Time For Everyone Symposium, Santa Barbara, CA
International Society for the Study of Time, Conference in Crete, Greece
NAWCC Maine Chapter
Wellesley Historical Society
North Reading Historical Society
Victorian Society in America, New England Chapter, at Gibson House Museum, Boston
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester MA
Collector Roundtable: Boston Book, Print & Ephemera Show
Martha's Vineyard Museum
Wellfleet Historical Society
Middleton Historical Society
Topsfield Historical Society
Edgewood Retirement Community, North Andover
Annual Convention, National Assn. of Watch & Clock Collectors, Overland Park, KS
Merrimac Valley Masonic Fellowship
Waring School (Beverly MA) "It's About Time" special end-of year project
Tewksbury Public Library
Reading (MA) Antiquarian Society
Memorial Hall Library, Andover MA
Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, Weston MA
Willard House & Clock Museum, Grafton MA
Northeastern University NU@Noon Alumni Program
Boston College Physics Department, "Vibrations and Waves" Course
The Dublin Seminar, Boston University's Program in American & New England Studies;
New England Chapter 8, National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors
Rockport MA Public Library
Massachusetts Watchmakers-Clockmakers Association
Senior Citizens Club, Epping, NH
Nashua NH Public Library
Salem NH Public Library
Flint Memorial Library, North Reading MA
Reading MA College Club
Boston Antiques Weekend
Winchester MA Historical Society
Andover Historical Society
Whelden Memorial Library, West Barnstable MA
Amherst, NH Town Library
Wilmington MA Memorial Library
Kiwanis Club, Andover MA
Rotary Club, Andover MA
Lions Club, Lawrence MA
Senior Center, Methuen MA
Senior Center, Andover MA
Town of Andover MA Department of Community Services
Cambridge Center for Adult Education
Gibson House Museum, Boston
He also initiated, organized and directed the following events:
When Old Clocks Were New, NAWCC Chapter 8 Symposium, Peabody Essex Museum, November 1999.
Educational Symposium, NAWCC Chapter 8, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, September 2000.
Clockmaking in Rhode Island, NAWCC Chapter 8 Symposium, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, October 2004
The Willis Michael Clock Collection, National Heritage Museum, Lexington MA, September 2006.
Director of Publicity, "Time For Everyone" NAWCC Symposium, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, October 2013.
Chairman, Symposium Committee, National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors NAWCC