William Banks (1878 – 1911)

Born in Egerton near Bolton in 1851, William Banks was a Scientific Instrument maker, and Optical Engineer and so is missing from many clock lists. He predominantly supplied microscopes and telescopes.

He was however a founder member and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and had his own observatory in the Bolton area.

He supplied the Holden Telescope now in Bolton Museum, The telescope was donated to the Bolton Corporation in 1894 by Councillor T.W. Holden, hence the telescope’s name.

Trading as Wm. Banks, Banks and Co. and Banks Bros. He only dealt in high end instruments, he also acted as an Optician and Electrical Engineer, fitting Bolton’s first electrical lights into a shop in Corporation Street on December 6, 1878.

In 1887 he also had a property at 92 Davenport St, and also worked with a Samuel Brierley at 87 Bark St.

An exceptionally rare late 1890’s astronomical regulator clock, by W. Banks of 30 Corporation St Bolton. The clock has a hand for each time division. Seconds, hours and minutes on the ‘big hand’ as well as a specialised dead beat escapement and a rare power reserve for use when winding, this was provided by a Harrison power reserve, as used in his famous sea clocks, which allowed the clock to be wound, without affecting the running or accuracy of the clock.

This very accurate clock was used for astronomical calculations and setting Chronometers.