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date: 16 November 2019

Darracott, William, Jr. locked

  • Frederick R. Selch


(b Milford, NH, 1799; d Milford, NH, 1868) American maker of bowed string instruments. He was the son of a cooper, William Darracott Sr. (1769–1825), and was described as a “mechanic” by trade, meaning that he used machinery and hand tools to construct such custom-made items as spinning wheels and clocks. As an instrument maker he concentrated on the violin and “larger instruments of the same kind” (Ramsdell, 1901); he probably began this work around 1820. Few of his instruments survive: Howe (1916) mentions a three-string double bass dated 1827; a violin dated 1837 is in the Selch Collection at Oberlin College.

His son George L. Darracott (b Milford, NH, 1831; d ?after 1898) followed his father as a mechanic and instrument maker, and a large bass viol by him, dated 1861, is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. The instruments by both Darracotts are finely made, excellently finished works, not inferior to European manufacture; they are good examples of New England work before the Civil War, carried out in towns such as Milford that had fine timber and water power for sawmills. Howe mentions one Joseph Darracott as working in Milford in ...

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