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[p. 12] clock. There are more automobiles owned in Medford tonight than there were clocks when John Albree arrived, as we will show from the inventories on file, for by means of them we can enter and ransack the homes of that time.

One of childhood's delights is to rummage in the grandparents' garret, but this garret disappears with advancing years. For us the searching of ancestors' inventories must take its place, for in those lists we can know to the last glass bottle everything there was in their homes. Let us see what we can find for timepieces. If time-pieces existed at all, they must surely have been found in the homes of the best citizens. The men of Medford in 1728, by their own official acts, determined for us who twenty-five of the best citizens were, and the list is found in Brooks' History of Medford (page 334). Who of us would dare to serve on a committee to nominate the twenty-five men in our respective churches who are entitled to have the first choice of seats? What heart burnings must have been caused by that custom. It is a wonder it continued so long. Of this list of twenty-five, there are on file inventories of the contents of the homes of twelve. Mr. John Francis, Sr., who heads the list, did not live long to enjoy the best pew in the new meeting house, which had been built on land bought from John Albree. A large pewter platter which he gave his daughter, Lydia, on her marriage is still in existence, even though one of her descendants did use it as a cover for a flour barrel. During the twenty years subsequent to the making of the list, seven of those pewholders passed on to where ‘congregations ne'er break up and Sabbaths have no end.’ Of these seven there is only one whose inventory shows he had a time-piece; that was Dr. Simon Tufts. His inventory lists first his real estate, then after the two slaves, Pompey and Abraham, peculiarly personal property, is mentioned one watch, £ 35.

After this minute examination of the homes, possible only through the exactness of the old appraisers, we

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John Albree (2)
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