Riley Whiting was born in Torrington, Conn., on January 16, 1785 the son of Christopher and Mary (Wilcox) Whiting. in 1806, he married Urania Hoadley and served his apprenticeship with the Hoadleys in Plymouth, Connecticut making wooden geared clocks. In 1807, Riley, Samuel and Luther Hoadley formed a partnership and began building short and long pendulum clocks in Winchester. Luther Hoadley died in 1813 and about the same time, Samuel entered the U. S. Army. This left Riley in business all by himself. He continued as sole proprietor and in 1819 moved to the town of Winsted until he died in 1835. It is thought that he began to manufacture shelf clock movements about 1828. During this later period, Riley is thought to have perfected the eight-day wooden geared movement. After his death, his widow and 15 year old son Riley Jr., continued a limited operation until 1841 when they sold out to William L. Gilbert.