John Polsey was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island in 1816. It is assumed that he apprenticed as a clockmaker under Aaron Willard Jr. This would have been about the same time when Edward Howard and David P. Davis were receiving the same training. Polsey’s first listing as a clockmaker is found in the 1941 Boston Directory. In 1852 through 1856 he is listed in the Roxbury Directories as the superintendent of the Howard & Davis balance manufactory. In 1858 through 1859 he formed a partnership with Davis as Davis & Polsey & Co. He remained in the same location until 1864 as Polsey & Co. In 1864, he takes a job as the foreman of the plateroom for the Tremont Watch Company. This firm moves to Melrose. Polsey dies in Newton Centre, Massachusetts on October 2nd, 1873.
The Polsey & Co. had a sales room located at No. 74 Water Street but the factory was located in Roxbury. He advertised in 1859 “Manufactures of SUPERIOR CLOCKS, for Churches, Galleries, Banks, Offices, Houses, Schools, Railroad Stations, Factories & Astronomical Regulator Clocks….” Most of what is traded today between collectors follows the forms of the Howard & Davis banjo series and some of their marble faced clocks. Polsey clocks do not turn up very often.