Nathaniel was a member of a very important family of American clock makers. He was born in Bradford, Massachusetts on August 8, 1722. His parents were John and Mary (Poore) Mulliken of Bradford, Massachusetts. It is thought that he served his clockmaking apprenticeship to his uncle Jonathan Mulliken (b. circa 1701) who was working in Bradford as early as 1735. Nathaniel also worked in Bradford until approximately 1751 when he married Lydia Stone and settled in Lexington. Together they had at least two children that also made clocks. Nathaniel Jr., was born on March 30th, 1752 and Joseph was born in on April 9th, 1765 in the same town. Nathaniel live and worked in Lexington until his death in 1767. It is thought that he trained other clockmakers besides his sons. Benjamin Willard moved to Lexington to learn how to make brass clocks. Daniel Balch of Newbury, Massachusetts also learned the trade from him. Nathaniel’s son John (born 1754) was a cabinetmaker and is recorded as making clock cases. At Nathaniel Sr.’s death, the business in Lexington was continued on by Nathaniel Jr. He maintained this business until the shop and the house were burned to the ground on April 17, 1775 by British troops while retreating back to Boston. A signed Mulliken movement was reportedly found in the bag of a deceased British soldier lying on the Boston road.