Connecticut was home to multiple clockmaking companies in the 19th century, such as Ingraham, the William L. Gilbert Clock Company, Seth Thomas, Waterbury Clock Company, and, of course, Ansonia.

The Ansonia Clock Company’s roots lie in the Ansonia Brass Company, founded by Anson Greene Phelps in 1844. Phelps supplied brass to Connecticut clock manufacturers until 1851, when he joined forces with two powerful clockmakers, Theodore Terry and Franklin C. Andrews, to create a clockmaking company of his own. Terry and Andrews, who had a successful clockmaking business in Bristol, sold half of their business to Phelps in exchange for cheaper brass materials. Thus, the Ansonia Clock Company subsidiary was born.

Many Ansonia clocks are eight-day movements, meaning that they only need to be rewound every eight days. However, in 1875, the company developed a 30-hour, spring-driven illuminated alarm clock with a walnut veneer case. The alarm triggered a match to ignite a wick, which illuminated the clock.

Ansonia’s extensive line of clocks included mantel clocks with elaborately painted china cases, beehive shelf clocks, miniature ogee shelf clocks with alarms, shelf clocks with glass domes surrounding the clock’s head, and regulator clocks like the 1886 "General" model, a brass 8-day, weight-driven clock with a cherry case and a dial that counted the seconds. Ansonia was also well-known for its novelty items, such as swinging clocks that featured sculpted figurines.

In July 1853, Ansonia showcased its cast-iron clocks, painted and decorated with mother-of-pearl, at the New York World’s Fair. It was one of three Connecticut clockmaking companies to exhibit at the Fair.

In the 1870s, the Ansonia Clock Company separated from the Ansonia Brass Company and moved part of its production to New York. Although the company continued to produce clocks in Connecticut, the New York factory, with clockmaker Henry J. Davies at the helm, employed more than twice as many workers—the majority of clocks produced from approximately 1880 on are marked "New York."

The Ansonia Clock Company experienced disaster in 1880 when its New York factory caught fire, causing $750,000 in damages. However, the factory was rebuilt at the same location a...

In addition to clocks, Ansonia began producing inexpensive, non-jeweled wristwatches in 1904. Production peaked 1914, when Ansonia was turning out 440 different models of clocks, but by 1920, that number had dropped to less than 140, and by 1927, it was under 50. In 1929, Ansonia was sold to Amtorg Trading Corporation, the Soviet Union’s U.S. trading company, but in 1969, the rights to the Ansonia name and trademarks were acquired by Ansonia Clock Co., Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington.

Key Terms for Antique Ansonia Clocks:

Ogee clock: Rectangular clock with ogee molding, which forms an S-shaped curve; the door underneath the face of the clock is often painted.

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Recent News: Ansonia Clocks

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Things to Do in Connecticut, April 30 Through May 8
New York Times, April 28th

ANSONIA Learn about baby birds and take a short hike. May 6 at 10 a.m. $7. Preregistration requested. Ansonia Nature ..... Credit Dan Massie. NEW HAVEN “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Sept. 3. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Consulate of Ecuador in New Haven provides information to relatives of ...
New Haven Register, April 18th

A spokesman for the consulate said they have had reports that a family from Ansonia also had two relatives in the area of the quake. He said, in an ... There is a phone number that will be active round the clock for people needing information: 1-844...Read more

Valley 'senior' prom brings young and old together in Ansonia
New Haven Register, April 8th

Mike Student, a 1962 graduate of Ansonia High School, dances with Shelton High School senior Sarah Henckel to “Twist and Shout” Thursday at the Human Relations Club's annual inter-generational “senior prom” at Ansonia High. CATHERINE AVALONE ...Read more

Text of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's State of the State address
WHIO, April 6th

I'm pleased that we already have some early adopters, such as Colerain, Ansonia, Coldwater, Sidney, Medina, and Montgomery County. We know ..... When we're a physician and we make that call at 1:00 o'clock in the morning, we're changing the world...Read more

Things to Do in Connecticut, April 2 Through April 10
New York Times, March 31st

Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road. 203-736-1053; HAMDEN History of the Giant Hike. ..... NEW HAVEN “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Sept. 3. $2 to $4; children under 12, free. Tuesdays through ...Read more

The business of time going strong, with or without Daylight Saving, March 12th

It may not surprise you to learn that daylight saving is not a topic that elicits a strong reaction, and that includes those found at the “oldest clock store in Texas”, McGuire's Clocks. It's a subject that really only makes waves twice a year. “I don...Read more

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Press of Atlantic City, August 1st

Made at Ansonia's New York factory, your clock is one of thousands produced for the firm's late 19th-century Neoclassic mantel clock line. Figures depicted on such clocks include real and mythological heroes, important authors, actors, musicians...Read more

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Press of Atlantic City, September 6th

Ansonia's eight-day, double-weight Santa Fe regulator wall clocks have a signed paper-on-tin dial as well as brass pendulum and weights housed in carved oak, black walnut or mahogany cases. One of the company's mid-range, half-hour gong striker wall ...Read more