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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Antiques: Roman warrior Ansonia clock 19th-century noveltyPress of Atlantic City, August 1st
I have searched through 1,200 pictures in Ansonia catalogs and cannot see anything like it. The clock is marked with an A inside a square over a diamond as well as "NY USA" and "Pat 1882." I hope you can give me some information about Ansonia and this ...Read more
Things to Do in Connecticut, Aug. 2 to 8, 2015New York Times, July 30th
Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road. ansonianaturecenter.org; 203-736-1053. DANBURY Danbury Railway Museum Danbury Railway Days, ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Dec. 31. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more
Bulletin Board: 7/31/15Orange Town News (press release), July 29th
Clean Energy Task Force of Orange, meets on the third Tuesday of every month at HPCC, 525 Orange Center Road, conference room, 8 o'clock. ... Tuition/$150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175/all others...Read more
Things to Do in Connecticut, July 26 to Aug. 1, 2015New York Times, July 23rd
For Children. ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Wilderness Skills Summer Nature Camp. Ages 11 and up. July 27 through 31. $150 and $175. ..... Through Aug. 2. “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Dec. 31. $2 to $4; children under 12, ...Read more
Easton Police Commission member charged in drug probeCT Post, July 14th
“Have him call my store and ask for me between 2 & 4,” Martin, owner of Martin's News and Smoke in Stratford, told a 28-year-old Ansonia man who has since been charged in the case, according to the affidavit. “Ask for me about cigars.” Federal ... “He...Read more
Focus on Southington: Hearing Health & Wellness CenterBristol Press, July 13th
SOUTHINGTON — For 11 years, Hearing Health & Wellness Center has provided quality hearing services tailored to individual needs. Dr. Linda A. Vasile, a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, is the owner of the center, at 710 Main St. in Clock...Read more
Monday Musings: Middletown still beating BerlinMiddletown Press, July 5th
In no special order, they were Xavier's improbable, exciting football Class LL-Small state championship win over Shelton, Valley Regional's equally improbable, come-from-way-behind state Class S-Large state championship football win over Ansonia, and...Read more
Secrets of the Great HouseTrinidad & Tobago Express, July 5th
Those buildings are gone now and the attic can no longer be accessed, but surviving it all was the antique Ansonia Octagon clock, older even than the house, under which generations of Dials marked time. Pillars shaped into hands holding a sphere, stand...Read more