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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Antique Ansonia Clocks

Antique Ansonia Clocks

In addition to a detailed timeline and history of the Ansonia Clock Company, this site boasts a database of photos … [read review or visit site]

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clockhistory.com

Clockhistory.com

Bill Stoddard's clock history site offers a trove of great reference information on clock and watch makers includin… [read review or visit site]

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Check out this sampling of nautical and maritime items held by the U.K.'s National Maritime Museum and Royal Observ… [read review or visit site]

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana Lockett's amazing collection of several hundred novelty Lux clocks made by the Lux Clock Manufacturin… [read review or visit site]

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Philip Haselton's guide to watchmen's time recording equipment. Includes 19th century German portables, 20th centur… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1885 Ansonia Capitol Regulator Wall Clock--8 Day With Gong StrikeAntique Ansonia Crystal Regulator With Open Escapement Clock 19thc Antique Ansonia 8-day Walnut Mantle Clock W/ Lion & Medallion Head NrLrg Antique C1900 Royal Bonn Pink La Vinda, Porcelain Mantel Ansonia Clock, NrAntique C1900 Royal Bonn La Nord Porcelain Mantel Ansonia Clock, No ReserveGorgeous Ansonia Clock Co Miniature Rococo Oak & Brass Grandfather Mantle ClockAnsonia 8 Day Lever Momement Miniture Banjo Clock Circa: 1920sAntique Ansonia "la Raine" Royal Bonn "porcelain" Striking Mantel Clock, WorkingMiniature Ansonia Repeating Alarm Clock - Ca 1920?Antique Ansonia "munich" Open Escapement Mantle ClockFantastic Original 1875 Ansonia Parlor ClockCirca 1904-1906 Ansonia "cygnet" Cherub Angel Mantel ClockAntque Ansonia Iron Clock Art Nouveau StyleAntique Ansonia Cast Iron Mantle Table Shelf Parlor Clock RunningAnsonia Cathedral Alarm ClockAntique 9" Ansonia Mantel-mantle-kitchen-shelf Clock Mahogany 8 Day Time & StrikAntique Ansonia Royal Bonn Outside Escapement Clock Movement, Dial & BezelAntique Old Vintage Ansonia Mantle Clock & Pendulum And Key See VideoAnsonia Clock Parts For Repair Or Restoration65 French Steel Fleur De Lys Trefoil Patti Ansonia Clock Hands Fr Clock MovementAnsonia Cast Iron 1892 Classical Black Mantel Clock Runs! Gongs!Antique Ansonia Black Cast Iron Mantle Shelf Clock VintageAntique Ansonia Mantel Clock Movement - Number 5 - Patented June 18 1882 Signed American Antique Clock Movement Keys Ansonia Kroeber Herschede Wm L G WatBrass Pendulum Kitchen Parlor Clock Ansonia New Haven Gilbert Welch Original #2Vintage Metal Mantle Clock W/key For Parts Or Repair-ansonia Clock Co.Ansonia Eight Day Mahogany Mantle Clock With Inlaid Case--circa 1890Antique Ansonia Mantel Clock Movement Parts RepairVintage Diecastcherub/child Statue Clock Part Ansonia Waterbury,newhaven. Lt7Antique Ansonia Clock Dial And Beveled Glass Brass Door Clock PartAntique Ansonia Mantel Clock Movement Parts RepairFive Pendulum For Ansonia Antique Clock MovementAnsonia Mantle / Desk Clock . Novelty Damson Design ,winds / TicksAntique Back Door Rear Flap Cover From Ansonia Iron Case Mantle Clock Ansonia Fullton Clock Dial, Movement, Hands And Pendulum19th Century Porcelain Ansonia Mantel ClockAnsonia Deco Brass Finished Case Mantle ClockAntique Ansonia Royal Bonn Outside Escapement Clock Hands & Hand NutAntique Ansonia ClockVintage Ansonia Clock In Bramling CaseAntique Ansonia Mantel Clock Pendulum Parts RepairAnsonia Clock Co. Gong Unit For Kitchen Parlor Shelf Parts 1920's Replace RepairAntique Ansonia Wall Clock Brooklyn, New York/ From Wright Kay,co.jewlers. Antique Ansonia Register Back Swinging Door Clock Part