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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Jim Bransfield: Picks for Saturday's football semifinalsMiddletown Press, December 6th
The Blue Wave held off fellow Class L semifinalist North Haven 36-27, stopped New Canaan with a last second goal-line stand to win 28-24 on Thanksgiving, then beat Hand 31-29 with a field goal as the clock ran out in the quarterfinal round of the...Read more
Osborne Homestead Museum decor offers dazzling holiday spiritNew Haven Register, December 1st
The club also paid tribute to the state's many clock manufacturers, including Seth Thomas and the Ansonia Clock Co. The Olde Kellogg Garden Society members highlighted fine dining in decorating the formal dining room, Robinson said. Oxford resident ...Read more
Highlights of the Ansonia-Naugatuck rivalryWaterbury Republican American, November 27th
Ansonia 48, Naugatuck 27: Arkeel Newsome rushed for 218 yards and five touchdowns yet the Clarence Fortin Trophy given each year to the game's MVP went to Ansonia quarterback Jai'quan McKnight, who set the tone for the game with two big touchdown runs...Read more
Hawks win Copper title in dramatic fashionMy Citizens News, November 20th
As long as there is time on the clock, this team believes they can get it done. Woodland's Copper title is its second straight, and the Hawks will face Ansonia on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury for the NVL title. They also...Read more
NVL championship game: who will win?Waterbury Republican American (blog), November 20th
Woodland coach Tim Shea's take: The Hawks must control the clock and keep the Chargers' high-powered offense off the field. They will need to minimize turnovers and costly penalities while capitalizing on Ansonia's miscues. Ansonia coach Tom Brockett's ...Read more
End-of-the-month sales are a feast of qualityTribune-Review, November 17th
For those who never seem to have enough time, the sale offers a nice collection of clocks and watches. Among the standouts are an English Hepplewhite tall case clock, a German “Dufa” grandfather clock, a Victorian townhouse clock, an Ansonia figural...Read more
Public sales: Mandolin brings $600Lancaster Newspapers, November 17th
$210; a pair of owl andirons, $200; an Ansonia mantel clock, $160; a 4-gallon stoneware crock, $160; two Dietz driving lamps,$160; an oak bed with mattress, $230; a grandfather cherry clock, $290; a Hitchcock dinette set, $230; a Hoosier kitchen...Read more
Naugy shakes off slow start, rolls over EaglesWaterbury Republican American, November 15th
Naugatuck's seven scoring drives averaged fewer than five plays and 70 seconds. "It doesn't take us long," Bradley said. "We have a very quick offense and the play clock is probably around 20 seconds when we snap it. That duo, plus the running...Read more