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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Brian Koonz: On this night, Newtown would not be deniedDanbury News Times, October 17th
On a night when the Ansonia High football team hoped to carve a share of state history, the Nighthawks grabbed the moment instead in a 14-8 victory over the Chargers at Blue and Gold Stadium. Never once did Newtown snap the football as a spoiler, even...Read more
Dillahunt's big night propels TC to winTroy Daily News, October 17th
He finished with, unofficially, 338 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns — but had it not been for the OHSAA's new running clock rule in the second half, there's no telling how many yards he may have racked up. “He was pretty amazing,” Troy coach...Read more
Planners look to extend pot moratorium another yearThe Ridgefield Press, October 17th
The clock will strike midnight on the town's medical marijuana moratorium Oct. 18, but the Planning and Zoning Commission isn't worried about a dispensary shop or growing facility opening in town any time soon. “The state isn't issuing any more...Read more
Calendar: Platt Tech Fall Craft-Food Truck Festival SaturdayNew Haven Register, October 16th
New Haven: “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven,” highlights astonishing variety of goods that were and are produced in the Elm City, now-May 30, New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave., 203-562-4183, newhavenmuseum.org. New Haven: Black Rock Fort...Read more
Hearing center listens to your needsNewbritainherald, October 13th
D., Fellow, American Academy of Audiology, is the owner of the center, at 710 Main St. in Clock Tower Square, Plantsville. She has over 20 years experience helping people with hearing loss and worked in clinical audiology at The Hearing Center in...Read more
Arcanum beats Ansonia in game dominated by offensesThe Daily Advocate, October 11th
ARCANUM – The offenses dominated Friday night's football game between Ansonia and Arcanum as the teams combined for more than 900 yards of offense, but the Trojans made just enough plays on offense, defense and special teams to win 45-29...Read more
St. Paul football team set for Ansonia challengeBristol Press, October 9th
St. Paul will try to run the ball and control the clock to keep Ansonia's offense off the field. “If we can do that, that helps,” Kelly said. The Falcons know they face a major uphill battle tonight against the Chargers, but they still plan on showing...Read more
Ansonia gets 1st win of seasonThe Daily Advocate, October 3rd
“It's a relief,” Ansonia coach Eugene Hoening said of his team's first win of the season, which also was his 199th career win. “We were able to hold them out just enough. They have some tremendous athletes. We were fortunate to keep them out of the end ...Read more