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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Fantastic voyage: UConn walk-on proves dreams can come true
Waterbury Republican American, April 21st

As the final seconds ticked down on the national championship game clock, Ansonia's Tierney Lawlor was one of five UConn women's players on Nashville's Bridgestone Arena court. One year removed from playing in the Naugatuck Valley League, she was ...Read more

UConn shows signs of improvement
CT Post, April 12th

The first half was a standard game clock. The second half was running clock. Steve Hashemi of St. Joseph and Arkeel Newsome of Ansonia, who are finishing their high school studies and will be with the program next season, were at the game...Read more

Kulish to receive Good Sport Award
Shelton Herald, April 8th

Then as an eighth-grader 27 years ago, he was taught how to run the basketball clock at Rams home games and has been introducing starting lineups with a personal flair all his own for the last 15. ... Other award winners are: Cheshire girls volleyball...Read more

Football Death Of Gardner Dow Silenced UConn Campus In 1919
Hartford Courant, March 29th

The section of the story listing attendees included "Gardner Dow, '21, with Miss Francis Bristol of Ansonia." Four months later, Dow made the trip with the Aggies ... He grew rapidly worse and died at 7 o'clock. Dow was one of the most popular men on...Read more

Clock and watch show in Lenexa
Kansas City Star, March 28th

The show, which continues from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, is hosted by the Heart of America Chapter and the Great Plains Chapters of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. About 80 dealers of antique clocks, watches and ...Read more

Memory jars popular with collectors
Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 27th

The mark on your clock was used from 1890 to 1920 for clocks with Ansonia works and Royal Bonn cases. There are many Ansonia Royal Bonn clocks available. They sell for $500 to $750, depending on condition and the quality of the case and decoration...Read more

Kristjan Ndoj remembered as compassionate teen
CT Post, March 27th

When the clock approached 8:45 p.m. two shots fired from a wooded area struck Kristjan in the head and leg, dropping him onto a driveway at 1 Agawam Trail. He died five days later. The 15-year-old Shelton High sophomore was buried Thursday in Derby's...Read more