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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Events in Connecticut for March 1-7, 2015
New York Times, February 27th

Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road. ansonianaturecenter.org; 203-736-1053. STAMFORD Stamford Museum & Nature Center Maple Sugar Festival ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Woodsy Duplex Carved From Former Clock Factory Asks $1.6M
Curbed NY, February 24th

Once upon a time, southern Park Slope's Ansonia Clock Factory churned out timekeepers. In 1982, the German Romanesque Revival building was converted to co-ops called Ansonia Court while managing to maintain the beams, columns, and ceilings of the ...Read more

Ansonia loses in tourney on last-second shot
The Daily Advocate, February 21st

After Mechanicsburg went up 2-0 on the first possession of the game, Ansonia responded with an 8-0 run. Then after a Mechanicsburg basket, Ansonia scored the next four points to increase its lead to 10 points, prompting the Indians to use their second ...Read more

Nippon teapot noted for lavish colours
Waterloo Record, February 21st

A This is one of a series of figural clocks made by the Ansonia Clock Co., a Connecticut manufacturer that relocated to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1878, where it continued operations until about 1930. There are many European figural clocks more elaborate than...Read more

Events in Connecticut for Feb. 22-28, 2015
New York Times, February 20th

For Children. ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center “A Passion for Birds,” performance by Henry Lappen showing the form and movement of different species. Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. Free. ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4 ...Read more

Ansonia beats Bradford on senior night
The Daily Advocate, February 13th

Garrett responded with a Lady Tigers 3-pointer, giving Ansonia a 32-30 lead at 5:15 only to have Moore hit a Railroaders 6-foot shot to knot the score at 32-32 with 3:34 on the game clock. Back-to-back Garrett assists made way for Helmke and Thwaits...Read more

Events in Connecticut for Feb. 15-21, 2015
New York Times, February 12th

ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Presidents' Day Owling, birding activities. Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. Free. Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road. .... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free. Tuesdays ...Read more

Arcanum girls defeat Ansonia
The Daily Advocate, February 6th

Thwaits dropped in back-to-back free throws to open second quarter scoring, cutting the Arcanum's lead to 16-13, followed by a Johnting Trojans' trey and a Thwaits 8-foot jumper in the paint to make the score 19-15 with 6:07 on the second quarter clock...Read more