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 Dec. 21-27, 2014
New York Times, December 19th

ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Winter Holiday Nature Days, outdoor activities, games and crafts. Ages 5 to 10. Dec. 29, 30 and 31, ..... 203-966-9700; NEW HAVEN New Haven Museum “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven...Read more

Column: Best and worst of fall season
Middletown Press, December 18th

Ansonia. Most dramatic game I ever saw, a distinction that lasted six hours. BEST FOOTBALL COACHING JOB >> Rob Fleeting, Windsor. Guy's good, folks. Honorable Mention: Xavier defensive coach Andy Guyon. Even coach Sean Marinan admitted he ...Read more

Championship Saturday makes for legendary tales …
Plainville Citizen, December 16th

Ansonia game and the Xavier vs. Shelton game were extraordinary. By now you have to know what happened, but if not, here's the Cliff Notes version. Valley Regional did nothing against Ansonia for three and a half quarters. The Warriors trailed 8-0...Read more

Ansonia football team stunned in title game
The Valley Gazette, December 13th

The Ansonia High football team saw its opportunity to bring home a fourth straight championship curtailed by a dogged effort by Valley Regional/Old Lyme in the Class S-Large Division title game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in New Britain on Saturday...Read more

One play spells Ansonia's defeat in Class S Large final
CT Post, December 13th

The Warriors took the opening possession of the game to the Ansonia 10-yard line. Chewing up half the first quarter clock, Valley Regional's drive was halted by a holding and false start penalties and ultimately a failed fourth down conversion. For the...Read more

Mississinawa Valley girls defeat rival Ansonia
The Daily Advocate, December 12th

A Heather Johns Blackhawks basket and a Stammen trey for the visitors gave the Lady Tigers a 10-5 lead with 0:24 showing on the first quarter clock. A Heather Johns free throw at 0:07 closed out the first quarter scoring with Ansonia holding 10-6 lead...Read more

Events in Connecticut for Dec. 14-20, 2014
New York Times, December 11th

ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Winter Solstice Drumming Circle. Canned food donations accepted for Spooner ..... NEW HAVEN New Haven Museum “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Keeping things ticking with the Maryland Clock Company
Baltimore Sun, December 5th

Doris Graham pieces together the green marble casing on a 1904 Ansonia clock made in NY. Maryland Clock Co. is a family-owned business in existence since 1950. Rick Graham says he fixes the clocks, and his wife, Doris, “does everything else.” (Algerina ...Read more