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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Skinner's Americana SaleMaine Antique Digest, May 18th
Among several portraits of American paddle-wheelers and side-wheelers, an unsigned portrait of the paddle-wheel steamer Ansonia, 24" x 32", sold in the room for $15,990 (est. $4000/6000). .... $800/1200). A couple of clocks also brought good results...Read more
Calendar: New York Met at Guilford Library, Madison Chamber of Commerce ...New Haven Register, May 17th
Cheshire: Cheshire Symphony Orchestra seeks violin, viola and bass players to play advanced repertoire, orchestral experience is preferred but not required, rehearsals 7:30-9:30 p.m. Mondays, Dodd Middle School, 203-915-1568, or email ...Read more
Things to Do in Connecticut, May 10 to 16, 2015New York Times, May 8th
ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Spring migrants of the nature center, guided bird walk. May 16 at 8 a.m. Free. Explore Redwing Pond, lessons on ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Dec. 31 $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more
Seymour Land Trust president devours competition in taco eating contest ...New Haven Register, May 5th
Seymour Land Trust President Alex Danka pretends to bite the plastic taco on the top of the championship trophy at the Cinco de Mayo Elected Officials' Taco-Eating Contest Tuesday, after downing 14 tacos to benefit TEAM, Inc.'s Meals on Wheels program...Read more
Calendar: Mary Higgins Clark, Creative Arts Workshop gala, Cinco de Mayo ...New Haven Register, May 2nd
IRELAND'S HAPPY MAN: Irish entertainer Cahal Dunne, also known as “Ireland's Happy Man,” will be featured at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Irish American Community Center, 9 Venice Place. Dunne is a singer, songwriter, storyteller and pianist who has appeared ...Read more
Things to Do in Connecticut, May 3 to 9, 2015New York Times, April 30th
ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Nature's Child: Baby Birds, educational and outdoor activities. May 8 at 10:30 a.m. $5 and $7. D.E.E.P. C.A.R.E.: Fishing ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through Dec. 31 $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more
Two Platt seniors set to join auto skills competition in MayMilford Mirror, April 29th
Representing Milford's Platt Technical High School will be seniors Mark McCormack of Stratford and Billy Scalzi of Ansonia. Their instructor at Platt is Kirk Stankiewicz. The AAA/Ford Student Auto Skills competition is open to 11th and 12th ... During...Read more
Woodsy Duplex Carved From Former Clock Factory Asks $1.6MCurbed 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