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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Trinity Catholic football to battle Morgan in S quarterfinalThe Advocate, November 30th
Trinity Catholic captured the 1993 Class S title (14-12 over Putnam). Tough news to swallow: The winner will probably have to travel to No. 1 seed Ansonia for the S semifinals. Ansonia lost the 2014 Class S Large final, 21-20 to Valley Regional/Old Lyme...Read more
Ansonia honors missile site servicemenCT Post, November 28th
One plaque reminded all that during the 13-day Cuban missile crisis the site's “battle stations were manned around the clock in defense of this nation.” “Those were some shaky times,” said Jim Mills, now 78, a U.S. Army sergeant stationed at the site...Read more
Lewis: CIAC football playoffs create lots of memoriesWaterbury Republican American, November 28th
Keep the ball for long periods of time, leaving less than a second on the play clock down after down. 4. Don't allow the Ansonia runners to get outside. 5. Don't allow the Ansonia runners to get room inside. Basically, good luck. Southington, the No. 1...Read more
Officials: Real savings with artificial turfCT Post, November 28th
Synthetic turf fields can be used around the clock in just about any weather condition. Their durability is .... The Naugatuck Valley League has two grass fields that are rich in tradition: Ansonia's Nolan Field and Derby's DeFilippo Field. “Between...Read more
Things to Do in Connecticut, Nov. 27 to Dec. 6, 2015New York Times, November 26th
Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road. ansonianaturecenter.org; 203-736-1053. HARTFORD Breakfast with Santa, caroling and crafts. ..... NEW HAVEN "From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven." Through Dec. 31. "The Nation's Greatest Hits: 100 ...Read more
Trinity Catholic has plenty to be thankful forThe Advocate, November 25th
The Warriors prefer to run and control clock with junior Joe McFadden (47 carries, 241 yards), sophomore Will Litton (88 carries, 414 yards) and sophomore Harvey Alexander (39 carries, 143 yards). Junior wide receiver Joe Pozzi (18 receptions, 173...Read more
Connecticut players making an impact with HuskiesNew Haven Register, November 24th
STORRS >> The gregarious sure-handed receiver from Norwalk and soft-spoken big-play specialist from Ansonia have taken decidedly different paths to become headliners on the UConn football team but in many ways Noel Thomas and Arkeel Newsome feel like...Read more
Antiques: Roman warrior Ansonia clock 19th-century noveltyPress of Atlantic City, August 1st
Made at Ansonia's New York factory, your clock is one of thousands produced for the firm's late 19th-century Neoclassic mantel clock line. Figures depicted on such clocks include real and mythological heroes, important authors, actors, musicians...Read more