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 Feb. 1-7, 2015
New York Times, January 29th

Ansonia Nature Center, 10 Deerfield Road.; 203-736-1053. HAMDEN Sleeping Giant Park Winter Tree Identification Hike. Feb. ..... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Calendar: NHSO tells kids a story - 'Greta's Dream,' the tale of a hippo that ...
New Haven Register, January 26th

FOXWOODS RUN: Jamie Kennedy, who was in two “Scream” movies and had his own show on Fox network, not to mention roles in “As Good As It Gets” and “Three Kings,” begins a three-night standup comedy run at the Comix comedy club at Foxwoods ...Read more

CL&P line workers blast consolidation plans
West Hartford News, January 26th

The consolidations are a continuation of a process at CL&P and its corporate parent, Northeast Utilities, that started in January 2014 with the closing of a Yankee Gas work center in Ansonia, Cirillo said, and continued with the shutdown of a similar...Read more

Lehman can't hold lead
Piqua Daily Call, January 24th

Nick Beard came down with the rebound, was fouled in the scuffle for the ball and hit a free throw with 2.6 seconds on the clock to give Miami East (12-1, 6-0 Cross County Conference) a narrow and thrilling 44-43 victory at Bethel. “We battled back...Read more

Vikings hold off Bees, stay atop CCC
Troy Daily News, January 24th

Nick Beard came down with the rebound, was fouled in the scuffle for the ball and hit a free throw with 2.6 seconds on the clock to give Miami East (12-1, 6-0 Cross County Conference) a narrow and thrilling 44-43 victory at Bethel. “We battled back...Read more

Events in Connecticut for Jan. 25-31, 2015
New York Times, January 22nd

203-755-4700; Outdoors. ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Art of Animal Tracking, guided nature walk and educational activities. Jan. .... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Events in Connecticut for Jan. 18-24, 2015
New York Times, January 17th

ANSONIA Ansonia Nature Center Art of Animal Tracking, guided nature walk and educational activities. Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. Free. Ansonia Nature Center, 10 .... “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.” Through May 30. $2 to $4; children under 12, free...Read more

Bank's donation helps Ansonia
The Daily Advocate, January 8th

At Ansonia, that mean upgrading the scoreboards in the school's gymnasium. Ansonia needed upgrades to its scoreboard controllers and wireless systems, Athletics Director Matt Macy said, and almost $7,000 donated by Greenville Federal allowed the ...Read more