William L. Gilbert was one of the foremost clockmakers of 19th-century Connecticut, a state that gave the world Eli Terry, Seth Thomas, Chauncey and Noble Jerome, Joseph Ives, and Elias Ingraham. Gilbert’s first company was founded in 1828 in partnership with his brother-in-law, George Marsh. A decade later, Gilbert was in business with Chauncey Jerome himself, whose brass movements formed the heart of Gilbert’s new mantel clocks with ogee-style cases.

Economy became Gilbert’s calling card, whether the clock was powered by a spring or weight-driven. Gilbert’s clocks were inexpensive timepieces designed for the masses. Which is not to say their cases were always bare-bones and simple. Some of its metal-cased clocks were bronzed, with ornate feet, vine-draped pillars, and finials resembling fat artichokes or abundant cornucopias. When Gilbert clock cases were made of wood, oak was often the material of choice, engraved with faux shingles and floral scrolls, while rosewood was used to create miniature shelf clocks with octagon-shaped tops.

Other Gilbert clocks were made for the kitchen, with stenciled numbers and patterns and simple shapes resembling mildly ornamented A-frames. Gilbert was one of many companies that mimicked the steeple clocks first introduced by Ingraham, and it followed in the footsteps of Ansonia with its cast-metal statue clocks, which typically paired a modest-sized timepiece on a platform that was mostly designed to support, say, a rider astride a rearing horse.

By the 1900s, Gilbert was also a leading producer of alarm clocks such as the Winlite, whose round face and loop at the top made it resemble an outsize pocket watch. Other Gilbert alarm clocks were capped by bells. In fact, alarm clocks allowed Gilbert to continue to produce clocks during World War II, when other manufacturers had to suspend production for the war effort (alarm clocks were deemed a necessity). But by the 1960s, more than a century after its founding, Gilbert finally wound down.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clockhistory.com

Clockhistory.com

Bill Stoddard's clock history site offers a trove of great reference information on clock and watch makers includin… [read review or visit site]

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Check out this sampling of nautical and maritime items held by the U.K.'s National Maritime Museum and Royal Observ… [read review or visit site]

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana Lockett's amazing collection of several hundred novelty Lux clocks made by the Lux Clock Manufacturin… [read review or visit site]

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Philip Haselton's guide to watchmen's time recording equipment. Includes 19th century German portables, 20th centur… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Gilbert Curfew Mantle Clock, Good Running Condition Very Rare Open EscapementAntique Mantel Clock Gilbert "mitra" T&s Cherry Original Finish 1879 No Reserve1890 Gilbert Large Store Regulator Wall ClockGorgeous Antique 1881 W.m. Gilbert Majestic Mantel Shelf ClockAntique Art Nouveau Gilbert Goddess Figural Gilt Shelf Key Wind Working Clock Antique Victorian William L Gilbert Parisian Parlor Walnut Mantle Clock ChimesAntique Gilbert Adamantine Style Mantle ClockGilbert Shelf Or Mantle ClockVintage Wm L Gilbert Clock Co Wood Wooden Mantle Shelf Clock Winsted ConnAntique Gilbert 8 Day Mantel Clock Open Escapement Movement Parts Nice Dial NrOriginal Gilbert Hollywood Model Wall Clock W/ Normandy Chimes Model 3080Antique 1879 Gilbert Wall Clock Chime Needs Repair Or Use For PartsAntique Gilbert Ball Desk Clock Globe Metal Case Novelty Vintage 1920s Key WindAntique Gilbert Eureka Parlor Mantle Clock 8 Day Strike 1907 Running (bg1)Antique Wm Gilbert Clock Co. 8 Day Wood Shelf/mantle Gingerbread Concord Grape Rare And Unusual Vintage Gilbert Eastlake Presentation ClockRare Antique 1880 Ingraham Mirror Clock With Brass W Gilbert Pendulum Works!Vintage Antique Gilbert Mantle ClockGilbert / New Haven Clock Wood Case W/ Figures No Movement1930's Gilbert ? Coca-cola Clock Square Wood & Glass Works 14”Antique Ornate Mantle Clock Feet Waterbury Gilbert Ingraham SessionsOld Gilbert Mantle Shelf Clock 1/2 Hour Bell Movement Clock PartsAntique Seth Thomas Ansonia Ingraham Gilbert Mantle Kitchen Clock Pendulum PartsGilbert Cherub ClockWonderful Early Rosewood Shelf Clock------gilbert??-------welch???Vintage, Antique Sessions / Gilbert Mantel ClockAntique Gilbert Mantel Mantle 4 Column Shelf Key Wind Working Clock Antique Victorian W. L. Gilbert Clock Co. Mantle Clock BeautifulAntique Gilbert Mahogany Mantel Or Shelf Clock 8 Day For Restoration No. 384 Vintage Gilbert Wall Clock Dated 1904Antique Clock Movement GilbertGilbert Shelf Clock Movement For Parts1960's Vintage Goodyear Cross Rib Tires Advertising Desk Clock Runs Good GilbertVintage Gilbert Alarm Clock - N.o.sGilbert 8 Day Clock Movement For Parts Or RestoreVintage Gilbert Time And Strike Marble And Metal Mantel Clock -Unusual Antique Gilbert Mantle Clock - Pressed Wood - Deer And Dogs1904 Gilbert Polar Time & Strike Clock ( Great )