Founded in 1853, the New Haven Clock Company was the first to mass-produce brass clock movements in America. The company was formed to supply these movements to the Jerome Manufacturing Company, then the largest clockmaker in the world. When Jerome went bankrupt in 1856, New Haven Clock Company purchased it.

One of the primary benefits of the Jerome purchase for New Haven was the good reputation of the Jerome brand and the network of companies that remained interested in selling its clocks. In England, Jerome & Co. Ltd. sold Jerome clocks for New Haven until 1904, when New Haven purchased the English firm outright.

Among the Jerome clocks that New Haven produced for export was an 1860 mantel clock called the Duchess. It had a rosewood veneer case, an angled top, Roman-numeral letters on its dial, and a glass window to reveal the swinging pendulum inside.

Double-dial calendar clocks, for walls and shelves, were also popular. Some had light oak cases, some were made of rich walnut, and still others were produced by New Haven for the National Calendar Clock Company. One of these has three finials on top and is especially sought by collectors of antique New Haven clocks thanks to the word "Fashion" emblazoned between the two dials (Fashion was a popular magazine of the day; Seth Thomas and others also made these so-called Fashion clocks).

Perhaps the most collectible of the late 19th-century New Haven clocks is the Ignatz, or flying pendulum shelf clock, from 1884. Instead of a lever, anchor, recoil, or other traditional type of escapement, the flying pendulum had a ball-and-string "tetherball" escapement that whipped from side to side on the top of the clock’s case. New Haven produced them as Jerome & Co. clocks, but only for about a year.

New Haven made hundreds of other models, from banjo clocks to regulators to grandfathers, with names like Anglo, English, Glenor, and Occidental. In 1880, they even added a line of non-jeweled pocket watches.

But mismanagement plagued the otherwise successful company. After flirting with bankruptcy in 1894, New Haven pulled itself together in 1902 when Walter C. Camp, who was then kno...

The changes Camp instituted were enough to keep the company profitable through the Depression, but after World War II, the company struggled through disruption caused by a takeover and poor sales, finally folding operations in 1960, a little more than 100 years after it had been founded.

Key terms for Antique New Haven Clocks:

Escapement: A device that converts the pressure of a spring or coil into a fixed release of movement.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

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    

Antique Rare New Haven "carmen" 1889 Walnut Shelf Parlor Clock Working Well Antique New Haven Banjo Clock, 8-day, Nautical Theme, Rare, Works!New Haven Westminster Chime Mantel Clock @ 1920s With Gothic Spires NiceAntique Vintage Car Clock Early Automobile **new Haven Clock Company**New Haven Clock Co. Arch Top . Wee - Wag ,( Hard To Find) .Antique Enameled Metal New Haven Shelf Mantle Clock With Brass AccentsAntique / Vintage New Haven Dresser Clock Beveled Glass Second Hand WorksOld New Haven Clock Co. Striking Movement & Dial Face W Glass BezelAntique New Haven Wall Clock Movement Parts RepairNew Haven Minature 8 Day Walnut Mantel Clock Waterbury L@@kGingerbread Clock Case Parts Project Oak Circa 1900 Possibly A New HavenAntique New Haven 22" Tall Gingerbread Mantel Striking Clock Antique Chauchey Jerome New Haven Clock Movement - Parts Or RepairNew Haven 8-day Weight Clock Time & Strike Clock Movement, Mid-19th CenturyNew Haven Clock Co. 8 Day Wall Clock CaseNew Haven Mantle Clock With Key And Interior Pendulum Parts Or RepairNew Haven Vtg Small Mantle Clock/rca Cabinet Co Walnut Case-parts/repair Rare!New Haven Dresser Clock Works Great Find Old Vintage Antique Clock Nice Look!!!!Antique New Haven Cast Iron Metal Windup Desk Mantle Clock Working Parts RepairVintage New Haven Copper Desk Clock Vtg New Haven Steeple-style Metal Clock - Works, Hand Wind-up -antique, Old,runsWorking 55 56 Chevy Clock 150 210 Bel Air New Haven 12v Show QualityVintage Burwood Syroco Kitchen Family Wall Clock 1970's New Haven Quartz WorkingVintage Clock Parts New Haven All Very Old