In 1902, William E. Sessions, who ran the Sessions Foundry Company in Bristol, Connecticut, and his nephew A.L. Sessions bought the controlling interest of the fledgling clockmaker E.N. Welch Company, which was about to shut its doors. By early 1903, E.N. Welch had become the Sessions Clock Company, and the production of all clock parts—movements, dials, artwork and castings, and cases—continued in nearby Forestville.
The peak period of production for the Sessions Clock Company was from 1903 to 1930. At first, Sessions simply continued to produce Welch clocks, notably the black mantel clock and the oak-cased kitchen clock. To date these clocks, collectors needn’t look past the label. If it was made before 1903, the label will read “E.N. Welch.” If it was made after 1903, it will say both “E.N. Welch” and “Sessions Clock Company.” The process of phasing out the Welch brand was gradual, though by 1920 the old name was practically gone.
Around that time, Sessions began upgrading its clocks and moving on from the old Welch designs. One of the first of these new Sessions clocks was a then state-of-the-art regulator—clocks from this period are favorites of collectors today.
The move to regulators worked well for awhile, but by 1930 Sessions realized that electricity was the wave of the future. Thus, the company began producing electric clocks, radio timers, and even televisions. The Great Depression caused Sessions to cease production of spring-wound clocks altogether in 1936, and, during World War II, the Sessions plant devoted itself to the manufacture of war materials.
After the war, Sessions shifted gears again by making cheap electric alarm clocks and kitchen clocks. In 1956, it changed its name to The Sessions Company as sales began to slump. Although innovation was not the company’s strong suit, in the ’50s it introduced “The Lady,” a family-planning clock that was set to a woman’s menstrual cycle to show the days during which she was most fertile. Not surprisingly, these clocks were never very popular during the conservative 1950s, although they are highly sought after by collectors today.
In 1958 Sessions was sold to Consolidated Electronics Industries Corporation, a New York-based company, though production in Connecticut continued. That same year William Sessions, Jr., left Sessions to become a founding member of The New England Clock Company. Following a workers’ strike in 1968, Sessions was sold to United Metal Goods Company, and the Connecticut office was done. By 1969, The Sessions Company was no longer making clocks.
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Recent News: Sessions Clocks
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Litchfield: Tim's Cabin Fever Auction takes place April 26Torrington Register Citizen, April 23rd
pillar-and-scroll clock; an oak country store clock advertising Calumet Baking Powder by the Sessions Clock Company (Forrestville, Conn.); four grandfather clocks, one of them mahogany, in the Gothic style, with eight chimes; banjo clocks, mostly...Read more
101 things to know about ForestvilleBristol Press, April 13th
With blocks of its old Central Square are most of the places identified by nearly everyone with Forestville: Manross Library, Nuchies restaurant, the post office, the old Sessions Clock factory, St. Matthew Church, Greene-Hills School and more. With...Read more
Bristol's "Art Squad" Transforming the City One Vacant Storefront at a TimeWNPR News, April 9th
Vigue's studio is in the old Sessions Clock factory. Her father worked at the factory, a reminder for her of better times for Bristol. "That was a time when the city could have its identity and pride based on clock manufacturing, and all of these great...Read more
Time crunch: City scrambles to destroy buildingBristol Press, March 19th
The payloader that ripped into the structure pulled brick walls away from the river, yanked out trees growing through the walls and roof of the building that was once part of Sessions Clock complex. Lauretti, a construction firm, has been there since 1967...Read more
Saku Koivu's Legacy Goes Beyond HockeyTheSportsJury (blog), September 12th
On Wednesday Saku Koivu announced his retirement after 18 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and the Anaheim Ducks leaving the game as one of the most respected players. koivu Though he never truly reached elite status in the League, nor ...Read more
Clock doctor has a timeless professionNew Jersey Hills, July 15th
During the mid-1800s, Ridder said that most of the nation's clock manufacturers were located in Connecticut, which was home to larger companies, such as Sessions Clock Company, Waterbury Clock Company, E.N. Welch Co., and Seth Thomas. But most of ...Read more
Joe Rosson: 'Black Mantel Clock' made by Sessions in early 1900sKnoxville News Sentinel, July 14th
It is dark black and the back panel has the label “Sessions Clock Company, Forestville, Conn, USA.” There is some thought that it may have been part of a promotion by a local company, but that is uncertain. Any information you can provide is appreciated...Read more
Crocked character clutches crazy clockQuad City Times, March 5th
This is a product of the Sessions Clock Co., a business that dates to 1903 and is one of six manufacturers in the Connecticut area that collectively produced most of the mechanical clocks in America during the first half of the 20th century. Electric...Read more