This is a list of 10 popular antique clock makers. There were many master clock makers in the 19th century. I have provided a brief history of the following clock makers.
Antique clock makers
Ansonia made mantle, wall, grandfather and alarm clocks. They were produced from 1850-1929. The Ansonia Clock company was based in Bristol, CT and Brooklyn, NY. The Ansonia Clock company specialized in upscale novelty clocks such as swinging and statue, figurine clocks. Ansonia declined after World War I. They lost much of their business to lower-cost clock makers.
Ingraham made clocks from 1828-1978. The Ingraham Clock company was located in Connecticut. Founder Elias Ingraham received 17 patents for clock parts. Elias son Edward pioneered enamel paint techniques. This lead to a large number of black Ingraham mantle clocks. Ingraham’s made their wooden 8-day pendulum wall and mantle clocks until WWII. In later years the Ingraham Clock company changed production to metal and plastic electric clocks, and watches.
The Gilbert Manufacturing Company existed from 1866 â€“ 1871. Fire destroyed the company in 1871. The company re-built later that year as the William L Gilbert Clock Company. After the Great Depression the William L Gilbert Clock Company reorganized as the William L. Gilbert Clock Corporation. In 1964 the William L. Gilbert Clock Corporation was sold to the Spartus Corporation of Chicago.
Waterbury was founded in 1857.Â The Waterbury Clock Co. became an icon in American homes. The Waterbury Clock Co. produced a large number of wall and mantle clocks in every medium from brass to wood to porcelain. The Waterbury Clock Co. also made watches, including the original Mickey Mouse watch. After surviving the Great Depression and WWII, the Waterbury Clock company became known as the U.S. Time Corporation. The U.S. Time Corporation is still in operation today as the Timex Corporation.
The New Haven Clock Company was founded in 1853. The New Haven Clock Company was the first mass-producer of brass clock movements in America. Through World War II the New Haven Clock company made watches, wall and mantle clocks. They went bankrupt in 1960.
Seth Thomas was born in 1785. In Connecticut Seth Thomas was an apprentice clock maker. In 1810 Seth Thomas bought his own clock factory. He started by making wooden movement tall clocks. Seth Thomas added wooden movement shelf clocks, and then brass movements in the popular O.G. case style these were made until 1913.
Howard Miller Clock Company was founded in 1926.Â The company’s founder, Howard C. Miller, was trained in the art of clock making by his father, Herman, in the Black Forest region of Germany. In the 1960’s, the company turned its attention to grandfather clocks, eventually earning the company the title of “World’s Largest Manufacturer of Grandfather Clocks.â€ The Howard Miller Clock Company is still in business today.
Sessions was one of the numerous Connecticut-based clock companies. Sessions made mechanical, wall, and mantle clocks from 1903 to 1930. They also produced inexpensive mantle clocks under the Attleboro brand. Sessions later expanded into electrical clocks and timer mechanisms, until liquidation in 1969. In 1958, W.K. Sessions formed The New England Clock Company. They produced quality clocks with beautiful cases until approximately the year 2000, when they closed their plant. Unlike Sessions,Â The New England Clock Company purchased a majority of their movements abroad, mostly from Germany.
In 1868 En Welch bought the Forrestville Company from J.C. Brown and two other failing companies and formed The Welch, Spring Company. Elisha died in 1887 and his son, James became president of the company.Â In 1899 a fire destroyed the movement factory. Later that same year, the case factory was also destroyed by fire. In 1902 Financial issues followed. In 1903 the company was taken over by William E. Sessions and the name of the company was changed to the Sessions Clock Company. The Sessions Company continued to produce E.N. Welch’s clocks until approximately 1936. At this time, Sessions stopped making spring driven clocks and turned to the new electric clock. The company was successful for many years. In 1958, Sessions lost over a million dollars and was sold to Consolidated Electronics Industries Corporation of New York. They continued to produce electric clocks in Forrestville, Connecticut with the Sessions name until 1968. The company was again sold to United Metal Goods Company of Brooklyn, New York, They made electric clocks and coffee makers. United Metal Goods Company stopped production in Forrestville, and sold the buildings.
In 1861 Gebr Junghans Uhrenfabrik was established by Erhard Junghans with Franz Xaver in the Black Forest, making parts for clocks. Erhard Junghans (1823-70) originally followed in his father’s footsteps working as a designer in a Schramberg porcelain factory in the Black Forest. In 1903 Junghans was the largest clock-maker in the world. They were well-known for producing a wide variety of clocks. The company further expanded over years merging with well-known German clock makers including Lenzkirch, Thomas Haller and Gustav Becker.
After war and dismantling, it seemed the end for the Black Forest clock makers. Under great-grandson Helmuth Junghans the work of reconstruction was begun. Today, this clock making factory, largest in Germany, is owned by Diehl. Junghans was one of the first Black Forest clock makers to adopt American production methods, first making American-style clocks and later adopting more of a German style. By 1900 German clock makers, having successfully embraced American production methods, had once again become the dominant force in clock making worldwide.
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