history ansonia clock co.  - mackey's antique clock repair parkersburg wv

THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANSONIA CLOCK CO.

Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair
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ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY

THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY DEVELOPED FROM THE ENTERPRISEES OF ANSON G. PHELPS A NATIVE OF SIMSBURY CONNECTICUT WHO BECAME A WEALTHY IMPORTER OF TIN, BRASS, AND COPPER IN NEW YORK CITY. IN 1844 PHELPS BUILT A COPPER ROLLING MILL ON THE NAUGATUCK RIVER TWO MILES NORTH OF DERBY CONNECTICUT, AT A PLACE HE CALLED ANSONIA AFTER HIS GIVEN NAME.

ON MAY 7 1850 THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY WAS INCORPORATED AT DERBY CONNECTICUT WITH A CAPITAL OF ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. THEODORE TERRY AND FRANKLIN C ANDREWS SSOCIATED WITH PHELPS IN THE CONCERN. BOTH HAD BEN IN PARTNERSHIP FROM 1842 TO 1850 WITH TERRY’S BROTHER RALPH IN THE MANUFACTURE OF BRASS CLOCKS. ANOTHER BROTHER SAMUEL STEELE TERRY WHO HAD BEEN A WHEEL AND PINION MAKER FOR THE FIRM TERRY & ANDREWS ALSO WENT TO ANSONIA IN 1850 TO WORK FOR THE FIRM, WERE HE WORKED UNTIL HIS DEATH 1867. IN 1851 PHELPS, TERR4Y AND ANDREWS ADVERTISED THEIR FIRM IN THE CONNECTICUT BUSINESS DIRECTORY AS THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY MANUFACTURES AND DEALERS IN CLOCKS AND TIME PIECES OF EVERY DESCRIPTION, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL ANSONIA CONNECTICUT. AFTER 1852 THEODORE TERRY ALSO CONDUCTED A CLOCKMAKING ENTERPRISE UNDER HIS OWN NAME BUT APPARENTLY USED ANSONIA’S FACILITIES.;

IN 1854 THE COMPANY FACTORY BURNED AT A LOSS OF TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, AND PHELPS MOVED HIS DERBY MILL TO ANSONIA MERGING IT WITH THE EXISTING ANSONIA MILL. THE COMPANY WAS RENAMED THE ANSONIA BRASS & COPPER COMPANY AND IT MADE CLOCKS THERE FROM 1854 TO 1878. IN 1878 THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY WAS AGAIN FORMED TO TAKE OVER MANUFACTURE AND A YEAR LATER ALL CLOCKMAKING OPERATIONS WERE MOVED TO BROOKLYN NEW YORK, THE TIMING PROVED TO BE ILL CHOSEN FOR THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED FACTORY BURNED SOME MONTHS AFTER THE MOVE. IN A LETTER WRITTEN BY THE E. INGRAHAM COMPANY OF BRISTOL CONN. ON NOVEMBER 1 1880 IT IS MENTIONED THAT THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY FACTORY BURNED TO THE GROUND LAQST WEEK.

BY 1881 A NEW FACTORY HAD BEE3N BUILT IN BROOKLYN THE BUSINESS WAS EXPANDED CONSIDERABLY, MANY NEW STYLES OF CLOCKS WERE ADDED TO ITS PRODUCTION. BY JANUARY 1883 THE COMPANY HAD SALES OFFICES IN NEW YORK, CHICAGO AND LONDON ENGLAND. IT ALSO HAD LAUNCHED PRODUCTION OF THE NAVELTY AND FIGURINE CLOCKS WHICH THEY BECAME WELL KNOWN.

BY 1914 THE COMPANY HAD AGENTS IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, JAPAN, CHINA AND INDIA AND EXPORTED A LARGE QUANTITY OF MERCHANDISE TO THESE AND EIGHTEEN OTHER COUNTRIES, BY THE TIME ITS LINE OF CLOCKS AND ITS LINE OF FEW MODELS OF NONJEWELED WATCHES WAS PROBABLY THE MOST DIVERSIFIED IN THE INDUSTRY. AFTER WORLD WAR 1 ITS PRODUCTS GRADUALLY DECLINED IN QUALITY AND QUANTITY.

AFTER A CLOCK MEETING ABOUT 1910 IN WHICH MEMBERS OF THE INDUSTRY AGREED TO ESTABLISH CERTAIN PRICES OUR THEN SALES MANAGER ELMER E STOCKTON COUGHT ONE OF THEIR OFFICIALS TELEPHONING TO CUSTOMERS EVIDENTLY OFFERING DEALS AT OLD PRICING. STOCTON EVIDENTLY CONFIRMED THIS BECAUSE HE WENT AFTER ALL OF ANSONIA’S PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTS AND ENDED UP TAKING AWAY ALL OF THAT BUSINESS FROM ANSONIA WHICH HAVING LOST ITS VOLUME BUSINESS WENT DOWN AND OUT. IN A LETTER WRITTEN TO THE E. INGRAHAM COMPANY ON SEPTEMBER 24 1937 IT WAS STATED. IN MARCH 1929 THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY VOLUNTARILY PLACED ITSELF UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A CREDITOR’S COMMITTEE. DURING THE SUMMER OF THAT YEAR ACTIVE MANUFACTURING WAS DISCONTINUED AND BY THE END OF THE YEAR THE BULK OF THE CLOCKMAKING MACHINERY AND CERTAIN DIES AND PATTERNS WERE SOLD AND SHIPPED OUT TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. THE REMAINING ASSETS OF THE COMPANY PRINCIPALLY REAL ESTATE HAVE BEN CONSERVED UNDER THE SAME CREDITORS COMMITTEE AND THE COMPANY IS STILL IN EXISTENCE AND MIGHT BE REFINANCED AND RESUME MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS , WE FEEL THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS DEFUNCT. UNFORTUNATELY THE COMPANY WAS NEVER REVIVED AND AS FAR AS CLOCKMAKING ACTIVITIES WERE CONCERNED WAS DEFUNCT AFTER THE SUMMER OF 1929

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