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

HISTORY OF THE INGRAHAM CLOCK CO.

Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair
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THE E. INGRAHAM CLOCK COMPANY

ELIAS INGRAHAM FOUNDER OF THE COMPANY WAS A NATIVE OF MARLBOROUGH CONNECTICUT’ AND CAME TO BRISTOL IN MAY OF 1828 TO WORK FOR GEORGE MITCHELL A LEADING MERCHANT IN THE TOWN. INGRAHAM HAD SERVED A FIVE YEAR APPRENTICES HIP AS A CABINETMAKER AND WHILE WORKING IN THE CABINET MAKING SHOP OF DANIEL DEWEY OF HARTFORD’ HAD BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH SOLOMON HINMAN AN AGENT FPR GEORGE MITCHELL.

MITCHELL WAS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO MAKE A NEW STYLE OF CLOCK CASE WORTHY OF COMPETING WITH THE STENCILED COLUMN CASE THAT HAD BEEN INTRODUCED BY CHAUNCEY JEROME. MITCHEL ASK INGRAHAM TO COME TO BRISTOL AND THE BRISTOL HERALD OF JUNE 26 1890 RECOUNTED SOME OF THE EVENTS THAT FOLLOWED.

ELIAS INGRAHAM WORKED FOR GEORGE MITCHELL AT CASE MAKING A LITTLE MORE THEN TWO YEARS, AND DURING THE FIRST YEAR 1928 HE INVENTED WHAT WAS CALLED THE CARVED CASE WITH CARVED MAHOGANY COLUMNS AND CARVED LION PAW FEET AND CORNER BLOCKS OVER THE COLUMNS IN WHICH THERE WAS A TURNED ROSETTE, A FRET URN ON EACH BLOCK AND BASKET OF FRUIT CARVED BETWEEN THE BLOCKS. ON SOME OF THESE CASES WERE BRONZE COLUMNS AND TIPS INSTEAD OF CARVINGS. INGRAHAM MADE THIS STYLE OF CASE EXCEPT FOR THE CARVINGS, FOR OVER TWO YEARS FOR MITCHELL TURNING OUT SOME EIGHT OR NINE HUNDRED THE SECOND YEAR DOING THE WORK MOSTLY HIMSELF.

IN OCT 1830 ELIAS INGRAHAM WENT TO WORK FOR CHAUNCEY JEROME AND LAWSON C. IVES WHO HAD BEGUN TO MANUFACTURE THE EIGHT DAY BRASS CLOCK INVENTED BY JOSEPH IVES. ON OCT 20 INGRAHAM CHARGED THE FIRM $5.62 TO FORM PATTERN AND MAKING NEW FASHIONED CASES. THIS PARTICULAR CASE COMMONLY CALLED TRIPLE DECKER’ WAS LONG EMPIRE STYLE CASE WITH THREE SECTIONS, WHICH OFTEN HAD CARVED COLUMNS AND ANIMAL PAW FEET. IN THE FOLLOWING THREE YEARS , INGRAHAM MADE ALMOST SIX THOUSAND CASES FOR THE FIRM OF C. & L. C. IVES.

INGRAHAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WILLIAM G BARTHOLOMEW PURCHASED A SMALL PIECE OF LAND FROM IRA IVES IN NOVEMBER OF 1831 AND BUILT A CABINET MAKING SHOP SPECIFICALLY FOR MAKING CLOCK CASES. IN SEPTEMBER OF 1832 HE SOLD HIS INTEREST IN THE SHOP TO JONATHAN CLARK BROWN.

IN SEPTEMBER OF 1835 INGRAHAM PURCHASED ANOTHER SHOP, HERE HE MANUFACTURED CHAIRS, MIRORS AND CLOCK CASES. WHEN HIS BUSINESS SUFFERED LOSSES IN THE FINANCIAL PANIC TWO YEARS LATER HE BORROWED MONEY FROM CHAUNCEY IVES. BY 1840 HE HAD BORROWED EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM IVES AND SUBSEQUENTLY PETITIONED FOR BANKRUPTCY.

THE FIRM BREWSTER & INGRAHAMS WAS FORMED IN 1844 ELIAS AND HIS BROTHER ANDREW GOING INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH ELISHA CURTIS BREWSTER, NOAH L. BREWSTER ELISHA’S SON, REPRESENTED THE FIRM IN ENGLAND. EPAPHRODITUS PECK WHO HAD FORMERLY WORKED IN THIS CAPACITY FOR CHAUNCEY JEROME, MADE AN AGREEMENT ON APRIL 6 1848 TO ACT AS AGENT IN ENGLAND FOR THE FIRM. AFTER FULFILLMENT OF THE CONTRACT HE REMAINED IN ENGLAND AS AN AGENT UNTILL HIS DEATH ON SEPTEMBER 30 1857.

ELIAS INGRAHAM DESIGNED THE SHARP GOTHIC CLOCK CASE ABOUT 1845 AND EALY EXAMPLES WITH FOUR COLUMNS WERE PRODUCED BY BREWSTER & INGRAHAMS. HIS STYLE SOMEWHAT MODIFIED AND COMMONLY CALLED THE STEEPLE CASE BECAME ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SMALL SHELF STYLES EVER PRODUCED. ON JULY 24 1852 THE FIRM OF BREWSTER & INGRAHAMS WAS DISSOLVED AND A NEW FIRM KNOWN AS E. & A. INGRAHAMS WAS FORMED. ANDREW INGRAHAM SOLD HALF OF HIS INTERESTS IN THE FIRM TO EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN, THE FAMOUS BANKER POET OF NEW YORK WHO BECAME THE NEW YORK SALES REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE COMPANY NOW NAMED INGRAHAMS & STEDMAN.

ON DECEMBER 6 1855 THE INGRAHAMS FACTORY IN BRISTOL BURNED WITH SERIOUS LOSES . THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT WAS SENT TO CUSTOMERS.

BRISTOL DECEMBER 10 1855 TO OUR CUSTOMER: IN CONSEQUENCE OF A FIRE WHICH TOTALLY COMSUMED OUR FACTORY ON THE MORNING OF THE 6TH AND IN WHICH A LARGE AMOUNT OF SUPERIOR STOCK WAS DESTROYED, WE SHALL PERHAPS FOR A SHORT TIME BE UNABLE TO FILL ALL THE ORDERS YOU ARE SENDING US, WITH CLOCKS OF OUR OWN MANUFACTURE. OUR LOSS BY THE FIRE IS ABOUT $30.000 OF WHICH $20.000 WAS SAFELY INSURED. WE SHALL IMMEDIATELY PROCURE ANOTHER FACTORY, AND CONTINUE OUR BUSINESS WITH THE SAME WORKMAN AND HERETOFORE, AND HOPE WITHIN SIX WEEKS TO BE FINISHING AS MANY GOODS AS EVER. IN THE MEANTIME OUR NEW YORK WAREHOUSE IS OPEN AND ALL ORDERS WILL BE PROMPTLY BE FILLED. WE TRUST TO YOUR SATISFACTION. SOLICITING A CONTINUANCE OF YOUR CUSTOM WE ARE. VERY RESPECTFULLY YOURS E & A INGRAHAMS CO. BRISTOL INGRAHAMS & STEDMAN NEW YORK.

IN MARCH OF 1856 STEDMAN SOLD HIS INTEREST IN THE NEW YORK FIRM TO INGRAHAMS AND THE SALES FIRM WAS DISSOLVED. THE PREVIOUS JANUARY ELIAS INGRAHAM HAD MOVED TO ANSONIA CONN. A FEW CLOCKS WERE SOLD WITH THE LABEL A & E INGRAHAM & CO. ANSONIA CONN. BUT THE FIRM WAS ENTIRELY DISBANDED BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. ELIAS RETURNED TO BRISTOL AND WITH HIS SON EDWARD ORGANIZED THE FIRM ELIAS INGRAHAM & COMPANY. IN 1857 FROM 1861 TO 1880 THE NAME E. INGRAHAM & COMPANY WAS USED. FROM 1881 TO 1884 THE FIRM WAS KNOWN AS THE E. INGRAHAM COMPANY IN 1884 IT WAS INCORPORATED AS THE E. INGRAHAM COMPANY. IN 1958 THE NAME WAS CHANGED TO THE INGRAHAM COMPANY.

IN 1885 THE COMPANY INTRODUCED CLOCKS WITH BLACK PAINTED OR JAPANNED CASES. THEY PROVED SUCCESSFUL AND OVER 220 DIFERENT MODELS BASED ON THE STYLE WERE EVENTUALLY INTRODUCED BY THE FIRM. NONJEWELED POCKET WATCHES WERE ADDED TO ITS LINE IN 1914 AND WRISTWATCHES IN 1930. 8 DAY LEVER MOVEMENT CLOCKS WERE PRODUCED AFTER 1915 AND ELECTRIC CLOCKS AFTER 1931. THE PRODUCTION OF PENDULUM CLOCKS WAS DISCONTINUED IN 1942. IN 1941 THE COMPANY OPENED A NEW PLANT IN TORONTO CANADA ANOTHER WAS ESTABLISHED AT ELIZABETHTOWN KENTUCKY IN 1954 AND A THIRD IN LAURINBURG NORTH CAROLINA IN 1959. IN NOVEMBER OF 1967 THE COMPANY WAS SOLD TO McGRAW EDISON A CONGLOMERATE AND THOUGH CLOCKMAKING ACTIVITIES CEASED AT BRISTOL ELECTRIC AND BATTERY CLOCKS CONTINUED TO BE PRODUCED AT THE LAURINBURG FACTORY.

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