Elisha N. Welch was born in 1809 at Chatham, CT. He was a businessman who invested in the foundry and clockmaking business. About 1856 Mr. Welch took over the bankrupt J. C. Brown clock factory and started making clocks under the name E. N. Welch. At than time, the following clocks were being made: O.G., beehive, drop octagon, steeple, octagon lever wall clock, half–column front, small spring driven O.G., and cottage. He also sold an 8–day gilt column clock made by Birge, Peck & Co., and some clocks purchased from the bankrupt Atkins Clock Mfg. Co.
By 1860 the Welch firm had become the largest clock manufacturer in Bristol. In 1864 Welch incorporated the company and the clocks were then marked E. N. Welch Manufacturing Co. From 1868 to 1884, Welch had a concurrent operation for the production of a higher quality line of clocks, the Welch, Spring & Co. This firm offered perpetual calendar clocks, mantel clocks and wall regulators. By the early 1880’s the Welch, Spring & Co. was in financial trouble, so in 1884 it was merged into the E. N. Welch Manufacturing Co.
In 1885 the product line began to change. Some of the old Welch, Spring & Co. models were incorporated into the line, but many of those having the complicated rosewood cases were replaced by less expensive models with modified cases of walnut. The numbers of metal cased novelties and alarm clocks also increased after 1884. By 1893 the E. N. Welch Mfg. Co. was in financial trouble, and the entire product line was changed in a vain attempt to restore profitability. Classics such as the O.G. and cottage clocks, and many parlor clocks and most of the better regulators were dropped. The new line in 1893 consisted mostly of black mantel and pressed oak kitchen clocks. Financial troubles continued, and the factory was shut down from May, 1893 until 1895. In 1899 the two largest and oldest factory buildings were destroyed by fire. The Sessions family then took control of the company and in 1903 the company name was officially changed to The Sessions Clock Company.
References: The above summary was adapted from Chris H. Bailey’s writings in American Clock & Watch Museum reprints of American clock catalogs, and in History, Identification & Price Guides by Tran Duy Ly. Mr. Bailey is the horologist at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, CT and has done a superb job of compiling information about many American clock companies. His writings are highly recommended to anyone who wants more detail than has been given here.