Ansonia Information

Company Name: 


Company Summary

The Ansonia Clock Co. has its roots in Bristol, CT. Theodore Terry, nephew of Eli Terry, and F. C. Andrews formed the firm Terry & Andrews in 1841 to manufacture inexpensive brass movement clocks. They produced many weight driven OG clocks and by the late 1840‘s had introduced a spring driven shelf_–clock movement with lyre shaped plates. Their case styles included beehive, steeple, and many small wooden and iron cased shelf models. In 1850 they were the second largest clock manufacturer in CT. In the spring of 1850, Terry & Andrews were approached by Anson G. Phelps of New York City, with the proposal of selling him half interest in their business and removing it to Ansonia, CT near his brass mills. Ansonia was a village in the town of Derby, CT which Anson Phelps had named after himself. On May 7, 1850, Phelps, Terry and Andrews incorporated the Ansonia Clock Company. A factory building was erected and manufacturing begun, with a product line similar to that of the former firm, Terry & Andrews. Business was successful until the factory was destroyed by fire in Nov. 1854, which ended the company, the remains of the firm being sold to Phelps, Dodge & Co. From 1854–1869 Phelps, Dodge & Co. continued to manufacture small quantities of movements mostly for the trade, and some complete clocks. Clocks from this period are uncommon, and are usually labeled Ansonia Brass Company, with a few being labeled Ansonia Brass & Battery Company.

In February 1869 the Ansonia Brass & Copper Company was formed and began a more extensive clock production. In Dec. 1877 a new corporation was formed at New York City using the original name, Ansonia Clock Company. A large new factory building was commenced at Brooklyn, New York in 1879, and soon became the major manufacturing site, though operations at Ansonia were not shut down until about 1883. In Oct. 1880 the Brooklyn factory was completely destroyed by fire, but a new one was quickly built.

Ansonia offered an extensive line of clocks. The 1880 catalog shows the following types of clocks: tin can alarm, novelty, carriage, black enameled iron, statues, swing, walnut parlor and kitchen, misc. wood case shelf, OG, crystal palace, wood case pendulum wall, octagon lever wall, regulators, street & tower. The company lasted until 1930, when the machinery was shipped to Russia.

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.