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Histories of The Waterbury Clock Company

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Description

The Waterbury Clock Company was a major clock producer in the United States from 1857 to 1944—almost ninety years. It was originally begun as a branch of the Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Company, the largest brass producer in Waterbury. The company manufactured rolled and drawn brass, copper, cabinet hardware, and lamp burners.

Waterbury was located in the Benedict & Burnham shops until it moved to larger quarters in Waterbury, Connecticut. It grew so rapidly that by 1873 it had expanded several times. By the late 1800s, Waterbury employed about three thousand people and made over twenty thousand watches and clocks daily. Waterbury became internationally known in the 1870s when it had offices in Toronto, Canada; and Glasgow, Scotland.

Waterbury Clock Company

Waterburv cast-iron black enameled mantel clock, porcelain & brass dial, brass applied decorations, eight-daytime & strike, 10 x 11″ h. $300.

Waterbury made and sold movements as well as complete clocks. By the turn of the century, it had a business relationship with Sears Roebuck, one of the big mail-order houses. Waterbury sold many styles of clocks, including eight-day time & strike models in oak cases, which sold for $2 each.

In 1913, a Waterbury factor}’ catalog illustrated over four hundred styles of clocks, starting at $1.20 each. Included were alarm, carriage, French mantel, and tall clocks. In the early 1890s, the firmmanufactured non-jeweled watches, including the famous dollar watch made for R. H. Ingersoll & Bros., and acted as selling agents for the Ithaca Calendar Clock Company. This latter affiliation lasted until 1891, when Waterbury introduced its own line of perpetual-calendar clocks.

During the Depression of the 1930s, the company went into receivership, and its case shop and clock making materials and parts were sold at auction. Waterburv’s life as a clock and watch manufacturer ended when United States Time Corporation bought the company in 1944.