In the late 1800s, nearly every American clock company offered its customers an inexpensive alternative to expensive black slate/marble clocks, which were very popular at the time. Some of these substitutes were enamelled iron, others were ebonized wood.

Maker: Ansonia Clock Co., New York, NY
Built: 1880 - 1900's
Case: Enameled Iron, cast ornaments

This is a pretty famous Ansonia model. I had wanted one for a long time, and I finally found this one at the 2000 NAWCC convention in Philadelphia. The dial on this clock is "gutta percha," a hard rubber similar to what old record albums were made of. It's the nicest gutta percha dial I've ever seen. This clock is all original except that the very top of it has been refinished. It has the same nickel-plated movement as my "Florentine No. 1," so I suspect it was made in the mid 1880s.


Maker: Ansonia Clock Co., New York, NY
Built: 1886 - 1900's
Case: Enameled Iron, cast ornaments

This is another famous Ansonia model. In its original incarnation (as shown in the 1883 catalog), it had a statue (presumably of Rosalind) on top and a slightly different shape to the very top platform. My clock conforms to the ones illustrated in the 1886 and later catalogs, hence my dating. Everything's original, but the plating on one of the side statues is severely worn, presumably due to over-zealous polishing by a previous owner.


Maker: Ansonia Clock Co., New York, NY
Built: 1880's
Case: Enameled Iron

This clock is also in original condition, except for the front glass which was missing when I bought it. The porcelain, visible escapement dial has a couple of cracks, but the clock is otherwise in fine shape. The dial reads, "Ansonia Clock Co. / Patented" but does not contain the Ansonia trademark of the A inside two squares. It appears in the 1886 catalog, but not in the 1880 or 1894 catalogs, so it's probably somewhat rare.


Maker: W.L. Gilbert Clock Company, Winstead, CT
Built: 1880's
Case: Ebonized wood, faux marble paint

A famous model, shown in several clock books. The first time I saw one of these was in the Knott's Berry Farm "old west" museum. The bell on top is fully functional, used for the strike, and has a beautiful, piercing ring with great sustain.


Maker: F. Kroeber, New York, NY
Built: 1890's
Case: Enameled Iron

A real salvage project when I got it, this clock's ornamentation was caked with residue from abrasive metal polish. On the dial, the paper behind the dial ornaments was ruined. I painstakingly recreated the dial by scanning it into my computer and redrawing the numbers with as much of the original design as I could salvage. I then printed the dial at 720 dpi with an aged-paper pattern in the background using a stochastic screen on a Canon Bubble Jet printer. (The results impressed the local chapter of the N.A.W.C.C.) Subsequently, I painstakingly polished the brass on the dial and bezel. The main reason I bought this clock was the movement, which contains the Kroeber-patented rings on the pendulum bob. Thin brass rods run through the rings, supposedly preventing the pendulum from swinging too far out of the normal path and damaging the suspension spring. This clock would look spectacular if I replated the rest of the ornamentation -- what do you think?


Maker: Waterbury Clock Co., Waterbury, CT
Built: 1903 - 1905
Case: Ebonized wood, painted columns & accents

Many thanks to Carl Rosa, who identified this clock for me from his Waterbury catalogs. I was attracted to the unusual "porticos" on the sides of the case.

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