Photo of the Week: Ansonia Clock Company

Ansonia Clock Company, ca.1910, v1973.4.411; Postcard Collection, v1973.004; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Ansonia Clock Company, ca.1910, v1973.4.411; Postcard Collection, v1973.004; Brooklyn Historical Society.

This week’s Photo of the Week is inspired by a researcher visit.  A Brooklyn resident and his parents stopped by the library with a story about their grandmother clock.  It lived in various homes throughout the United Kingdom before he brought this Ansonia Clock back to Park Slope where they thought it was manufactured and purchased.

What we discovered was the Ansonia Clock Company originated in Ansonia, CT.  After a destructive fire at the Connecticut factory and subsequent structural changes in the management of the company, Ansonia Clock Company incorporated in New York City. They built a magnificent factory encompassing the entire block from 7th Avenue and 12th Street to 8th Avenue and 13th Street in Park Slope – said to be the largest clock factory in the world.  By 1878, both the rebuilt Connecticut factory and the Brooklyn factory were producing hundreds of clock models and was a major employer in both locations.  At the height of its success, it exported clocks as far away as Japan.  The company also opened up retail shops in London, Chicago, and New York; our researchers likely acquired theirs in the latter.

You can read more about the Ansonia Clock Company online or visit BHS’s Othmer Library, where we have several catalogues displaying the many styles produced by one of the largest employers in Kings County.

On a related note: a grandmother clock is mounted on the wall, and is a shorter clock than a grandfather clock, which rests on the floor and is quite tall. Also, the Ansonia Clock Company factory still stands and has been turned into a 71-unit co-op apartment building.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our new website here.  To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wednesday – Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

 

About Julie May

I am the Head of Collection Management at Brooklyn Historical Society.
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