Tuesday, June 12

The Waterbury Clock Company

'The Waterbury Clock Company was formed March 5, 1857, as a joint stock corporation, the Waterbury Clock Company from its inception was an operation designed to be a major user of brass produced by the parent firm, the Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Company. Utilizing the best talent available to them, they hired veteran clockmaker Chauncey Jerome to set up the new firm's case-making shop and his brother Noble Jerome, a well-known clock mechanic, to set up the movement manufacturing operation.

Though this firm became a major clock producer, after 1890 they became a major manufacturer of non-jeweled pocket watches, supplying R. H. Ingersoll & Brother, a major mail order firm. Large-scale production and profitability were enjoyed for more than two decades with this association as well as providing clocks for sale through the Sears catalogs of these years. Major factory expansions between 1900 and 1915 made this the largest clock manufacturing facility in America.
In 1922, the Waterbury Clock Company purchased the Ingersoll operation whose business had begun to sour after 1910 and had gone bankrupt two years previous because of poor management. Waterbury's operation began to decline and was particularly hard hit by the Great Depression.
By 1932, their huge factory complex was little used. They barely avoided bankruptcy, but the firm was reorganized as the Ingersoll-Waterbury Company with investors raising half a million dollars in new capital. During this period the popular "Mickey Mouse" character watch was made and electric clocks were added to the line.
After America entered World War II, the Ingersoll-Waterbury Company switched almost 100% to manufacturing war products. In 1942, the operation was purchased by a group of Norwegian investors and a new factory was built at Middlebury, CT. In 1944, the firm became known as United States Time Corporation and introduced the popular "Timex" watch shortly after the war. In November, 1969, U.S. Time was succeeded by Timex Corporation, which continues business at Middlebury, Connecticut.'

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