The New England Clock Company

When I think about a clock made by the New England Clock Company, the first things that come to mind is their flowery dials and beautiful cases. The case work on these clocks is of a fine furniture quality. The New England Clock Company made the cases and the movements in their Connecticut plants at first. Later, they began purchasing the movements abroad, mostly from Germany. They also began having other manufacturers make cases, dials, hands, weights and other parts to their specifications, and the parts were assembled into complete clocks at their plant in Farmington.

Even though the N.E.Clock Co. wasn't started until 1956, their roots go back much further. Let's take a minute to review the origins of this company. The company actually started as the Forestville Manufacturing Co., in Forestville, Conn. This was around 1835. When Forestville Manufacturing went bankrupt around 1860, Elisa Nils Welsh, absorbed the company. It was renamed the E. N. Welsh manufacturing company, in 1864.

The New England Clock Company Logo

In 1903, to avoid bankruptcy, William Sessions took over the company and started the Sessions Clock Company. The Sessions Clock Company was successful for many, many years. They produced a large line of clocks and were very successful up until World War Two. After the war, the Sessions Clock Co. made only electric alarm clocks. They stopped producing mechanical clocks altogether.

In 1956, the Sessions Co. was sold. The new company kept the name Sessions Co., and ran the company until 1969 when it was liquidated. William Kenneth Sessions, grandson of William E., did not enjoy working for the new company, so in 1958, he formed the New England Clock Company. William Sessions designed a kind of contemporary clock, but since colonial furniture was in at that time, the company settled on colonial clocks with the familiar floral decoration on the dials.

Clock by The New England Clock Co.

William, along with his wife Phoebe, also organized the Connecticut Clock Company. Phoebe was the president of the new company. Over the years, both companies made many different types of clocks, including an American cuckoo clock and later, clock kits.

New England's headquarters was in Bristol, Conn., but the factory itself was moved three times until ending up in Farmington, Conn. in 1970. The company was a success. William Kenneth Sessions ran the company until his death in 1973 when his wife Phoebe W. Sessions took over the reigns. The business passed on to Phoebe’s son, David Sessions upon her death in 1983.

Close-up of above New England Clock Dial

In 1885, David Sessions sold the company to a group of investors from The International Silver Company. The high cost of manufacturing put the company in financial trouble near the end of the century. Although, their clocks were still beautiful to look at, and the cases were well-made, they started using smaller, cheaper, movements. This marked a decline in the overall quality of the later clocks.

Finally, around the year 2000, The New England Clock Co. joined the rest of the American clock manufacturing plants and ceased operations.

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Because of the beauty and quality of New England clocks, they are still very desirable and sell very well, used, in furniture stores, antique stores, and of course on eBay. If you are interested in owning a clock made by this company, see what is available on eBay right now.

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