New Haven Clock Company
February 7, 1853 - The New Haven Clock Company is founded in New Haven, Connecticut by Hiram Camp (1811‑1892) and other clockmakers.
The company's mission is to mass produce inexpensive brass clock movements for use in clocks made by Camp's uncle, Chauncy Jerome, founder of the the Jerome Manufacturing Company, located nearby.
At this time, the Jerome Manufacturing Company is a huge success, producing more than 440,000 clocks and timepieces per year.
Early 1856 - The Jerome Manufacturing Company goes bankrupt due to a poor business investment by its founder, Chauncy Jerome.
April, 1856 - The New Haven Clock Company buys out Jerome's operation. They move their production to the former Jerome factory. New Haven begins making clocks under their own trademark.
c. 1860 - The New Haven Clock Company annual clock production is now about 170,000 clocks annually. Their workforce numbers 300 men and 15 women.
c. 1866 - The New Haven (formerly Jerome) factory burns down and is rebuilt and expanded.
c. 1870 - Some of New Haven's clocks are marketed under the Jerome & Co. brand.
c. 1880 - The New Haven Clock Company continues to prosper; their clock production this year is valued at close to $500,000. Their workforce has also grown to 460 men, 52 women and 88 children.
They have sales offices in Chicago, Great Britain and Japan. They also begin marketing clocks by other manufacturers as well, including Kroeber, E. Howard and Ingraham.
c. 1880 - The company intruduces a line of low priced pocket watches which they continued to make until the 1950's.
c. 1885 - The company stops selling clocks other than their own New Haven brand and some imported clocks.
c. 1890 - The New Haven Clock Co. has developed serious financial problems. For many years the company has been paying big dividends to its stockholders, giving its Directors large payouts but leaving the company in dire financial straits with too little cash in reserve.
September, 1891 - Samuel A. Galpin replaces Hiram Camp as president of the New Haven Clock Co. after its founder resigns. Galpin manages to keep the company solvent until 1897.
March, 1897 - The company emerges from reorganization.
1902 - Walter Chauncey Camp (1859-1925) succeeds Galpin as president and begins to turn the company around. It's interesting to note that by age 33 Walter C. Camp became known as the "Father of American Football," so nicknamed by a sports writer in Harper's Weekly He had played and coached at Yale University from 1876-1892, and at Stanford University from 1894-1895 and is credited with almost single handedly modernizing and promoting the rules and form of American football as we know it today.
1904 - Walter C. Camp revamps New Haven's watchmaking department, using more modern methods of manufacturing to reduce production costs. The firm is once again profitable and doing well.
1915 - Walter C. Camp adds wristwatches to the New Haven Clock Company's product line.
1923 - Walter C. Camp steps down as head of the company and is succeeded by Edwin P. Root.
February, 1929 - Richard H. Whitehead replaces Root as president of the company. By this time New Haven is again facing financial difficulties which is made even worse when the Great Depression which hit in November, 1929.
Whitehead is able to keep the company afloat during these troubled times and the firm becomes profitable once again.
1943 to 1945 - The New Haven Clock Company uses its manufacturing plant to aid in the war effort, producing products almost exclusively for military use.
March, 1946 - The New Haven Clock and Watch Company becomes the new name of the firm after it reorganizes once again. It returns to what it did best before World War II, once again making clocks and watches.
The reorganization leaves the company vulnerable to foreign investors and loses control to a consortium of Swiss watchmakers. The man who had succeefully shepherded the company through the hard times of the Depression years, resigns as president.
1956 - The New Haven Clock and Watch Company files Chapter 10 bankruptcy. Its fortunes have declines precipitously since Whitehead's departure and it never recovers.
1960 - The New Haven Clock and Watch Company goes out of business. The production lines are closed. The facilities are sold through a combination of public auction and private negotiation on March 22‑24, 1960
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