Clock Factory in New Haven, CT

Images of the Jerome (later New Haven Clock Co.) factory in New Haven, CT from around 1845 to the early 1900s.

Type 1 factory

c. 1844

The factory as it looked when Jerome first started production in New Haven.  According to a street map from 1851, the building had three wings (two on either end and one in the middle) that extended out the rear of the building.  In map view, it therefore looked like the capital letter “E”.  There were several other buildings further north on the block that were also part of the factory complex.  It’s not clear whether these were later additions as production increased, although Jerome, in his autobiography, mentioned that expansion occurred after the February 14, 1850 formation of the Jerome Manufacturing Company, a joint stock corporation.  Between 1856 and 1860 the flanking wings had a third floor added, and the cupola was removed.  No clock labels bear this version of the factory. Despite considerable changes to the factory, the version shown above was used on labels until a devastating fire in 1866.

Type 2 factory

c. 1866-1880

On April 30, 1866 most of the New Haven factory was destroyed in a fire.  Only the sales office and a long building on Hamilton St. survived.  This view, therefore, showing the reconstructed factory occupying the entire frontage of Saint John St., post-dates the 1866 fire.

Type 3 factory

c. 1880-1905

The image above, in addition to featuring prominently on clock labels, also appears in the 1880 New Haven Clock Co. catalog.  During the period 1885-1905, the factory expanded to encompass the entire block and also part of the block to the west.  Period maps show that the southern half (on St. John St.) of the western city block shown above was actually occupied by the city gas works.  The factory complex was located on the northern half of the block.  Artistic license was used to bring the factories to the foreground, eliminating the gas works.  Based on published histories of the New Haven factory, this view may represent an architect’s (or artist’s) concept of what the complex would look like after it was fully developed.  In other words, even though this image appeared in the 1880 catalog, some of the buildings may not have been there or may not have taken the appearance shown in this image until years later.


c. 2011 (downloaded December 2011)

Finally, a birds-eye view (Bing maps) of the factory as it appeared a few years ago.  Demolition of the eastern wing started shortly after this image was taken, and it is now gone.

Comments are closed.