What Is the History of Ingraham Clocks?

E. Ingraham & Company traces its origins to 1831 when Elias Ingraham opened a shop in Bristol, Connecticut. In 1841, Elias joined his brother's company Ray and Ingraham as a case maker and designer. After several name adjustments and ownership changes, the firm became the E. Ingraham Company in 1881, a name it would retain until it was purchased in 1958.

The company gradually expanded the extent of its operations. Originally, E. Ingraham & Company purchased its movements from outside sources, but in 1865, the Ingraham brothers decided to incorporate their own movement-making facility into their operation on-site. They acquired a hardware shop and hired veteran clockmaker Anson L. Atwood to manage the movement department.

Elias Ingraham was the principal designer of popular cases and case features for the firm until his death in 1885. He received 17 patents for his designs. His cases were unique and were typically characterized by his trademark figure 8 door design.

Elias Ingraham's son Edward succeeded his father as head of the business in 1885. Edward was an accomplished designer in his own right, and he received a patent in 1884 for a method of applying black enamel paint to wooden clock cases. The Ingraham firm became a leading maker of black mantel clocks, introducing 221 models over the next three decades.

The firm was eventually sold to McGraw-Edison, a conglomerate, in 1967. As of 2015, production of electric clocks with the Ingraham trademark continues at a plant in Laurinburg, North Carolina.