E. Ingraham & Company was formed in 1860, succeeding several
earlier clock-manufacturing firms in which casemaker Elias
Ingraham had been involved, notably Brewster & Ingrahams
(1843-1852), E. & A. Ingrahams (1852-1856) and Elias Ingraham
& Company (1857-1860). The firm originally rented, and later
purchased, a shop on Birge's Pond in Bristol, which had been
used by a number of clockmaking firms since 1820.
Having originally purchased their movements from various
sources, in 1865 the firm decided to establish their own
movement making facility. A hardware shop was moved onto a
piece of land owned by the firm and veteran clockmaker Anson
L. Atwood set up and managed the movement department for
Ingraham for some years.
Elias Ingraham (1805-1885) designed a variety of popular cases
and case features for the firm, receiving 17 patents between
1857 and 1873. Many of his cases utilized an unusual figure
"8" door design for which he had received a patent in 1857.
Rosewood veneered case models with names such as "Doric",
"Venetian", and "Ionic" were often made in several sizes and
held their popularity with the public for many years.
Elias Ingraham's son Edward Ingraham (1830-1892) succeeded his
father as head of the business in 1885. Edward had also
received an important patent in 1884 for a method of applying
black enamel paint (Japan) to wooden clock cases. Using this
method to produce cheaper imitations of French marble mantel
clocks was a great success. Though the process was soon
imitated by most other clock manufacturers, the Ingraham firm
became a leading maker of "black mantel" clocks, introducing
221 models plus special order styles in the following three
In 1887, the firm had its first great expansion with the
erection of a 300-foot long, 4 story case shop. A new office
building and movement shop was built between 1902 and 1904. In
1913, they began to manufacture a nonxjeweled pocket watch and
added wrist watch models to the line in 1932, producing more
than 65 million pockets watches and 15 million wrist watches
by the time this production ceased in the midx 1960's.
Ingraham's clock and watchmaking ceased totally during World
War II and pendulum clock production did not resume after the
war. After the war, electric clocks, added to the line about
1930, were then a major part of their product line as were
watches, alarm clocks, fuses and timers (the latter two were
established during warxtime production).
In 1964, a modern and much smaller factory was constructed in
the southern part of Bristol and the old complex was abandoned
and later demolished. Little if any clock production was done
at the new factory, as it was almost totally devoted to
manufacture of more profitable fuses. The firm was sold to
McGrawxEdison, a conglomerate, in 1967 and the Bristol factory
presently produces Bussman fuses. Production of electric
clocks with the Ingraham trademark continues at a plant, which
the firm built at Laurinburg, North Carolina in 1959.