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NOVA-Antiques is the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique and collectible. Our website features antique & collectibles dealers, shops & malls; Flea Market Directory & Reviews; Monthly Antiques Show Calendar; Estate & Tag Sales Page; and our NOVA-Antiques Newsletter, which contains news, articles and information about the antiques & collectibles market. NOVA-Antiques Blog is an extension of our Newsletters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Brief History of Seth Thomas Clocks

Did you remember to set your clocks back this last evening before going to bed? Of course I didn’t as you can tell from the ungodly hour that I am posting this. Anyway, after I woke up I picked up the Big Ben, which sits atop my dresser, and looked to see what time it was. Thinking it was later, I came downstairs, put the coffee on and proceeded to boot up the old computer. While the computer was booting up, I glanced out of the corner of my eye at the time on the bottom right hand corner, which is automatically update by Windows, and realized that of course I had forgotten to turn the clocks back one hour. When I went back into the kitchen for a coffee refill, I looked up and saw that the vintage Seth Thomas clock needed to be set as well.

Now some of you may have a Seth Thomas clock of your own, as a matter of fact, your grandparents, parents or aunts and uncles probably at one point or another probably had their very own. Seth Thomas clocks have been around since about 1810, when Mr. Thomas purchased Eli Terry’s Clock Company in Wolcott, Connecticut. Starting with tall clocks made of wood and in 1817 joining the movement by making shelf clocks of wood and still later in the 1830’s the bronze and glass clocks of the era. After his death in 1859, Seth Thomas’s sons took over and grew the clock business even further by diversifying their products.

In 1931, The Seth Thomas Clock Company became a subsidiary of General Time Instruments Corporation and was later moved to Georgia. After some financial and production troubles, the company almost died but was resurrected by the Colibri Corporation and the Seth Thomas Clock, at least in name is still available for purchase today from many stores and boutiques. They still make a line of wooden shelf clocks as well as many of other types of clocks for home and office. However, whether you buy an antique, vintage collectible or modern Seth Thomas clock, you will still have to remember to fall back in the Fall or spring forward in the Spring.

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