Wednesday Evening September 30, 2020 Waltham Clock Co. History and Clock Production
In 1890, Walter J. Dudley and Walter K. Menns began work on an electric (battery powered) clock in John Starks shop in Waltham, MA. They convinced a group of Natick, MA investors to form Waltham Electric Clock Company in New Hampshire on June 5, 1890. A factory was setup in Natick and 1st clock was sold in early 1891. In April 1891 a group of Natick investors took over the company and moved it back to John Stark’s shop Waltham; the Natick businessmen could not provide sufficient financial support to keep the company in Natick.
January 1893 Waltham Electric Clock Co. introduced a weight driven precision regulator clock, and American Waltham Watch Co. purchased an early regulator for the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit to control the watch making machinery. At the June 1894 annual meeting Waltham Electric Clock Company Board of Directors voted to change the company’s name to the Waltham Clock Company. The company quickly acquired a reputation for manufacturing high precision weight driven regulators.
November 1898, the Waltham Clock Company reorganized and elected new officers: John Stark, President; William Henry, Treasurer and Business Manager; and Thomas W. Shephard, Mechanical Superintendent. The company was ready to introduce a new Hall Clock designed by Mr. Henry and a new synchronized time system, and planned to offer a complete line of regulators, office, and marine clocks. This new partnership appeared very successful, because many newspaper articles and other publications highlighted the company’s success. Waltham Clock Co. chiming hall clocks became a big seller for the company along with large and small regulators and Willard banjo clocks.
The company continued until the death of William Henry in January 1913. After William Henry’s death John Stark and Thomas Shepherd purchased his interest of the business. In February 1914, John Stark and Thomas Shepherd felt the company required additional capital and sold the company to Waltham Watch Company.
Waltham Watch Co. increased its product offerings and maintained Waltham Clock Company as separate department to capitalize on its recognized name for quality. After Waltham Watch Co. 1925 reorganization the separate clock department was abolished.
Andy Dervan began collecting antique clock in 1997 and joined the NAWCC. He found clock collecting was a fascinating hobby, and his principle collecting interest is 19th and 20th Century weight driven clocks particularly banjo clocks. Researching the manufacturing histories of various makers and companies was more challenging than simply collecting; he has published many articles in NAWCC Watch and Clock Bulletin, American Clock and Watch Museum Electronic Timepiece Journal, and Clocks Magazine. In 2011, he retired from DuPont Performance Coating and now volunteers at Henry Ford Museum, runs a clock appraisal business, and continues his horological research. In 2011, he became an NAWCC Fellow, in 2016 he was awarded NAWCC James W. Gibbs Literary Award, and in 2017 he became an NAWCC Star Fellow.