If one were to ask those with a keen interest in Canadian antique clocks, the word Pequegnat would certainly come readily to mind.
Although the Arthur Pequegnat started making clocks in the early 20th century a lesser known clock maker (or clock-makers, perhaps) made clocks for a 12 year period between 1872 and 1884. They are the Canada Clock Co, the Hamilton Clock Co. and finally the name was reborn to form the Canada Clock Co. In 1872 the Canada Clock Co. established itself in Whitby, Ontario (Canada) but lasted just 4 years before failing, though largely due to a devastating factory fire.
Out of the ashes came another attempt in 1876 and key people including manager John Collins moved to Hamilton and set up the Hamilton Clock Company. After 4 years this new company also failed and production halted in 1880. In late 1880 one more attempt was made to establish a new company called the Canada Clock Company resurrecting the old name. It was still based in Hamilton and at the old Hamilton Clock Co. factory. However, its success was short-lived as the company declared bankruptcy in 1884 ending 12 years of of struggle producing clocks for the Canadian market.
Although both movements and cases were made in Canada they were copies American styles
Grouping all three companies together these are the common characteristics. The most common clocks found today are the weight-driven, thirty-hour “ogee” style, with colourful birds or flowers surrounded by a black background on the glass tablets. At least five different labels are known, four with a beaver on them; the large printed paper label was located inside the case on the lower back. Spring-driven mantel clocks with plain cases were also made with thirty-hour movements. Although both movements and cases were made in Canada they were copies of American styles.
There was also a spring-driven “school house” wall clock. At least sixty models of spring-driven mantel clocks are known, with both thirty-hour and eight-day movements. Most of the door tablets (Canada Clock Co.) have designs produced by acid etching of the glass, which seems to have been an approach unique to the two Hamilton-based companies. This was done in association with a local glass factory. Wall clocks are also found with the Canada Clock Company, Hamilton label. The most desirable clocks are the ornate time and strike parlour clocks such as the City of Hamilton pictured above.
A valiant attempt to grow a home-bred clock company ended unsuccessfully. Due to their rarity these clocks made by the aforementioned 3 producers are highly sought after by Canadian collectors and command high prices.