I do not come across many antique E Ingraham & Co. clocks and have just one other in my collection, the Huron from 1878, but I came across another recently that I found in a local antique shop. The price was right so, I snapped it up. The”S” shaped logo on the dial led me to assume it was a Sessions, but it was not – I’ll get to that later.
This is a parlour clock. It might have been described in company advertising as a kitchen clock. Some even refer to it as a gingerbread. There are a number of terms used when describing clocks of this style and the three names are used interchangeably by sellers on online for-sale sites and antique stores.
The clock is made by E Ingraham & Co. The model is the Mystic and it is an 8-day time and strike clock.
Stamped in the middle of the front plate is “E Ingraham Co patent date Oct 8, 78 Nov 11, 79, Bristol Conn.” On the inside floor, it is stamped “Manufactured by the E Ingraham & Co, Bristol Conn”. It was not a common practice to stamp the inside floor but it is an interesting feature. The slight difference in the name is puzzling and makes it a challenge to accurately date the clock but suffice to say that it was made somewhere during the 10 year period between 1887 and 1897.
Tran Duy Ly’s book on Ingraham clocks shows this model, the Mystic, from the 1897 catalogue. It sold new for $6.50. To reconcile the different names either the Mystic had a longish shelf life, or it was recycled in the 1890’s after being out of production for several years. Although found in the 1897 catalog this clock could have been made a number of years earlier.
Two numbers are neatly etched into the lower right hand side of the front plate and they are H25,915 and H27,475. They appear to be repair dates. What the H25 & 27 stand for is unknown but the two three digit numbers might be service dates, Sept 1915 and April 1975.
Pins, commonly used in early brass movements, rather that bolts secure the movement plates. The movement looks to be in very good condition. I took the movement out of its case and judging from what I see there is minimal wear and it looks clean overall. I oiled the movement and returned it to its case.
The walnut case was grimy, dull and was need of a good cleaning. There are minor scratches in the crown area but there are no broken or cracked pieces. The access door has a geometric styled reverse stencil that is unusual in that there is no “window” for the pendulum. Though uncommon the design can be found on the Vesta model as well. Wear on the stencil and missing sections on the tablet are common problems but this one is in superb condition.
I went about cleaning the case with Murphys Soap. The dirt that came out of the cleaning cloth was black when I rung it out. During the cleaning process I went through 1/2 a box of Q-Tips.
The pendulum looks correct judging from similar E Ingraham & Co. clocks of the period.
Is this a Sessions?
My first thought was that this is a Sessions clock based on the stylized “S” logo on the dial face. My research tells me that the dial is a replacement made by E&J Swigart, a supplier of replacement dials along with other clock and watch supplies. The company went out of business in October of 1992. 1972 was the last year they made reproduction clock dials. (Source NAWCC)
Apart from the replacement dial this attractive parlour clock is original in every other way.
That’s it for now. As I know more I will update this article or add another post.
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