“established in 1952...”
On October 24, 1952 Edward Ingraham, president of E. Ingraham & Company, invited ten local businessmen to the "Town Club" (now the DuPont Funeral Home) in Bristol, Connecticut to discuss forming a clock museum. Since Bristol had become an industrial town due to its designation as the world’s center of clock manufacturing, it seemed appropriate that a museum be formed to preserve the heritage of the industry for future generations. Although there had been discussion about renovating a home close to the factory on North Main Street or constructing a modern facility located on nearby Rte. 6, the 1801 home of Miles Lewis located on Federal Hill was purchased and renovated for the museum. Except for the modification of the stairway for safety and the conversion of the carriage shed into an apartment for the caretaker, the original features of the Federal style house were retained. The Bristol Clock Museum opened its doors to the general public on April 10, 1954. At the time of the opening there were approximately 300 clocks on display and a small library containing 50 books. The collection grew quickly and by 1956 a new wing was added to the museum. Named the Ebenezer Barnes Memorial Wing, the addition was financed through the generosity of Fuller F. Barnes in honor of his ancestor, Ebenezer Barnes. The memorial wing was constructed using paneling from the homestead of Ebenezer Barnes, which is believed to be the first permanent residence erected in Bristol. The massive support beams used in this wing were once part of the Lewis Lock Company that was located in nearby Terryville. In 1958, due to the enlarged scope of the collection and the growth of membership, the name of the museum was changed to the American Clock & Watch Museum, Inc.
You might not think that a museum all about clocks would be fun, but you'd be wrong. This place is downright fascinating, and really gives you a larger appreciation for the art of watchmaking. You don't have to worry about it getting terribly busy, so weekend visits are actually not too bad. A real hidden gem.
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The American Clock and Watch Museum
- Tue - Sat: 6:00 am - 2:00 pm
- Sun: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
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