One hundred years ago this very week, a pretty Kansas farm girl married the local preacherman.
He was in charge of a district with five congregations, but he still found time to fall in love.
Lucky for me. They’re my grandparents.
And that’s Grampa and his horse, Babe, paying a courting call.
The beautiful Ingraham clock, below, was one of their wedding presents in January 1917. It has sat on my mantel since I myself was a newlywed myself, more then 40 years, and is my prized possession. It keeps perfect time and still chimes each half hour.
Thanks to Elias Ingraham. Born in Marlborough, Connecticut in 1828, he started out building clock cases and between 1857 and 1873, received seventeen patents for his designs. His 4-columned clock became an Ingraham standard.
The Ingraham name was on several clock companies’ mastheads during Elias’s lifetime, so it’s easy to pinpoint an Ingraham clock’s date and origin. Although “clock making” makes us think of the mechanical wizardry and innards that keep time, cases and design are just as big a big deal. After Elias’ death in 1885, his son Edward took over. He invented and refined a process for painting clock cases a smooth black enamel finish. More than 200 black mantel clock designs were popular through the 1920’s
Like most clockmakers, in 1913 Ingraham began to produce pocket watches and soon after, 8-day clock mechanisms. Wristwatches were on the list by the 30’s. However, Ingraham Company ceased watchmaking during World War II to manufacture timers and fuses. Sadly, by 1950, Ingraham had given up making old-style pendulum clocks in favor of electric alarm clocks. Today, the Ingraham trademark can be found on electric clocks made by McGraw-Edison who bought the company in 1967.
Fortunately, my clock is alive and ticking an entire century later. Above you see the key used to wind it.
In fact, you can see it behind Santa when our remote security camera snapped the big fat red guy on Christmas Eve. At least that was the big fat white lie I told the kiddoes. It’s a creation with an awesome iPhone app. You shoulda seen my wide-eyed and awestruck grandsons and nieces, though, when they beheld the photo. Worth it!
How about you? Any treasures from your past?
For more info, check out http://www.discoverclocks.com/ingraham_clocks.html
(Ps. If anyone would like a complementary PDF copy of Christmas Lights in exchange for an honest review, please email me privately at tanhanson AT aol DOT com
I have a few copies to distribute and will draw names if there’s a big response.)