THE CHELSEA TIMELINE
Chelsea's initial roots were unsteady, with its name changing from "Harvard" to "Boston" then "Eastman" Clock before finally settling as the Chelsea Clock Company. Despite the rocky start, groundwork for the finest in American clock making was firmly established via innovation from the country's earliest clock craftsmen.
Original Advertisement from Boston Clock Company.
Boston Clock is sold to Charles Pearson and renamed Chelsea Clock.
First Ship's Bell mechanism is designed and patented.
Early Chelsea dealer James Bliss & Company in Boston.
Chelsea brand begins to gain recognition in the market as innovative clock designs are patented and introduced, relationships with distributors are formed and markeding via print advertisments and catalogs emerge. By 1905 Chelsea had established distribution in every major American city.
U.S. Government agencies begin to order marine clocks.
Ad in Country Life promoting the Ship's Bell.
Automobile clock production begins for Rolls Royce.
Chelsea Clock Company publishes the earliest known catalog.
Chelsea Clock continues to receive orders from U.S. Gevernment Agencies for marine clocks in increasing quantities - as a result Boston Clock was formed (a separate brand for clocks the company manufactured to meet government standards).
Walter Menns patents the Chelsea Automatic Ship's Bell Clock.
Advertisement featuring a Ship's Bell along with candle sticks.
The popular automobile clock was modified for airplane installation.
One of Chelsea Clock's Oldest Dealers. Wilfred O. White, seated at desk.
As the country enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity, consumers continue to buy clocks as household necessities. By 1929 competition for clock manufacturing was aggressive - an estimated 56 companies engaged in the manufacturing of clocks and clock movements, an increase of 50% compared to prior decade.
Early Chelsea Price Notice advertising 12½ discount off of Clocks.
William Neagle assumes ownership of Chelsea after Pearson's death.
Electric clocks are produced to satisfy growing customer demand.
Drastic inventory and cost reductions were made in the face of dire economic conditions resulting from the Great Depression, which enabled Chelsea to remain viable while many competitors were forced into bankruptcy.
Airplane Clock, produced for the U.S. Navy in 1934.
Thank you from Admiral Byrd for clocks used on South Pole expedition.
War Time Catalog highlights military clocks made during the war.
Government orders during WWII helped offset declining sales.
During Wold War II Chelsea lives up to its reputation as "Timekeeper of the Sea", producing more in four years than entire production since 1897. At this time Chelsea was singularly focused on furnishing thousands of clocks to the armed forces for use aboard Liberty ships, Submarines, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships and Aircraft Carriers.
"E" award presented by the Gov't for wartime production excellence.
Neagle retires and sells Chelsea to longtime employees King & Mutz.
Newspaper Ad placed in the Oakland tribune featuring Chelsea.
A Chelsea Mariner is presented to Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano.
Ad placed by Shaefer Brewing using a Chelsea to make a statement.
A Chelsea presented to General MacArthur during his campaign tour.
Ad in Esquire featuring Chelsea amidst other luxury house wares.
Bob Hope accepts a Chelsea award for his humanitarian efforts.
At one time Chelsea competed with dozens of clockmakers, including Waltham and Seth Thomas of New England. Soon assembly line methods undercut demand for precision timepieces, and the market was further weakened by the introduction of electric clocks, quartz technology and foreign imports. By the late 1960's Chelsea stood as America's only maker of precision spring-driven clocks.
Branding evolved from Timekeepers of the Sea to Aristocrats of Time
Kennedy administration meeting with a Claremont on the shelves.
Aristotle Onassis with his Chelsea Claremont Clock.
President Lyndon Johnson watches a NASA liftoff, along with a Chelsea.
Chelsea Clock undergoes a peiod of change as ownership of the company transitions from Mutz and King to Automation Industries, to Bunker Ramo Corporation and finally is sold to Rick Leavitt, a native Bostonian who ultimately runs the company for 27 years.
Chelsea in a holiday ad from dealer Shreve Crump & Low.
President Ford in his study, where a Chelsea rests on the mantel.
Chelsea is granted a patent for the Tide Clock mechanism.
A Chelsea is gifted to the Pope during his visit to Boston.
Competitions for quartz technology increases, and Chelsea introduces dozens of new designs to retain a leading position in the market. Leavitt requests intervention from US Customs and Massachusetts Attorney General's office to halt counterfeit production of Chelsea Clocks in Taiwan.
Production room with clocks on test at Chelsea Clock's factory.
Reproduction of the Terry clock as part of Williamsburg Series.
Boston Globe features Chelsea's 100 yr old approach to clock making.
The introduction of limited edition clocks was successful after the 1980's economic recessions and Leavitt expanded on the theme.
Harrison Ford in Clear & Present Danger; a Ship's Bell is shown.
Ship's Bells presented as awards at Boston University Alumni Night.
Chelsea celebrates 100 years and introduces the Centennial Clock.
Limited edition clocks made to commemorate the USS Constitution.
After leading Chelsea for more than 25 years, Leavitt steps down and sells the company to JK Nicholas, a business consultant, entrepeneur, and longtime collector of Chelsea Clocks. A new executive team is established.
Chelsea found aboard the USS Saratoga, air craft carrier from 1920.
President Obama selects the Dartmouth to gift dignitaries while abroad.
President Bush presents a Chelsea to Turkey’s president Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
Chelsea moved into a new upgraded factory building.
American History and Chelsea Clock Featured in White House History Quarterly.
In keeping with Chelsea Clock’s long presidential history, the prestigious journal White House History Quarterly featured Chelsea Clock. The theme of the issue is “As Time Goes By: Historic Moments in The Life of The White House.” One of our instantly recognizable clocks is prominently displayed on the cover. This clock was custom made for the White House. Chelsea craftsmen worked closely with White House designers to create this special clock to hang above the entrance to the First Family’s living quarters.