The Sessions Clock Co., was founded in 1903 by William E. Sessions and other members of the Sessions family, in Forestville, Connecticut. Mantle clocks were just one among many different types of clocks manufactured by Sessions. The company also produced advertising wall clocks for businesses, regulator clocks and clocks for shelves. Then in the 1930s, Sessions started making electric clocks and timers. In the late 1950s, company ownership changed and in 1970, The Sessions Clock Co., was liquidated. The Sessions mantle clocks alone were many and varied, and are sometimes available for sale on online auction sites.
Classic Eight Day Mantle Clock
In circa 1910, Sessions introduced a brass, eight-day movement mantle clock with a 1/2-hour strike and a cathedral gong. It had a painted or enameled black cast iron case and red faux marble accents above gilded columns on each side of the clock face. This clock measured about 15-1/2 inches wide by 10-1/2 inches high.
Another version of the Sessions eight-day mantle clock was model number 975, which measured about 21-1/2 inches long by 10 inches high, with chimes. Model number 9202 was a third variation of the 8-day clock, with a wind-up key.
The original paper notices furnished on the backs of some Sessions mantle clocks have survived. These notices include the following information: “This clock is warranted to be free from mechanical defects. With ordinary care it will give a lifetime of dependable service.” Notices also included Directions for Striking and to Regulate.
Novelty Mantle Clocks
Among the novelty mantle clocks made by Sessions was a Gingerbread Kitchen Mantle Clock with an alarm. This clock featured a carved oak case in a gingerbread design, finished in walnut. The glass door was decorated with a pattern of musical instruments painted in gold. The 6-inch dial was framed by golden bezel and winding key slots. The clock had Roman numerals, black hands and a fancy, golden pendulum. This gingerbread clock measured about 23 inches high by 15 inches wide by 5 inches deep.
Another novel mantle clock was shaped like a stagecoach with green and gold accents, while a third decorative mantle clock featured a round face mounted on a stand alongside a decorative horse. The stand measured about 17 inches long by 5 inches wide by 11-1/2 inches high. An electric mantle clock made of pottery with a floral design and manufactured in the 1950s is artist signed by “Kay.” It measures about 8-3/4 inches high by 7-1/2 inches wide.
More About Sessions Clocks
Everything you always wanted to know about Sessions clocks is contained in a reference book published in 2001 by Arlingtonbooks.com, and aptly titled “Sessions Clocks” by Tran Duy Ly. This 336-page book contains over 800 illustrations and includes detailed information about Sessions alarm, automobile, banjo, calendar, hanging, mantle, mission, novelty and other clocks.
Another reference book that includes the Session clock is the “Encyclopedia of Antique American Clocks” by Robert W. and Harriet Swedberg. This 335-page book was published by Krause Publications in 2001.
Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.