Why Was the Attleboro Clock Co. Founded?

As in any company, the purpose of the formation of the Attleboro Clock Co. was to make money. My interest is to determine what "plan" the Attleboro Clock Company’s founder had to make a profit, and what method he was going to use to market his Attleboro Clock Co. clocks. As the cost of materials (other clock manufacturers) was fixed, and the clocks required the added cost of modification of the dial, the marketing method is the only thing that could be manipulated to make a profit. My thought is that the Attleboro Clock Co. profit was made by under pricing the normal sales distribution prices for clocks being provided to jewelry stores in the mid-west.

I think that the name "Attleboro Clock Co., Attleboro Mass" was chosen because Attleboro Massachusetts was nationally known to jewelers as a location where fine quality jewelry was produced. The implication was that if fine quality jewelry came from Attleboro, then the clocks that were produced from a company located in Attleboro would also be of fine quality. I believe the "target market" of the Attleboro Clock Co. was the jewelry stores in smaller towns in the mid-west. These stores would be too small or far away from the nearest jewelry center (Chicago) for the owner to travel to the city to order supplies.

The jewelry storeowner would obtain his stock from catalogs, or from salesman who would travel to sell to the local jeweler in each town. The jewelry store owner’s standard salesman, the one he had known for a long time and that he trusted, would provide quality products but at a significant markup in price. The salesman that would "pitch" Attleboro Clock Co. clocks would not only be selling clocks, but would have a whole a line of products that would cost less than what the jewelry store owner paid to his normal salesman. The selling point for the Attleboro Clock Co. clocks is that they were better than what the jewelry store owner normally purchased, because they came from Attleboro, Mass., and of course the jewelry store owner knew about the reputation of Attleboro, Mass.

This is all conjecture, but it would explain some of the basic unknowns about the Attleboro Clock Co. First, most clocks came from the Northern Mid-west, with Chicago being the logical center and therefore the location of Attleboro Clock Co. production. However there are very few Attleboro Clock Co. clocks found in Chicago. It would also explain why most Attleboro clocks are found in the Midwest states around Chicago.

I originally thought that the clocks would have been sold by drummers (salesman) who would ride the rails and then go door to door. But if that were the case there would be no reason to go to the trouble of changing the dial and brand name of the clock. The drummer would simply sell the Waterbury, Ansonia or E. Ingraham clock at a lower price than the buyer could obtain it from the jewelry store. Another theory I discarded was that the Attleboro Clock Co. was developed for catalog sales. My thoughts were that maybe there was some reason that the clocks had to be misrepresented as Attleboro Clock Co. clocks so that they could be listed in wholesale catalogs. I have ruled out this theory because much of our printed information about the different lines of clocks comes from reprints of wholesale catalogs. If the Attleboro Clock Co. focused on catalog sales, we would have much better records of the different models that were sold. To my knowledge, the only listing of an Attleboro Clock Co. clock in a wholesale catalog is the reprint on page 48 in Roy Ehrhardt's Clock Book 3, Identification and Price Guide.