Ansonia Tin Can Swinger

This clock is a type of Swinging Arm – or “Swinger” – clock that was sold during the mid- to late 1880s. This was the same period during which the Bobbing Doll (Ansonia Jumper Clock), model was manufactured. This particular clock is called a “Tin Can Swinger” because the upper…

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Family History

Family Roots The family histories of our namesakes, Hazel (Alpaugh) Astle and Edward T. Astle, are deeply rooted in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Hazel in particular could trace her family’s history back almost three hundred years in Central New Jersey. The preservation of her family’s photographs, correspondences, documents, treasures, and…

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Ansonia “Huntress Ball Swing” Clock

This is an Ansonia “Huntress Ball Swing” clock, an American swing clock first produced by this company at the turn of the twentieth century. Although this style of clock first appeared in their catalogs in 1901, this particular clock is dated 1895, making it quite possibly one of the first ever produced by Ansonia. It belongs to the family style known as “Mystery Clocks”. The power and general function of both the clock motion and the hand movement appear to an observer to be mysterious – a bit of an optical illusion.

The secret of this model lies in the top ball, which actually houses an eight-day time-only miniature pendulum clock movement. Once the clock is set in motion, the swinging action in the pendulum (inside the miniature movement) keeps the top and bottom swinging to and fro.

The clock itself is approximately two feet tall, with the mechanism and the swing fixed on the statue’s left arm. The statue itself is the clock’s namesake; the figure is Diana, the Roman virgin goddess known as the “Maiden Huntress”. She was said to have roamed the forests, protecting nymphs and woodland creatures, forsaking marriage, and championing the underdogs of the world.