Elias Ingraham founded E. Ingraham Company in 1831 when he opened his Bristol, Connecticut cabinetmaking and clock case design shop. When his business was struck by financial difficulties, he was hired by Ray and Ingraham, who employed him as a case maker and designer, and which later became Brewster and Ingrahams. The company’s name and makeup continued to change; most records between 1884 and 1958 indicate that it did business as E. Ingraham Company; in 1958 the firm dropped the E. and became known as Ingraham Company and ultimately became Ingraham Industries.
The company’s products reflected technological and stylistic developments: earlier on, Ingraham produced more traditional pendulum clocks; in the 1890s it began manufacturing alarm clocks, by 1913 it was creating the commercially popular “dollar watch,” and in the 1930s Ingraham began producing electric clocks. Although the company did not suffer as severely as others during the Great Depression, it nonetheless changed gears during World War II when the War Production Board mandated E. Ingraham Company to cease the manufacture of clocks and watches and shift instead to the production of mechanical time-fuse parts and anti-aircraft artillery. After the war, the firm enjoyed great success when it returned to manufacturing timekeepers in 1946. In 1967, Ingraham Company was bought by McGraw Edison Company, which was ultimately absorbed by Cooper Industries in 1985.