By Philip Samponaro.
Published by the NAWCC in 2014. Paperback, 94 pages, b&w.
Available for $20.95, plus $5.50 shipping through the NAWCC Museum Store.
Order through the Museum Store.
The Times of Their Lives is a must read for clock and watch collectors as well as social historians. Although it center on Bristol, Connecticut's two major horological factories, Ingraham and Sessions, and their workers, its story is no doubt similar to most of the American clock and watch industry and those who worked in it during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Interwoven in the book is the story of the decline of the industry and its struggle to survive in the face of declining clock and watch production, challenges from greater reliance on wartime products and government contracts, and the struggle for the emergence of organized labor unions. Though the unions improved the workers' pay and benefits, it had an ugly side that destroyed the cohesion of the work force, alienated workers and management, and eventually drove a final stake in the heart of an ailing industry. At the end, industry and all the jobs were lost.