Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Living Center

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Institution Name: Springfield College
Original/Historic Place Name: Standard Electric Time Company
Location on Campus: 263 Alden St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1911original construction Alderman & MacNeish
Designer: Alderman & MacNeish
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/pre-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: wood with fabric covering
ca. 1911other (historic clock manufacturer: Standard Electric Time)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (art center)
ca. 2004-present (2006)residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices

The Standard Electric Time Company - Springfield Journal, May 18, 1989
There are still many local people who fondly remember a former Springfield company, Standard Electric Time Company, whose plant was tucked away on Logan Street, a small side street, which runs between Alden and King Streets in the Upper Hill neighborhood. Standard Electric Time moved to Springfield in 1911, and left in 1981. The firm, employing between 400 and 500 people at its peak, was known for its high quality products, including clocks, timing devices, fire alarm systems, meter testing equipment, and laboratory panels. It was the oldest maker of electric clocks in the United States.
The company was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1884 by Charles Warner, a pioneer in the clock-manufacturing field. Warner developed the idea of making clock hands move by electromagnetic force. He first developed a crude model, connected to a battery, later fitting contacts to a simple pendulum clock, leading to the development of the Master Clock.
Warner, in 1893, hired a 19-year-old ambitious young man, George L. Riggs, who was destined to become the sole owner of the company. Riggs purchased the company in 1897 for the sum of $6,000, and was soon on his way to developing a company, known worldwide for its high-quality, precision products. Riggs decided to move his small clock manufacturing company to Springfield in 1911, locating in a small three-story brick building on Logan Street, a stone's throw away from another growing institution, Springfield College.


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Last update: November 2006