Terry Clock Company

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The clock at the top of its tower did more than just announce the time of day.  It was a suitable advertisement for the new innovative clock that was produced in the four stories of this commanding structure not far from the train station and the city center.  Eli Terry expanded his clock company north from Connecticut to Pittsfield in 1883 for its special brand of clocks that could receive and send telephone signals, developed by Pittsfield resident George H. Bliss.  At its peak, the company produced 150 different styles of clocks, employing 120 people with a daily output of 350 clocks.   Its peak did not last long, though, as investors who owned the Russell Woolen Mill bought the clock company from Terry and changed its name.

Then, just ten years after it was built, the Terry Clock Building was sold and converted for use as a paper manufacturing plant for the Hurlbut Stationery Company.  Its President, Arthur W. Eaton turned around and bought the company in 1899 and expanded its operations under a reorganized company bearing his name.  First, it was Eaton-Hurlbut and then Eaton, Crane and Pike.  With 450 employees, the company produced both the fine writing paper, the envelopes and the sturdy, elegant boxes holding both.  In 1916, Eaton, Crane and Pike produced 1.5 million sheets of stationery and sold them across the country and in Europe and Latin America.  The company continued to expand and acquired at least one of the old Pomeroy Woolen Mill buildings nearby.

It seemed only logical that a stationery company would find its next partner in a pen company, and in 1976 the merger between Sheaffer pens and Eaton paper was finalized.   Sheaffer-Eaton became the second largest employer in the city, hiring up to 900, with about two-thirds of its workforce women.   By 1987, though, just as General Electric was closing its operations, Sheaffer-Eaton was sold and the owner of the Berkshire Eagle, Lawrence Miller, bought the building.   In 1990, the same year that the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Berkshire Eagle moved its operations to a newly renovated building that housed its new color presses and additional office and residential space.

Terry Clock/Sheaffer Eaton Building, 2014.  Photo, Google Earth
Terry Clock/Sheaffer Eaton Building, 2014. Photo, Google Earth

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