Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Watch Dirt

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1946

Watch Dirt
By H. E. Adams

Do you dread starting on that next watch repair job? Has your watch repairing become a regular humdrum existence for you? If it is, you are not getting the interest out of the jobs you take in for repair.

If you are really interested in this watch repair business, your job is one of the most interesting professions that any individual can hope for and not just a trade.

In the following, I will illustrate a few simple cases of deduction that make each job more interesting for me.

A lady walks in with a gent's strap watch. I see it has a badly bent pivot, a cracked jewel and needs cleaning. Just regular routine-Oh no! That dirt is very interesting. I see immediately that the man who wears this watch is a bricklayer. How ? Well, this dirt is lime and cement dust with small particles of red brick.

A man brings in the next job. I see he works in a brick yard; the dust in the watch is from red brick; no lime or cement.

A man with the next job: I immediately see he works in a print shop probably a typesetter as there are particles of inked fiber and dried printer's ink in the watch.

Next job: I see he is an auto mechanic as I see black auto grease in places in the watch.

Next job: This man works is a tire shop-probably a vulcanizer as there are small particles of rubber and tire talc in the watch.

Next job: A ladies' watch. She works at a candy counter or a place where candy is made. Sugar crystals and starch are in the watch.

Next lady is a filing clerk. Small particles of:. fiber from bonded writing paper are in her watch.

Next lady is a typist. Small particles of fiber and rubber from the eraser are in her watch.

Next lady works in a laundry. Cotton fiber and starch are in the watch. 

Next lady works in a pressing shop.  Wool fiber minus the starch are in the watch.

Next job: This person works in a bakery. Flour, that is coarser than starch, is in the watch.

The next lady is a housewife. She has a rayon bedspread on the bed she sleeps under; the color is light blue with green and rose flowers or design, with traces of brown. Yes, she sleeps with her watch on her arm and the shades of color of the rayon fiber in her watch are uncommon in garments worn by the fair sex.

From the preceding you can see how it is possible to reveal the habits and daily routine of an individual by merely inspecting his watch.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Grade 345 Elgin, With Some Ugly Corrosion

This watch had just a touch of actual rust visible on one of the case screws, but inside it was another story.

 As is often the case, it's not as bad as it looks.  Gold, brass and nickle plated parts can look rusty and stained, but they actually don't rust at all, and clean up quite well.

The movement is a grade 345 Elgin.  It's a 12 size, 17 jewel, product, made about 1924

Pro and Con

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1946

Pro and Con

Why do men go to school rather than servft an apprenticeship?

Who is better prepared to serve?

When is a man finished at school?

Why does friend Jeweler urge his friend to quit school and come to work for him!

We will try to answer these questions in an unbiased manner:

Men go to school rather than serve an apprenticeship because they feel that they can get more of the basic knowledge necessary to follow their pursuit or profession successfully. They can, if in earnest, have access to material that they would not usually get in serving an apprenticeship, unless apprentices were located in a city where a good library existed.

Schools usually have a goodly number of those books which are really good but out of print and not to be had otherwise.

If a man goes to school, his only thought is to acquire all the knowledge he can, and not how he can hold his job by satisfying the boss as to what he is earning, because the boss is primarily interested in how much work he is getting for the salary he is 'paying the apprentice.

At school he does not have to spend any time at anything but the work he is learning to master. He does not have to clean the store, the windows, run errands and go to the post office.
At school he is taught how to perform his work in a correct and workmanlike manner, and not according to some whim of the boss or by his shortcuts, which usually mean slipshod tactics.

This answers question number two also, provided you go to a legitimate school that is founded and exists, not mainly for profit, but for service. Of course, you must have profit to keep going, but it is a fact that the profit motive is predominant in some schools and is the sole reason for their existence.
When is a man through school t When is a student finished learning 1 I will answer the latter question first:

Never, and I hope no one will dispute' this, for if a man thinks he knows all, he is a bigger fool than the one who does not want to learn more. In the first place, there is always something new coming up. There are always new methods of doing things, and as long as men are doing anything, someone will come up with some new use for your goods and something which someone thinks he is improving. The ambitious man wants to keep ahead or, at least, abreast of the times. Only in this way can he be a leader in his calling. Only in this way can he be a man to whom the public looks for satisfactory service and be sought out above his fellow workman for such service. He is the man who can command top salaries, which we all desire -but it must be earned. The world does not owe us a living, we must wrest it from the world, and the price we must pay for it is constant vigilance and study to keep up with the latest advances in our profession. You cannot stand still; you either forge ahead or go backward. The only one who stands still is the one who is dead.

This answers the question as to when you are through school. Never. Your formal schooling ends when you have mastered all ope'rations expected from you in the performance of the duties of your profession, but never until you are laid away with your hands folded on your chest, six feet under the sod, are you through school. For, all of life is a school, and none are so misguided those who think, "Now that I have graduated, I am through with my education."

It is a curse of our profession that , so many are lured away from school, before they have come near what we may, call-matriculation. Lured by some Jeweler friend who tells them that they can have more at the bench than they can in school - " Why stay in school and pay hard cash to learn, when I'll pay you a salary and you can learn just as well."  This is a snare and delusion into which so many fall, and so few learn it until it is too late to make up for it. Too many of these Jeweler friends are looking for a cheap employee. "Of course, I know you have a lot to learn, therefore I cannot pay a journeyman's salary, but as you improve I will pay you more." But they not tell you of the heartaches of the man trying to work at his chosen line when he had incomplete knowledge and no experience. As one man addressing a group recently said - "The line which demarcates the proficient one from the mediocre, is a fine one and they are not very far separated." 

A short time ago a student got up to ask his instructor, saying he was not trying to be funny or wise-cracking, "Is it necessary to learn this and what good is it going to do me?" He did not know that the more knowledge he had, the better an artisan he would be; the better chance he would have to excel in his chosen line; to be the fellow who would be sought out to be offered the really desirable position. The man who would eventually stand out ahead of his fellow craftsmen.

My advice to all students who are lured or enticed to quit school before they have mastered the complete course" is to say to friend Jeweler:

"Get thee behind me Satan," for he is not thinking of your best welfare, but only of how he can get a cheaper employee.

We all know that a grade school student entering the commercial field cannot find the same remuneration, nor as desirable an occupation as a high school boy, nor can he, the high school boy expect as lucrative and desirable an occupation as the college man, nor can the college man expect as fine prospects as a man who avails himself of highly specialized study in some line.

So, if a student will count on taking 18 months of earnest training rather than 12, or 9, or 6, he will be able to command better opportunities and remuneration. If he can stretch it out for more so much the better are his chances.

* * *

A motion picture camera has been developed, which operates at 8,000 winks a second-160 times faster than the wink of the human eye.

* * * 

A bamboo shoot, ,has been known to grow as much as 24 inches in 24 HOURS. 

Stem-Setting and sleeves and Detents and Pocketwatch Cases

Earlier American pendent-set pocketwatches have the mechanism that snaps in and out as part of the case.  In the neck of such a case there is a "sleeve" with spring fingers that grip the winding arbor.  A shoulder on the arbor snaps to one side or the other of the fingers when you pull it out or push it in.

Later watches have an improved design where the snap is part of the movement instead.  The winding arbor is free in the neck of the case, but held in the movement by something called a "detent" which acts as a lever, changing from winding to setting.  This is how the vast majority of mechanical watches work to this day.

This pocket watch has a detent.  Interestingly, I found the broken remains of a sleeve threaded into the neck of the case.  This case may be older than the movement, or perhaps it was designed to work either way.  But it does seem that at some point an older style movement was in this pocketwatch case.

I included in this photo a normal (not broken) sleeve for an example.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Challenge Yourself To Become A Better Merchant

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1946

Challenge Yourself To Become A Better Merchant
By Max Anson

One of the greatest motivating forces that can stir a human being is a challenge to do something. Somehow, a challenge seems to call forth superhuman effort on the part of most people, getting them to perform tasks they might not otherwise do. Remember this, Mr. Jeweler.

The challenge of one athletic team to another causes a flurry of great local excitement and usually results in much preparation for the game. A challenge, because of its directness, brings action almost immediately.

In olden days, when dueling was popular, a man flung a challenge into the face of an adversary. He slapped him with gloves. And he got quick action!

The world, with all its beauty and treasure, is a perpetual challenge to all thinking people, to see what they can make of it.

The mind, with all its moral and spiritual values, is a challenge to people to seek the higher things of life, while they also pursue economic gains.

Challenge - the great things of life are accomplished because of it.

The jeweler can use challenge in his business operations every day, and can get profit out of it. Take your problems, for example. Don't look at them as big obstacles of which you are afraid, something you cannot solve. No, look at them as a challenge to your brains, your courage, your resourcefulness. Accept the challenge. Tackle such problems as a challenge, as a game. Y qu 'II be amazed at the difference this will make in your outlook. 

Your real strength lies in your mind, not in your muscles. Always remember this. It is ih your mind that must be born the desire for success, for perfection, for improvements, for advancement. You can give birth to these desires if you wish. I challenge you to do so. If you do, you will live a more prosperous, a more adventurous and satisfactory life.

Mr. Jeweler, are you satisfied with your present situation 1 Are you getting smug with what you have accomplished? Don't be that way. I challenge you to aspire to an even greater success. Challenge yourself to go a couple of steps higher. You can do it. There is no status quo in this life.

You either go forward or backward. You can never stand still.  

There is much for you still to accomplish in your business. Your work is not done.

Are you overcome with the sense of failure ~ Are you thinking that no matter what you do your business' does not grow? If so, do not entertain this disastrous state of mind any longer. Challenge yourself to get out of this thinking rut. It can be done.

Challenge yourself to this effect every day, and you will find some great power in you rising up and responding to this challenge. There is no limit to the reasonable things you can do, if you only think you can. But first you must take that self-imposed padlock off your mind and spirit. If you are depressed, you made yourself that way. Nobody else. You locked your mind. Nobody else did it. You can unlock it. A challenge persistently repeated will do it. Try it!

The great accomplishments of civilization will come when man realizes how to control his mind, how to make it work for him, how to make it respond and conquer every reasonable problem that faces him. Especially will this be true in business. No matter what your situation, what your job, what your problem, challenge yourself to do better today than you did yesterday. Challenge yourself tomorrow to do better than you did today. Start out the morning with a challenge. Repeat it several times during the day. It will make you rise to greater heights, to greater efficiency, to greater satisfaction with life. It will bring many more customers into the sphere of your influence.

The wise jeweler who wishes to make the best of the challenge idea will take his business apart piece by piece in his mind. He will look at every section of it, subject it to minute scrutiny. No matter how perfect some parts of the business may seem to be, he should challenge himself to make those parts still better. It is amazing how the mind will react when thus challenged. It will often come up with better ideas than those you are now using.

The challenge idea is not going to make a nervous wreck out of you or send your blood pressure leaping to new heights. No, you will find that the challenge technique will reduce your duties because it will employ the best ideas possible and thus give you more business and profit at less expenditure of time and worry. The challenge technique releases powers in the average man that he often does not know he possesses.

Use the challenge idea in all your merchandising practices. Use it in your advertising. Challenge prospects who have not patronized your store to come here and buy and sample your products and service. Tell them that you challenge them to come here and buy and then to try to desert you. Say that you know your products and service will please them.

Such a challenge will evoke many responses. Quite a few prospects will be stirred to come and test you. That will be your golden opportunity to prove what you say. It is a challenge to you, too, to use better merchandising ideas, to look for new and better ways to help your customers.

The challenge idea makes you a different, a better merchant in your community. You will be talked about.
People will be attracted to your store. They will want to see for themselves if you are what you say you are. The root is up to you.

Help your customers to raise their sights high. You will be amazed how many of them will respond. People often need leaders to direct them to planes of higher activity. Be such a leader in your community. You will never regret it.

In our personal lives, in our business lives we often need a challenge. The challenge to know more about the source of life has sent thousands of scientists searching for a whole lifetime for some of the secrets of life.
This search has kept up for centuries, and will continue. It is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the world. 

Why did you enter the jewelry business? Let's be honest about it. Didn't you see some store somewhere that looked prosperous? Didn't the owner look as if he were making money and enjoying life? A_nd wasn't this a challenge to you to do likewise? Wasn't this why you worked hard to get where you are today?

If you have lost some of the zest of that original challenge, just get into the habit of challenging yourself every morning when you go to work. In a short time you will recharge your mind until it again becomes a powerful business force. What if you have reached the goal that you set your eyes on 10 years ago? Put up another, a higher goal and work for it. I challenge you to do so!

This nation has gotten where it is today because men challenged themselves to find and build a nation where liberty, freedom and justice would prevail. America is the result. Would it have been built if those pioneers had not challenged themselves? I don't think it would.

The world may laugh at America for its boasting about its power and wealth. Well, let some other nation have what we have and see if they wouldn't boast a little. America's scientists, leaders, business men and common people - are not sitting back on their oars, despite their tremendous accomplishments. They are challenging themselves to build a better and more prosperous future.

This nation can do it. We can do it. You can do it. Challenge yourself with this goal every day!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Waltham Watch Company Executive Staff Dinner

From The American Horologist magazine, April 1945

Waltham Watch Company Executive Staff Dinner

When civilian production is resumed, Ira Guilden, president of the Waltham Watch Company, Waltham, Mass., speaking at an executive staff dinner at the Hotel Manger, Boston, February 26, predicted that Waltham watches will lead the field in quality, styling and attractiveness.

In announcing post-war plans for the famous Waltham watches, Mr. Guilden revealed that the N. W. Ayer & Son, nationally known advertising agency, has been engaged to handle the company's advertising campaign, and that he has been assured by agency officials that the contemplated campaign to pro mot e Waltham watches will be one of the most complete and extensive in the history of the watch industry.

Nearly 100 company executives including foremen, superintendents and other key men, guests at the dinner, enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Guilden's progressive plans for Waltham watches and through their warm ovation accorded his message indicated they will support his foresighted preparations for the greater advancement of both the employees and the company.

Despite the fact that February, 1945 had but 28 days, 1. E. Boucher, Vice President and Manager, announced at the dinner that Waltham's war production hit a new high and that during February more war material was produced than in any other month since the start of the war.

Officials attending the dinner were also reminded by Francis P. Curtin, Superintendent of Maintenance, in a brief address of the necessity of maintaining the excellent record of the company in donating vital blood to the Red Cross for members of the armed services and pointed out that more than 600 Waltham Watch employees are regularly donating blood to this worthy cause.

In addition to Mr. Guilden and Mr. Boucher, Waltham executives at the head table included Esmond Bushey, president of the Waltham Watch Foremen's Associaton, and Fred Graves. an employee associated with the company for 64 years. The Three Williams, Erwin, Kilbourn and O'Donnell furnished impromtu entertainment during the dinner by displaying their individual talents at the keyboard of the piano.