Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

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History of a New Year

From American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, June 1946

History of a New Year

New Year's Day on March 25th?
Sounds strange! But, March 25th has been observed as the first day of the year for many more years than has January 1st. Professor William H. Barton, Jr., curator of the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History, explains that as late as the year 1752, many countries still observed the 25th day of March as official New Year's Day.

Barton says that Julius Caesar is generally credited with changing the start of the new year to January 1st, but at that time' the change was not widely accepted. As a consequence, it seems that in those days a person in Europe could, without the slightest difficulty, find himself in three different years, in a matter of a few short weeks. 

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