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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.

Although this is technically a blog, the content is not generally in a time-based sequence. You can find interesting items throughout. Down the page some is an alphabetical word cloud of keywords used here. A great way to dig in is to look through those topics and click anything you find interesting. You'll see all the relevant content.

Here are a few of my favorites!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

More About Creative Fixes

Long ago, although it seems counter-intuitive, factory parts for watches were often difficult to obtain and very frequently more expensive than hand-made replacements, and other...  solutions.  Today we see all sorts of interesting repairs in vintage watches, done long, long ago.  Here's something I found in a watch just today.


What we see here is a mainspring barrel from a 16 size Elgin pocketwatch.  The cap and the arbor have been removed.  What do we have?  There's a neatly folded wad of watch paper (a type of low-lint tissue paper) tucked in there just at the inside end of the mainspring where the spring hooks to the arbor.

Well this is a new one on me...

It appears that the mainspring is worn out and the watchmaker made a little paper pad to put in there that will press the end of the spring against the center so it would not relax and come unhooked.  Ha!  I think I'll replace the spring...
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