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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From Horology magazine, December, 1937


Fellow Watchmaker: By this time it is obvious to both watchmaker and employer that our organization has opened a new era in the outlook of our craft; nor do we need look to the future for tangible signs of improvement. Those who joined our guilds have watched with satisfaction the great change from lowly, discouraged watchmakers to hopeful, more proficient, more ethical, more deserving and better paid craftsmen.

What were the conditions prevailing prior to our organization?

You will remember that after apprenticeship most of us saw few innovations, either in tools or methods. For years we did not deviate from the beaten path of our work. If we DID think of improvements in relation to our work, we kept it to ourselves. The other fellow did the same. There existed a jealousy that only served to keep us apart. It is interesting to note that for years our tool catalogs showed no change whatever, except the calendar. 1920 and 1930 were about the same. This alone signifies that we stood still. As there is no such thing as standing still, we must have gone back.

Another symptom of the disease was our attitude toward the consumer. Few of us regarded the consumer with much respect. The consumer was, to us, the man or woman who constantly returned with "come-backs," and in turn the customer did not trust the watchmaker, or at least looked upon the watchmaker with suspicion. During that period the legendary charge of "jewel-stealing" was in vogue. There is no need of painting the picture in more somber colors. The scene was dark enough.

Fellow watchmaker, look at the scene today. For the past four years we saw an awakening in our entire industry unlike anything since the invention of the lever escapement. Chemists, tool-makers, mathematicians, mechanics-all are now freely imparting information to those who desire it. Guilds meet in every corner of our country for the purpose of improving our craft. There are classes in salesmanship and methods in treatment of the consumer. There now exists a genuine desire to serve the consumer and to learn how to gain the consumer's confidence.  We feel happy in the thought that to a large extent our state, national and local organizations, with the aid of self-sacrificing leaders, have helped to drag our craft out of the mire of hopelessness in the open where now we stand beside our fellow citizens as self-respecting artisans in an honorable craft.

YOU, who have not as yet lined yourselves up with such a worthy cause-do so now! If you are an employer, see that your men are members and are attending our interesting meetings. We have yet to see the man who knows all.  

We are many who can learn from each other.

Deprive yourself no longer of the opportunity to be one of us desirous of further knowledge and better understanding among us. 

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