A year ago the horologists of only three or four states were actively engaged in trying to put licensing laws through their respective legislatures. In one state, Wisconsin, they succeeded.
Even though the Wisconsin law has been in effect only a short time, its benefits are already noticeable. Besides raising the standard of workmanship and producing better horologists, certain provisions of the law have eliminated unfair and unethical business practices which have been the bane of the jewelry business for a hundred years. Today there is no advertising of prices for watch repairs in Wisconsin.
With the enthusiasm created by the knowledge of a working example, horologists in nearly every state are organizing to work for the passage of similar laws. It is only a question of time until most states will adopt them.
When the Horological Institute of America meets in Washington next May, one of the chief topics for consideration will be licensing legislation. With the characteristic foresight of this institution the question of uniformity of standards and reciprocal recognition of certificates is to be discussed.
Undoubtedly it would be well to give this matter serious thought before too many licensing laws are passed. In other professions there are reciprocal arrangements by which a person licensed in one state, may, upon moving to another state, be granted a certificate without examination, provided the standard of examination in both states is equally high.
It is to be recognized, however, that sometimes local conditions interfere with with the drafting of uniform legislation by requiring bills to be drawn up according to specified codes. Many persons have suggested that the certificates of the Horological Institute of America be recognized by the various state boards. This seems to be a matter for legal minds to consider, that is, whether or not it would be constitutional.
One thing is certain. Licensing legislation for horologists is an accomplished fact. Its spread to other states must inevitably follow.