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!
Google has a tool for testing URLs (sites) for their current "safety".
My site shows clean.
However the reason on the warning is, once again, the links I have to the website of the American Watchmakers and Clockmakers institute (AWCI). The Google site check tool for that site is currently showing a different story.
Contacting Google adwords about this requires filling out an online form that requires some information from your adwords set up. When I go the adwords page however, it appears Google is done with me.
Regarding the malware warning, there is no way to contact Google, that I am aware of.
I can only state here, yet again, that my pages are safe, according to me, and according to Google's inspection tool. However I do not know when, if ever, or under what conditions Google will remove the warning status. And as for adwords, I guess my account is history, but I wasn't really using it anyway.
Couple of things... First, there is a link under "health" and "malware" on Google's webmasters' tools page that supposedly allows one to request that Google check your site again. I did not see this link though because the webmasters' tools site reports my site as clean, no malware!
Anyway, after about half a day of this, my sites now load freely in Chrome, as does the AWCI site. So I guess it's cleared up (?)
The watchmaking school is associated with the American School of Aircraft Instruments, oldest school of its kind in America. Both schools are located on the nationally-famous Aero Industries Technical Institute campus in suburban Los Angeles. Association of the watchmaking school with the other Aero Tech schools is cited as an advantage, in that students may benefit throughout the training period by their work with men specializing in allied professions.
Instruction offered at the school is entirely individual. Instructors work with each student to train him thoroughly. The student puts all technical instructions into actual practice, working with modern equipment, performing the same operations he would in professional watchmaking.
The school is approved by the United Horological Association of America, and has the full recommended curriculum of URAA, including study and shop training over a period of one year.
Herbert W. Hartley, president of Aero Industries Technical Institute, addresses students in a personal message in the booklet, in which he says "Never has a career in Horology offered greater opportunity, for never before have timing mechanisms been such an important factor in everyday life."
Helen Sheehan, secretary at the American School of Watchmaking, Los Angeles, exhibits a large watch escapement. It is a working model made at the school by instructor Millard Nendel. If a wrist watch were to be built around it, the watch would be large enough for a modern Paul Bunyan-a man with a wrist 16 inches across, weighing 1200 pounds and standing 48 feet tall.
(A true story, as told to the editor)
In my work as a traveling representative for a distributor of watch repairing equipment I happened to make a call at the We Grab 'Em Watch Factory. The true name does not matter in telling this story. The "factory" was a small retail store with a show case containing a few watches and an assortment of bracelets and straps. On the walls, as well as the street window, were signs proclaiming "Watches cleaned - 60c." In the rear, behind a partition, were several watchmakers whose manufacturing operations consisted of making a watch tick in the shortest possible time.
Business was apparently good as I was forced to wait for some time while the proprietor waited on several customers.
The first to draw my attention was a young man who evidently did not believe in signs for he immediately asked, "How much do you charge to clean a watch?" "Sixty cents," was the reply. "Let me have a look at it."
The average price of a car in the 1920s was around $300.
The Hulburds feature an innovative minimalist design that stands out for this period. Earlier versions did not have seconds hand, as this later example does.
The bridge layout is unlike any other Elgin product, as is the finish and the regulator style. Hulburd watches are also extraordinarily thin; the thinnest movement Elgin ever made.
This particular example is a 19 jewel watch, with the seconds hand, made about 1928. It features a platinum case, snap front and back.
This is a grade 303, 7 jewel, 12 size watch, made about 1920.
It has a quite typical dial style, and a nickel alloy case, threaded front and back.
This example was made about 1887. It has a very heavy case, and an unusual style of hands.
The grade 344 is a 12 size, 17 jewel, movement.
This wonderful example was made about 1919. It has a fancy dial and a gold hunter case with engine turned details, all in great condition.
These dials are rare in such good condition. They are quite fragile.
For some period of time yesterday evening, the elgintime.com Elgin serial number look up site was flagged as suspicious, and folks did see a dangerous looking warning message when accessing the lookup pages.
The reason for this is that my pages include a link to www.awci.com. This site, from what I can tell, was flagged because other unrelated websites hosted by the same service that physically hosts the AWCI site, were handing out malware. So the connection is close, but not direct.
I can assure everyone that my pages are completely safe, and because of the way they are constructed, any sort of compromise is extraordinarily unlikely. In addition, I have no reason to believe that there is, or ever was anything wrong with AWCI webpages, but I obviously have less insight into that.
My options for dealing with this are limited. I have no connection to the hosting site that appears to be having problems. I just have to wait it out, post updates here as appropriate, and hope for a timely resolution. A number of other websites are in the same boat.
More on this matter here...
This is a grade 55, Mat Laflin model, 18 size, with 7 jewels. It is key-wind and key-set, and features the original name of the company, just "National Watch Co" on the dial, and no "Elgin".
It is perhaps worth mentioning here that watches were sold to end customers "bare" as it were. Elgin, like most early American watch companies, did not make watch cases. The customer would select the movement and the case separately at the time of sale. This practice was the norm until well into the 1920s.
A typical salesman's case, looks like a normal watch case, with a crown and bow, and glass bask. But this odd case has no crown, and no way to attach a watch chain. I think this may be an early shipping container. It is more durable than shipping containers commonly found. It could be something that was used very early in Elgin's history.
This watch is pin-set. There is a post to one side of the crown. Depressing the post engages the setting mode.
The dial is not marked at all. It's hard to say what the story is there...
- ► 2016 (465)
- ► 2015 (452)
- ► 2014 (291)
- The Elgin Pension Fund, and Employee Relief Fund
- Camy Advertising, 1955
- Malware, Yet Again
- Juvenia Advertising, 1955
- Phenix Advertising, 1955
- The American School of Watchmaking
- Waltham Watch Company Awarded Army-Navy "E"
- How Much For Cleaning?
- Hamilton 950
- Elgin Grade 446
- Waltham 1889
- Elgin Grade 303
- Hamilton 4992b
- Elgin Grade 97
- Elgin Grade 44
- Elgin Grade 344
- Elgin Serial Number Application Restarted
- Hamilton 4992b
- Malware Warning, Again
- Hamilton 992b
- Elgin Grade 55
- Waltham Bond Street
- Elgin Grade 150
- Elgin Grade 243
- A Rusty Elgin Grade 286
- Hampden General Stark
- Luck Restores Lost Watch
- Broken Watches from Outer Space!
- So You Haven't Any Alarm Clock?
- Lever-Setting Wear
- Removing Broken Screws
- Jeweler's Hobby Is Watches
- Longines 17LU
- The Adventure of The Insolvent Buyer
- Elgin Grade 315
- A 12 Size Waltham
- Henry Diehl, Deceased
- Human Clocks
- Bulova 8AH
- Hamilton 911
- Malware Followup
- American Waltham, 1857 Model
- Another Big Waltham
- G. I. Finds Fabulous Diamond Treasure
- Elgin Grade 478
- The Mainspring
- Elgin Grade 216
- Charles Perret
- How And Why Did I Become a Watchmaker?
- American Waltham, 1872
- Ernest Borel Datoptic Advertising, 1955
- Women Producing At National Watch
- Elgin Grade 348
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- ► 2010 (75)
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- ► 2008 (25)