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Each watch must have a mainspring 200 inches long in it

From American Horologist magazine, March, 1945

Each watch must have a mainspring 200 inches long in it

"Each watch must have a mainspring 200 inches long in it", sounds rather asinine, does it not?

Nevertheless, that statement was to be offered as an amendment by one of the Hon. (?) Representatives in the State Legislature of Tennessee to a watchmakers' licensing bill.

When we heard that such an unreasonable amendment was to be offered (in order to "kill" the bill) we inquired if the Chair was obliged to accept such an obvious impossibility as a "200 inch mainspring in each watch". We were informed that the Chair would (or must) accept it, if offered.

This would seem to characterize the intelligence of the Hon. (?) members of the House of Representatives in Tennessee.

When the licensing bill came up for its third and final reading, it was read and carried over to the following day.  'When it then came up on that day, a motion to consider it lost by a 2 to 1 majority. The bill was then "tabled".

The motion to "consider" the bill was opposed by practically all of the "rural" members. When the motion was presented many of them arose and almost shouted it down.

Let us not entirely blame the members of the House themselves, in this case. It was quite evident that their interest and opposition to this bill had been aroused to such an extent that they were determined to defeat it by whatever means they could command.

Unfortunately the bill remained "in committee" for over four weeks. During this time the small town watchmakers (and some from the larger cities, too) evidently had opportunity to voice their sentiments to their Representatives, as these Representatives seemed all cocked and primed to defeat the bill the instant it came up. Here is what the defeat of the bill can mean:That the State of Tennessee voices itself as welcoming any and all watchmakers regardless of their ability, character or standing. (The material houses may need the additional business, too).  No standard of price or workmanship required.

Hence, to the watchmaker who works by the slogan "Anything goes", Tennessee EXTENDS A WELCOME.


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