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!
Many, yes the majority of watchmakers are hoping for a state legislation to protect their field of endeavor through licensing, and still many are affiliated with our organization. Have these men stopped to think of the light they place themselves in? First, they want to be protected through state licenses; to be looked upon as professional men. Second, they identify themselves with unions, and the unions, in all due respect to them, are a body of workers. Have you ever heard of a professional man belonging to a labor organization? You have not! Then why should the watchmakers be so blind as to identify themselves with such labor groups?
We would advise all watchmakers to hold fast to their high ideals and aspirations of being classed and so recognized as professional men, and secure those objectives, which will elevate the entire craft to the level of a professional status.
This is no reflection on the A. F. of L. We hold them in the highest esteem in their respective fields of endeavor, but we do contend that the watchmakers have no place in labor unions. Join your local horological association, and devote the time and money to their cause.
You will be able to go further, and attain success faster. N early every state in the union now has, some representative truly watchmakers' association functioning along the lines of the old time guilds, and after all, that is what we are all copying. The old horological guilds, where men of a common calling banded together for their mutual benefits and exchanged ideas to elevate their craft.
In joining an organization of horologists, be it in California, New York or any other state, be sure the association is one without the principal of a labor organization, thus you will be identified with an association, which wishes to uplift the craft beyond the level of labor, to one of a professional status.
From The American Horologist magazine, April, 1936
W. H. Samelius, Chairman
Science of Horology and Technical Board
The first really portable watch or clock was made by Peter Henlein, a young blacksmith, of Nuremberg about 1504. It was made entirely of iron, spring driven, the dial of the watch was about six inches. Timepieces were usually carried by shoulderstrap or handle.
The Waterbury Watch Company in the early days used the Duplex Escapement in their watches.
That the mainspring in the early Waterbury watches were nine feet long.
The Hamilton Watch Company was founded in Lancaster, Pa., in 1892.
Our first wheel-cutting machine was invented by Dr. Robert Hooke of England.
Second hands on clocks were first used by Tompion of England about 1676.
The Greenwich Observatory at England was founded in 1675 for promotion of astronomy and navigation.
That the overcoil hairspring was introduced by Abraham Louis Breguet about 1775.
That adjusting a pocket watch for temperature errors, the corrections are made by relocating the· balance screws closer or farther away from the cut end of the balance wheel rim.
In the marine chronometer adjustments for temperature errors are made by sliding a weight which is attached to the rim of the balance wheel.
In some of the finest cylinder escapements, the cylinder was made of ruby.
The cylinder and duplex escapements are known as frictional escapements.
This watch stopped because of a loose case screw stuck in the movement.
There are remarkably inexpensive version of this tool today. And as far as I can tell they work just fine.
These cannon pinions are solid body parts and so can't be tightened by the usual means. A few times, I have seen this sort of thing. A watchmaker has ground down a notch in the side of the part so it would be thin enough to squeeze down some.
Not exactly a recommended solution...
- ► 2016 (465)
- ► 2015 (452)
- ► 2014 (291)
- Creative Hand Fix
- Elgin Grade 478
- An Interesting Mainspring Fix
- Westclox Pocket Ben
- What Is to Be Gained by Watchmakers' Union?
- Elgin Grade 556, Lord Elgin
- Do You Know?
- Some Bow Tools
- Elgin Grade 291, Loose Case Screw
- Elgin Grade 301
- Elgin Grade 660
- Digital Calipers
- Train Counting
- Elgin Grade 444
- A Mishandled Mainspring
- Grinding a Cannon Pinion
- Elgin Grade 495
- Tracey Appleton Waltham
- 1910 Hampden
- 1880 Illinois
- Hand Tool
- Keeping the Cap On
- "Perpetual Motion" Clock Run by Changes of Tempera...
- Finding the Correct Length for Mainsprings
- Consider the Benefits
- Creative Dial Attachment
- A Later Elgin
- Illinois Autocrate
- ▼ April (30)
- ► 2012 (406)
- ► 2011 (135)
- ► 2010 (75)
- ► 2009 (96)
- ► 2008 (25)