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Licensing Bills Need Approval of Entire Industry

From American Horologist magazine, May, 1939

Licensing Bills Need Approval of Entire Industry

Recent months have seen much activity on the part of horologists in various states to obtain licensing laws and as a result a number of bills have been introduced. So far this year, in only one state, Indiana, has a bill been passed and signed by the governor. Several bills are known to have been definitely rejected and the fate of some others is in doubt. Only those bills which have been drawn up with proper consideration of the rights of those who are likely to be affected by them will stand any chance of passage.

Some of the bills introduced are the result of several years of careful study and preparation while others have been hastily drawn up in a frenzied effort to get some kind of a bill passed. Framers of this type of legislation should bear in mind that there must be no hardship placed upon the other branches of the jewelry industry if they are to expect cooperation.

Certainly no bill should be so written as to prohibit the manufacture of timepieces unless all the factory employees are licensed horologists. Neither should it be necessary for the material men 'in the supply houses to hold certificates of registration. Case repairers, also, should not be considered as horologists.

There is another powerful group which has a more or less valid claim to exemption from the application of a watchmakers licensing law and that is the public utilities. Many of these large corporations maintain their own service departments for the repairing of the timekeeping elements of recording instruments. Such instruments, for the recording of the flow of fuel, Water, electricity, and similar functions, are not timepieces in the ordinary sense of the word. Furthermore, most horologists do not have the specialized training for this sort of work nor do they care for it.

While it is customary to poke fun at those who look for a misplaced comma, such careful scrutiny pays dividends in the long run and only in this manner can the rights of all the interested groups be protected and their cooperation assured. 

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