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.

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Early Watches

From The American Horologist magazine, March 1938

Early Watches

Though the Chinese claim to have invented the clock about the year 2000 B. c., there is a general belief that Gerbert, who afterward became Pope Sylvester II, made the first mechanical clock for the Magdeburg cathedral in the year 996 A. D. Peter Henlen or Hele of Nuremberg, Germany, is credited with the invention of the mainspring which made watches possible, about the year 1500 A. D.; one of the oldest watches in existence was made in that city in 1560. 

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