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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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Elgin Grade 114, With A Case a Adaptation



In this photo, near the screw at the right, to the fore, you can see some faintly engraved characters. These are "watchmaker's marks". They were made by someone that serviced, or possibly sold, this watch. They had meaning only in a context of that person's records, but are today part of the character of the piece. Watchmakers' marks are not usually on the visible part of the movement. They'd typically be under the dial, or most commonly, inside the back of the case.
The way most American pocketwatches, and Elgins in particular, fit into a watch case, there is a female arbor in the movement, and a square male stem in the watch case.  The snapping in and out of the crown is a function of the case entirely.

Some earlier lever-set watches are the opposite.  There would be a square arbor, male, sticking out of the edge of the movement.  The stem part of the case would have a square hole in the end.  On such cases the stem does not snap in and out.

You can't really mix and match these two types.  But now and then I see something like this watch.  This movement has the female part.  But it's been fitted into the older type of case.  Some watchmaker made a square "adapter" that fits in each hole and joins the movement with the stem. 



It's worth pointing out as an aside that for the most part, American watch companies never made pocket watch cases.  A customer would select the movement and the case separately at the time of retail sale.  The shop fit the two together.  In some instances, there may not have been a lot to choose from.

The way most American pocketwatches, and Elgins in particular, fit into a watch case, there is a female arbor in the movement, and a square male stem in the watch case.  The snapping in and out of the crown is a function of the case entirely.

Some earlier lever-set watches are the opposite.  There would be a square arbor, male, sticking out of the edge of the movement.  The stem part of the case would have a square hole in the end.  On such cases the stem does not snap in and out.

You can't really mix and match these two types.  But now and then I see something like this watch.  This movement has the female part.  But it's been fitted into the older type of case.  Some watchmaker made a square "adapter" that fits in each hole and joins the movement with the stem. 



It's worth pointing out as an aside that for the most part, American watch companies never made pocket watch cases.  A customer would select the movement and the case separately at the time of retail sale.  The shop fit the two together.  In some instances, there may not have been a lot to choose from.





This watch is an Elgin grade 114. It is a 16 size, 7 jewel, movement, made about 1895.  



This watch is an Elgin grade 114. It is a 16 size, 7 jewel, movement, made about 1895.  


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