Advice To Young Jewelers
From Elgin Every Saturday (Note - W e publish below an article from the pen of P. S. Bartlett, "the best known man in the watch trade in the world". Mr. Bartlett's experience covers a period of forty years, and he is considered the highest authority on watch matters. " - Ed.)
Following is a short article about Mr. Bartlett, copied from a small booklet printed ill 1905 by the Waltham Watch Company.
Patten Sargent Bartlett, whose name is familiar to every watchmaker and jeweler in America, and we might say the world, was born in Amesbury, Mass., December 3, 1834, of one of the oldest and most famous puritan families, his great uncle, Josiah Bartlett, being one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He had a common school education and learned the machinist trade in Lowell. His first connection with watchmaking was in December, 1855, when he went to work at 21 years of age for the Boston Watch Co. just after its removal to Waltham and before the organization of the Waltham company. In 1858 he became foreman of the plate and screw department of that factory and continued with them in that capacity until 1864. In 1859 the American Watch Company put upon the market a new 18-size movement, which they engraved P. S. Bartlett.
He brought J. K. Bigelow from Lowell to assist him, but Mr. Bigelow was not long afterwards given a department to manage and Leonard Green became Mr. Bartlett's assistant until he went to Elgin.
In 1864, Mr. Bartlett and Ira G. Blake came west from Waltham on a visit, and becoming acquainted with John C. Adams, whose brother George B. Adams was a jeweler in Elgin, he was induced to assist in organizing the National Watch Company of Elgin, and undertook to provide it with skilled labor. He was one of the half-dozen who was paid with a bonus of $5000 and $5000 a year for five years to go to Elgin and start a factory, his position being foreman of the plate department for five years, the same position which he had held in Waltham. He worked in the machine shop at Elgin until the factory had begun to produce watches.
In 1869 Mr. Bartlett commenced traveling for the Elgin Company, and was, the first watch missionary in the trade, although not then designated as a missionary. He was general traveling agent for the company for the next seven years, and in that time he introduced the Elgin watch in Europe, selling them in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities. Returning to this country he was assistant superintendent at the factory in Elgin until 1878, leaving to take a position traveling for the Waltham company, with whom he remained for three years.
At the conclusion of his connection with the Waltham company, he established himself in the wholesale and retail jewelry business in Elgin, which he continued until he died, December 14, 1902, at the home of his daughter in Chicago.
"Old Faithful" was the village clock of this Long Island town. On January 9 "Old Faithful" went down fighting. There was a fire but "Old Faithful" continued to keep time with its usual regularity for an hour after flames were heating its mechanism and smoke was practically hiding its entire face.
Thirty years ago "Old Faithful" was placed in a tower that tops the building in which the fire took place, in the heart of the downtown business section. Though the building has al· ways been privately owned, the clock has been maintained by the village. The tower was so badly damaged that it will have to be torn down, and with it, "Old Faithful". Patchogue will miss that familiar face.