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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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Jungle Work Shop

From The American Horologist magazine, July, 1944

Jungle Work Shop

From the Southwest Pacific jungles We received information from Sgt. Howard C. Maxwell regarding his jungle work shop. Sgt. Maxwell was not a watchmaker when entering the service but his mechanical tendencies and the love for the art and science of HOROLOGY, and his determination to become a watchmaker upon his return to the States regardless of the cost of same, without a doubt will prove him to be a man worthy of the calling.


Through Mr. R. J. Gunder of the Hamilton Watch Company, the Sgt. has received tools, books and ideas. The lathe described herein was made by hand from battlefield junk with only crude hand tools. He has also made a staking tool, tweezers, and loupe; the loupe was made from the lens taken out of a jap gunsight during the battle of Munda airport. Screwdrivers, oilers, pliers, etc. have been made. He also made a clock from Munda battle junk completely by hand and with no help, former experience, or having ever seen a book on watchmaking. Not till it was finished and sent to his wife for a Christmas gift, did the first book on the subject arrive.

You will note on his watch bench, a loupe and tweezers donated by Mr. Gunder and also double loupe. The balance truing plier's were sent by Mr. Beehler.

The Sergeant states that he has tried to learn watch work out there and so far has successfully returned to service 680 watches belonging to'service men of all branches of service from private to general.

We think that the Sergeant is doing a wonderful job and look forward to his safe return to the States So as to enter our Professian. 


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