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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.

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'Needle In Haystack' Watch Recovered

From The American Horologist magazine, July, 1944

'Needle In Haystack' Watch Recovered

It could only happen once in a lifetime, might be a good title to this story, for it's a needle in the haystack tale that seldom, if ever, occurs.

Truman French is an amateur watchmaker of fair standing. Employed at a sawmill near Laconia, N. H., he lost a customer's watch in a pile of sawdust, which was later deposited in a thousand-odd bags of sawdust ticking and shipped all over the country for any number of diversified uses.

Discouraged, but alert of mind, he picked a shipping point at random. It happened to be Somerville, Mass. He sent a wire to the plant purchasing the sawdust. Charles R. Ryan, inspector at the Somerville firm, went through literally tons of the sawdust without success. Then he picked one of the remaining bags haphazardly and dumped it on the floor.

There was the watch - none the worse for its sawdust bath and Immersion!

-Ray Freedman


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