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Cornell Watch Co.

The Cornell Watch Co. of Chicago IL was organized in 1870. The factory was finished in 1871 and by the end of 1874 a new company was formed, moving the operation to San Francisco.

The Cornell Watch Co.: A Brief History

Paul Cornell was a real-estate dealer who had considerable land holdings in suburban of Chicago. With J.C. Adams, he formed the Cornell Watch Co. in 1870. J.C. Adams then proceeded to obtain the plant of the Newark Watch Co. (Newark, NJ) and had it shipped out to Chicago, to be installed in a newly built factory in 1871. The company only lasted in Chicago for several years and in 1874 it was moved to San Francisco.

Watch Grades

The following eight watch grades were marketed:

Paul Cornell - 18-size, Full Plate, Stem Wind, Expansion Balance, Ruby Endstones, Patent Regulator
W.M. Hibbard - 18-size, Full Plate, Key Wind, Expansion Balance, Double-Sunk Dial
George F. Root - Full Plate, Key & Stem Wind, Expansion Balance
John Evans - 18-size, Full Plate, Key Wind, Expansion Balance
C.T. Bowen - 18-size, Full Plate, Expansion Balance
E.S Williams
C.M. Cody
George W Waite


The NAWCC Library & Research Center has books and back issues of the NAWCC Bulletin available to members on loan by mail. Use the Lending Library Form.


The Complete History of Watch Making in America - Reprinted from the Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review 1885-1887, Charles S. Crossman, Adams Brown Co., Exeter, NH, undated, but probably late 1980's, pp. 73-79.

The Watch Factories of America, Henry G. Abbott, Hazlitt & Co., Chicago, IL, 1888 (reprinted by Adams Brown Co. 1981), pp. 46-49.

Back issues of the NAWCC Bulletin are available online to NAWCC members who are currently logged in at http://nawcc.org/index.php/nawcc-bulletin/past-issues-.

"A Previously Undocumented 19-Jewel Watch Movement," Greg Frauenhoff, NAWCC BulletinNo. 319, April 1999, pp. 233-236.

American watch makers

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