American Watch Repair books/manuals

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Greg Frauenhoff, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    I thought it might be fun to make a list of what's out there in watch repair manuals, especially American ones, but feel free to post any interesting overseas publications as well.

    Henry Fried's book (in a number of editions)comes to mind.

    Some early titles that were handy are as follows:

    Kemlo's Watch-Repairer's Hand-book by F. Kemlo, Boston, 1869.

    A Practical Treatise on Watch Repairing by N. B. Sherwood, Chicago, 3rd edition, 1905.

    Others?
     
  2. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    I thought it might be fun to make a list of what's out there in watch repair manuals, especially American ones, but feel free to post any interesting overseas publications as well.

    Henry Fried's book (in a number of editions)comes to mind.

    Some early titles that were handy are as follows:

    Kemlo's Watch-Repairer's Hand-book by F. Kemlo, Boston, 1869.

    A Practical Treatise on Watch Repairing by N. B. Sherwood, Chicago, 3rd edition, 1905.

    Others?
     
  3. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    5,996
    850
    113
    Geologist - California Geological Survey
    Los Angeles, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Aside from the more common books by Fried and De Carle (several editions exist) there are many other interesting books, some more useful than others.
    "Precision Time Measures" by Higgenbotham (consulting Superintendent of the South Bend Watch Co.) has a lot of interesting theory and technique.
    "Modern Methods in Horology" by Hood (Bradley Polytechnic Institute) is a quirky little book which is a little too conversational for my taste.

    I especially like some of the focused topic books for escapement, balance and hairspring work:
    "Know the Escapement" - Sarah & Homer Barkus
    "The Watch Escapement" - Fried
    "Rules and Practice for Adjusting Watches" - Kleinlein
    "Practical Balance and Hairspring Work" - Kleinlein
     
  4. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Jerry,

    Thanks for the titles.

    Here are a couple more:

    Watches Adjustmment and Repair by F. J. Camm, Brooklyn, no date given (c. 1950).

    New and Complete Clock and Watchmakers' Manual by Mary L. Booth, New York, 1869.
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,385
    182
    63
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    First there are tweo basic types of repair books, general repair and adjusting.

    The titles sugegsted here on general repair are all good in various way.

    On adjusting one I really enjoyed is "Practical Watch Adjusting" by Theo Gribi.

    There very useful general Repair books include

    Levin's Book on Practical Benchwork for Horoligists. and Fried's with a similar title.

    These go into detail on how to make difficult parts.

    I also enjoyed the recent book on Twenty first cewntury watch making
     
  6. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    The earliest American watch repair book that I've seen is "Haney's Trade Manuals. American Watchmaker and Jeweler; a Clear and Complete Exposition of all the Latest and Most Approved Secrets of the Trade with a Series of Plain Instructions for Begineers, etc., etc." by J. Parish Steele, New York, 1868. My copy is called the "New and Enlarged Edition" so does anyone know when the first edition of this manual appeared? Any other titles for early American repair books?
     
  7. fkusumot

    fkusumot Registered User

    Oct 18, 2004
    16
    0
    0
    Greg,

    One very cool one I've found is:

    "Workshop Notes, for Jewelers and Watchmakers, by One who has contributed such Matter to THE JEWELERS' CIRCULAR for Twenty Years. Third Edition. Part I. 1899, Jewelers' Circular Publishing Co."
    Originally published in 1892, 303 pgs.

    It's a compedium of short articles, tips, tricks concerning all areas of watchmaking.

    Frank Kusumoto
     
  8. Charles E. Davis

    Charles E. Davis Registered User
    NAWCC Life Member NAWCC Fellow Golden Circle

    Nov 6, 2000
    909
    6
    18
    La Verne, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have the Workshop Notes third edition in red binding and also what appears to be the original 1892 edition in a green binding with only 199 pages plus the very interesting advertisements.
    The great thing about them is the extensive indexing in the back of the books.
     
  9. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Dr. Jon, Frank and Charlie,

    Thanks for the additions.

    Any other interesting American titles to report?

    Shall we do non-American titles as well?
     
  10. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,385
    182
    63
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Opening it to English German and Swiss adds a lot.

    Sadly very few even of the books mentioned so far deal with the repair of American Pocket watches in much depth.

    Before we open it to the world how about books dealing with reapir of railroad and other American Watches?
     
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    Here's a few more:

    1. A Practical Course in Horology, Harold Kelly, 1944
    2. Scientific Timing, Charles Purdom, 1947
    3. American Watchmaker & Jeweler, ? , ?, 102PP
    4. Modern Methods in Watch Adjusting, Harold Kelly, 1933
    5. Modern Methods in Horology, Grant Hood, 1913
    6. Watch & Clock Escapements, Thorpe/Keystone, 1904
    7. The American Watchmaker & Jeweler, Henry Abbott, 1891

    oops forgot, not exactly repair, but serious repair people should be aware of it...

    8. It's About Time, Paul Chamberlain, 1962 et al

    I might have duplicated someone else's..

    Have to dig some more...

    Continueing...

    9. The Watch Adjuster's Manual, C E Fritts, 1894
    10. TM9-1575 Wrist Watches, Pocket Watches, Stop Watches and Clocks, War Dept. Tech Man.
    11. Instrumentman 1&C, NAVPERS 10194-B Navy Training Course
    12. Instrumentman 3&2, NAVPERS 10193-B Navy Training COurse
    13. Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking, Spiral Bound,

    Found a couple of more... 8/29/05

    14. Timing Manipulations, James Hamilton, 1950
    15. Modern Watch Repairing and Adjusting, John Bowman/Emile Borer, 1941

    Ralph
     
  12. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Ralph,

    Thanks for the additional titles.
     
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    Greg,

    I'm not done yet... ;)

    16. World's Only Fully Illustrated Chronograph Watch Course, W.O.Smith, 1949, 23+ Volumes.
    17. Watchmaster Watchmakers, Charles Purdom, 1949
    18. Service and Repair of the Hamilton Electric Watch. Hamilton Watch Co. , 1958

    Cheers, Ralph
     
  14. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Thanks again Ralph and keep 'em coming.
     
  15. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    1,486
    49
    48
    Male
    Horological Bibliographer -
    Sussex New Jersey USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #15 Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sep 15, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Among many others your List should also contain, reportedly the THIRD book published in USA on clock repair. Also one of the few with a female author (who used only her initial in order to not scare of her mostly male readers in 1860- :)

    ______________________________

    Title: New and complete Clock and Watchmakers' Manual - Comprising Descriptions of the various gearings, ..
    SubTitle: ...escapements and compensation now in use …Compiled from the French
    Author: M.[ary] L. Booth
    Publisher: John Wiley
    Language: ENG
    Notes: reportedly the 3rd horological text printed in the USA, in1860, based on Janvier and other texts, incluides 6 fold out engraved plates in back
    Edition: 1860, 1st edition -- Copyright: 1860
    Kind: Book
    Type: Timekeeper (general)
    Geographic area: USA
    Topic: TheoryGeneral
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 288 -- Height in cm: 20

    ___________________________________

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki
     
  16. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    1,486
    49
    48
    Male
    Horological Bibliographer -
    Sussex New Jersey USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Other USA based texts on watch repair published pre 1900 include:

    -------------------------------------

    Title: Workshop Notes for Jewelers and Watchmakers
    SubTitle: beeing a collection of the latest practical receipts on the manufacturer and repairing of watches…
    Author: Anonymous,
    Publisher: Lindsay Publications
    Keywords: historic
    Other Keywords: JCK
    Language: ENG
    Notes: 12 years worth of colums of watch repair tips puiblished 1892 by Jewlwers Circular in a 1996 Lindsay reprint
    Edition: 1996, reprint -- Copyright: 1892
    Kind: Book
    Type: Watch (general)
    Geographic area: USA
    Topic: Repair
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 222 -- Height in cm: 26
    --------------------------------------------

    Title: Kemlo's Watch Repairer's Handbook, beeing a complete Guide to the young beginner
    SubTitle: in taking apart, putting together and thorouhly cleaning the English lever and other foreign watch
    Author: F. Kemlo
    Publisher: Henry Carey Baird
    Keywords: basic textbook
    Language: ENG
    Notes: 1901 practical guide for watchmakers
    Edition: 1901 -- Copyright: 1901
    Kind: Book
    Type: Pocket Watch
    Geographic area: USA
    Topic: Repair
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 93 -- Height in cm: 20
    -------------------------------------------

    Title: Watch and Chronometer Jeweling
    Author: N.B. Sherwood
    Publisher: Hazelit
    Keywords: practical
    Other Keywords: jeweling jewel jewels
    Language: ENG
    Notes: A classic late 19th century US text on jeweling in watches
    Edition: 3rd edition, ca 1900 -- Copyright: 1900
    Kind: Book
    Type: Watch (general)
    Geographic area: USA
    Topic: Repair
    Organization: NA/other
    ------------------------------------
     
  17. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Fortunat,

    Thanks for the additional titles.

    Anyone know what the pre-1860 Booth books are?
     
  18. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    Here's another :

    The Watch and Clock Book, Arco Publishing 1948, 214 PP, no author credited, hard cover, $2.50

    It looks like it is aimed at military timepieces and clocks. In fact I'm going to have to compare it to TM9-1575, maybe it's a repackaged version.

    Update....just checked, it is a rip of TM9-1575.

    Ralph
     
  19. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    First, my bibliography (http://www.watkinsr.id.au) has 375 titles that I class as repair books. I can't easily isolate US publications, but there are more than 100. Many books published in USA have English authors, like Camm.
    There is no book by Booth pre 1860.
    Stelle "American watchmaker and jeweler, a clear and complete exposition of all the latest and most approved secrets of the trade with a series of plain instructions for beginners, etc, etc" has two copyright dates, 1868 and 1873, and there is a nothe that “Since first publication, some nine years ago, the foregoing work has passed through several editions …”. I have never come across anything earlier than the circa 1873 edition.
    All the repair notes in Kemlo are copied from Stelle.
     
  20. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    I recently picked up, The Escapement and Train of American watches, by T J Wilkinson, published by Keystone Press.

    The frontispage, A Practical and Encycopedic Treatise and Text Book, 378PP.

    Ralph
     
  21. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
    NAWCC Member Golden Circle

    Aug 24, 2000
    17,647
    106
    63
    Male
    Boston, Ma.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    ........................and do not forget the Chicago School of Watchmaking provided by chapter 149 on cd!

    Or, the Sammelius articles, "How to do It" or some such titlle!
     
  22. "Information Please!" frequent column in the American Horologist and Jeweler magazine for many years.
    AWI published a book "Watch And Clock Information Please" by Mr Samelius in 1981.
    Often called "The Dean of American Horologists"
     
  23. The earliest writings I possess on care and repair of a watch are from a shop journal of Peter Gaillard. He was a Reading, Pa. clock - watchmaker. While most at that time in this area were from England or Germany he was from France.
    He was active in this area from the late 1700's to early 1800's. I believe he ended up for his last days in Lancaster County. It is one of many odds and ends I have accumulated over the years concerning horology in this area. Written in French, it was a hand me down from various watchmakers until my uncle got it.
    This is sad, my uncle had purchased a watchmaker's shop and got to be friends with the man. A few months before he died he called my uncle and told him to come over very soon because he had something to give him.
    It was the shop journal. My uncle told me that as he was handed the journal the man began to cry. He wanted to live so much because he had so many things he still wanted to do. He passed from the scene two weeks later.
    My uncle was the same type of man, so many things to do, never enough time. When I pass this book on I hope the same will be said of me.
    Everyone likes to talk about botchers and butchers today. This is from an ad of his in Der Reading Adler, 14 August, 1804:

    "Repairs pocket watches which have been spoiled by dirty hands for the least price and suggests people do not go to anyone else as they give wrong advice.

     
  24. DSuzanne

    DSuzanne New Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    1
    0
    0
    I am a novice doing some research on a French Mantel clock that was given to me by a family member. I have been unable (to date) to locate any information concerning the signature on the face of the clock -- "Gaillard a' Lyon".

    I found your posting regarding the Shop Journal of Peter Gaillard. Understanding he was French and lived during the era I believe my clock was made, I'm wondering if you have any insight. Do you know if Peter Gaillard made any mantel clocks?

    Please excuse my unsophisticated language concerning these matters - I really have no clue (nor do I pretend to have any clue) about Horology. Any insight would be greatly appreciated - even if the insight is that I'm chasing the wrong trail.... Thanks!
     
  25. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    There was a Claude Gaillard working in Lyon, France, rue Grenette 1788/1838

    Ralph
     
  26. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    1,486
    49
    48
    Male
    Horological Bibliographer -
    Sussex New Jersey USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Actually there is are at least 2 horologists by that name in Lyon(according to TARDY: Dictonaires des Horlogers Francaises)

    Nicolas Gailard is recorded on 1555 and died in 1602, his signature apears on an oval watch.

    The more likely one is Claude who was mentioned by RAlph.

    Just as likely the signature "GAillard a Lyon" (if it appears on the dial rather tha on the movement) was the sellers name, but not necessary the makers.There are also recorded horologists by the name of Gaillard in PAris, Rouen, Morez, Bordeaux and Grenoble.
     
  27. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Re the J Parish Stelle work, the copy that I have has a copyright of 1868 and a supplement appended with a copyright of 1873. A publisher's note to the supplement reads in part "Since it first publication, some 5 years ago..." suggests (to me anyway) that the 1st edition arrived in 1868 (5 years prior to 1873) and that the "2nd edition" (aka "New and Enlarged Edition") arrived in 1873, with the enlarged part being the addition of a supplement.
     
  28. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,313
    543
    113
    Re the work by Booth, my recollection is that one commentator claimed it was primarily a translation of an earlier work by a French author. I will check my files to see if the reference can be located.
     
  29. earnshawiwish

    earnshawiwish Registered User

    May 25, 2009
    31
    0
    0
    Having today been given a splendid verge comtios clock made by a maker called Gaillard of Praissas happened to come across this page and I must confess to being really touched by the description above, thank you Richard.
     

Share This Page