An Inventory of Mostly Pre-US Civil War American Watch Papers

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by jboger, Aug 4, 2019.

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  1. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    #1 jboger, Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    The American Antiquarian Society has an illustrated gallery of mostly pre-US Civil War watch papers. The link below could easily go under the forum for US pocket watches, but because so many of these probably were originally inserted into English fusees, I thought to put it here. This website is new to me but possibly/probably not new to others:

    Gallery, Page 1: A-Bosworth · Image Gallery · Watch Papers Collection

    I've strolled through the list of names and found examples of papers that I own or of makers's names on signed fusees that I own (Ham of Portsmouth, NH, for example). Clock people will also find names that they recognize. If new to you as it is to me, then here is a resource.
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Thanks for posting that link!! I've never seen it before.


    Rob
     
  3. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    The Goodard watch paper is inscribed for Mr. A. Wheelock, August 1841. The other one is on the back of the Bigelow paper.

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  4. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    I would like to point out for someone so motivated, and provided it has not already been done, the Antiquarian Society's inventory of watch papers is ripe for a statistical analysis. All one need do is bin the data by (1) geographical location, (2) date (time), (3) whether a partnership or not, (4) signed examples of their work, and (5) whether the watchmaker made or sold clocks as well. Why, one could if so inclined plot geographical location against time and, see, for example, if the later dates included more westerly watchmakers than the earlier and presumably more easterly-located makers. Of course, one might want to clear this with the Society first.
     
  5. watchbob

    watchbob Registered User
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    Watchpapers from Deane #31 American fusee ( apprentice of Luther Goddard ? ) pictures when restoration is complete - returned.
    Theodore Morgan Salem ( Mass. ) march 1825 ( worked ? 1825-43 ) & D F Studley North Bridge Water Mass dates 1846, 48, 50, 58 ( worked here 1834 thru ? )

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  6. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    Watchbob: very nice. I have others and I bet you do too. What I do find unfortunate is that some dealers separate them from the watch because (1) they collect them or (2) they sell them separately. History is loss in the search for profit. What can be done about this? Nothing.

    Now, I do not know how well these papers have been studied, but they are fascinating advertisements and give a glimpse into the past. One can look for all sorts of correlations. I see some sold music boxes. Others sold jewelry. Some were partnerships. And so on. I'm willing to bet that by plotting geographical location versus time, for example, one could see the westward migration from the East Coast to the interior of the country. Certainly one would expect a clustering of papers around major population centers. But the only way to confirm this is to actually slice and dice the data in various ways.

    As for me, I neither have the time nor the patience anymore to do such things. Perhaps its already been done.

    And what about the UK? This custom in the Americas was undoubtedly exported from England to the Colonies. Have these papers been systematically examined in the UK?
     
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  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Great link!!

    Keith R...

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  8. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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  9. watchbob

    watchbob Registered User
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    I agree - It's really to bad many papers are taken out of cases - I have some with 10+ papers with repairs over many decades. They tell a clear story of where this watch was used over that time. Those history clues are lost when removed. Many times the papers are more interesting than the watch itself.
    Bob
     
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  10. Rich Newman

    Rich Newman Chair
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    A number of articles on American Watch Papers have been published by NAWCC members in the Bulletin, Clocks Magazine (UK), Maine Antique Digest, and others. I have been photographing American papers for 20+ years and have a database of sorts organized by State, by City and by Name with somewhere around 2000 to 3000 pictures. If anyone is performing research or has an early American clock or watch, its possible that I have a picture of the maker/retailer's watch paper (most clock makers were also engaged in watch repair). Glad to share. I also have a presentation on American papers that I've given at the NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium and a number of regionals. Again, glad to share information.
     

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