Any Scottish Watchmaker/jeweler historians?

schleems18

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I am looking for information about David Harley, a watchmaker in Dunfermline, Scotland. He had a shop there in 1877 and that's about all i have been able to find out. Thanks! also wasn't quite sure if this was the correct area for this post, close enough?
 

Bila

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I am looking for information about David Harley, a watchmaker in Dunfermline, Scotland. He had a shop there in 1877 and that's about all i have been able to find out. Thanks! also wasn't quite sure if this was the correct area for this post, close enough?

Also was there in 1903, if the same person at 43 High Street. Another David Harley, Watch & Clock Maker appears to have resided at 37 Wellgate, Dundee, Forfarshire County as well around a similar time-frame.
 

schleems18

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I haven't payed much attention to keys, were keys marked like this a common thing among watchmakers? Is there a watch this it was made for? Any info would be great lol don't really know where to start.

IMG_20220521_135238.jpg IMG_20220521_135344.jpg
 

MrRoundel

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Nice fob. It's marked for a RR union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. It's interesting in that this brotherhood is usually denoted by the initials "BRT". I have never seen "BRRT" before. If I have, I don't remember it.

As far as a watch that would be a good, or even correct, match for, it would be a Ball "BRT" movement. Most "brotherhood" watches that I have seen were made by Waltham, but they were also made by Hamilton, E. Howard and Co., and perhaps one or two others.

Don't be surprised if a moderator asks you about moving this post to another thread, as it really doesn't fit the listed topic as well as it could. Then again, they may figure that they' d both be your threads so no harm, no foul. Cheers.
 

schleems18

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Yea, I don't think they are a set piece I just keep them together as that's how they were when I received them and maybe they do have some connection. I really meant the key, and what it's connection to David Harley is or was.
 

schleems18

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Yes, are keys like that a common practice? I have almost no knowledge of keys, was it something to maybe denote where the watch was bought? If the case and movement were sourced elsewhere?
 

John Matthews

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David Harley is listed at 41 High Street in the trade directories of 1877, 1878 & 1880, then at 43 High Street in 1886 and 1903. He would not have made watches, He was most likely a jeweller and watch retailer, who would possibly have provided a repair service for the watches he sold. The key would have been made by a watch key maker and with his name already in place. The key would have been supplied with his key wound pocket watches as a practical item with advertising value.

Not sure regarding the fob - but I would need more evidence of a connection with

1653630381567.png

John
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Harley, Alexander, Watchmaker & Jeweller, 41 High Street, Dunfermline, Fife. 1877.

Harley, David. Watchmaker (probably a journeyman), Inverness. 1871, Living in lodgings. Son of Alexander Harley, shoemaker, and Jean & Jean Hutchinson. A watchmaker and jeweller at 17 High Street Dunfermline, Fife, in 1874, at No42 by 1888, at No 22 in1914. In 1881 aged 34, a widower, living with his parents, employing three apprentices. Admitted as a burgess of Dumfermline on 6 Mar 1890. By 1891 living with his second wife Catherine, and children Alexander (Born in 1879 by his first wife) and James.

From "clockmaker & Watchmakers of Scotland" by Donald Whyte.

Your watch was sold in Dunfermline, then someone took it to America, so your story starts there with the American fob and chain.

Good Luck.

Allan.
 

PatH

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I haven't payed much attention to keys, were keys marked like this a common thing among watchmakers? Is there a watch this it was made for? Any info would be great lol don't really know where to start.

View attachment 710781 View attachment 710782
As John Matthews said in his post, keys like this were common. They were made by different companies. Rather than being made for specific watches, the jeweler likely had them in a variety of sizes. Some were made by Kendrick & Davis and included their patented dust proof feature, a slot in the pipe, that prevented the build up of dust in the key that could be introduced into the watch. A friend gave me one of the K&D keys for W. C. Pfaeffle in Georgetown TX. I was able to find quite a bit about Mr Pfaeffle online, including information related to his work as a the railroad watch inspector in Enid OK. There is even a thread here in the forums about a Pfaeffle private label watch. https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/unknown-pocket-watch-oklahoma-watch-company.70247/

Here's a bit about this type of key, along with a picture of examples.

By the late 19th century, mass production was common and we find American manufacturers such as Kendrick & Davis, J.S. Birch and A.N. Clark patenting and marketing watch keys. In addition to serving the obvious purpose of winding a watch, one version of the Kendrick & Davis keys could be imprinted with the watchmaker or jeweler's name and address for advertising purposes. Interestingly, with a little research, information about the person or company can often be found online. While these keys were very useful and sold well, they certainly are not as visually appealing as some of their predecessors

The slot in the pipe can be seen on the key, bottom left, in this post.

DSC03178.JPG
 

John Matthews

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To complement Pat's post here are a list of key makers in London in 1880

1653663123618.png

The majority of watch key makers at the time were located in Birmingham - almost 50 are listed.

John
 
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schleems18

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Thanks, maybe I'm just not looking in the right places but, I've not found much info on David Harley and combing through those Scottish history periodicals or whatever they are called is kinda a chore lol. Any idea when the practice of key advertisement started?
 

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