Brinsmaid Bros & Co Burlington VT

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Kevin Neathery, Aug 5, 2019.

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  1. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    #1 Kevin Neathery, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    After a long day of waiting and the post office teasing me with lies of delivery times.....it arrived. The Brinsmaid fusee, with a rather obvious thud in the box as I moved it...that made me worry. Plenty of bubble wrap, a black box, and a very worn envelope were inside. The thud was the watch moving in the black box.

    I had a look in the box and was very pleased. Nothing looked broken and with a little turn of the wrist it started ticking. I quickly opened the back and gave it a wind up. Happily ticking along I had a look at the worn, soiled, and tattered envelope addressed to the previous owner from the Vermont Historical Society. I knew there was a letter but this was more. Inside were 4 pages that were copied from a book, the letter, and a copied picture of a pocket watch. This was not the looks of something someone just had kicking around. This was someone who made a good attempt at trying to find out the history to the watch.

    I made a copy of all the papers and put them safely back in the envelope. I then took the pictures you see below. The watch has a stop lever around 7-8. This will stop the 4th wheel and thus the watch. Looking inside I see that parts are nicely finished and polished. The gold balance is in excellent shape and it has a nice slow beat. The case has multiple markings for maker, Chester, sterling, and the year mark 1850. Now one mark I did not expect to see was a 2 oz mark. I don't have a large deal of experience with fusee watches but I know the usual ounce marks on silver American cases.

    One fun thing in the pages I read that came with it was about how the store was saying they had a recent importation of gold and silver English lever and gold and silver Geneva pocket watches. There is a statement that they also have the same quality movements that they would put in your choice of case. This sounds like a jobber. There is also a mention "Their watches were adapted to run well at sea and on railroads". This was in the Burlington Courier 12/8/1853.

    The one mystery I cant get my hand around is the name on the dial. "Brinsmaid Bros & Co" with the s on bros being small and underlined with 2 dots. Now from 1850-1854 they were "Brinsmaid, Bro & Co". I find no mention of where "Bros" was used in their naming on any products, advertisements, or articles. I don't have a large number of Brinsmaid watches to compare with and the hunt is slow and thin. So it may be one thing that we may never know.

    I sent out a letter to the previous owner listed on the envelope. This was just a stab in the dark but worth a try. Tom Bumbaugh, the previous owner of the watch, gave me a call a few days later. He purchased the watch about 40 years at a garage sale in NW Toledo in an area called Devil's Lake. It was in a cigar box with a bunch of dollar watches. He picked it up for $15 and sent it to a reputable watchmaker in NJ to restore. He was under the impression the watch was made in 1848 but he did not know the hallmark was for Chester and the M was for 1850. This is the beauty of this hobby. Each person, if they choose, can research and improve the known history of a watch. We each add something to that history. I'm trying to figure out who in NJ did the restore on it. Every little piece of the puzzle goes in the file I have for it. The best thing though is how happy he was that it is in the hands of a collector.

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  2. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Want to thank Keith R for pointing out the case was made by Ralph Samuel.

    I think the JB mark is for James Brinsmaid. The SLS is still unknown to me.
     
  3. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I'm probly iggerant, but I don't see an "SLS" mark. In your 4th attachment, I do see what seems to be "2LS." Is that the one you mean?
     
  4. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Hmmm...It does look like a 2LS. I will look closer at home. 2LS....SLS, I still have no clue as to its meaning.
     
  5. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Kev......2LS sounds like a case makers mark. Not much recorded on these various craftsman.

    Keith R...
     
  6. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Stuff Kevin probably already knows:
    he jewelry house of Brinsmaid & Hildreth, of 99 Church
    street, is like a city landmark, and is the oldest of its kind in Burlington. It
    was established by Abram Brinsmaid in the year 1793, and during this length-
    ened period of more than ninety years the reputation of the house for respon-
    sibility and first-class workmanship has never been disputed. By the admittance
    of Moses Bliss as a partner the firm was known prior to 1824 as Brinsmaid &
    Bliss, and has been followed successively by Pangborn & Brinsmaid in 1 841 ;
    Brinsmaid Brothers in 1849; Brinsmaid, Brother & Co. in 1854; and in that
    year the present firm name of Brinsmaid & Hildreth was adopted.
    223587465386_1.jpg

    They carry at all times a full and complete stock of foreign and American
    watches, clocks, jewelry of all kinds, silver and silver plated ware, and kindred
    goods, transacting a business that is not only local but extends all over this
    section of the State. The individual names of the proprietors are William
    Brinsmaid and Chester Hildreth.
     
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  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Jeff is showing the Runner version of an English lever. I have observed most of the
    runners have a split compensated balance wheel like Jeff's, for the American market.

    This 1850 hallmarked Maine runner is also in a Ralph Samuel's case.

    Kevin's is also 17J, but a conventional train, with a solid gold balance wheel.

    Keith R...

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