E. H. Hopkins letter

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jskirk, May 1, 2020.

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  1. Jskirk

    Jskirk Registered User
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    I just received this today. It is a letter to go with the PL watch. It is a 1890 letter from E. H. Hopkins to Major Sherwood of Aurora New York.
    This is really cool to me, and in great shape. Really personalizes this watch.
    Jay

    20200501_163007.jpg 20200501_163013.jpg 20200501_163036.jpg
     
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  2. John Cote

    John Cote Director
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    Very cool indeed.
     
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  3. musicguy

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  4. Rick Hufnagel

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  5. Jskirk

    Jskirk Registered User
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  6. musicguy

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  7. jcreamer49

    jcreamer49 Registered User
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    I have followed this thread with more than the usual interest because I live in Penn Yan. Naturally I’ve sought out watches that were sold by local jewelers and am fortunate enough to own several from our friend E.H. Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins must have been one of Illinois’ better customers, all things considered, because his watches turn up relatively often and seem to have gone quite far afield. It never ceases to amaze me that a watch from such a remote place as 1890s Penn Yan finds its way to far-off Indiana.
    Somehow I have a .jpg of that same message from Hopkins to Sherwood – has it been floating around on the internet or something? Some of the names mentioned are still around here, but now one sees them on road signs! And the grape business has changed since the 1890s. I was fortunate enough to be here in the 1970s as mechanization took over from the hand labor that Hopkins would have seen. In those days, you could tell the season by what sort of vineyard labor was sought after by the numerous classifieds in the local newspaper: trimming and brush pulling all winter, trellis work and tying in the spring, suckering in the summer, picking and packing in the fall. For several years I made a pretty good living (well, for a footloose twentysomething) trimming grapevines. From November through April a good trimmer could get all the work he/she wanted – provided that you were willing to spend 8 hours a day standing out in the vineyard, often in snow up to your knees or beyond!
    It's indicative of how all-pervasive the grape business was, that someone like Mr. Hopkins – a jeweler and watchmaker – knew something about the vineyards and the people who ran them. Even in my day, you’d hear someone say ‘I’ll be up to Fullagar’s next week’, and you’d know just where that person would be, and what they’d be doing there. I still have my trimming shears, which now get used a few times a year on rose bushes and such. But the heavy wear on them came from the hundreds of grapevines they must have trimmed. Those were good days, even if we griped about the cold all through them!
    Mr. Hopkins was active from around 1880 to around 1920. Since then there have been at least two other Penn Yan jewelers/watchmakers who have sold private label watches; I’m still in search of a Bulova wristwatch with Eaton’s Plaza Jewelers on the dial – Kenneth Eaton himself told me he’d sold them. Since Mr. Eaton retired Penn Yan has been without a watchmaker, but the drugstores sell $10 ‘Walthams’. Sic transit.
     
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  8. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I agree and that's why I like the Private Label watches so much(especially NY ones).
    You get all the history for the particular grade watch it is, and then you get to research the PL itself!


    Rob
     
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