Elgin Watchmakers College

Kevin W.

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I was reading today online that a Canadian by the name of Henry Playtner who had founded the Canadian Horological Institute in Toronto.When the institute closed in 1914 he moved to Elgin Illinois.Here he founded The Elgin Watchmakers College.
Which was in operation for about 40 years.
 

Kevin W.

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I believe there will be a book coming out on this subject.
 

diveboy

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yes Henry Playtner was the dean of the watch college when it opened, William Samelius took over after him.

the book "Canada's Master Watchmaker Henry R. Playtner and the Canadian Horological Institute" by Gary fox was published in 2012 unless you know of another book or is it being republished ?
 

Kevin W.

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A new book about the Elgin watchmakers college i feel will come out, written by Gary Fox. Playtner set up the watch making course, and others joined him.
 

viclip

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A new book about the Elgin watchmakers college i feel will come out, written by Gary Fox. Playtner set up the watch making course, and others joined him.
I've been looking for his 2012 book without success.

Are copies still available anywhere I wonder?
 

Kevin W.

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Viclip if you contact Gary i know he has copies of his 2012 book. I can send you a pm for his email adress.
 

viclip

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I was able to contact fellow NAWCC member Gary Fox & successfully ordered his 2012 book "Canada's Master Watchmaker Henry R. Playtner and the Canadian Horological Institute".

The book arrived this morning in pristine condition & although I’ve just only thumbed through it, the book appears to contain a wealth of information in a well presented format, with plenty of illustrations. The author included an addenda by way of updated supplemental material, which I found to be a nice helpful touch. Hopefully as more people come to know about Playtner, further information will be uncovered including identification of additional watches made by his pupils, all of whom were expected to fabricate a watch from scratch as part of their training.

I'm already looking forward to publication of Gary's next book respecting Henry Playtner's participation in the Elgin watchmaking school.
 

PatH

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There is a great article by Gary and Jon Edwards in the May/June Bulletin page 188. The full pdf of this issue is posted on the NAWCC website.
 
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Kevin W.

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Thanks Pat i will have a look, two great horological guys.
 

Kevin W.

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I can only see the pdf pages to page 77 ? So how can i see the article By Gary and Jon?
 

PatH

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It begins on page 47 of the pdf. The volume number and page numbering start over each year, with the page numbering continuing through the issues from that year, while the pdf is for one issue. Hope this helps.
 
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Kevin W.

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Thanks Pat for the help. I just finished reading the article that was mentioned with Jon Edwards on the repair work done on the Kincaid watch. I am hoping one day soon, i can perhaps hold the Kincaid watch in my hand, i think Gary would let me do that much. He is a nice man.
 

viclip

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This morning I finished perusing "The Elgin Watchmaker’ College" being member Gary Fox's recently published book.

I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in American watchmaking in the 20th century as well as to fans of Elgin timepieces.

I found it to be both informative & entertaining, & highly readable at that. Covering the EWC from its beginnings in the early 1920s under the directorship of Henry Playtner (of Canadian Horological Institute fame), through the lengthy reign of William Samelius into the 1950s, and the final years under Ray Soucie leading to the College's closure in 1960, the author has presented an enjoyable overview of his subject interspersed with plenty of bird's eyes views of the students' lives & accomplishments.

As the author noted in the introductory portion of his work, his research into the EWC & associated personnel was just the start of an incomplete story; hopefully others interested in these things can uncover more information about the EWC program, staff & students including the watches which they built while in training.

Does anyone have any information, objects, memoirs etc. which they can share?
 

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