Favorite Watch Inscription

musicguy

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I can't read all of it, can you tell me(us) what it says

Thanks
Rob
 

Shawn Moulder

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Hey Rob,

It reads, " To M M Morgan from Morehead Banking Co In token of high esteem 4th April 1899"
 
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musicguy

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This is a very short simple inscription(and no name sadly) but it's on such a fantastic 18s large case that it makes
it one of my favorites. I would assume that whoever the church gave this to they must have been an
important person to them in 1883.


grade 86 1.jpg grade 86 4.jpg
grade 86 5.jpg
grade 86 7.jpg




Rob
 
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Clint Geller

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Now here is a topic I can get into.

The first watch pictured has two inscriptions, an 1863 presentation from the officers and men of the 14th KY Infantry, a distinguished fighting unit, to their commander, Colonel George Washington Gallop, and an 1873 presentation from General Gallop to his son, G. F. [Gideon Frederick] Gallop, an attorney. The watch is an unsigned 15 jewel Swiss Lepine Calibre Type V movement in an American gold case with an extra rear lid for holding a picture. George Gallop's war diary and several letters to his wife, two of which mention his watch, are preserved in the Filson Historical Library in Louisville, KY.

The second watch was presented post-war in 1868 to retired Brigadier General William Jackson Palmer, a Medal of Honor recipient, by the former officers of the 15th PA Cavalry, the unit Palmer commanded as their colonel for most of the war. Several of these men worked for Palmer in his illustrious post-war railroading endeavors. The watch is a 15 jewel Appleton, Tracy & Co. grade 16 Size Keywind movement with an aftermarket stem winding and button setting mechanism in an 18K Eliashib Tracy & Co. hunting case. It was probably presented to Palmer at the regiment's first reunion in Philadelphia.

The third watch was presented to Brigadier General John Wallace Fuller of the renouned Fuller's Ohio Brigage, by the officers and men of the 27th OH Infantry. Fuller had led that regiment as its colonel before acceding to brigade, and later division command. An English immigrant, he was actually a brevet Major General in July, 1865 when he received the watch, shortly before he returned to civilian life. The watch is a Waltham 15 jewel Appleton, Tracy & Co. grade 16 Size Keywind movement in an 18K hunting case with no maker's mark. This watch came from the collection of the late Dr. William C. Heilman of Newcastle, IN, who specialized in American pocket watches with inscribed provenances.

The fourth watch was presented in 1864 to Brigadier General Joseph Tarr Copeland, the original C.O. of the famed Michigan Cavalry Brigade (the "Wolverines"), by the officers of Camp Copeland, a large recruit collection and training base that was located in Braddock, PA, about 8 miles from my home in Pittsburgh. The watch is a 15 jewel 18 Size Appleton, Tracy & Co. grade Model 1857 movement in an 18K hunting case carrying the trademark of J. R. Reed & Co., a prominent Pittsburgh jeweler of the period. Two streets in Braddock, and another in Pittsburgh, still bear Copeland's name.

The last watch pictured was presented in 1862 to Seargent (and future Lieutenant) James A. Sage of the 25th Michigan Infantry by his comrades in arms of Company B. The 25th MI distinguished itself at the Battle of Green River Bridge (a.k.a., Battle of Tebbs Bend) near Columbia, KY on July 4, 1863, when they "saved Louisville from sack and ruin" at the hands of Confederate cavalry raider, Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and his 2,500 troopers. The watch is a 7 jewel P.S. Bartlett grade Waltham Model 1857 movement with a steel balance wheel in a heavy silver AWCo case with gold joints.

Col GW Gallup Dust Cover Close-Up.JPG WJ Palmer Cuvette - 3 best.JPG Fuller Watch Cuvette and Presentation.JPG Copeland Presentation - Best cropped.jpg Sage Cuvette & Presentation.JPG
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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I have dissected my collection into many sub-collections, e.g., monogrammed watches, but never into inscribed watches, so I have never before considered which inscriptions are my favorites. Few have truly distinguished inscriptions, such as the examples Clint posted, but here are three candidates for favorites in my collection.

Goofed Inscription

Back in the late teens of the last century, a woman bought a 14k Knapp-cased Illinois Grade 435 for her son, a scarce high-grade watch of which Illinois only made 310. She or her son had it engraved "Mother to John" but the engraver forgot to skip a space between "to" and John", so that the inscription reads Mother toJohn". That's not the only thing odd about the engraving. That inscription is in a larger and different font than the inscribed date, suggesting that the two inscriptions were done by different engravers at different times. The botched inscription also appears oddly placed below center of the cuvette. There's nothing to like about this poorly executed job, except its decidedly human aspect. Nearly all of the engravings on my other watches were done exceedingly well.

014_edited.JPG

One for Clint

Because Clint lives in or near Pittsburgh, he may especially appreciate the bit of local history inscribed on this 14k W.W.C.Co.-cased Elgin Grade 156 -- given as an award to R.A. Douglass for high steel tonnage produced at Carnegie Steel's Clairton mill near Pittsburgh.

IMG_0666_edited.JPG IMG_0660_edited.JPG

Another Civil War Watch

Because President Lincoln wasn't a shoo-in for re-election for a second term, supporters looking for ways to increase his chances successfully rushed to admit Nevada as a state (something like the Democrats' present desire to make D.C. a state). This 18k Charles Frodsham WI watch was given to C.W. Tozier in honor of his serving as the speaker of Nevada's first legislative assembly as a state. Clint included this watch in the NAWCC Museum exhibition he curated on Civil War watches.

IMG_1065_edited.JPG IMG_1064_edited.JPG
 

PW Collector

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My favorite watch inscription:

H. Z. Culver
National Watch Co. (Elgin)
Presentation watch

The Watch:
18 size
Dial is marked:
NATIONAL WATCH CO.
Movement is marked:
H. Z. Culver
No. 1731
Elgin, Ill.

The Elgin Online Database listed it as a Grade 62, Model 1, 15j, with the 1st serial number of this 1st run as 1001 and the last serial number in this run as 1801.

The hunter case front cover (hinged @ 6) is marked COIN and the number 46. The bezel ring is hinged at 12, the back cover is hinged between 6 & 7 and is marked COIN and the number 46. The inside of the inner dust cover is marked 46 and the outside of the inner dust cover is inscribed:

Geo. D. Barnard
From
HIS FRIENDS
WITH
Culver, Page & Hoyne
NOVEMBER 22ND 1867


First the honored recipient:

George D. Barnard was a very successful businessman in St. Louis, Mo., owner of Geo. D. Barnard & Co. Blank Book Makers, Lithographers, Printers & Stationers. I found a list of business letterheads beginning in Jan. 1881 and some copies of business cards were emailed to me. I also found where he made a $130,000.00 donation in 1908 to the St. Louis Skin & Cancer Hospital for a new building.


From His Friends with Culver, Page & Hoyne:

Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co. were also Lithographers, Manufacturing Stationers located at 118 & 120 Monroe St. Chicago, ILL.

In The New York Times dated October 30, 1883 and in The American Stationer dated Nov. 1, 1883 and article is written about An Old Firm Retires (N.Y. Times). It talks about its successes and difficulties and its demise. It states, "The firm began business in 1856, and was the oldest as well as the largest in its line in the city. The original members were H. Z. Culver and D. W. Page, who bought out a stationer named Stacy. Six months afterward M. A. Hoyne was taken in, and the name was changed to Culver, Page & Hoyne."
H.Z. Culver of Culver, Page & Hoyne was also President of American Insurance Company.

The National Watch Co.:

On August 27, 1864, a company was incorporated under the name of "The National Watch Company of Chicago, Illinois," with a capitol of $100,000.00. The incorporators were:
Philo Carpenter
Howard Z. Culver
Benjamin W. Raymond
Geo. M. Wheeler
Thomas S. Dickerson
Edward H. Williams
W. Robbins

I am pretty much convinced, that the Culver in this inscription, is the same Howard Z. Culver, one of the original investors & one of the first board of directors of The National Watch Co.

Dave

CB1F8C4A-D2BF-46D2-A38C-55E8BCF3FEAE.jpeg 7A7C4CEF-0B3D-4B31-8244-F4A6CBC3D271.jpeg C18F1359-C3F5-49D0-9E17-5F33F4BD547A.jpeg 1866EDE6-90DD-4B93-91B5-B09648AD766B.jpeg
 

Clint Geller

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I have dissected my collection into many sub-collections, e.g., monogrammed watches, but never into inscribed watches, so I have never before considered which inscriptions are my favorites. Few have truly distinguished inscriptions, such as the examples Clint posted, but here are three candidates for favorites in my collection.

Goofed Inscription

Back in the late teens of the last century, a woman bought a 14k Knapp-cased Illinois Grade 435 for her son, a scarce high-grade watch of which Illinois only made 310. She or her son had it engraved "Mother to John" but the engraver forgot to skip a space between "to" and John", so that the inscription reads Mother toJohn". That's not the only thing odd about the engraving. That inscription is in a larger and different font than the inscribed date, suggesting that the two inscriptions were done by different engravers at different times. The botched inscription also appears oddly placed below center of the cuvette. There's nothing to like about this poorly executed job, except its decidedly human aspect. Nearly all of the engravings on my other watches were done exceedingly well.

View attachment 652721

One for Clint

Because Clint lives in or near Pittsburgh, he may especially appreciate the bit of local history inscribed on this 14k W.W.C.Co.-cased Elgin Grade 156 -- given as an award to R.A. Douglass for high steel tonnage produced at Carnegie Steel's Clairton mill near Pittsburgh.

View attachment 652724 View attachment 652722

Another Civil War Watch

Because President Lincoln wasn't a shoo-in for re-election for a second term, supporters looking for ways to increase his chances successfully rushed to admit Nevada as a state (something like the Democrats' present desire to make D.C. a state). This 18k Charles Frodsham WI watch was given to C.W. Tozier in honor of his serving as the speaker of Nevada's first legislative assembly as a state. Clint included this watch in the NAWCC Museum exhibition he curated on Civil War watches.

View attachment 652728 View attachment 652723
Great watches, Ethan. My home wasn't close enough to see the Clairton mills, but when I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1979, I could sometimes smell them from my neighborhood.
 

Dr. Jon

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This is an English watch, Charles Frodsham. It has the history if the watch. This inner cover was made later and attached to the case.

inscription.png

I have tracked down the people mentioned here. They were Irish Protestants in teh Diblin area. Joseph Hume Dudgeon was a very distinguished officer from World War I
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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Here are two more of my favorite inscriptions on watches in my collection.

14k AWCCo-Cased Vacheron Constantin. This mysterious inscription is a fitting counterpoint to the "removed" inscription that Andrew just posted.
IMG_2201.JPG

18k Birks PL Agassiz Rattrapante. Mr. Chamberlain was chief of police in Vancouver, Canada, a position he left to become Canadian Pacific Railroad's head of investigations.
IMG_2791.JPG
 

4thdimension

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On an N size Waterbury Addison. “The Wonder” was a four-in-hand coach used by Rumney to shuttle tourists around various monuments and other attractions in London. I even found an ad in an Australian newspaper promoting his services. “Ridge’s Food Fame” refers to an earlier career he had and his contributions to improved baby foods. There apparently was a gold version of this watch sold at auction a few years ago. Ain’t the internet amazing? -Cort

CF1F1052-4E98-4C3F-9FC7-B2B6E9865363.jpeg
 
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Jerry Treiman

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This is one of my favorite inscriptions, not so much for the words as for the journey of discovery it took me on and for the recipient of the watch.

The inscription reads: "Shailer Mathews / from Mother & Father / July 16, 1890".
ShailerMathews_inscription.jpg

Shailer Mathews, an unusual name, was easy to look up with Google. He was dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago from 1908 to 1933. However many years earlier, in 1890, he went to study for a year at the University of Berlin. Mom and dad must have given him this watch as a present for his trip abroad.
3460079_copy.jpg

Judging from the wear on the case he wore it for a good many years, and I would like to believe that it was in this respected theologian's pocket in 1925 when he prepared to testify at the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial". Mathews’ testimony for the defense expressed his belief that science and evolution were not at odds with his faith, stating "We have to live in the universe science gives us. A theology that is contrary to reality must be abandoned or improved.”

In these times when many are denying scientific fact, based on religious grounds, it is heartening to see that some great religious thinkers did not have this difficulty. As a geologist and a scientist I am proud to wear this watch.

(The movement is a very fine 16-jewel 14-size Amn.Watch Co. grade Waltham).
 

Dr. Jon

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This is on my most historically interesting watch.

cuvette.png

The giver of the watch was Amos Adams Lawrence. He became a very active abolitionist. Lawrence Mass is named for his father and uncle. Lawrence Kansas is named for Amos Lawrence. He bankrolled John Brown.

Alexander Hamilton Vinton was a very prominent minister, called in his life he was called "The Daniel Webster of the clergy". These is a chapel dedicated to him the Old South Church in Boston and many streets in the Boston area are named for him. He converted Lawrence from the Unitarianism taken up by many Boston patriots after the Revolution.

The inscription is one that is on the transmittal letter Lawrence sent with the watch to Vinton, which I found at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The letter states that Lawrence did not open the package with the watch when it came from England so he asked VInton to have it engraved which what is now the first inscription.

The watch was probably selected by Amo's Uncle who was the US ambassador to England during the Great London Exposition where this type of watch and its maker made a significant impression. It bypassed th4 makers dealer, Bond and this created some blowback which is recorded in the Bod records. The Bonds knew abiut this watch and were not pleased. They sent a representative to London who haukled the maker into a Lawyers office to sign an agreement not to do this again.

The Lawrence transmissal letter also explains about the watch and its delicacy and the concern that his children might derange the watch. This is ironic because the watch was passed several times but never from a father to a son.

Vinton's son predeceased him so it went to a nephew, also a minister. If not for his uncle he would be considered fairly prominent, He was one of the founders of the Worcester Art Museum, one of the most under appreciated in the area.

From there the history gets more significant again.

Inner-back_sm.jpg


Alexander Hamilton Vinton 2nd passed it to Vinton Freedley. Freedley was a Broadway producer and did all of Cole Porters plays and musicals. He "discovered" Ethel Merman. He was the "Vin" in the now gone Alvin theater.

Vinton Freedley gave it to his sister, probably because she was married to a minister and it passed two more times.

The technical side of the watch is at least as interesting but that is another topic and it is an English watch.

Researching this watch and its owners has entertained me for many hours and taken me into several interesting institutions. While looking for Lawrence's correspondence I handled several Lincoln letters.
 
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Clint Geller

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In Post #62 of the thread linked below is a humble seven jewel Waltham Wm. Ellery Grade Model 1857 movement, SN 42,995 finished in June, 1862, in an original silver case that was carried by Elial Foote Carpenter, a Union soldier who rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel in command of a regiment until being mortally wounded in May, 1864. The back of the watch is engraved with Carpenter's name and early rank, and the inscription on the front shield records the date of his death. The heroic Lt. Colonel Carpenter had spurned a surrender demand after riding into an ambush in search of one of his scouts. He made a run for it to warn his men, lest they fall into the same ambush. Carpenter made it back to his command, the 112th NY Infantry, and saved them from probable disaster, but he was mortally wounded in the side during his escape and he died two days later.

I purchased the watch at auction from the estate of the late Ron Tunison, who sculpted the Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial in the Gettysburg National Cemetery Annex. An image of that magnificent sculpture is my current avatar. It also graces the front cover of my 2019 book on Civil War timepieces, an NAWCC publication. (The book is out of stock in the Museum Gift Shop at this time, but you can buy copies on Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble. All proceeds accrue to the NAWCC, regardless of the sales venue.)

Earliest Numbered American Watch Co. | NAWCC Forums
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Here is another inscription where some of the back story is easy to construct. The dust cap is inscribed: "Presented to Seth B. Smith, Foreman Electrical Department of U.V.C.Co. BY THE EMPLOYEES, March 24th, 1900, Jerome, Arizona". UVCCo is the United Verde Copper Company, an old Arizona mining company.
Smith_c.jpg

The rest of the story has been told here - https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/share-...ng-story-what-ever-it-is.137901/#post-1067815
 

Clint Geller

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This inscription impressed me if for nothing else than the longevity of service. How many 50 year service awards have you seen?
View attachment 655742 View attachment 655741

The movement is an unnamed Maximus.
View attachment 655740
Sadly, I think that before SSA and pensions, fifty-year careers were more common than one might think, especially when employment careers often began at age seventeen or even before. Of course, life expectancies were lower too, but even so. Presentation watches like Jerry's probably became much less common once employers more frequently provided pensions. One of the first collectable watches I ever bought was a Keystone Howard that was presented to a retiree for fifty years of service to the Shoe & Leather Bank of Boston. I have a hand-blown glass bowl - a white elephant, really - that was presented to me for forty years of service to the Naval Nuclear Laboratory. It sits on my coffee table. When I retired last year, I was probably one of the few longest-serving PhDs at NNL. I have a pension, though, so I can buy my own gold watches when I want to, especially since I flunked retirement and took a part-time job with a new employer.
 

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An inscription on a watch from the UK I acquired earlier this year. The watch is a John Walker, 77 Cornhill & 230 Regent St, London - Serial No. 21345

It reads "Presented to J. B. Harrison by a few of his friends on leaving the Drawing Office of the L&S.W.R. Nine Elms Works March 1892

L&S.W.R was the London and Southwest Railway company in England from 1838-1922. The London and South Western Railway originated as a renaming of the London and Southampton Railway, which opened in May 1840 to connect the port of Southampton with London. Its original London terminus was Nine Elms, on the south bank of the river Thames, the route being laid through Wimbledon, Surbiton, Woking, Basingstoke and Winchester, using what became the standard track gauge of 4 ft. 8+1⁄2 in.

20210612_135906.jpg 20210612_140123.jpg
 
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musicguy

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OK, here is the most important inscription in my collection ;).
To the purists this is blasphemous. I have shown this inscription
a few times here in the past. I had my wife and two sons names engraved on it a few years ago.
I wear this watch everyday, it's my workhorse. A lot of the gold has been worn off this signed B W Raymond
Model 14K Gold Filled Keystone case you can see quite a bit of brass.
Maybe this 478 will stay in the family a few generations after I die
and then it will be sold off into someone else's collection and
the names on the back will be forever lost in time.


24893099-E6FD-4689-A1F6-A8219BC44CB9 (1).jpeg 5. 1928 (not serviced) Elgin Pocket Watch Open Face 16s PW LS 21j (2).jpg
IMG_3493.jpg


Rob
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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Rob, you say the "[t]o the purists this [engraving] is blasphemous." Who among is so uncompromising to deplore your engraving a well-used watch that was produced in huge numbers?
 
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