Marine: Hamilton chronometers

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by butlercreek, Aug 6, 2016.

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  1. butlercreek

    butlercreek Registered User

    Mar 8, 2007
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    Is the a "gelsons" list for hamiltons chronometers or any other source for information regarding the sale or disposition of the chronometers including the model 21?
    thanx
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member

    Aug 24, 2000
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    In the case of the chronometers, the sales were to government contracts and the only information listed is the contract number.

    In general none of the Hamilton data give information on who actually purchased the item. The names are the names of distributors. Private labels and other markings on individual pieces are the only information generally available. Some of the jobbers were also retailers and in those cases, the connection can be made. In the very earliest entries before the distributor network and territories were set up there are mentions of sales to actual retailers. I do not recall seeing anything like that for chronometers.

    Some Hamilton chronometers are specifically identified by Whitney in Military Timepieces but those were all for some special use.
     
  3. butlercreek

    butlercreek Registered User

    Mar 8, 2007
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    Thanx Tom....
     
  4. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.

    May 3, 2012
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    I am pretty sure the NAWCC library has ALL the records on Type 21.

    I know the director of the Greenwich Observatory contacted Nancy Dyer of the library to furbish the files
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member

    Aug 24, 2000
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    The missing bits are the contract files that would give the details of the purchase order. The Naval Observatory may also have records of ship usage of chronometers that is not included in any of the data we got from Hamilton. They might be persuaded to microfilm that and share the results with us. We could in turn incorporate that into our Hamilton archive for easy retrieval.
     
  6. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User

    Feb 5, 2007
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    When I was selling M21s, the only records we found were the assembly records. I copied one for every M21 I sold and sent it with the instrument.

    Marvin was convinced the USNO sent their records to Archives; but a friend who is an astronomer at the USNO and very interested in chrons (Bonds especially) has concluded that "modern" records were sent to the USNRS Norfolk and that they likley wound up in the dump from there.

    One thing that came out of that review was that deliveries did not really start unit early 1944. They had serious rework issues. Many of the first 100 did not get to the NO until after later numbers.

    There is another interesting aspect to those records. In the "notes" section of the assembly cards, an awful lot of them had the notation "bruised pivot" and a couple other things. No idea what is a "bruised pivot", nor why there would be so many of them when they seem to survive 15 inch guns firing, heavy seas and kamikazee attacks pretty well. I just figured it was a way to make the NO think Hamilton was checking.

    There were other things that I found, but I gotta save some things for other days.
     
  7. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered user.

    May 3, 2012
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    Very interesting
    I just bought a type 22, I know not as exotic, but something I wanted in my collection, and already destined back to Columbia/Lancaster

    Thanks everyone's input
    adam
     
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