"I Got a Right to Sing the [Covid] Blues", but Let's Talk About Interesting Items in Our Collections

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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The movement does not have a typical New Haven escape wheel bridge. Are you sure it is New Haven? OTOH, I appreciate the correction on the ubiquity of Hubbell movements in these beasties.

OK, I tentatively withdraw my objection about the EW bridge. Looking through Lee Smith's article on EW characteristics (Dec. 1999 Bulletin), I find one on page 772 that he ascribes to S. Peck & Co., with an annotation that the movement is by New Haven. I still wonder, though.
I do see your point.

But that coiled suspension spring really is typical of Jerome/NH. It's the same type used in these little guys:

jerome miniature alarms.JPG

Pix of the movement were posted somewhere on the MB long ago.

The dials are printed on thick paper applied to zinc. They bear the fancy conjoined monogram for "Jerome and Co."

As a side note, the use of fancy conjoined monogram was very much a popular fashion of the later Victorian time when these clocks were made. So, it was used on the Reed's tonic clocks too!

They can be found on many other objects as well.

For chuckles, here's a pair of "country" costal NE (RI or CT) "yoke back" side chairs from the late 18th to possibly as late as the early 19th century (styles persisted longer in the "country", sometimes long after they were considered "old fashioned" in more major population centers):

yoke back chair 3.JPG

They were "updated" by a professional, either a coach or sign painter, probably close to 100 years after their creation. Note the addition of a fancy conjoined monograms:

yoke back chair1.JPG yoke back chair 2.JPG

Also note that they differ in what I assume are the first initials with a common "H" for the last? This was a practice used for couples.

It was not unusual for families in the day to consider furniture such as these chairs as family heirlooms, especially around the time of the Centennial. Things might be divided amongst heirs. Unfortunate stuff happened like the top of the chest on chest went to one family member, the base to another! That sort of dispersion certainly happened with sets of chairs. I speculate that these were given to a couple to celebrate their marriage thus the difference in the monograms and hence the use of an oak leaf and acorn motif...a symbols of fertility, longevity and strength.

Just my speculation, mind you. Oh, if only these objects could speak!

RM
 
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novicetimekeeper

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The wedding thing seems very likely, here longcase clocks were sometimes given, and some clockmakers clearly encouraged it to ramp up business with the couple's names or initials added to the dial or case.
 

Steven Thornberry

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But that coiled suspension spring really is typical of Jerome/NH. It's the same type used in these little guys:
True enough; I have one of those little guys, myself. Perhaps I am focusing too much on the EW bridge and what I found in Smith's article. I was thinking of the so-called "gutta percha" clocks like this one.
Gutta Percha.JPG

It, of course, is a Samuel Jerome design, assigned to Samuel Peck & Co.

[pdf]580632[/pdf]

These carried either Jerome & Co. (New Haven) labels or S. Peck & Co. labels, as I remember, but most, if not all, of the ones I have seen all had either 8-day or 30-hour Noah Pomeroy movements. The one shown above has this Pomeroy 8-day movement. Note the EW bridge.
Gutta Percha Movement 1.JPG

In 1999, when Smith's article was published, Pomeroy was just a shadowy name, but in the last 20 years, he has come into his own, so to speak. I don't think Pomeroy is mentioned in Smith's article. But his mention of Peck and New Haven together like that made me think. However, I spend a lot of time chasing down suspected Pomeroy movements, many possibly just red herrings. And not to hijack the thread.
 

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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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The wedding thing seems very likely, here longcase clocks were sometimes given, and some clockmakers clearly encouraged it to ramp up business with the couple's names or initials added to the dial or case.
I should add, the practice was not restricted to Victorian times. I've seen early silver, china and so on with the conjoined initials of couples.

RM
 

novicetimekeeper

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I should add, the practice was not restricted to Victorian times. I've seen early silver, china and so on with the conjoined initials of couples.

RM

The makers I'm thinking of were mostly first half of the 18th century when provincially made 30 hour longcase were being made in virtually every village and market town in the country. I think that individuality was probably long gone here by Victorian times when clocks were much more centrally produced.
 

Jim DuBois

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I have to admit to having gone slightly wacko over the last 24 months +/-. Some might suggest that condition has been lifelong, but let's don't go there. I have been fortunate to chase down some fairly rare clocks recently, most all of these have some special features or have a story behind them.

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novicetimekeeper

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What's the story with the lat top cased arch dial with the eagle and urn spandrels?
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Between you guys, and the majority of chapter 37... I might be swayed someday to buy one of these "clock" things. I don't know how you carry them around in your pocket though! :eek::D

All kidding aside, I look at lots of your pictures, and I really like so many of them, but the ones like Jim's first picture are definitely my favorite. Really nice!

I know how that sounds, it would be like someone telling me they like large, gold watches.... Lol, but it's a start.
 
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Steven Thornberry

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Jim DuBois

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What's the story with the lat top cased arch dial with the eagle and urn spandrels?
Novice, you asking about the flat top case? If so, it is American, David Blasdel 1755. Posted movement, rather crude even by American standards, but pretty rare. It is the most expensive and perhaps one of the least graceful clock in the house I think, but I like it anyhow. Its painted country case is apparently pretty much original except for the last trim piece around the base. These clocks often had just a very short base and they look pretty weird to me. But, I was drawn to it, having owned one by his son years ago. I have posted this one previously I think.

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novicetimekeeper

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ah yes, I have seen that before, it is perhaps the most English looking in the collection which is why it caught my eye. I rather like it, it has all the quirkiness of an English 30 hour.
 

Jim DuBois

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ah yes, I have seen that before, it is perhaps the most English looking in the collection which is why it caught my eye. I rather like it, it has all the quirkiness of an English 30 hour.
His son's clock was a bit more stylish. And they are quite quirky, to put it mildly. But, at that time outside major cities, there were some very strange clocks built stateside. You may note the spandrels on the later clock are now brass instead of cast pewter, but the chapter rings on both as well as the name boss are still of pewter. Same basic movement, iron posted dog bone shaped columns

1090 (1).jpg 1090hood (1).jpg
 

Steven Thornberry

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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I'm not permitted to provide a link to it, but for academic interest one might go to the Delany website. Posted there is a Reed's Tonic shelf clock that is for sale with a real odd ball movement that is clearly not a Hubbell product.

It's listed under shelf/mantel clocks.

RM
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Here is another watch in my collection with an interesting story. It's an aluminum Illinois Grade 525, circa 1921, in an aluminum Wadsworth open face case. It weighs 29.6 grams, versus 52.7 grams for my nearly identical-looking circa 1921 14k Illinois Grade 438 (itself a scarce Illinois). The Grade 438 is in a Solidarity case. The aluminum Illinois a lightweight, but it is a brute compared to my circa 1941 aluminum Vacheron & Constantin, which weighs about 30% less -- 21 grams. Perhaps this is because the Illinois' case ring, bow and the crown may not be aluminum; they may be gold-filled or solid gold. Only 50 of these aluminum Grade 525s were made, but I only know of two others that are still in existence. When I bought this watch, the dial was so badly damaged that I had to get it refinished.

IMG_2753.JPG IMG_2737.JPG IMG_2729.JPG IMG_2733.JPG

But the unusual nature of this watch is only half the story. The original owner is the other half of it.

The seller told me that “My grandfather, Roscoe C. McCulloch, was a US Congressman from Ohio from 1912-1918 and a US Senator from 1928-1930. During the 1920's, as an attorney, he represented the American National Retail Jewelers Association. In recognition of his work the Illinois Watch Company gave him this pocket watch in or around 1921. I also have an ornate brass badge with my grandfather's name on it from the 1913 American National Jewelers Association 8th annual convention in Chicago.”

IMG_2714.JPG

According to Wikipedia, “Roscoe Conkling McCulloch (November 27, 1880 – March 17, 1958) was a Republicanpolitician from Ohio who served in the United States House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Born in Millersburg, Ohio, McCulloch attended the University of Wooster, Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He commenced the practice of law in Canton, Ohio, in 1903. After serving as an assistant prosecutor in Stark County, he ran for the House in 1912. He lost, but won a second bid two years later and served three terms. In 1920, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1929, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Theodore E. Burton. He lost a special election on November 30, 1930, to Robert J. Bulkley to fill out the remainder of the term.”

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Ethan Lipsig

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This circa 1929 black onyx, diamond, and 18k International Watch Co. pocket watch has an interesting provenance. I have the watch's original white gold & pearl chain and box. The movement is a Cal. 94 8.75 ligne, #911,242.

Z IWC Onyx 1.jpg IMG_6993_edited.JPG IMG_6231.JPG IMG_6232_edited.JPG

The watch was purchased at a jeweler whose shop was in the Brown Palace Hotel, a famous Denver landmark built in 1892. The monogram on the watch CKB shows that its original owner was C.K. Boettcher, who founded the Boettcher dynasty in Colorado. Among many other business, C.K. Boettcher and his brother acquired the Brown Palace in the 1920s. C.K. lived there for many years.

The Boettcher Foundation published a fascinating history of Boettchers. https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter/View/1074/Boettcher-Times-PDF?bidId=. Anyone with an interest in the American West, Colorado, or pioneer history should find this well worth a look.

C.K.'s IWC is pretty showy, not quite what one would expect of him based on his foundation's history: "Never wasteful or extravagant, Charles maintained a simple life style in the luxurious setting [of the Brown Palace, in which he had an apartment]. Every evening, he crossed the street to buy a Coca-Cola; when employees asked why he did not simply order one through room service, he replied 'And pay the prices we charge here?'"

In 2008, my wife and I went to Denver to see Adam's Nixon in China. We stayed in the Brown Palace. My wife wore C.K.'s IWC suspended on a chain around her neck.

IMG_2466.JPG IMG_2502.JPG IMG_2504.JPG IMG_2506.JPG
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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Writing about the Brown Palace reminded me of a pair of watches in my collection that have a hotel back-story. These watches relate to the Hotel Touraine in Boston, on the corner of Boylston & Tremont. It's still there, but it has been converted into flats.
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The first of my Hotel Touraine-related watches is this master key watch.

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It is inscribed George from his pal Cy, 4-3-43. Cy Hyde gave it to George Turain when they jointly purchased the Hotel Touraine. Here is the April 6, 1943 Boston Globe story of their purchase.

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A year later, Cy gave George this Patek Philippe to celebrate their first anniversary of co-ownership.

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From a 1987 Boston Globe Obituary: GEORGE A. TURAIN, 87; WAS OWNER OF THE HOTEL TOURAINE IN BOSTON A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16, for George A. Turain, 87, former owner of the Hotel Touraine in Boston and the Curtis Hotel in Lenox. Mr. Turain died Wednesday at his home in Moultonboro, N.H., after a long illness. Born in Manhattan, Mr. Turain went to Manhattan schools, attended Columbia University and received a mechanical engineering degree in 1922 from Stevens Polytechnic Institute of New York. He also did postgraduate work at Massachusetts”

From Time Magazine in 1951: “Jump, Jump, Jump -- The crowd began gathering in front of Boston’s old red brick Touraine Hotel before anyone inside knew that someone had climbed out a ninth-floor window and was teetering on a ledge high above Boylston Street. The Touraine faces Boston Common like a stage set; within minutes, traffic was inexorably jammed and thousands were jostling together in the afternoon drizzle, heads back, faces eager, eyes fixed on the improbable figure high above them.

The ledge-walker was a teen-age boy in a wine red shirt and khaki pants. He dropped his jacket. The crowd rumbled as it fell. "Jump!" bawled a voice from the street. The figure swayed out, then shrank back, arms reaching to ward windows on either side. New cries arose: "C’mon! Jump! Get the show on the road!"

At first, a great many spectators had been yelling in fun, apparently in the belief that they were watching a publicity stunt for the Boston showing of "Fourteen Hours," a motion picture based on a death leap from Manhattan’s Gotham Hotel. But as time passed, an excited, nervous tension seemed to build up among the craning throng. "Jump!" they yelled. The voices in the street kept on for one hour and 35 minutes. For one hour and 35 minutes people peering from a window of the room nearest the boy fought against the crowd in a kind of insane debate.

The first would-be rescuers—a bellhop, a traveling salesman, a sweating, gentle-voiced detective—could see nothing of the boy but one dirty hand which gripped the window facing. Eyeing it, they pleaded. After a while, the dirty fingers groped toward them and took a lighted cigarette. But then the crowd sounds swelled below—the fingers had flipped the cigarette out and down. "Come in," the detective cajoled. A voice beyond the hand mumbled, "Why should I?"

"Jump!" yelled the crowd. But one among them, a 21-year-old waitress named Mrs. Marilyne Giannattasio, began pushing fiercely toward the hotel. As she came into the lobby the bellhops turned to watch her. "Stacked," was their word for Marilyne. Her dark hair flowed to her shoulders, her lipstick was a defiant red, her earrings jangled. Marilyne did not notice them; after one horrified look she had been moved by a sudden, pitying compulsion to save the figure on the ledge.

When the cops tried to bar her way, she lied desperately: "I know him. I can stop him." They let her into the room. She leaned out. The boy had dark hair and a long jaw; his eyes were sullen, sly, dazed. He was standing on a sloping, twelve-inch rim of stone, his toes lower than his heels.

He let himself sway out. The girl remonstrated indignantly: she had trouble too; she had a 17-month-old baby and the baby was blind. "YOU should jump!"

Little by little the boy began to talk. His name was Louis Turini. No, his name was really Albert Santos. But they had misunderstood in the Army and put him down as Albert Thomas. Now he was AWOL—two weeks AWOL. He complained about his divorced parents, his boyhood in Boston’s slums. He babbled in bewildered tones about a girl. "My girl ran off with a musician. He smokes marijuana. I know she’s ruined ."

After a while he let the waitress hold his hand. Then he slipped, almost fell, and jerked away like a trapped animal. Hundreds clapped hands and yelled in unison, like a baseball crowd demanding a rally. A girl, giggling beside a sailor, said: "I’m the gory type. I want to see him jump." A matron in a lavender hat darted into the cleared space just below the boy, arms outstretched. "Jump," she called. "I’ll catch you." Up on his dizzy perch, the boy called to Marilyne in a strained voice: "They want me to jump."

By now a new voice was speaking to him. A Jesuit priest, the Rev. Joseph P. Curran, had seen him from the street, had hurried to the room, had asked the police to leave. He talked quietly. Finally the boy put one leg through the open window. Then he stopped: "It’s a cop trick."

The priest shook his head, and to prove there were no cops around, threw the closet door open. To his own surprise there was a red-faced policeman inside. The boy scrambled back on the ledge, stood swaying, staring down. The policeman hurried out of the room. The priest began again. After a long time, the boy edged back to the window. Trembling, he stepped inside. He wept. A cop burst in and slammed down the window. Marilyne took a few sagging steps and fainted. Below, the crowd straggled reluctantly and noisily away. "No," someone yelled. "But almost!" A Navy commander with three rows of campaign ribbons said quietly: "In two wars I’ve never seen anything so horrible. It makes you hate people."
 
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Jerry Treiman

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This is probably the most elaborate presentation inscription that I have. It reads:

Presented to
W.S. Miller
on the
Fiftieth Anniversary of his Wedding
by the Directors of
Standard Oil Company (California)
as a tribute of their friendship during
years of association in the upbuilding
of the Company
Christmas-1915

The watch is a specially-cased Waltham Maximus A, which retailed in 1915 for somewhere around $250.
2121f.JPG 2121_c.jpg

When I first got this watch I had to wonder under what circumstances would the entire Board of Directors of the great Standard Oil Company of California (think Standard gasoline and Chevron gas stations) honor the wedding anniversary of an individual. Well, turns out he had a long history with the company.

The owner of this watch has a railroad connection, too (weeellll, sort of). Prior to 1875 William S. Miller was a conductor on the Oil Creek Railroad in Pennsylvania. But in 1875 he switched to the oil business and became a sales manager for Acme Oil Co. in Syracuse, NY. By 1890 he was treasurer of the Standard Oil Co. (Iowa) and shortly was their chief western executive and secretary. In 1900 he was also a director of the Standard Oil Co. (California), gaining titles in succession of Treasurer, Vice-President and ultimately Chairman of Standard Oil (California). This watch was presented to him while he was Vice-President of the company.
MILLER.gif
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Another interesting watch in my collection with a likely interesting back-story is a Louis Audemars that orginally belonged to Nelson R. Sagers or Des Moines, Iowa, about whom I have been able to find no information other than that he was a railway postal clerk earning $1,400 a year in 1901, the equivalent of $42,605.79. How did Sagers come to own a top-of-the-line 18k Louis Audemars? If any of you can tell me more about Mr. Sagers, I would be grateful.

IMG_4734.JPG z audemars dial.jpg IMG_4712.JPG IMG_4714.JPG IMG_4715.JPG IMG_4738.JPG IMG_4739.JPG IMG_4742.JPG

For more about this watch, see Louis Audemars Hunter.
 

Rick Hufnagel

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A thread in the American Pocket Watch forum got me thinking about a watch dial yesterday. It's signed with a name, and world's fair, 1893. It occured to me that I never looked into the name on the dial.
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I bought this movement because it's from a lower production run of numbered early series two Elgins. It's 15 jewels, adjusted and had to cost a pretty penny when the owner bought it. Especially since it was in a solid gold case the first time I had seen it. Obviously it was relieved of that case before it got to me. I've had this a while now

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The dial says A. G. Roenigk, world's fair 1893. Never thought I had a chance of figuring this person out, but nailed it... and he's from here!

Alfred George Roenigk
Born July 21, 1851, Pittsburgh PA
Died March 9, 1930, Pittsburgh PA
Buried in Homewood cemetery.

Alfred, along with brother Frank, operated an upholstery business in Pittsburgh at 105 Colwell st. Today that sits a few blocks from Duquesne, Mercy hospital and the PPG ice arena.

He lived in the 20th ward, as far as I can tell that's shady side, so a nice neighborhood. I found a map of it from 1878, but could not locate his exact residence.

The upholstery business was Roenigk& Gill, Roenigk Logan and Gill, Roenigk Bros, and A.G. Roenigk & co. All between 1878 and 1893. In 1893 it burned along with the adjacent paint supply store.

He was a politically motivated individual, and a Republican. Through my reading last night, the era of Pittsburgh's "No H" (1890-1911) was a hugely corrupt time in the history of the city government. In fact in 1910, a federal auditor was brought in and an operation set up to catch corrupt city leaders. Many were jailed and the city council reformed in the next couple years.

While I have found mention in newspapers of Alfred being on city council, I cannot directly verify it. He was also involved in many other business and politically motivated organizations. Even going so far as matching on Washington D.C. (on several occasions) to promote agendas.
Here is a snippit on the formation of one such organization.
Screenshot_20200410-235452~2.png


So how does this fit into my dial?? How do we know this is the same dude?

Alfred was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of directors for the world's fair!
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He also served on the committee for the Fine Arts dept. (This are some super interesting contemporary books, free on Google books, for the world's fair)

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Further proof, you say? Could it really be the same guy?

Alfred was married, in Pittsburgh, in 1891. Jeanette Sarver became his wife and in Sept of 1892 their first daughter Jane was born in Pittsburgh. In October of 1893 daughter #2 (Elizabeth) was born in Cook County, Illinois! Unfortunately Jeanette suffered from typhoid fever and passed away in November of the same year, also in Cook County, Illinois.

So this proves the same man had been in Cook county during the World's Fair of 1893.

Unfortunately Alfred lost his business and his wife in the same year as the Fair, but he went on to start quite a few businesses in the Pittsburgh area. Namely "The Pittsburgh Building Co" and "New York Confection Co" both of which he is listed as president.

Very interesting subject, and amazing how a name on a dial can take you through so many points in history.
 

PatH

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Great research, Rick. Thank you for sharing the watch and the story of its owner. I have wondered who had the concession license to create these dials. Nothing could be sold from the exhibits (as the Ingersolls demonstrated!), so it was likely in the Midway Plaisance or separate from the Fair itself.
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Glad folks are posting some interesting and significant things on this thread. A lot of fun!

I thought I would post some things that represent some of the range of my interests. Most of the clocks have been described and discussed previously in some depth on the MB. I will not repeat this information here again so this posting will be mostly a visual one. Sorry, no watches.

The first is a miniature painted iron front. The paint is absolutely original. So much for frumpy, somber Victorians:

mini iron front.JPG

The cherub bracket is carved from what I believe is a fruit wood. The shelf is grained. I'm pretty sure it's European. So many of these are repops of molded plaster. This is not. I actually have a subcollection of interesting (to me) shelves to go along with my clocks.

Next, 3 more mini's:

mini patti.JPG mini forestville steeple.JPG mini torsion pendulum.JPG

The first is a "baby Patti" on a Victorian bracket with a "Columbia" head. The next is Forestville Hardware miniature steeple. The steeples are mounted to the door. It sits upon a folk art shelf with a carved head with "banana" curls, so about 1860's. Reminds me of folk art doll heads of that period. Note the cut outs...almost looks like an African mask. I think it is a stylized crying face. The last is a miniature torsion pendulum steeple time piece bearing the label of THEODORE Terry.

Some not too often encountered Jerome products:

foil front 1.JPG foil front 2.JPG jerome marbelized pilaster front.JPG jerome miniature pilaster.JPG

The first 2 pix are my 2 examples of "foil front" shelf clocks. Looks like the innards of a daguerreotype case? Well, it's attributed to a maker of such cases, Peck.

The second is a flat pilaster and corner block front case that has it's original faux marble paint. See my original posting about this clock for the rather incredible story behind it's acquisition.

The last is a miniature weight driven pilaster and corner block case. Odd-ball movement with a cast iron (some say rolled steel) back plate and brass front plate.

Finally:

hills mirror 1.JPG hills mirror 2.JPG

Most are familiar with NH and ME mirror clocks. How about a CT mirror clock? Labelled and dial signed by Hills. However, it has a Kirk marine time and strike cast iron back plate movement. Yep, only one winding arbor for both. The mirrored dial surround is absolutely correct. This model was also made in smaller versions and there are other versions with a detached fusee movement. JD posted on my fusee thread an example of the latter he once owned. One of those is definitely on my bucket list.

I'm going to do something superfluous. After all, this thread asked about our collecting interests. Didn't specify nor restrict to horological interests?

I like folk art. I thought this piece of folk art was particularly apropos to the 2 holidays being celebrated. It's called a Decalogue:

Ten Commandments Samuel Katz.jpg

It's a representation of the 10 Commandments which are abbreviated. The piece is 23 inches tall by 18 or 19 inches wide and carved from thick heavy wood.

After extensive research, I am quite confident that this was once part of the decoration that graced a Holy Ark. That is where torah scrolls are stored in a synagogue. I am also quite confident this was the work of Samuel Katz of Chelsea MA, circa 1920. I base this upon comparisons with his known surviving work and pictures of his work, that alas, did not survive as many Boston synagogues burned, were demolished or converted. He was a wood carver and cabinet maker from Chelsea, MA. As part of his trade, he created Holy Arks with their decoration and the bimah (the podium from which passages from the torah are read each week on Saturday) for 23 Boston area synagogues. For a well documented intact Ark and bimah created by Katz in 1924, see this from the Adams Street Synagogue in Newton, MA:

The Adams Street Shul – Synagogues360

If you move around the images, you can get a closer look at the Decalogue. The mounting holes for the crown are present on mine. I also have books and other info with images of other examples.

To close, here's a close-up of one in New Haven:

Sam katz torah arc new haven1.png

However, Katz is not reported to have created these outside of the Boston area. Well, I think I have proof that he did!

When this pandemic is lifted, I will pursue this further.

RM
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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PS: Here's the relevant detail from the Adams Street Synagogue in Newton, MA.

adams street synagogue.PNG

This Ark is a well documented surviving example of Katz's work.

RM
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Another watch with an interesting provenance is my 18k Non-Magnetic Watch Co. minute repeater, chronograph, with perpetual calendar and moonphases.

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In this posting, I will focus on this watch's provenance. For other information about the watch and more photos, see Non-Magnetic Watch Co. Minute Repeater, Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar

The original owner of this watch was W. Horace Locher. He was born in Sacramento, California on July 16, 1869. He died in Little Neck, New York, in February 1936. Here is how he looked at age 21.
21.jpg

Here is Locher at age 26.
26.jpg
Locher was a successful life insurance agent. He spent his mature years in St. Louis, living at 5129 Vernon Ave. See Google Earth and Google Earth

Locher left the watch to his daugther, Elizabeth Anne Locher, who married Frank Warner. She and Frank were famous folklorists. They wrote a book about their work together: Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne and Frank Warner Collection. See Frank Warner (folklorist) - Wikipedia. They found -- and performed -- such songs as Tom Dooley and He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands.

I bought the watch from Anne's and Franks son.
 

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Samuel H. Shearer was born in 1857 in Indianapolis. In 1883, when he was 26, someone gave him this 14k Bingham & Walk PL Patek Philippe, or he purchased it for himself.

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It is a big, heavy watch, 57mm in diameter, cased. It weighs 134 grams. The case was made by Jeannot & Shiebler.

Shearer, 1857-1939, was a civil engineer, Indiana's chief engineer from 1880-1888. State employment must have been lucrative if Shearer bought this watch for himself. If it was a gift, one hopes a family member gave it to him, rather than a business man seeking a state contract. Shearer worked on road projects throughout the world, e.g., Egypt and India.

Shearer.jpg
 
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This has been on here before, my great, great, great, great grandfather, Andrew Bragaw Brinckerhoff was born in New York in 1815 and died there in the mid 1870's. He was a lumber merchant in the city and joined the 7th regiment, New York National Guard, known as the Silk Stocking Regiment due to the number of affluent people in it, in 1839. He ultimately became a colonel in the regiment but his men gave him this watch on his promotion to captain in 1847. He had been injured in the Astor Place Riots that year and the injuries eventually caused him to retire from business life and the regiment. It is an M I Tobias fusee in a Benedict Brothers 18K case. Unfortunately, one of the chain hooks fell off and I just haven't found the right person to repair it, though I have tried. It is surrounded by his dress epaulets. I also have his Shako hat metal badge, some of his buttons from his uniform jacket and his every day epaulets. My grandfather was born in the house where he had lived on E 78th St in 1894. In addition, I have collected many books related to the 7th regiment and have been past the Armory but never inside as it is visited by appointment only, most of it has been converted into a women's shelter and for artistic uses. It will be handed down to the next generation and hopefully they will retain it for the following generation.

7th regiment NYNG 008.jpg 7th regiment NYNG 014.jpg 7th regiment NYNG 010.jpg
 

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Thought I would post more, albeit somewhat random, selections. No real point to drive home. Sorry, no watches.

One form of ww 30 hour clocks that are not seen too often are "hollow column" clocks. They are very architectonic, big clocks in the Neoclassical Revival style. Just the sort of excess I enjoy.

They are called hollow column clocks because the columns that flank the dial are hollow. The weights, that look kind like window sash weights, drive the clock and fall through the hollow columns.

Here are a few in my collection:

hollow column 1.JPG hollow column 2.JPG hollow column 3.JPG

The first one has a really pretty dial. Here's a close-up:

hollow column dial.JPG

All of these have previously been posted on the MB. Do a search for more details.

Lumen Watson of Ohio made these too.

George Marsh made hollow columns clocks but with strap brass works.

Oh yes, there were "false hollow" column clocks. Here's one by Terry and Andrews:

terry & andrews 1.JPG

The columns are not hollow. It is a 30 hour brass works. The unique weights drop through channels in the case. Heaven help you if you don't have the original weights. This clock has also previously been discussed on the MB.

As one might deduce from the pix posted, silhouettes are another one of my interests.

Here are some group shots. I can blather on about each one, but I won't bore folks:

silhouette group 1.JPG silhouette group 2.JPG silhouhette group 3.JPG

If I say so myself, there's some really good ones here. Good signed ones, too. Mostly American, some very good English ones, too.

Have to give a "shout out" to some favorites.

Here's a couple that celebrated their wedding:

silhouette group 3.JPG

Really good double cut silhouettes of an identified couple. Appropriately facing each other. Decent gilt frames with eglomise surrounds. Came with this gift given to the couple, a small little book:

silhoutte marriage 1.JPG silhouette marriage 2.JPG

An instruction manual for a married couple!

Gotta love it.

RM
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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And some of the truly outrageous hollow column/stovepipe clocks can be found by Munger. Sadly, I never owned any of these and not likely to own one, what with their still robust prices seen when a good one surfaces.

View attachment 584447 View attachment 584448 View attachment 584449 View attachment 584450
Forgot about them Mungers!

I'm really slipping.

Stovepipe is an appropriate name as the columns are tin...like the old fashioned stovepipes.

Yep, unlikely to own an unmonkeyed with one. They command strong prices. Also, when well decorated, they appeal to high end general antiques dealers and their clientele, so they're "cross-over" pieces and have a wider interest beyond clock collectors. Like a good banjo, tall case, MA shelf and so on.

RM
 
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Jim DuBois

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By the way RM, I neglected to comment on your hollow columns, remarkable! For those who do not follow hollow columns per 'se, they are not common, so to see that many in one collection, all in the conditions yours are, is indeed a unique opportunity. Your sharing of your many fine examples of clocks and associated antiques should be recognized and greatly appreciated, as are your research contributions.

As to stovepipe Mungers, I recently accidentally acquired a pair of weights for one, that is most likely as close as I will ever get to ownership.

There is also another hollow column, quite rare also. Luman Watson, woodworks. And here is one hiding out with other friends.

watson hollow column (2).jpg 20180125_165057 (2).jpg
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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By the way RM, I neglected to comment on your hollow columns, remarkable! For those who do not follow hollow columns per 'se, they are not common, so to see that many in one collection, all in the conditions yours are, is indeed a unique opportunity. Your sharing of your many fine examples of clocks and associated antiques should be recognized and greatly appreciated, as are your research contributions.

As to stovepipe Mungers, I recently accidentally acquired a pair of weights for one, that is most likely as close as I will ever get to ownership.

There is also another hollow column, quite rare also. Luman Watson, woodworks.

View attachment 584461
Thanks for your kind comments!

Those Lumen Watson clocks (I mention him in passing) are also rather expensive, too. Again, very much "cross over" items like the Munger stovepipes.

Somewhere on the MB PAN posted a movement from one of those with mahogany plates.

I don't think I will get as close as that to owning one of the Lumen Watson clocks, either.

RM
 

Jim DuBois

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The last Luman Watson to cross the auction block at a major gallery brought over $10K. Photos from the COG Journal 2013

hollow column x 4.jpg hollow column movement.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Another watch in my collection with an interesting first owner is this circa 1927 18k Harrington PL Patek Philippe, inscribed Henry Dawes Jan. 3rd 1927.

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One interesting thing about this watch is that a twin with different hands was featured in this ad.

2.jpg

But more interesting is its original owner, Henry Dawes. Dawes was was from Ohio (Harrington was a Columbus, Ohio jeweler. Henry was a successful oil executive and corporate director. His brother, Charles G. Dawes, was Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge, later U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. In 1925, Charles Dawes won the Nobel Peace Prize for the Dawes Plan to revitalize Germany after WWI. Charles G. Dawes - Wikipedia

1.jpg
 
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Jim DuBois

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I don't know beans about watches but you are showing some remarkable examples in my less than a sophisticated understanding of watches. Keep 'em coming. Thank you for sharing!
 
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musicguy

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Ethan does have a spectacular collection of High end watches!

Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

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One of the top watches in my collection is 18k Albert H. Potter hunter, #595. It was discussed a few years ago in a separate thread, Albert H. Potter #595. Since then, I have had the watch serviced by one of the country's top watchmakers and I have collected more information about it. Here is how the watch now looks.

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This watch was made in 1890. It is a very heavy, 16 size watch (52mm in diameter), 150 grams gross weight. The cuvette is inscribed Augustus Cummings/From Florence Eloise Hood/Dec. 14th 1892. That was the date Florence married Augustus, who was a very successful civil engineer. More about him in a moment.

Albert H. Potter: Mike Kearny posted an excellent synopsis of Potter's career. Albert Potter. In that post, Kearny wrote that:

Albert H. Potter was born in Mechanicville, NY on July 3, 1836. He was the second child of four. Little is written of his early life except the tale, related in Paul Chamberlain's "It's About Time", of Albert and his younger brother, William Cleveland (Cleve), borrowing his uncle's watch and taking it apart, and just managing to get it back together.

Of his horological career we know that he completed a three year apprenticeship with Wood and Foley in Albany, NY, then set up shop in New York City in about 1855. For the next six years Potter built some of the most beautiful examples of watch craftsmanship the horological world has seen. They number some 35 movements, including chronometers, both fusee and going barrel, lever escapements, key wind, bridge and three quarter plate.

These were extremely high grade watches and sold for $225 to $350.

Potter could have worked his entire career in New York and would have probably become the dean of American watchmakers. But for reasons unexplained, he was not satisfied with New York and in 1861 took a job in Havana, Cuba, where he continued to develop his watchmaking skills, designing a quarter repeater and type of duplex escapement. In 1866, Potter was back in New York, and in 1868, he filed the first of his 16 patents, a chronometer escapement which had the advantage of not requiring a detent spring, and used smaller more sturdy teeth on the escape wheel.

By 1870, Potter had moved to Chicago and in 1872 he set up a firm (Potter Brothers) with his brother Cleve. He left the business in 1875. In 1874-76, Potter filed for six more patents, including a novel design for a compensation balance, two escapements, and a barrel arbor. Several of these patents appear to be used in a 12 second tourbillon featured (with photographs) in the 1987 Revue de L'Horlogerie Ancienne.

In 1876, at what was approaching the height of his career, Albert Potter moved again, this time to Geneva, Switzerland. He continued to make high grade watches, including minute repeaters, minute repeaters with chronograph, and minute repeaters with perpetual calendar and moon phase, and he continued to experiment with escapement design. It's worth mentioning that Potter's watches cost $250-$500 at a time when Vacheron & Constantin's lowest grade caliber sold for $25.

The patents that Potter took out in 1887 provide some evidence that his high grade watches were not a business success. After 32 years of producing masterpieces of design and construction, Potter's seven patents of 1887 included such economical designs as a combined watch movement frame and case body, where the pillar plate and sides of the case were stamped from a single piece of metal, and a watch case pendant that snapped into a rectangular hole in the case body. These patents were used in the construction of a mass-produced, low-priced watch made in a suburb of Geneva called Charmilles, the watch going by that name. Although not entirely unsuccessful, the watch was a financial failure for Potter, and by 1895, Potter had given up watchmaking completely. Still the inventor, from 1892 through 1897, Potter worked on designs for a steam powered carriage, a high pressure steam boiler and a bicycle cyclometer. Each of these ended in failure for one reason or another. By 1900 he was ill with disease of the intestines and spine that caused partial paralysis, and he died in 1908.

However, Potter's works live on. Many were acquired by Paul Chamberlain, and some found their way to the NAWCC museum, where we can still visit them and be reminded of one of the great masters of horology.
Here are several schematic drawings of my watch's caliber.

1.jpg 2.jpg

Original Owner, Robert Augustus Cummings: According to the Smithsonian Institution, Cummings Structural Concrete Company Records · SOVA:

Robert Augustus Cummings (1866-1962) was a consulting civil engineer who worked primarily in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born in Norfolk, England and attended the Gresham School at Holt in Norfolk. He trained as a civil engineer with William J. Brewster in his offices, located in Westminster, London, England. During his early career, he worked as a surveyor and field examiner at the Ordinance Survey of Great Britain and Ireland before he relocated to Canada to conduct engineering work on the Grand Trunk Railroad. During the late 1880s and early 1890s, Cummings was employed as a general draftsman for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in Philadelphia. He worked later as a designer of heavy dredging machinery for the Bucyrus (Ohio) Steam Shovel and Dredge Company and as an assistant engineer of the Norfolk and Western Railroad in Roanoke, Virginia. Cummings established a firm as a civil and consulting engineer in Philadelphia in 1893 before relocating to Pittsburgh in 1899. He founded the Cummings Structural Concrete Company and the Electric Welding Company in 1900, and in 1902 he founded the Lehigh Valley Testing Laboratory, all of which were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1936, he partnered with his son in the consulting firm of Robert A. Cummings, Jr. and Associates. During his career, Cummings worked on the design and construction of a variety of projects, including bridges, warehouses, filtration systems, private residences, machine shops, dry docks and piers, factories, dams, and locks. He additionally conducted railroad and land surveys, researched various types of cement, and designed rock, hydraulic, and elevator dredges. Cummings is best known for inventing the “Cummings System of Reinforced Concrete,” in which iron or steel bars are embedded within a mixture of Portland cement, water, sand, and gravel or broken stone. As Cummings stated in a 1904 presentation to the Member Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, reinforced concrete “makes an excellent paint for preserving iron or steel, adhering to the metal very firmly and protecting it thoroughly against corrosion. It can easily be made water tight, and its durability is beyond question. These properties of cement mortar can be utilized in re-enforced concrete. This material is well adapted for molding into a monolithic structure, which does not disintegrate when subjected to shocks such as are produced by railroad trains and vibrates much less for a given load than structural steel. Correctly designed re-enforced concrete structures are not liable to sudden failures, as is the case with ordinary concrete, but gives warning by the falling off of the surface concrete long before the point of failure is reached." Cummings belonged to a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Engineering Societies Library Board, the American Railway Engineering Association, the American Society for Testing Materials, and the Institution of Civil Engineers of London, England. He married Mary Eloise Hood on December 14, 1892, and had two children, Robert Augustus Jr. and Eloise Hood. Robert A. Cummings died on October 21, 1962, in Pittsburgh.​




 

Ethan Lipsig

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I collect Touchon & Co. pocket watches, and I maintain a Touchon serial number database, Dropbox - Touchon Serial Numbers.doc - Simplify your life. In this post, I will discuss three Touchons in my collection, all with the most common Touchon caliber, TO5 in my classification scheme, and all with known provenance.

James J. Conmey's Touchon: I bought the first of these three from the original owner's grandson. He told me that his grandfather was James J. Conmey, a Notre Dame graduate and a commander in the U.S. Navy in WWII. Conmey was a Wall Street stockbroker and eventually an executive in the Tobin International Packing Co. in Rochester, New York. "And that's all I can tell you . . . . I do not know when or where he got the watch," his grandson said. The only additional information I have found about James J. Conmey is the newspaper article below reporting his purchase of a prize hog. The article quotes him as saying "It's a beautiful hog . . .There will be wonderful bacon and ham from this one."

This 18k Tiffany PL watch came with its original box, gold chain, gold pen knife, and carnelian seal. It is a 19j/8adj "extra" grade watch, but so are most Touchon TO5 movements.

IMG_1908.JPG IMG_1910.JPG IMG_1911.JPG IMG_1920.JPG IMG_1913.JPG 1.jpg

Harvey C. Sickler's Touchon: This watch belonged to H.C. Sickler from Wilkes-Barre PA. He never married, moved to New York, and died 25 years later.

This 18k watch was a 1922 Christmas gift from Mildred and Marie. Sickler's obituary names his sisters. Mildred and Marie are not among them. I don't know who they were.

This watch's movement is #232,734. It is another TO5 19j/8adj, but not an "extra" movement. It isn't signed except under the dial. I have consecutively-numbered Touchon #232,735, a Bigelow Kennard PL. It has the same case, the same unsigned movement, the same hands, but a different dial.

IMG_2310.JPG IMG_2309.JPG IMG_2306.JPG IMG_2307.JPG IMG_2304.JPG sickler.jpg

Frederick J. Emeny's Touchon:
The only such Emeny I could find was born in 1872 and died in 1915 at age 43. He was a Cornell graduate, and head engineer of Deming Co., a pump manufacturer. I don't think he is the right Mr. Emeny because this watch is a Black, Starr & Frost Gorham Inc. PL. Black, Starr & Frost only had the additional Gorham name from 1929 to 1962. (The Frost family lost control to Gorham in 1929. Gorham sold it's interest in the firm to other investors in 1962, at which time Gorham was dropped from the name.) Black Starr & Frost | Fine Luxury Time Line Collections I am guessing that this watch belonged to the son of the Frederick J. Emeny who died in 1915. If that Mr. Emeny had a son, he likely would have been no older than 20 in 1915, In 1929, he would have been no older than 35. He easily could have been at an appropriate age to have acquired this watch between 1929 and WWII.

This 18k white gold watch has an "extra superior" 19j/8adj TO5 movement, a relatively uncommon Touchon grade. It came with its original box

IMG_2867.JPG IMG_2868.JPG DSC03065.JPG IMG_2885.JPG IMG_2878.JPG DSC03066.JPG
 

Ethan Lipsig

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Here are three Vacheron & Constantin pocket watches in my collection that have some provenance.

Simon L. Levy's Watch: In 1909, the Congregation Moses Maimonides of Bloomington, Illinois gave this W.C. Potter PL 14k hunter to Simon L. Levy. The congregation was founded in the 1880s. It opened its landmark temple in 1889. It has since moved to a new building, but the old temple lives on as church. The watch is 16-size. It has 20 or 21 jewels. It is in a heavy 14k A.W.C.Co. case. W.C. Potter was Albert Potter's brother (see post 91). See also HELP IDENTIFY THE MOVEMENT-Vacheron??

Illinois-Bloomington-Moses-Montefiore-Temple-1440x954.jpg IMG_8142_edited.JPG IMG_8143_edited.JPG IMG_2558.JPG IMG_2560_edited.JPG IMG_2562.JPG IMG_2565.JPG IMG_2017.JPG

Welsh Family Watch: George W. Welsh & Sons was a New York City jeweler. This 14k Welsh PL V&C was the family watch, as the complicated inscriptions demonstrate. In 1919, George W. Welsh and S. Charles Welsh, Jr. gave the watch to their father, S. Charles Welsh. The senior S. Charles seems to have died before 1941, leaving the watch to his son George W. who gave the watch in 1941 to his son George W. Jr.

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Clifford C. Vatter, Jr.'s Watch: This 18k watch was presented to Clifford C. Vatter, Jr in 1955. He doesn't seem to have used it much. Mr. Vatter died on January 14, 1990 at the age pf 66. He had founded and owned Deco Paper Products. Herved in the Navy in WWII. He lived in Louisville, where he was a member of the Pendennis Club and a mason. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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Ethan Lipsig

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Here are three more V&Cs with stories.

Lewis W. Cole's V&C: In 1943, the National Association of Food Chains gave Cole a lovely circa 1934 18k V&C, which he never used much. Cole, a Kentucky native, was a successful businessman. Among other things, he was one of the founders of the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain.

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Ferris Thomsen's V&C: I used to own this 18k S Kirk PL. I am very proud of having figured out the original owner from the three clues. One was the F.T. monogram. The other two were the owner's first name and birthday in the inscription To Ferris, From Cousin Mamie, 21st Birthday, 1907, Dec. 25, 1928. From these clues, I deduced that the watch had originally belonged to Ferris Thomsen, the first inductee to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He was born in Baltimore on December 25, 1907. He died on June 21, 1994.

1.jpg

I don't recall where I found this account of his life:

Ferris Thomsen was educated at Baltimore Friends School, graduating in 1926. He then went to Swarthmore College for two years before transferring to St. John's College in Annapolis, Md. While at Friends School, Thomsen played football, basketball and lacrosse, winning varsity letters in all three sports. At Swarthmore College, he played two years of football and lacrosse, once scoring a still unmatched 14 goals during a lacrosse game versus Lafayette College. At St. John's College, he also won letters in lacrosse and football and played on the 1928 National Championship lacrosse team. After college, Thomsen went on to play four years with the Mt. Washington Club. Taking up coaching as a career, Thomsen coached from 1930-34 at McDonogh School, then on to Gilman School from 1934-45, where besides coaching, he was also Director of Athletics for the last six years. In 1945 Thomsen moved on to the University of Pennsylvania where he coached lacrosse and football until moving to Princeton University in 1950. It was here at Princeton that his lacrosse teams won two national championships and 10 Ivy League titles. Thomsen was named Coach-of-the-Year by the USILA in 1967, and he coached the South team in the annual collegiate North-South game in 1950. In addition to his coaching accolades, Thomsen served an active lacrosse official for 16 years and served several terms as president of the Officials Association. He held various positions on many committees for the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and was a former president of the United States Lacrosse Coaches' Association. Ferris' first wife, the former Helen Walter, died in 1970.
My wife constantly is amazed that families sell off heirlooms like Ferris' watch, and I am eager to help them recover them. That's why I tracked down Ferris' granddaughter. She explained that a relative had sold Ferris' watch to the great distress of the family. I offered to sell it back to her at a sweetheart price. She bought it back.

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Mystery V&C: I wish I knew the story behind this 14k Bowler & Burdick PL watch. Bowler & Burdick was a Cleveland jeweler. The watch is monogrammed SBW (or is it SWB). It has the odd inscription Welcome the Coming .. Cleveland ... 3-28-11 ... followed by the the initials of the donors, engraved to match their handwriting: C.A.M., J.R.S., WLB.

I am guessing they gave the watch to SBW/SWB because he was about to move to Ohio or had just moved there, but I am not sure. The odd wording -- welcome the coming -- is puzzling.

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IMG_2205.JPG

 

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The odd wording -- welcome the coming -- is puzzling.
Compare Alexander Pope's Odyssey of Homer, Book XV, l. 83:

"True friendship's laws are by this rule expressed,
Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest."

Also his Imitations of Horace, Book II, Satire II, ll. 159-160:

"(For I, who hold sage Homer’s rule the best,
Welcome the coming, speed the going guest.)"

And don't forget the Clerihew:

"When Alexander Pope
Accidentally trod on the soap
And came down on the back of his head -
Never mind what he said. "

I see you found the Pope citations.
 
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PatH

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Perhaps an inside story/joke between college friends?
 

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Here is Ian Johnston’s recent translation of the corresponding passage from Homer’s Odyssey:

“For a host
should welcome any guest in front of him
and send away the one who wants to go.”
 
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Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
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I started this thread in this house-bound, bizarre time, in hopes of entertaining others with the watch and clock back stories, and being entertained by others' stories. I hope that more of you will join me and those who have already done so in contributing to this thread.

You may have noticed that my entries generally have been in alphabetical order, as I work my way through my collections' catalog. I am up to W now. With this posting, I will have discussed all the watches in my collection whose provenance I know about. Some of you may be relieved that this posting likely will be the last one of that type I make to this thread.

Frederick Coles' AWCO Model 1888: The cuvette of this watch is inscribed Given to Frederick Coles, Easter 1915, in recognition of many years of faithful service, Jane H. Hunnewell. The watch is a scarce 21-jewel “American Watch Company” grade Model 1888, circa 1897-1900. It is in an 18k open face K&B case, SS# 40,960. This watch, SS# 7,000,929, might be the first 21-jewel AWCO OF Model 1888, of which about 100 were made. I understand that there only was one run of 100 of them, ##7003701 to 7003800. My watch wasn't made in that run. Its serial number puts it in a run of 100 17-jewel American Grade movements (##7000900 to 7001000). However, Waltham handwritten notes state that a few in this run were made as 21 jewels. My watch is marked "21 jewels' and has 21 jewels. Since it was the 29th watch in the ##7000900 to 7001000 run, it might well have been the first 21-jewel AWCO Model 1888 OF.

My friend Jerry Treiman said of this watch. "The only curious thing is the 1915 presentation . . . so long after it was made (ca 1900). However, such a high-priced watch may have sat in inventory a while before being sold. The case looks appropriate for when it was made and a little outdated for 1915. . . . The winding wheels look a little more like Maximus wheels, but the immediately preceding run were Maximus, so that may have been what they were using at the time. I just looked at my photos of others from this run and all have the same winding wheels. I don't know who K&B were (casemaker or jeweler?)."

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But who were Jane H. Hunnewell and Frederick Coles? The Hunnewells are a family of landed Massachusetts gentry. See Hunnewell Estates Historic District - Wikipedia. The Hunnewells and their relatives the Welles live in estates between the Charles River and Lake Waban in Wellesley (named for a Hunnewell) and Natick, Massachusetts, about 17 miles west of Boston. (Perhaps one of you from Massachussets knows a Hunnewell or a Welles, or know something more about them,)

I wasn't able to find any information about Jane H. Hunnewell, but I did find Frederick Coles' obituary. He was the superintendant of Arthur Hunnewell's estate and built one of the first golf courses in the US. It was on Arthur's estate.

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