Illinois Central

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by sdjencso, Sep 26, 2008.

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  1. sdjencso

    sdjencso Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
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    I recently acquired a 12s 17J Illinois Central with a two-tone movement.

    What other sizes and jewel configurations was the Illinois Central produced in? Are all Illinois Central movements two-tone?

    Thanks for any information.
     
  2. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Aug 18, 2002
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    Hi Steve -

    I've seen the Illinois Central in both 12 and 16 size, but the Meggers Illinois book also lists a 3/0 size version.

    I'm not sure what all the variants may be in 12 size but Jim Carroll has probably kept notes on these and I'll send him an email about this thread.

    I have kept notes myself on the 16 size Illinois Centrals and have 115 of these recorded, and here is some 16 size Illinois Central info from what I've seen ...

    In 16 size there are 17 and 21 jewel variants in both open face and hunting case. The 17 jewel are generally 2-tone with a wavy ribbon damaskeen, the 21 jewel are regular nickel finish (not 2-tone).

    The main 17 jewel grades used for Illinois Centrals were the 304 and 305. A smaller number of 17 jewel Illinois Centrals were made from the grades 306 and 204.

    The main 21 jewel grade used for the Illinois Centrals was the 606. A smaller number of Illinois Centrals were made from the grades 806 and 809.

    There is one other grade used for 16 size Illinois Central production, the grade 609 and I have three of these recorded in my notes but at the time didn't bother to check the serial number and realize they were an uncommon grade and I didn't record if they were 17 or 21 jewel movements. Any info anyone can give on the grade 609 would be appreciated.

    The serial numbers I've recorded for 16 size Illinois Centrals range in date from about 1913 to 1928.

    16 size Illinois Central watches are sometimes found with original signed cases marked either "I.C. Special" in regular signature, or as marked "Illinois Central" in a nice crest around the outside of the inner back.

    Fred
     
  3. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Aug 26, 2000
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    Ed and I have one of the No. 609 Illinois Central watches recorded:

    5,027,016, PS, Mvt & Dial "Illinios Central"
     
  4. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Thanks Kent ... did you note if it was a 17 or 21 jewel?

    Fred
     
  5. Jim Carroll

    Jim Carroll Registered User
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    Aug 27, 2002
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    #5 Jim Carroll, Sep 26, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
    Hi Steve,
    The Illinois Central is quite common in size 12 grades, I can only give estimates from the info I have.

    17 jewels Grade 127…estimate 300 bright lined movement.
    21 jewels Grade 274…estimate 4,500 rayed pattern
    21 jewels Grade 279 ...estimate 1,100 rayed pattern, this includes 700 from Grade 121
    17 jewels Grade 404…estimate 4,350 sunburst with tutoned wavy lined center.
    17 jewels Grade 405…estimate 6,100 sunburst with tutoned wavy lined center

    Can you give the serial number of your size 12 Illinois Central
     
  6. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Fred:

    Serial number 5,027,016 is a 16-size, 21-jewel watch. I have no other details besides the fact that the DS AN dial had a hairline in 1993.

    Sorry 'bout not putting that down the first time (the jewels, not the hairline), I hate it when people don't provide the full informaiton.
     
  7. sdjencso

    sdjencso Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
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    Hi Jim,

    The s/n is 3141393. It is a 17J movement.
     
  8. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Aug 18, 2002
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    Jim - Great info as always! I had planned to email you this evening but should have known you'd quickly spot a good 12 size Illinois thread ... :)

    Kent - Thanks for the info on the grade 609. Sounds like this grade would likely be the pendent-set equivalent to the lever-set grade 809. I had thought I remembered the ones I'd seen as being 21 jewel watches but had never noted it down either way and this was really frustrating to me when I realized this was a somewhat unknown run and grade. This 5027016 was one of the numbers I did have noted but I have no record of when/where I recorded the number, and the other Illinois Central numbers I had in this run were 5027021 and 5027099 which both passed through eBay in the last few years.

    Fred
     
  9. sdjencso

    sdjencso Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
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    My thanks to Fred and Jim for posting the detailed information! :)
     
  10. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    I'd like to see any Illinois Central pics that anyone cares to post ... it would be nice to have some examples shown in this thread and this would make a nice reference here for our board.

    Fred
     
  11. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Pics here of a typical example of a 21 jewel pendent-set 16 size grade 606 Illinois Central, missing a casescrew and a regulator spring in this image ...
     

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  12. johnbscott

    johnbscott Registered User
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    Feb 25, 2007
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    3114320 16s 17J PS gilt tu-tone IC marked movt, Montgomery IC marked gothic arabic numeral dial
    3255002 16s 17J PS gilt tu-tone IC marked movt, IC marked bold plain arabic numeral dial
     
  13. StanJS

    StanJS Registered User

    Sep 20, 2006
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    I have a 17j 16s coming in the mail. I paid for it Thanksgiving Day and am hoping that it gets in the mail Monday. I hate waiting...

    A partial serial number and crummy pictures lead me to believe that it is a grade 306. Do we have similar statistics for the 16s Illinois Centrals?

    Thanks,
    Stan
     
  14. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    12-size Grade 274 21 jewel hunter #4,645,601, in 14k multi-color Elgin Giant W.C. Co. case #466,259
     

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  15. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    The damasceening on this 12-size grade 404 is a little washed out, but will do until someone posts a better example.
     
  16. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    I have about 120 of the 16 size Illinois Centrals recorded and from this could identify most of the runs that they were produced in. But some of these runs contain mixed production of other private-labels or factory marked watches, so it would take some guesswork/estimation to decide where the IL Centrals begin and end within the run.

    Fred
     
  17. StanJS

    StanJS Registered User

    Sep 20, 2006
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    Fred,

    I got the watch today and it looks to be a good original example in pretty fair shape. It is in the original IC case. I'll put some pictures up this weekend at the latest.

    Here is another data point for you:

    >> 16s 17J HC PS S/N 2505887 Grade 306 (17J-HN6P-T3P)

    Russ Snyder's database says it is circa 1913 which puts it at the early end of your range.

    It is from a run of 600. Like you said, it is unlikely that all 600 were IC watches.

    Cheers,
    Stan
     
  18. StanJS

    StanJS Registered User

    Sep 20, 2006
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    Here are the promised pictures.

    The case says "I. C. Special" in an arc.

    Cheers,
    Stan
     

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  19. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Jun 1, 2007
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    I have no idea about the significance of certain American pocket watches,but as Fred asked for pics here is mine.Case marked IC Special, Ser.Nr.3515393 .17 jewels. Enjoy as much as I do!
    Burkhard
     

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  20. Frank N

    Frank N Registered User
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    Feb 16, 2004
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    I recently aquired an Illinois Central watch:

    12 size
    21 jewel
    SN 3,488,968
    Model 1
    Grade 274.
    In an IC marked open face case.

    Are the "ILLINOIS CENTRAL" watches a private label for a particular jeweler of is it just a name the Illinois Watch Co. used to market their watches?
     
  21. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    For those recording serial numbers

    12S, 17J, OF, tutone, SN 3,400,912, IC Special marked case.

    Tom
     
  22. Jim Carroll

    Jim Carroll Registered User
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    This is some estimates of Illinois Central movements made in size 12 models.
    Grade 127 = 350
    Grade 274 = 4,200
    Grade 279 = 1,125
    Grade 404 = 6,250
    Grade 405 = 7,550
    So with an estimate of just under 19,500 not including other watch sizes, I would say they are named models. if they were private labels a jeweller selling that amount of watches would have to advertise big time.
     
  23. Frank N

    Frank N Registered User
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    Feb 16, 2004
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    Thanks for the information​.
     
  24. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    For my bragging pleasure ... err ... for your viewing pleasure ... err ... for Fred's list! :)

    sn 3803947 mvmt4.jpg sn 3803947dial4.jpg
     
  25. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    There's quite a bit of similarity between the Illinois Central and Great Northern Special movements:

    3990701.jpg
     

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