Ladd gold filled patents

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Keith R..., Sep 15, 2018.

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  1. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    A friend of mine down in Georgia, asked me about gold filled
    guarantees regarding the Ladd Watch Case Co. While going
    through my files I found this Ladd photo in my archives. I also
    verified the paper remains in the back of the Hamilton case lid.

    Now one should note, the Hamilton movement is in the 1900's,
    while the case is pre-1885. I believe case and movement were
    paired together long ago, second generation perhaps.

    What is important are the guarantees provided by Ladd and their
    gold filled patent dates through the years. It also demonstrates
    their criteria against case wear issues, by the means described
    and documented through the Patent process.

    So for my friend down in Georgia and all Ladd watch case owners,
    I share the Ladd guarantee. Yes, the case number on the Hamilton
    is #97222.

    Keith R...

    100_1031 (800x600).jpg 100_1034 (800x600).jpg 100_5935 (1024x768).jpg 103_6860 (800x600).jpg
     
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  2. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    Thanks for showing.

    Wish one of my Ladd cases had a watch case paper.
     
  3. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks for showing your wonderful Ladd watchcase and paper. These are a couple of their trade cards that picture and explain the virtues of their process.

    Pat

    Ladd patent cases front.jpeg Ladd patent cases reverse.jpeg Ladd patent card front.jpg Ladd patent card reverse.jpg
     
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  4. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    So effectively gold filled but with a substrate of nickel plate instead of the normal brass or copper plate, a "stiffened solid gold watch case", seems to be a little misleading.....
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    It would not be proper to call it gold filled since there is only one gold surface, not one on either side of the substrate. Some of the early examples will assay to 9K gold. That is something no gold filled case ever approached.

    It is best to just call it a Ladd case and let the curious look up the process.

    For the collector the plus is the wonderful outside look even with quite a bit of wear and the minus is the rather ugly finish on the inside of most of the cases (which can be charming if you are a Ladd fan.)
     
  6. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    In that description about the cases above Tom it states the gold is on both sides?
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I think what is actually said is that both sides are gold which could just as easily be referring to the front and back of the watch, not the front and back of the material sheet that makes up the watch.

    Some later Ladd cases have a light layer of gold on the inside, but you can easily tell from the mottled appearance on the early ones that it is at best a gold wash on the inside.

    I have not recently read the patent document, so it is possible I am mistaken about the claims. However, I have several of the cases and I am pretty confident of the actual construction. The soldering of the gold to the base metal is the big difference between Ladd and gold filled.

    One of the Ladd patents also describes the extra fill at the edges and joint areas to prevent wear through.

    I think the labor content of the Ladd case was pretty high and that is the most likely reason they were rapidly eliminated from the market by the James Boss cases.
     
  8. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    #8 Bila, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    This is what they state Tom, "and is made of thick plates of solid 14kt. Gold overlaying and hard soldered on each side of the hard Nickel Composition stiffening piece", so looks like both sides Tom in this case. I just wonder if the design was changed somewhere during production if yours are nickel inside, as their statement at the time that advertising card was produced clearly states both sides, and definitely does not mean each side of the case itself:) Or maybe whoever done the writing of their advertising cards in this instant had a bit of a hiccup, if you come across that Ladd Patent can you send me the link?
     
  9. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    #9 Bila, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Except for the substitution of a different type of composite/base metal the process for the making of the Gold & Composite metal sheeting for the Ladd cases is the same as for the J Boss cases from what I have read Tom. Two sheets of gold with a inner sheet of base metal sandwiched between the two, pressed and sweat soldered together then rolled out to the required thickness. The difference appears to occur with the actual construction of the cases, with the Ladd cases there is gold sheeting used where the case lid hinges are attached so no base metal is exposed, extra gold used on the center case ring and as you said extra gold fill at the edges (wear spots). Very nice cases and yes better quality then the normal gold filled, but technically still a gold filled case in effect. If you can find that Patent for the actual making of the Ladd case sheeting it would make interesting reading?
     
  10. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    A patent search revealed the following George Ladd patents.
    1. The June 11, 1867 patent (65,579) referenced on the watch paper was reissued May 4, 1869 (13,417) and references the way the side bands were made.
    2. The March 25, 1879 patent (213,578) was for applying a separate ring to protect the flat side of the case from excessive wear.
    3. The May 22, 1883 patent (278,151) addressed the appearance of wear around the hinge. This patent is attributed to George S. Ladd rather than George W. Ladd, but it was filed by the same firm and at least one of the witnesses is the same as the George W. Ladd patents.
    There is a Bulletin article about early industrial watch cases that includes some discussion of the first patent. You will need to be signed on the NAWCC site to view the article:
    http://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2005/355/355_147.pdf

    There is also a thread on Ladd watch cases
    GW Ladd watch cases

    And an encyclopedia page
    https://mb.nawcc.org/wiki/Ladd-Watch-Case-Co?highlight=LADD

    I've definitely not researched Ladd or Ladd cases, so am looking to others who are better versed in this topic to provide additional insight.

    Thanks!
    Pat
     
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  11. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Some of the KW Ladd cases have decent gold inside the covers.

    Ladd seemed to have hit their stride about 1878. Tom tells the
    rest, regarding the future of the Jas Boss market share.

    Keith R...

    100_1140 (800x600).jpg 7496 (800x600).jpg 103_7922 (800x600).jpg
     
  12. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    Thanks for those links Pat, I did find a lot of reference material that talked about those 3 patents, in those patents the talking about effectively using cladding as Tom described, but only in certain small wear areas. There is a brief discussion I also found in Niebling's American Case Book that describes the basic process of the sheet plate which is initially constructed the same as J Boss, except of course for the substitution of different base metal, and I think also a reference to Boss using 12k Solder instead of 14k for the process.

    Maybe some cases where made differently either before or after the technique of cladding the case completely. I have had 4 of these and all had nice gold on the inside lids as Keith has described. Just maybe they had two different processes for 2 different types of cases as I notice that they talk about a stiffened case and also gold filled cases in some of their ads, are they talking about the same cases or 2 different products:???:
     
  13. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Keith, do you have a picture of the inside of the back cover. I believe it may show the lack of finish I was talking about.
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Here are two of my cases that show the lesser finish on the inside of the covers.
    FC37299B-0655-4E61-B771-F9B851A192F7.jpeg 88918907-2B78-4AA7-86DE-9B6B05874357.jpeg C1DC970D-5837-4ACC-8F95-DD0639E0DD58.jpeg A21242C5-D826-4F56-A9B2-BAAA3E045994.jpeg 5454C163-7BFC-4A66-8607-12072A1D8FC1.jpeg 8A25B6C9-547D-4060-99E7-5FB872AAAE18.jpeg 3B3B6094-1E27-4DD1-8B6C-20AC03ADB50B.jpeg
     
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  15. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #15 Tom McIntyre, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Here is the hunting case example.
    E56D092D-30F6-4836-9482-22024DD47E41.jpeg DF576046-2380-45B3-AEC5-48C072884CAD.jpeg C706FDB4-3201-4F70-A094-3805742CF741.jpeg 5122ED71-6FE6-461A-A682-CC63A3240116.jpeg 6E705214-11B4-48C0-BA77-F47DDB42A4B2.jpeg 0B1D5DD2-4D54-44B4-8998-840BC5ED93FB.jpeg 596AD44A-75BE-44A8-8EBF-7D3063B45F44.jpeg 239679B7-FCCD-4EF6-A1C3-233C59396E27.jpeg 3BF275F5-76F3-4524-8A0E-A6CC2135DA51.jpeg
     
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  16. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    #16 luvsthetick, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Tom and Keith,

    Hope you don't mind me chiming in. I have 4 16s Ladd cases that have Elgin convertible movements. My 2 lower serial # cases have (as Tom states "mottled" finishes) on the inside of all lids. The 2 higher serial # cases have finishes like gold filled cases on all lids. Maybe that is Keith's meaning to Ladd hitting their stride about 1878.
    All 4 of my cases have the same rear lid stamp, a head facing right. My cases are shown in this thread.
    GW Ladd watch cases

    Here are some pictures.

    DSC_0019a.jpg DSC_0001ac.jpg DSC_0003a.jpg

    P.S. I was writing while Tom was posting.
     
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  17. Bila

    Bila Registered User
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    #17 Bila, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    4th photo across in your #15 post Tom, have a look around the hinge pin area on that case, base metal showing by the looks of it or crud?
     
  18. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #18 Keith R..., Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Tom, the KW in this thread, the inside back lid is mottled but dust cover has decent gold.

    The later cases as C. describes have a better inside gold finish than the old key wind cases
    (shown in last 2 pics). As C. describes, silhouette of a mans head, facing right. I found
    movement shot of the Rockford lever set. One can see the gold inside cuvett lid for higher
    gold application.

    I'll check my pic file for photos.

    Keith R...

    103_7906 (800x600) (2).jpg
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

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    On the two I posted, the open face example has the human head and the hunting case example has G.W.L. as the case mark. My read on this is that once they started to see the real high pressure gold filled process, they started adding gold on the inside. however, I do think the bulk of the gold was always on the outside.
     
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  20. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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  21. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi
    Some few years ago I was informed this was a G W Ladd 18s case. All I can find for identification purposes is a man's head and what I presume is a serial number. Both on the inside of the front cover, which incidently looks to be a poorer finish than the outside. Is there any way of determining if this is a 20, 25, 30 yr case or something else ?

    Ladd1.jpg Ladd2.jpg Ladd3.jpg
     
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  22. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Can you post some photos of the inside cover(and back cover) and the marks.


    Rob
     
  23. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Rob
    Here are a couple of pictures of the front and back covers. The inside of the back cover is a much better finish than the front but has no mark whatsoever. As you can see from the photo of the inside of the front cover it does look to be poorer quality.

    Ladd4.jpg Ladd5.jpg
     
  24. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    HUDD,

    Rear lid stamp certainly appears to be a Ladd stamp. Have you checked under the bezel?
    Many Ladd cases have Ladd's patent stamp under the bezel.
    Here is how it looks.

    DSC_0016ab.jpg
     
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  25. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Luvsthetick

    Many thanks, yes got the patent stamp under the bezel ok, so it is a Ladd case ! Still not sure if it is a 20, 25,30 yr case or something else though.
     
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  26. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    #26 luvsthetick, Apr 22, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
    Forgot to include this previously. Looks like a 30 year stamp to me.

    214955-55b3337360b702b4908caf5a445a0f73[1].jpg

    Enlarged image.

    ladd-case-markings-jpg.jpg
     
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  27. HUDD

    HUDD Registered User

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    Hi Luvsthetick

    Great info. Much appreciated. I agree it looks like the 30 yr stamp, which would account for the lovely condition.

    Mike
     
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  28. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Most of my lever sets have the Head stamp for 30 years. But I have key winds with
    anchor and rope and early KW's with an eagle.

    Keith R...

    103_7922 (800x600).jpg 103_6302 (800x600).jpg
     
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  29. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I think that looking for a classifier for the Ladd cases that matches the other gold filled cases of the period is not particularly useful. The manufacturing technique was very different, In the earliest cases almost all the gold was on the outside and they had additional reinforcing for wear. They probably need their own system of quality grading.
     
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  30. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #30 Keith R..., Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    2nd pic was the last Ad I had come across, placed in the back lid when it arrived.
    The 3rd pic is the watch it came in. I suspect the 1900's original case had worn
    out and the owner had a jeweler case it, in an early Ladd lever set case from the
    1880's.

    Keith R...

    1892_Mar_9_Ladd (735x777).jpg 100_1031 (800x600).jpg View attachment 529758 100_1034 (800x600).jpg 100_1030 (800x600).jpg
     
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  31. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    I already had this thread out here, so like my buddy Jim Haney says, stay in your lane.
    Shown is my 15J HH Taylor. This is the only GW Ladd design, I've seen a second one of.

    The bigger message is, I left you all a big Thanks, in my Odd lot thread, for all your sharing
    and coaching over the years.

    I'm not going anywhere, I just met all my collecting goals.

    Keith R...

    100_3564 (1600x1200).jpg 100_3565 (800x600).jpg 100_3534 (1600x1200).jpg
     
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