Pictures of the Tinsley, Harlan Iowa, Rockford grade 572

hannover_dk

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Jul 23, 2005
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Not the best pictures maybe, I shall take new when the watch arrives, but they give a good impression Tinsley, Harlan Iowa, rockford grade 572.

Is the finishing something that is done by Rockford, or is it made by the jeweler in Harlan?

According to the seller, it is not a level-set (or what it is called?) but to wind it, one presses down the crown (a little hard) towards the watch, then the watch is pulled. I think it is set by pulling the crown - Is this pushing in of the crown to wind it normal?

View attachment 1667
View attachment 1668

Thanks for the good help so far (in a thread further down)
Best regards John
 

hannover_dk

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Jul 23, 2005
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Not the best pictures maybe, I shall take new when the watch arrives, but they give a good impression Tinsley, Harlan Iowa, rockford grade 572.

Is the finishing something that is done by Rockford, or is it made by the jeweler in Harlan?

According to the seller, it is not a level-set (or what it is called?) but to wind it, one presses down the crown (a little hard) towards the watch, then the watch is pulled. I think it is set by pulling the crown - Is this pushing in of the crown to wind it normal?

https://mb.nawcc.org/
https://mb.nawcc.org/

Thanks for the good help so far (in a thread further down)
Best regards John
 

IowaWatchGuy

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Dec 24, 2004
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Thank you for the pictures, the watch looks very nice. The finishing would have been done by Rockford for the Tinsley's. I have been looking for a Tinsley marked watch here in the states, so if you dont mind saying, did you find it at an auction in Denmark?
 

Jon Hanson

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Typical Rockford finish!
 

hannover_dk

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Jul 23, 2005
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No - ebay simply, from Switzerland. How do you know the Tinsley, I suppose they must have made a rather limited number of wtches?

Best regards John
 

IowaWatchGuy

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Tinsleys was a jewlery store which operated in Harlan Iowa which is the county seat of Shelby County Iowa. I am from the small town of Elk Horn Iowa (the largest Danish settlement in the US.) which is approx. 13 miles East of Harlan. Yes the jewler marked watches were made in very small numbers though I cannot say for sure how may were marked Tinsley. I know there is one more in my area marked Tinsley, but I have never seen it so I have no idea if it is a Rockford or not. I will see if I can find some more information on the Tinsley family. Once again thanks for the pictures!
 

hannover_dk

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Jul 23, 2005
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Thanks,-

Would you know if it is usual for a Rockford to have a crowne that is running freely in its standard position, and when you want to wind the watch, you press the crown towards the watch?
I am a big fan of the American country side, but have not visited Iowa so far.
A few years ago our family made a big trip of USA, New-York, Washington, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Billings, Yellowstone, San Fransisco, Yesomity, and then by car up to Seattle and Olympic. Great country.
 

IowaWatchGuy

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Normally no pressure should be required on the crown when winding. I can't be sure, mabye someone else will give an opinion, but there may need to be a sleeve or stem adjustment in the case? This would be my best opinion as to why you need to push down when winding. Also, the watch would be pendant set since you need to pull up the crown to set the time and not lever set.
 

Kent

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John:

For Rockford pendant-set watches, the crown should turn freely to wind the watch in its normal (neither pressed down, nor pulled out) position. Of course, pulling it out to the upper position is normal for setting the time. If you have to press it in to wind the watch, it needs a stem adjustment.

Regarding finishing, if you were referring damaskeened finish on the plates and bridges, as Jon said above, that was done at Rockford. If you meant the polishing of the pivots and adjusting for temperature and position, the watch was most likely finished at Rockford. However, the final finish (polishing of pivots, adjustment to temperature and position, etc.) may have been done by the company who had specially ordered the watches, specifically Tinsley.

A late nineteenth century example of this possibility is the "Wathier's Railway Watch" shown in that firm's May 1892 Ad. Although the watch shown, Illinois Watch Co. serial number 1051479, a grade 65-S, is only described by the Illinois factory as being adjusted to an unspecified number of positons (probably three), the Joseph P. Wathier & Co. privately labeled movement is described as being adjusted to six positions. Adjustment to six positions was very unusual at that date. The ad mentions "... our own factory ..." While one shouldn't believe everything in company ads, this does give rise to the possibility that the watch was finished by Wathier. By the way, that specific movement still exists and may be seen as Illustration No. 26 in the book “Railroad Timekeeping,” James L. Hernick, NAWCC Chicagoland Chapter #3 and the Midwest Regional Convention, 1996.

The Ball Watch Co. serves as another, more specific example. Under an earlier name, the Webb C. Ball Co. had watches made by the E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. These N-size (close to 18-size), 17-jewel watches were privately labeled "O.R.C Standard" and "B. of L.E. Standard." Ball literature and Ads of the Mid-1890s noted that the Webb C. Ball Co. did the adjusting. Later, in 1905, Ball contracted with Elgin for 18-size, open-face, Official RR Standard watches in both 17-jewel (grade No. 333) and 21-jewel (grade No. 334) configurations. Elgin factory records show that these watches left the Elgin factory with only the most basic adjustment. The specification sheet for the 21-jewel grade No. 334 notes the adjustment number of 30 in the lower right portion of the page. Elgin adjustment number 30 allows for +/-30 seconds error in 24 hours. At the time, railroad standard watches (which these were) were only allowed to vary +/-30 seconds in a week. The inescapable conclusion supports the oft-time repeated assertion that Ball finished the watches, to their fineness of adjustment, in their own facility.

The Elgin 334 Specification sheet may be seen at: www.elginwatches.org/scans/tech_doc/master_records/m_grade_334_specs.html

Elgin's Adjustment Numbers may be seen at: www.elginwatches.org/databases/adjustment_numbers.html
 
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Dave Chaplain

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Chin (or China or Chine - it's hard to make out) G. Tinsley shows up as "Proprietor, Jewely Store" in the 1920 census for Shelby County, Iowa. He's 35 at that time, his wife, Hazel, is 32, and his son, William H., is 3 at that time.

Dave
 

hannover_dk

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Jul 23, 2005
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Sorry Dave, I fail to to see the reference to Chin (or China or Chine) in the previous part of the threat, Where shall I look?

br John
 
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Dave Chaplain

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He is, most likely, the Harlan, Iowa, jewelry store owner who contracted the "Tinsley's Junior" watch from the Rockford company.

Dave
 

Robert Tinsley

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I am sorry I did not find this post a long time ago. I hope you see my reply. My name is Robert Tinsley. The store you are discussing was founded in 1873 by my great grandfather Pryer Tinsley and his brother Henry. The C. G Tinsley in the previous post was my grandfather Cline Grover Tinsley (most people called him C.G or Tin) who took over the store from his parents around 1920, Tin ran it until he died in 1957. My father William H Tinsley ran it with his father after returning home from WWII in 1946 until C. G.s Death. Dad ran the store till his death in 1976. We closed the Store at the end of Feb. 1977. in the 104 year history of the store we sold a large variety of watches and clocks including Rockford, Elgin, Bulova. LaCoultre, Gruen, and Walthem to name a few.

Bob
 

Tom McIntyre

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@hannover_dk has not been here since 2011, but information like yours is very valuable to the rest of us.

Thank you for posting here and welcome to the NAWCC Message Board.
 
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