Post-Colonial American Pre-industrial watchmaking & cases

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jeff Hess, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,748
    121
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    After scores of posts over the years about my interest in pre-Civil war or Post industrial American watchmaking and specifically American case making, I would like to start a thread about SPECIFIC study of these cases and related movements.

    Many of these cases were purportedly made by the Jeweler retailer. I (and others) have also long speculated on the possiblity that these cases, (like silver holloware and flatware) were made by bigger cottage manufacturers and shipped, with the retailer's name or initials on them.

    This must have been a VERY robust industry and is a link that deserves more study in American watchmaking in spite of the majority of movements that were foreign.

    Please share your American-cased watches here, noting case numbers and "hallmarks".
    Towle was a silvermsith who opened his store in 1832. In and 1856 newspaper ad Towle & Myers touted Fine Gentleman levers in gold hunter cases.
    In the attached, you will see a horse head hallmark and "T&M" on case. Also Towle on dustcover and dial. Cragg of London is the movement "maker" although Jerry Treiman opened a delightful can of worms on CRAGG in another thread.

    towle2.jpg towle3.jpg towlewatch.jpg towlewatch1.jpg
     
    geo.ulrich, Keith R... and viclip like this.
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,316
    1,083
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jeff,

    I think Jerry's Cragg can contained mostly straight worms . . .

    This watch has the appearance of being Coventry finished, although it also has clear Liverpool origins, with a Liverpool Runner train layout and the typical twin tooth barrel click mounted on the barrel bar.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
    Keith R... likes this.
  3. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,748
    121
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    so do you think Graham, that Jerry's watch is likely Coventry and this one is likely Liverpudlian? (does that mean Cragg was a retailer?) And that the case on this one is American right?
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,316
    1,083
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jeff,

    It isn't as straightforward as that; both Jerry's and yours have the 'Coventry Star', but whilst his could possibly be based on a Liverpool area frame, yours has very visible Liverpool characteristics. It's important to remember that the majority of London houses, from Frodsham, Dent, Vulliamy et al on downwards, sourced their 'raw' movements or frames from the Liverpool area, (centred on Prescot) in the Northwest, or later from Coventry in the Midlands. There was considerable three-way traffic between Liverpool, Coventry and London, in all directions and including not only raw movements and parts, but also workmen, especially later in the century as Coventry developed and Prescot declined. The London makers would then have done finishing in varying degrees in their own workshops or through their preferred outworkers.

    Cragg was a retailer, but I think he would have had much more input and involvement with his watches than just as a shopkeeper.

    And yes, this case does have very similar marks to others I've seen which were certainly made in the US.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
    Keith R... likes this.

Share This Page