Railroad Grade/Service ??

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Chuck Hein, Dec 9, 2006.

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

    Chuck Hein Registered User

    Feb 6, 2002
    33
    0
    0
    Hi, I have an Elgin Grade 150. It is an 18 size , has 21 jewels and is marked adjusted. The serial number on the movement is 7435145. I am wondering if this watch was ever recognized as meeting the railroad grade or service standards. I see two things going against it: (1)it is pendent setting and (2)it has a single roller.

    Any insights will be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Chuck
     
  2. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,981
    277
    83
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Chuck,

    this is what most of us tradionally think of as NOT a RR watch.

    however, recent research indicates that "some" inspectors on "some" lines would pass all kinds of watches for railroad use. Even when conventional wisdom was for it NOT to be used.

    Kent Singer, hopefully, will elaborate.

    Nice watch though!
     
  3. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    4,442
    738
    113
    Hi Chuck,

    The conventional wisdom among many collectors today about "What Is A Railroad Watch" (btw, this was the title of my talk at the RR timekeeping seminar in Rokford years ago) is really "What was a RR watch in the 1920s and 1930s". At this time RR standards almost uniformly required watches new in service to be open face, lever set, etc. However, in the mid 1890s (the approx. date of your Elgin), nearly all open face 18s Elgin (and Waltham mvts such as 1892 model Vanguards, etc.) were pendant set; including the ones that were made for, approved for and used in RR service. Many were also single roller (the requirement for double roller escapements came a bit later).

    Your watch was indeed "recognized as meeting the railroad grade or service standards" of its time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Silver Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    18,333
    1,585
    113
    Country Flag:
    Chuck:

    There really were more specific standards than one might think in reading Jeff's all-inclusive statement, '... "some" inspectors on "some" lines would pass all kinds of watches ...' (above). However in this instance, you can see the Elgin grade No. 150 (along with grades No. 149 and 181) being specifically listed by Webb C. Ball for service in Paragraph 10 of his December 1897 Rules for the NYC Big Four and Peoria & Eastern Railways.

    Enjoy you railroad watch,
     
  5. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    5,290
    145
    63
    Country Flag:
    Hi Chuck -

    Nice watch you have!

    There is another current thread on grade 150 Elgins you might check out at this link ...

    old ref::http://nawcc-mb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/4316035461/m/8461044572

    ... and some of us are wondering about the variations in damaskeen pattern on these watches and if you are able to post a photo of your movement it would definitely be welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Fred
     
  6. Chuck Hein

    Chuck Hein Registered User

    Feb 6, 2002
    33
    0
    0
    Jeff, Greg, Kent, and Fred,

    Thank you for the information about the Elgin 150.

    Warm Regards,
    Chuck
     

Share This Page