Roy Ehrhardt

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Tom McIntyre, Nov 22, 2004.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    I learned in San Diego that our long time friend Roy Ehrhardt had passed away two weeks ago. Roy had survived some very close calls with his heart and seemed to be in really good condition the last time I saw him. I was surprised as well as saddened to hear of his passing.

    I think that Roy did more for the development of pocket watch collecting in America than anyone else in the 20th century. He brought it down to the level of the flea market deal and sleepers that allowed almost anyone to participate.

    His first price guide was published in 1972 and was followed by Book 2 in 1974 and annual updates (The Indicators) in 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80. These books not only had information on price trends that Roy observed first hand in his travels around the U.S. but they also included wonderful material on early advertizing that had come to Roy from the Parkhursts and other sources.

    Roy continued his publications in collaboration with Bill Meggers in the "Gold Book," American Pocket Watches Identification and Price Guide Beginning to End ... 1830 - 1980. published in 1987. This was soon followed by the first of the Encyclopedia series Vol 1 covering primarily Waltham but also New York and all its incarnations. The Encyclopedia series continued with the Illinois book and the sightings and price guide to the United States Watch Co. that was intended as a companion to the Muir & Kraus book.

    Roy was also the publisher of the Townsend books and was instrumental in the publication of the Hampden book by Arnold & Hernick. His reprints and expansions of the serial number lists of many watch companies has been a major resource for collectors and researchers.

    Roy also served on the NAWCC Council and was always ready to help anyone with research on any subject in horology. I will miss Roy greatly and I know the rest of us will also.

    My deepest sympathy to Roy's wife Alpha and to Larry and Sherry who are following in their father's footsteps. May his spirit be with them always.
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    I learned in San Diego that our long time friend Roy Ehrhardt had passed away two weeks ago. Roy had survived some very close calls with his heart and seemed to be in really good condition the last time I saw him. I was surprised as well as saddened to hear of his passing.

    I think that Roy did more for the development of pocket watch collecting in America than anyone else in the 20th century. He brought it down to the level of the flea market deal and sleepers that allowed almost anyone to participate.

    His first price guide was published in 1972 and was followed by Book 2 in 1974 and annual updates (The Indicators) in 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80. These books not only had information on price trends that Roy observed first hand in his travels around the U.S. but they also included wonderful material on early advertizing that had come to Roy from the Parkhursts and other sources.

    Roy continued his publications in collaboration with Bill Meggers in the "Gold Book," American Pocket Watches Identification and Price Guide Beginning to End ... 1830 - 1980. published in 1987. This was soon followed by the first of the Encyclopedia series Vol 1 covering primarily Waltham but also New York and all its incarnations. The Encyclopedia series continued with the Illinois book and the sightings and price guide to the United States Watch Co. that was intended as a companion to the Muir & Kraus book.

    Roy was also the publisher of the Townsend books and was instrumental in the publication of the Hampden book by Arnold & Hernick. His reprints and expansions of the serial number lists of many watch companies has been a major resource for collectors and researchers.

    Roy also served on the NAWCC Council and was always ready to help anyone with research on any subject in horology. I will miss Roy greatly and I know the rest of us will also.

    My deepest sympathy to Roy's wife Alpha and to Larry and Sherry who are following in their father's footsteps. May his spirit be with them always.
     
  3. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    Apr 12, 2001
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    I would also like to express my condolences to the family.

    I, as many others learned so much from Roy's and work in this hobby.
     
  4. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Aug 18, 2002
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    I am very sorry to here this and I too would like to express my condolences to the Ehrhardt family.

    I have learned a great deal from and greatly value Roy's published works, and am deeply grateful for what Roy has given our hobby.

    Fred
     
  5. Larry S

    Larry S Registered User

    Oct 16, 2001
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    Roy will be truely missed. I believe he's touched just about everyone in the watch community at one time or another. Both young and old, veteran or novice, directly or indirectly, Roy's contributions are widely known and respected. He was a good man. My sincere condolences to his family.

    Larry
     
  6. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Aug 26, 2000
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    As I wrote yet another reference to one of Roy Ehrhardt's books, I stopped to reflect on just how much Roy's efforts advanced the state of our hobby. The proper collecting of watches can't really be achieved without the vast support of knowledge that Roy provided.

    He was forever helpful and generous in sharing that knowledge. He spent long hours on the phone, he opened his files and he permitted the reprinting of images from his books. We all owe him a debt of gratitude and we mourn his passing.

    We extend our condolences to his family.

    Kent Singer
     
  7. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Sep 3, 2000
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    without Roy, we would have never had the successes in researching that we have today.

    When Roy published his first book (really just a photocopy of Manny Traurings mailing list) it changed my world.

    Before that..I would buy a watch and then go to a flea market and get 5 diferent answers as to how rare the watch was and/or its value.

    Roys book was a boon! And he always had that entire page about "Please join the NAWCC".

    He was an innovator, who did things his own way. and in the process blazed a path for all of us.

    On a personal note...he and took a two trip to the Uk and Ireland to buy American watches. I had been going for years and Roy siad he has a mailing list of all of the Great Britain owneres of his book. He would share that and Iwould share my haunts with him.

    We uncovered some great watches for sure that trip. And I got to know Roy very well. His heart was bad way bck then (I think this was 1987 or so) and he had some problems and was popping pills like crazy for his heart. But his heart was really into finding the watches and he kept up with me, then a 36 year old until the end of the trip when he asked for a wheelchair to take him to the plane.

    He just would not stop. He did the local flea market here every sunday and we soul often talk and I would tell him how much he did for watch collecting and how we should have a dinner or roast or somthing to honor him. And his response was always something like "well, that might not be a good idea as I think most people do not think like you do on this subject, a lot of people do not like me or what I have done or see it the way you do"

    HArd to beleive a guy who had done so much for so many would feel insecure about this.

    As great as these accolades are, it would have been much fitting to have honered him when he was alive..

    Has anyone set up a fund or is there a place to send flowers or condolences?

    Jeff Hess
     
  8. Steve Cunningham

    Steve Cunningham Registered User

    Oct 6, 2000
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    Roy's passing is a great loss. His books did make available knowledge only then held by a very few. His photos in those books show watches we rarely had seen before or since. If you saw Roy at a Regional, he would answer all your questions, gladly. He was a very nice man, and will be sorely missed. We can only hope Larry and Sherry keep up his good works.
     
  9. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    Roy was a great man in the watch collecting world and he will be missed. His various books were wonderful tools for a budding watch nut like myself and I'm sure that many others had their passion for old watches fueled in large part by the info that he published.
     
  10. Rhett Lucke

    Rhett Lucke Board Secretary
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    I too was deeply saddened upon learning of Roy’s passing, and would like to express my sincere condolences to Alpha, Larry and Sherry. As others have said, Roy did more to promote the collecting and research of American watches than any other single individual. His numerous publications are still among the most informative publications on the diversity of American watches.

    On a personal note, Roy was one of the most influential people in my development as a collector. My first meeting with Roy was as a young collector back in the early 80’s. Upon receiving one of Roy and Larry’s mail order lists, my brother and I learned about a local show they were instrumental in promoting in Kansas City. After arriving at the show, we immediately recognized Roy from the photos in his books and introduced ourselves. Roy was very busy fielding questions and making deals, but took the time to discuss our collections and interests. Towards the end of the show, we once again found ourselves parked at Roy’s table where he continued to give us sage advice on what we should consider when deciding on a direction for our collections.

    From that day forward, Roy and his family were always among the first people we looked for upon arriving at a show or regional. No matter how busy things were, Roy would always take the time to see how we were doing and was always willing to give advice. I cannot count the number of times I have asked dealers for permission to show a watch to a friend before committing to a purchase. Many times, this friend was Roy or Larry who never balked at giving an honest evaluation on the item we were looking at.

    Roy’s friendship and contributions will be deeply missed by everyone he knew and influenced.
     
  11. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Again, is there a fund or movment afoot to memorialize Roy in some manner??

    Jeff
     
  12. HenryB

    HenryB Registered User

    Jan 13, 2004
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    Jeff, about a memorial.

    Maybe a little section in the NAWCC museum with his publications displayed?
     
  13. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    My deepest regrets to the extended Ehrhardt family. I've a deep appreciation for the work and dedication by all involved that went into the books published by Roy, and I was thrilled to finally meet him at a recent regional. He gave me a lopsided grin when I asked for his autograph, as if to say "what the hell are you looking for MY autograph for?" but he did graciously comply.

    Here's to you Mr. Ehrhardt!

    Dave
     
  14. cmedsker

    cmedsker Registered User

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    I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend, and also offer my condolences to Alpha, Larry, and Sherry. Roy was a real living treasure for watch collectors and our hobby, and I made sure I told him that while he was alive. Roy was easy to approach at any watch meeting and always willing to share his vast knowledge. Roy never acted aloof or put anyone off. He always considered himself as just “one of the guys.” Where would our hobby be without pioneering researchers and authors like Roy Ehrhardt? It’s only because of people like Roy that we know as much as we do today. How many of us (now old timers) have dog-eared copies of Roy’s 1972 and 1974 watch books?
    I smile when I remember asking Roy a question about a watch last year at an NAWCC Regional. Roy shook his head and said something like, “Heck, you know more about watches now than I do!” I just grinned at him and said, “Roy, I’ll never know as much as you. You’ve forgotten more about watches than I’ll ever know!” Roy said, “Yeah, but I’ve forgotten it too.” All watch collectors will sorely miss Roy Ehrhardt.
     
  15. Sheila Gilbert

    Sheila Gilbert Registered User

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    Roy Ehrhardt's book "Trade Marks" was the first current Watch book I ever purchased. It has been so used, that I had to purchased a new one.
    His book actually created the passion for watches I have today. I never knew Mr. Ehrhardt, but his influence was daily, and I can't help but feel sad at such a terrible loss, to those who knew him, and to the Watch community as a whole.
    Because he was so kind to so many, I know that he will be blessed by the Lord in return.
    He shared with the world!
     

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