The Putting out System?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Allan C. Purcell, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Putting out System.

    I have of late given some thought to the "Putting out System" First thought, when did it begin? Another hobby of mine is watching the History station on TV, over here its Neo Info. The other day they had a program on there about the human race, and to cut it short their main interest was "did we really all come from Africa"? It appears this is not so. They found that Homosapiens had a small amount of DNA from Neanderthals. What was new to me they also said there were three other groups, one being very small, and only 1 meter in Height. The other two I have forgotten. all this was going on about 150,000 thousand years ago. Anyway, it was the weather that sorted them all out, it was a matter of survival. (The ice age and its end) I am not saying here that was the first putting-out system, it just said to me you need something to survive, whether its a brain or extra DNA or just luck. So the first word for me is NEED.

    I then took hold of a book I have "Timelines of World History" by John B Teeple.

    Teeple goes at the above with great gusto, and cuts out the first 140,000 thousand years, though he does mention the above, so I am in good company. He breaks down the world into Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas & Australasia, and his first entry is for Asia. c10,000. Earliest known pottery vessels in the world in use, from Honshu, Japan, c9,000. Einkorn wheat is grown in N. Syria; first evidence of true cultivation. Limestone caves in C. China gives evidence of hunting, fishing, and gathering way of life. evidence of sheep domestication N. Mesopotamia.
    This all proved to me that groups of people were getting to-gather to survive. In other words, CO-OPERATION.

    So about 10.000 years ago the Homosapiens (And the Neanderthals-they were still around then) Needed to adapt to a changing climate, and co-operated with each other.
    Sometime between the use of seashells for barter and national disasters, including war. Homosapiens leaned to live in groups.

    I could go on, though I thought others might like to add one or two words before I take it up to a hundred people making a watch.

    Regards,

    Allan.
     
  2. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

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    For a second there (to make this relevant to watchmaking) I thought you were going to describe a system that would get someone to put out..... Folks used to sell self-help style booklets for this sort of thing to lonely teenagers from the endpages of popular magazines.

    Jess Tauber
     
  3. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Interesting preamble Allan, will be interested to see where you take this...

    I suppose another ancient technology that comes to mind, which required the coordinated work of many specialists dividing up the construction and assembly into distinct areas of expertise, was sword-making. I am not very knowledgeable in this area, but have read a bit about Japanese sword making (katana in particular). Here is how the breakdown of specialists is described on wikipedia (Japanese swordsmithing - Wikipedia)

    The forging of a Japanese blade typically took many days or weeks, and was considered a sacred art, traditionally accompanied by a large panoply of Shinto religious rituals. As with many complex endeavors, rather than a single craftsman, several artists were involved. There was a smith to forge the rough shape, often a second smith (apprentice) to fold the metal, a specialist polisher, and even a specialist for the edge itself. Often, there were sheath, hilt, and handguard specialists as well.

    In addition to the people mentioned, there were also the smelters who would produce the steel in the first place, who were also specialists.

    Most of these areas of skill/knowledge/experience were handed down from father to son over generations, with often closely guarded secrets. The son would take years to learn the craft well enough to be competent in the eyes of his teacher/father.

    Not sure this kind of endeavour would be called a "putting out system", but it certainly offers some similarities to early clock- and watch-making, breaking down the tasks into distinct disciplines and specialties, carried out by different people, all leading up to a final product of great quality and value.

    --Robert
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

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    It was already happening in clock manufacture in the 17th century in London, and I imagine it goes back much further.
     
  5. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Thank you for the reply Jess, and you are quite right, this at the moment is not an academic essay, or was it meant to be. It was to catch the eye and to get people to think a little more of how a thing that influences our time and space come about. In this case, it was started by a post on this board that I or we have often seen, but without any background or documented history.

    Quote; "The signature on an English watch almost never identifies who made it, ( because it was made by a whole group of specialist craftspeople, as many as 100 according to some estimates), but was the jeweler or dealer who sold it. Serial numbers are only useful if we know who put them on the watch, and we have their workbooks or ledgers; in the vast majority of cases we have neither, and in fact many serial numbers refer to the identity of the job from the workshop who made `raw` movements, and not the number of watches sold by the signatory:"

    Later I hope to clarify this statement, but here it is, and I hope people will give it some thought. Allan.
     
  6. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Robert, at the moment I am a long walk from where I wont to be. Getting there will not be easy though unless I get more replies like yours. You seem to have grasped my point very well.
    Robert Hooke is now credited with the invention of the balance-spring for watches, he puts this idea to Thomas Tompion, who draws it, designs it, works out the steel to be used, and how to fit it to a pocket watch.
    He then takes it back to Hooke, I would love to have been a fly on the wall that day. I don´t think Hooke asked Tompion who made the fusee?

    I am though still thinking this through- Allan
     
  7. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    You are quite right too, Nick. Please don´t rush me.
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I am at the moment still looking at many aspects of the so-called Putting out system. I have received information, mainly from in books I do not own, but have acquired. So it will take a little time before they arrive. David Penney has pointed me in new directions and following his instructions I think can only be a good idea. Though I can safely say the system used in the UK was not, the so-called downfall of English watchmaking. More to follow by the weekend I hope.
    Allan.
     
  9. rstl99

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    Hi Allan,
    Will be very interesting to read your thoughts and findings on this subject.

    As you know, the current issue of the NAWCC Bulletin contains part 1 of my 2 part article on Parisian "horloger" André-Charles CARON (1698-1775). In researching for the article, I came across a number of French sources describing the watch supply and manufacturing system in France and Switzerland around the mid 1700s, and it resembled quite a bit the so-called "putting out" system in England. French historian Marie-Agnès Dequidt has written extensively about this, notably in her book "Horlogers des Lumières" (2014) which I've recently received and only skimmed the surface. A couple of (admittedly, pretty general) paragraphs from my Caron article draft, to contribute a continental dimension to this "putting out" discussion (which I assume will focus on England).

    Best regards,
    --Robert

    In France, as in England, the watchmaking trade during the 18th century, and later, was based on a division of labour that saw individual watch components (wheels, pinions, plates, springs, screws, fusees, chains, balance cocks, dials, cases, hands, etc.) manufactured by several distinct external suppliers (as many as 100) specialized in the production of these individual parts using appropriate tools and skills, often handed down father to son. So it was unlikely that the majority of the clocks and watches produced in a shop such as Caron’s were actually made from scratch within that shop, even though the horlogers employed there, including Caron, were probably more than able to do so (and in some cases in fact did this, as will be described further). It just made more economic sense to buy some or most of the components already made, and use the skills of the horloger to “finish” the watch (fine-tune its components, ensure proper meshing of wheels and pinions, adjust the escapement and hairspring, fit it to a dial and case, etc.). Ultimately, the horloger would ensure the quality of the watch when fully assembled and running properly, and his name inscribed on the watch movement and/or the dial would guarantee it to the prospective owner.

    There existed at that time a well-established network and flow of watch parts between areas of France, Switzerland and Geneva. For example, during most, but especially the latter part, of the 18th century, it was not uncommon for a Parisian horloger to buy necessary parts, if not a complete watch movement made in Neuchâtel in Switzerland, fine-tune and “finish” it, get a local casemaker to craft a gold or silver case for it, have the case shipped to Geneva for the craftsmen there to paint a beautiful enamel scene on it, possibly enhanced with precious stones, then have the case shipped back to Paris where it was re-mated with the movement, and then sold to a discriminating and affluent customer.
     
  10. Allan C. Purcell

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    #10 Allan C. Purcell, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    HI Robert,
    Thats my very point, and if followed through we will see they were doing just that much earlier. I will by no meens be talking about just the English. These systems are world wide. If we look at just two places in England, Prescot in the north of England and Clerkenwell in London. It is not olnly what they made, or how they made the articles it was distance. These small communities lived shoulder on shoulder, only in some cases a few steps from each other. "Quote from David Penney. If you look at the size of the developed American Factories you can see that distance between specialists, say , Clerkenwell was often less than the distance in a large purpose built factory" There is lots more to come but I need time. I can though give those interested a quick tip "Rees Manufacturing Industry (1819-20) books 1-2-3-4-5." all five come in a sleave-waight is about eight KL. So posage can be expencive. I was lucky to get an ex-library copy for 4 pounds (postage 22 pounds) Just look around.

    Till later,

    Allan.
     
  11. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan it will be interesting to see what your delving into Rees Manufacturing Industry volumes, adds to that in the David & Charles 1970 reprint 'Rees's Clocks Watches & Chronometers' a selection of horology entries taken from his 'The Cyclopedia; or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Science and Literature' also from 1819-1820.

    I extracted this a couple of years ago from the 'Watch Maker' entry ...

    "The best watch-movements are made at Prescot, in Lancashire, by persons called movement-makers, who furnish the movement complete to the London watchmakers. The following is a list of the principal workmen employed in manufacturing a movement, previously to its coming into the hands of the London watch-maker.

    1. The frame-maker, who makes the frame; that is to say, the two plates, the bar, and the potance.
    2. The pillar-maker, who turns the pillars, and makes the stud for the stop-work.
    3. The cock-maker, who makes the cock and the stopwork.
    4. The barrel and fusee-maker, who makes the barrel, great wheel, fusee, and their component parts.
    5. The going fuzee-maker, who makes the going fusee, (the means by which the watch is kept going while winding up,) when made use of.
    6. The centre-wheel and pinion maker, who makes the same.
    7. The small pinion-maker, who makes it of wire, previously drawn by another workman, called pinion-wire; the third and forth wheels, and escapement wheel-pinion; and in the case of repeaters, the pinions of the repeating train of wheels: these are all finished in the engine.
    8. The small wheel-maker, who makes the third and forth wheels, and the wheels of the repeating train for repeating movements, and rivets them to their pinions.
    9. The wheel-cutter, who cuts the wheels.
    10. The verge-maker, who makes the verve of vertical watches.
    11. The movement finisher, who turns the wheels of a proper size previously to their being cut, forwards them to and receives them from the wheel-cutters, examines all the parts as they are made, to see that they are as they should be; and finally completes the movement, and puts it together.
    12. The balance-maker, who makes the balance of steel or brass.
    Note. – The brass balance is preferred to the steel balance by some watch-makers, in consequence of the latter being subject to the influence of magnetism: but others prefer the steel to the brass balance, in consequence of the latter being more influenced by variation of temperature than the former.
    13. The pinion wire-drawer, who prepares the pinion wire; this, however, may be considered as only a branch of the trade of wire-drawing.
    The plates and wheels are now all made out of rolled brass; but formerly, when it was to be had, they were made of Dutch brass, it being considered preferable to the English.


    The movement, in the state in which it is sent to the watch-maker, consists of the frame, composed of two plates, connected together by four or five pillars, as the case may be, which pillars are riveted to one of the plates, called the pillar-plate; the wheels, consisting of the great wheel attached to the fusee, the second or centre wheel, the third and fourth wheels, the fusee and barrel, potance and stop-work, which latter are attached to the upper plate, (so called in contra-distinction to the pillar-plate,) but the potance screwed to it is between the plates; and lastly, the cock screwed to the outside of the upper plate.

    The following is a list of workmen to complete a watch from the state in which the movement is received from the country:


    1. The slide-maker who makes the slide.
    2. The jeweller, who jewels the cock and potance, and, in a more forward state of the watch, any other holes that are required to be jewelled.
    3. The motion-maker, who makes the brass edge; and, after the case is made, joints and locks the watch into the case, and makes the motion-wheels and pinions.
    4. The wheel-cutter, who cuts the motion-wheels for the motion-maker.
    5. The cap-maker, who makes the cap.
    6. The dial-plate-maker, who makes the dial.
    7. The painter, who paints the dial.
    8. The case-maker, who makes the case.
    9. The joint-finisher., who finished the joint of the case.
    10. The pendant-maker., who makes the pendant.
    11. The engraver, who engraves the name of the watch-maker on the upper plate; and also engraves the cock and slide, or index, as the case may be.
    12. The piercer, who pierces the cock and slides for the engraver, and afterwards engraves them.
    13. The escapement-maker, who makes the horizontal, duplex, or detached escapements; but the escapement of a vertical watch is made by the finisher.
    14. The spring-maker, who makes the main-spring.
    15. The chain-maker, who makes the chain.
    16. The finisher, who completes the watch, and makes the pendulum-spring, and adjusts it.
    17. The gilder, who gilds the watch.
    18. The fuzee cutter, who cuts the fuzee to receive the chain and also balance-wheel of the vertical escapement.
    19. The hand-maker, who makes the hands.
    20. The glass-maker, who makes the glass.
    21. To these must be added the pendulum-spring wire-drawer, who draws the wire for the pendulum-springs, which is almost a distinct trade.


    … The principal London watch-makers order the movements, as above described, of the movement-makers of Prescot, who make them according to the calipers they receive from each maker with their orders. But the ordinary description of movements may be purchased at most of the watch-tool shops in London; one of the chief of which is Fenn’s, No 105, Newgate-street, where every description of clock and watch-maker’s tools and engines may also be procured at moderate prices."

    John
     
  12. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    John that is really good news, Thank you. Those books you mentioned are the ones I am waiting for. I believe the section you have quoted was written by William Pearson? It is a little early for this piece, but I hope to catch up with it soon. You see I wanted to go from zero to say, the American factories just before the eighteen '60s, though it could go further. Tell me John did you carry this further and do some research on that watch and tool shop Fenn´s at Nr. 105, Newgate-Street. That really would be most useful. Thank you again. Allan
     
  13. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Just did a quick look on the net. Thought some of you would like to see this. There is also a catalog in the British Museum dated 1842 for Joseph Fenn´s. It was in the Courtenay IIlbert collection.


    The One Stop Shop for all of your
    Machinery, Equipment, Tool & Die Needs

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    7913-385 Antique Fenn of London Ornamental Turning Lathe, With Accessories
    7913.jpg
    Inventory Number: 7913-385

    Technical Specifications:

    • Foot treadle powered
    • Made by Fenn, 105 Newgate Street, London
    • Ornate cast iron frame with iron bed, treadle,flywheel and counter shaft
    • Fenn double overhead with mahagony drum and crane
    • Common headstock with division plate and sector plate

    Equipped With:

    • Original Fenn ornamental slide rest
    • Additional ornamental slide rest with fluting stops
    • Eccentric chuck
    • Brass & boxwood work-holding chucks
    • Horizontal and vertical cutting frames
    • Eccentric cutting frame
    • Drill spindle
    • Box of drills
    • Box of eccentric & OT cutter
    • Wood tool box as shown in photos does not go with this machine and is being sold as a separate item
    • Fenn Three-jaw Chuck, Protractor, and
      Centering Tool, all marked FENN LONDON,
      chuck with knurled-grip screw housing,
      protractor scale marked 0 to 90 degrees, and
      flared centering tool with adjustable center
      point.
    • Approximate crated Size / weight: 52" x 40" x 55"H 1700 LBS
    What is Ornamental Turning?
    Ornamental Turning, also called Complex Turning, is executed on a lathe with attachments which convert a plain circular section to variants of outline; these range from a simple series of cuts taken at intervals around the work (so producing grooves or bumps on the surface) to non-circular movements whereby the whole of the circular shape is removed to give a completely different form. CLICK HERE FOR HISTORICAL INFORMATION

    Such shapes are achieved by various means, primarily thru the used of fixed or revolving cutters being introduced to the work in radial and non-radial paths. Movement of the work and cutters individually and or seperatly can achieve a nearly endless variety of patterns and shapes. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON OT

    OT WEBSITE:
    Ornamental Turners International

    Additional Photos:

    7913-2.jpg
    7913-5.jpg
    7913-3.jpg
    7913-6.jpg
    7913-4.jpg
     
  14. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan - the section I posted is taken direct from Ree's - I typed it into a word processor direct from p.281-282 of the Ree's sections in the publication I quoted. I did it as the original typescript uses 'f' for 's' and it requires too much effort for a quick reference. Sorry, the transcription is all I did, I didn't follow up the reference to Fenn's.

    John
     
  15. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #15 John Matthews, Jul 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
    Allan,

    For the American side of the story you need to engage @Rich Newman and @Clint Geller at the very least (there are probably many others who can add information).

    This very relevant summary provided by Rich is here and the contained link is worth visiting

    I'm particularly interested in the comment regarding Goddard and there seems to be various opinions as to whether Goddard made all the components, at least of some his watches, or whether he only finished watches, importing unfinished movements both from the UK and also Europe - the source possibly influence by the political changes during his and his partnerships periods of working.

    I would also be interested in any information regarding William Pearman of Richmond. David Penney, in his Keele presentation to the AHS, briefly mentioned, at the end of his talk, a (1823/24) Chester cased Pearman watch (#2), the movement of which was entirely American made with a locally made/modified Massey I escapement, having an English brass edge & dial.

    Does anyone recognise this Pearman watch or other examples of his work.

    Rich - I did search your site for Pearman - no hits, did I miss a reference?

    EDIT - I intended to add this snip relating to Pearman from the 2003 Annual Report of the Virginia Historical Society

    upload_2019-7-24_12-48-19.png

    John
     
  16. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi John, I did that long ago and their very good work pre-Ingold is sitting here. You will have seen I started in the ice age, so it will take a while to reach the 19th. century England. I am today reading "Technique and history of the Swiss watch" By Eugene Jaquet and Alfred Chapuis. Next will be Germany, France, & Holland. I do though appreciate your help. Best wishes, Allan.
     
  17. Dr. Jon

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    I think this shows the state of the putting out system in the late 19th century. It is the ledger sheet for an Usher and Cole watch
    460016-b4405c7e80d9d196c642b7b250bea21d.jpg
    This was literally putting out in that the items were at the establishments of the people named in the document.
    I suggest this thread understates the contribution of the dealer/broker who signed the watch. This person selected to particular tradesmen, specified the quality, made it all play together and sold it.

    The Swiss used a similar system and I have a ledger sheets showing that they too used specialists to do various parts of the watch. Ultimately the Swiss and Americans brought most of the manufacture under one roof and developed machines to reduce skills needed but the Swiss still preserve the putting out system in that their industry still has numerous specialty houses that do items such as cases, hands, dials, and modules.

    I do not agree that the putting out system led to the demise of British watchmaking trade. Several firms did set up full scale manufacturing, such as Nicole and Capt and later Nicole Neilson, P. &A .Guye and Smith. Theere werr many factors but I think teh primary iine is that the Swiss government regarded watchmaking as an essential part of theor culture and economy and has repeatedly stepped in to help it.

    By contrast the US government made watchmakers the first targets of anti trust enforcement. I suspect the British government gave its watchmakers a similar neglect but I have not studied that.
     

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  18. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    @Rich Newman - I owe you an apology for claiming I had transcribed the entry.

    Researching back through a previous post where this was discussed - I realised that I had copied the entry from your post. I had cross-referenced my document to the Rees original source in my library and not to you as the source. My apology for my mistake to all and you in particular.

    I discovered the error when searching back to the Usher & Cole ledger mentioned by Dr Jon as I knew I had posted a similar extract. The thread containing the Rees extract, contains much relevant to this subject and is worth reading as it includes equivalent European documents provided by @Audemars.

    John
     
  19. Clint Geller

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    My name has been mentioned as a source of information here, but I am afraid I can't offer much about the Goddards. All I know about them, which isn't much, is in the standard sources.
     
  20. Allan C. Purcell

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    The other day I was talking to friends in the DGC about watches, and of course, Henlein was mentioned and Lange, and then that remark to my question, "When did the Swiss start making watches" Has soon as there was something to copy, they said. So it was that remark that made me start to look at what the Swiss had to say on that subject. I have to say I was in for a surprise.
    Eugene Jaquet and Aldred Chapuis´s book "Technique and History of the Swiss Watch"

    Chapter one. The Beginnings of watch-making in Switzerland.

    "Like a long ribbon laid against the borders of France and Germany, the Swiss watch-making country stretches in an almost uninterrupted line from Geneve to the Rhine. It enjoys a worldwide reputation for the manufacture of watches."

    This of course we know, then came the surprise! (for me)
    Yet it was not on Swiss soil that the first watches were made. The prior claim belongs to Germany, France, and Italy. and the documentation so far assembled (still, unfortunately, very incomplete) points to the year 1510 as the birth of the watch.
    I now want to check a few things about that date and will be back later, this heat wave we are having as something to do with too. Yesterday a new record 41 degrees. I need another bottle of water.
     
  21. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    I believe the Swiss watchmaking industry was founded by French Huguenot watchmakers who were expelled from France after the Edict of Fontainebleau issued by Louis XIV in 1685.
     
  22. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    The new 41 degrees record, was broken this morning when they confirmed it at 42 degrees, it's only thirty-five at the moment so quite cool
    The date of 1510, was the date I wanted to look into, it had to do with the dates for Queen Elizabeth the first, ( b. Greenwich Palace 1533 d. Richmond 1603. Reigned 44 years) and David Ramsey. (1580-1610)
    More on these two later.
    "The watch itself was indeed the offspring of the small table-clocks with horizontal dials, which followed directly on the of the invention of the mainspring, the latter replacing the weight as a motive force. Before many decades had passed, Swiss artisans too had begun to make watches, which at first were simply articles of jewelry, worn by the privileged few." Examples below. (No nearer dates here).

    DSC07395.JPG DSC07387 (2).JPG DSC07413 (2).JPG

    "Certain authorities hold the making of clocks and watches to be descended from crafts of the locksmiths and gunsmiths, while others contend that it is derived from the art of the goldsmiths. The former view is correct so far as most large clocks for belfries and houses ars concerned; we know that at Geneve it was the locksmiths who were concerned with clocks for buildings. The construction of watches, on the other hand, was undertaken by goldsmiths." (Easy to see the resemblance between the Blacksmiths and Goldsmiths in London) (David Ramsey was apprenticed to King James VI´s gunsmith)

    "Some proofs of this distinction are as follows:

    "On the cathedral of St. Pierre, at Geneve. there is was a clock; the earliest document which has been found relating to it dates from 1419. It consists of the "capitulary registers" in the State Archives. There we read that in May 1419. Etienne de Vuy was appointed "Rector of the clock" with payment of expenses and the usual salary, and that he "swears to do well". The council's registers refer to this same Etienne de Vuy as a faber or blacksmith. In the accounts of the cathedral for 1469, we find that another artisan. Master Claude Noyon, serrallious et magistro horologii. (Locksmith and master of the clock) was paid the sum of 200 florins "for repairs to the clock of the said church". (This must be the old story of lack of documents, the Swiss must have had public clocks before then. The Sailsbury clock Uk c1386) To be cont............
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

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    Blacksmiths have always been associated with clocks here as well. Perhaps because the Smiths were the people to do anything with metal, and provincial smiths turned to clocks as they became popular to augment their income, with many only making a few a year when they were not so in demand by farmers. The livery system did not have power outside the city, so they were free to ply the trade, and by the time provincial clocks took off the power of the livery companies had been broken by the fire of London.
     
  24. rstl99

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    Allan, not only are you taking on the history and evolution of the so-called "putting out" system, but the history of watchmaking as a whole! I suppose there is merit in trying to go back to the earliest instances of watchmaking, where a watchmaker typically would make a much greater percentage of the watch by himself (before the creation of all the cottage industries and specialized parts and component makers, summarized by the "putting out" moniker).

    As you know this history is documented in many places, none of which are probably comprehensive and complete (Jaquet and Chapuis being one, in so far as "Switzerland" is concerned). On my humble little bookshelf here are several books that have made me more aware of the origins of watch-making (and I'm sure that you and others here possess many other volumes), in no real order:

    Landes - Revolution in Time
    Baillie - Watches, their history, decoration and mechanism
    Bassermann-Jordan - The book of old clocks and watches
    (I wish I could read the original book, as indications are that Bertele undermined it with his later edition, which was translated)
    Clutton and Daniels - Watches
    Cardinal - The watch (translated from french)
    Chapiro - La montre française
    Cuss - The english watch
    Jaquet and Chapuis - already mentioned
    Britten - Old clocks and watches and their makers
    Baillie - Clocks & Watches, an historical bibliography, lists countless old sources for origins of the technology

    Looking forward to the historical synthesis that you appear to be intending to develop.
    Robert.
     
  25. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Though the French Huguenot watchmakers influence in Europe was large, many went to Holland and England, It was much later than the first watches in Switzerland, c1510.

    "It cannot be said with certainty that watch-making was brought to Geneve by exiles from abroad-for the most part refugee Huguenots-but these undoubtedly contributed to its later development". Jaquet/Chapuis.

    It appears that the credit of further watch-making in Geneve was done by the goldsmiths.

    "In the middle ages, the goldsmith was an engraver, niellist, enameller, chaser, and coiner. He was the artist per excellence and, so to speak, the universal craftsman. Also to be numbered among goldsmiths are the lapidaries who, in the Middle Ages, were also known as crystallizers and parriers; these artisans worked in rock crystal, which was then mounted in gold or in silver gilt by the goldsmiths"

    DSC07413.JPG The Crystal watch from above in color.

    9-106.jpg This photograph was in the back of my mind when talking about Elizabeth the first of England. It is, of course, Elizabeth of Neuchatel.

    To be cont.......
     
  26. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Robert, Nice collection of books there, the first being the best. I am not totally sure what I am pointing out at the moment, my thought was if you can find the interchanges at the beginning, you would also find the interchanges of work and tools, and at the moment that´s where I am. If for instance, you look at the work of Locksmiths at the end the 16th century, some of them are amazing pieces of metalwork, and some of them look like the engraved rear plate of an early bracket clock (sorry Nick, table clock ) So its easier to see how these people could change from making locks to small clocks. Put a locksmith with a Goldsmith at that time, and you can imagine what they were capable of.

    9-107.jpg early 16th. century lock.

    If you copy this and enlarge it, you will be able to see the HO HO bird, just below the central bottom ring.
    I am still not finished with the early Swiss watch and will say why later. Best Allan.
     
  27. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan - I always thought that Melanchthon's spherical table watch was regarded as the earliest watch known at 1530.

    It is extensively described & illustrated on the Baltimore's Walton Art Museum site here with attribution to the German clockmaker Perter Henlein

    John
     
  28. novicetimekeeper

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    If you are going back to the beginning it is best not to get too hung up on names which are usually applied after the fact. Early reference to clocks in the 16th century and later calls them watches, and lantern clocks or chamber clocks as we call them were just called clocks at the time. (Cescinsky calls those the true bracket clocks, though many were hook and spike,or hoop and spike if you prefer)
     
  29. Allan C. Purcell

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    John, I have as yet, not, said anything about the German early watches (it will come later) but seeing you have mentioned it, here it is for all to see. I do not agree with all that is said below, so I will clear that when I get there.
    This is the earliest dated watch known. It is engraved on the bottom: "PHIL[IP]. MELA[NCHTHON]. GOTT. ALEIN. DIE. EHR[E]. 1530" (Philip Melanchthon, to God alone the glory, 1530). There are very few watches existing today that predate 1550; only two dated examples are known--this one from 1530 and another from 1548. There is no watchmaker's mark, but Nuremberg is considered the birthplace of spherical watches. In 2014 Scholars concluded that its characteristics are consistent with an attribution to Peter Henlein, responsible for this pioneering development in the history of the time piece and indeed in the history of the hand-held calculating device. So this is the earliest dated calculating device meant to function in the hand. A single winding kept it running for 12 to 16 hours, and it told time to within the nearest half hour. The perforations in the case permitted one to see the time without opening the watch. This watch was commissioned by (or was a gift for) the great German reformer and humanist Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560).

    A quick point here, the Swiss did not sign their early watches, so there is room for someone to find an earlier watch. Though it is true to say that with the misunderstanding of early words, Nick is right to point out, was it a clock or a watch?

    No-one at the moment seems have taken a long look at the allegory on the early lock, if you do, you will see many pieces you have seen before on pocket watches.

    1-108.JPG
     
  30. Clint Geller

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    #30 Clint Geller, Jul 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    Thank you for that additional perspective, Allan. I was recalling David Landes's Revolution in Time in my earlier post. It may be that the arrival of the Huguenots in Switzerland provided the critical mass, so to speak, for the subsequent development of a preeminent watchmaking industry in the country.
     
  31. Allan C. Purcell

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    Clint, they did have the advantage of speaking the same language, plus French was the language of politics at that time. The Swiss also spoke Italian and German as they do today, and I might add very good English.
    Stepping back a little, this work or search is not about the first watch and who made it. If there were men who made a watch from scratch, that would also be of little interest in how watches were made, in the context of this search. (We could have looked at the work of George Daniels) If I had wanted to find who made the first watch I could have started this with the Germans. Though in 2016 there was a translation by Mueller-Maerki of the 2014"The Henlein Exhibition at the Germanishes Nationalmuseum. A look back, a Look forward and new discoveries" Which put an end on the first watch. (AHS June 2016 page 199) The original author Thomas Eser (DGC) So sometime tomorrow I will go back to the Swiss. After that, we could take a look at what the Dutch, the French, the Italians, and the English were up too around 1600. Best Allan.
     
  32. Dr. Jon

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    One very good book in this subject is The Territory of Neuchatel and its Horological Heritage ISBN 978-2-940239-178-7 by numerous authors. The book covers many aspect of the Swiss Etablissage system and briefly covers the origins of the industry in Geneva.

    It credits the arrival of refugees with starting the industry there and credits the goldsmith guild with developing it in its early years.

    The invention of this system is credited to Daniel Jean Richard a figure of mythic proportion. I read on legend (not in this book) that he was a blacksmith who had no horological training but was asked to repair a traveler's watch do so and started the industry.
     
  33. Allan C. Purcell

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    Hi Dr. Jon, That was very nice of you to mention that book "The Territory of Neuchatel and its Horological Heritage" . So I did a quick search, and copies are going at $200 or so plus postage. So I will try again tomorrow. What I did find was your review of the book in 2009. Which was really good, Quote from Mueller-Maerki "Jon-First thank you for writing your excellent and informative book review and sharing it on this forum" Which is well worth repeating. I have of course the outline on Daniel Jean Richard in "Its About Time" by that all time great author Paul M. Chamberlain. Best wishes Jon, Allan.
     
  34. Allan C. Purcell

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    1-107.jpg


    So it is off to Switzerland again. The imposing building above ls the "Musee International of Horologerie" at La Chau de Fonds in Switzerland, I found it when looking for that book Dr. Jon mentioned. There are at least three short films showing you around, and all three are very good, though there is music in the background, there is no voice-over to tell what you are seeing. I did notice a copy of the Giovanni De Dondi clock, but this museum is not listed in the book I have. There are at least five of these clocks made by Thwaites and Ried, London. I hope to be in Switzerland next year and spend a day at the museum.

    1-105.jpg The Dondi clock 1364.

    To be cont........
     
  35. novicetimekeeper

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    This was in our talk on renaissance clocks last weekend.
     
  36. Dr. Jon

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    Thanks for your nice thoughts. Another book "A Region in Time" by Laurence Marti covers a lot of the same material from a slightly different perspective but in detail. It is very expensively produced book, but heavily subsidized by the Swatch group so it is relative bargain. Longines sells it. It is quite good.



    Here is a link,
    BookFinder.com: Search Results
     
  37. Allan C. Purcell

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    Thank you to Jon, I found the book at ABC, and they have reduced it a little to $107 inclusive posted to Germany. So my copy is on its way. I am still looking for that other book, ABC´s effort at the moment is $160 + postage. I think that's a bit high for a book with no index. It is something that irritates me, you tend to end up with a book full of stickers. I have a book here where the index is in the middle and I tend to forget that, then I remember while looking for something, and it annoys me.
     
  38. Allan C. Purcell

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    Page 17 of "Technique and History of the Swiss Watch"

    The earliest watches were round and shaped like a flat drum, and were worn on a necklace. Was it a technical innovation, that the fusee, necessitating an increase in the diameter of the movement, which caused the oval shape to be adopted? This was to remain the dominant shape for half a century, although, as we shall see, it was also the starting point for the conception of watches of the most varied shapes.1

    1. We may observe in passing that the term "Nuremberg egg" which has been given to this type of watch (a term which is, fortunately, tending to disappear), can only seem ridiculous to those who have studied to any extent whatever the history of early watchmaking. The museum of Geneve possesses a dilapidated movement of this kind, signed "a Paris". The German word "Eierlein" which has been applied to these watches has probably nothing whatever to do with their shape but is rather a corruption of Hora ( Tora, Orlein, Oerlein).

    So I am going to wait for those books-Allan.
     
  39. Allan C. Purcell

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    "A Region in Time" Arrived today, it is has Dr. Jon says, though more than heavy, not recommended for reading in a chair. The information in this book is first class, and I would say a very useful book to all who are interested in the Swiss watch. Though I will spend many hours with this book over the coming years, it does not help me in looking at how the industry in Switzerland began. The subtitle for the book is, "A socio-economic history of the Swiss valley of St. Imier and the surrounding area", 1700-2007. This then starts about 150 years after the first known Swiss-made watch. One great point though in this story, other than watchmakers working for royalty, is that, early Swiss watchmakers found they could not make a living from watchmaking alone, and in the main had other occupations. (the Early 1700´s). It is this type of information, that does not tell us what these watchmakers were actually doing, were they making the complete watch or just parts? Tomorrow I will publish a list from this book, "Trend in occupations in Traelan-Dessus between 1763 and 1810".

    To be cont......
     
  40. Allan C. Purcell

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    "The Industrial Development of the Erguel"

    From the 18th. century on, the Erguel was, therefore, trying out a certain number of options aimed at diversifying activities and partly moving away from agriculture. There were two immediate types of development; cottage industries on the one hand, and factories on the other- with differing origins but the one not necessarily excluding the other. These experiments did not, in fact, harm the craft industry. The development of Tramelan-Dessus as described by Montandon reveals a parallel development where bonnet-making and watchmaking (lace-making was not included as the survey covered only working men) were practiced alongside a flourishing craft industry. The result was a rich and diversified economic set-up. a characteristic that Abraham Gagnebin regularly pointed out to his contacts. "His Majesty King Stanislas will have been surprised at the activities of the hamlets in our area and the workers that live there, and I´m sure he admired it all. The calico factories, the papermills, the wire drawing mills. the hammer mills that work copper and iron for the vineyards and our glass-works are no less interesting, not to mention the other crafts and trades."

    In the years 1763-68, 1778-99 and 1803-10 in the village of Tramelan-Dessus, there is a list of craftsmen there for these years,

    Baker. 0,2,1. Bonnett maker 2,15,10. Bushel maker 1,1,2. Butcher 2,1,2 Cardboard maker 0,1,1. Carpenter 7,6,6. Cartwright 1,1,1. Clockmaker 1, 3, 3. Cobbler 9,7. 6. Engraver 0.1,1. Farrier 4,5,4 Gear maker 0,0,4.
    Gilder 0.1,1. Glazier 1,1,1. Gunsmith o,1,1. Hosier 1,1,1. Innkeeper 2,5, 6. Irom Merchant 0,1,1. Joiner 0,0,1 Journeyman 1,0,8. Locksmith 1,1,1. Mason 4,3,3. Mechanic 0,0,1. Miller 1,1,1. Milliner 0,0,1. Nail maker 0,0,1.
    Needle maker 3,1,1. Notary 1,1,1. Painter 0,1,1. Rasp maker 1,1, 1. Retailer 0,0,1. Roofer 0,2,1 Seamstress 0,0,0.Tailor 3,4,4. Tinsmith 0,0,0. Trader 3,4,2. Turner 0,1,1. Veterinary surgeon 1,1,0. Watchmaker 4. 32, 44.
    Weaver 3,0,0.

    A strange list, it appears to me that the village tradespeople in the period stayed pretty much the same, or stagnated, while the pocket watch trade boomed. Again the question were these watchmakers making watches or just parts of a watch-the so-called village industry or putting-out system??

    Reading this is much like reading about Prescot in the UK- The Ironworks were at Reuchenette, and the tools were made by the ironworks at Le Torrent, (which were also sold to the French Alsace, French-comte, Burgundy).

    To be cont....
     
  41. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I think the AHS still have a few copies of the book?
     
  42. novicetimekeeper

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    Not the book, the clock. We had an expert on Renaissance clocks give a talk to a joint meet of the Dorset Clock Society and the local BHI.
     
  43. DeanT

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    Hi,

    There is a book close to completion on early clocks pre 1550 which is the prequel to a book also written by Dietrich Matthes which unfortunately is only in German.

    In 16thC Germany cast parts such as dials were available (so called 'pre-made red-smith parts') and were even transferred between towns (e.g. Nuremberg to Augsburg). As a consequence any clockmaker could obtain them and use how he desired.

    The oldest dated fusee was made by Jacob Zech and is dated 1525. It is in the British Museum. Fusees were made in the 15thC.
     
  44. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Your expert got his info from the book "The Planetarium of Giovanni De Dondi" Written by G.H. Baillie, H. Alan Lloyd & F.A.B. Ward. AHS London 1974. The 1397manuscript was translated by G.H.Baillie with additional material from another Dondi manuscript translated by H. Alan Lloyd F.S.A F.B.H.I. Sorry to say all three are long gone.
     
  45. novicetimekeeper

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    It is one of the 26 references in the bibliography of the paper, certainly.

    Marisa Addomine
     
  46. Allan C. Purcell

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  47. DeanT

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    I believe the book will be published in both English and German although not sure when. Dietrich mentioned that there aren't many watches in the book mainly because they weren't made in the early 1500's.

    Early German clocks are of interest to me and I sometimes post on them.
     
  48. Allan C. Purcell

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    To carry on, that book mentioned by Dr. Jon "The Territory of Neuchatel and it´s Horological Heritage" is on its way here. Both books have no index-I wonder why could it be the Swiss saving money?

    Going back to "A Region in Time" There are two charts on page 61. The first gives a list of trades associated with horology before 1750 in the Erguel.
    Toolmaker, Enameller, Engraver, Finisher, Watchmaker (small or large scale), Turner, watch-trader, Goldsmith." Not much to go on.

    The same for, after 1750.
    Small scale watchmaker, maker of cadratures. (I had no idea what cadretures were, the dictionary said a maker of small parts, and Google, under dial makers-so motion work). next is, large scale watchmaker-clockmaker, Case fitter (Silver-Gold) Pinion maker, Blank movement maker, movement maker, Chaser, Cabinet painter, Cabinet maker, Enameller, Etablisseur, trader, (I had to look that up too-buys in blanks, and other parts, then assembles them-a type of watchmaker but not a finisher-I think?) Great train-maker, Toolmaker, Finisher, Engraver, Jeweller, Gilder, Polisher, Dial Painter, Goldsmith. I feel this list misses many associated trades in use at that time, ie; glass dial maker, file makers, and so on.

    So this is not taking me back to Swiss early watches, and I think there is a great lack of documentation missing, though the country did change its flag, quite a bit at that time, and later still they had to put up with Neapolian.

    I think its time to take a closer look at Germany. to be cont....
     
  49. Dr. Jon

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    Cadran means dial and I have theorized that cadratures were makers of complications that went under the dial, repetition work, for example. This is also how the Audemars family got started in wat
    chmaking.

    I also think that watches and watch making was strongly tied in to the rise of Protestantism. Making watches and parts of watches was just one think some people started doing.

    A significant aspect of this is that most of the wrork was done by farmers during winter, I once had aa power outage that lasted long enough for my home to get very cold like mid 40's F. I though if Swiss farmers can work in cold so can I. It is HARD to do.

    The other aspect is that on the other side of the border, in Catholic France, the farmers huddled in communal beds to share body heat and essentially hibernate.

    I have long wondered what made that difference but the Protestant ethic of alwasys being busy must have been alrge factor.

    The attraction of small watch parts a local ins=dustry is that it can be done in isolated areas and carried by a few traders or couriers to major cities, which is how the stuff "put out" got back "in". It was mountainous terrain and there were not a lot of roads.


    The noble family that ran the Erguel actively promoted a diversity of industry and this was crucial to the area, but other areas also made watches or parts.

    Another area was Basel with a fabulous collection at Basel historic museums and its catalogs. They have a succinct history in "Uhrmacher in alten Basel by Ackermann (written in German French and English. I bought my copy at teh Museum book shop. ISBN 3-856-16-028-0. It traces Basel watch making back to 1660 with Leonhard Bury I in 1660. and the first tower clock to 1370.

    This book references Geschichte der Uhrmacherkunst in Basel 1370-1874. It is by Fallet-Scheurer, published in Bern in 1917 (IN German teh Story or watch and clock-making in Basel from 1370 to 1874) Finding that is truly a Purcell worthy pursuit!

    Ackermann also wrote (in German only) the catalog of the Nathan-Rupp collection, the foundation of the watch collection at House Zum Kirschgarten in Basel (part of the Historic Museum Group. It show what was being made or at least got collected by Nathan_Rupp. The collection also include ar group of enamel watches some with Swiss content.

    My wife and I happened on this museum in 2011 and I was blown away. At the bookstore I bought every thing they had on watches and it was a steal. If you want to see what they were go to Basel to actually stay there and see this museum.

    Hopefully they have more even more documentation (the above books are dated 1986) now and possibly a library with some of the stuff they reference.
     
  50. Allan C. Purcell

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    At the beginning of last year, my wife and I booked a Rhine tour to Basel. The tour was to take a week Koln-Basel-Basel-koln. We arrived in Koln to be told we could not go to Basel, there was not enough water in the Rhine. Then they took us to Amsterdam, which is only 2 hours from where we live. Anyway, we sued, and next year in May we are off again to Basel, this time at the expense of the company, all-inclusive. I had toured the history Museum in Basel on the net last year, after reading "Sammlung Carl und Lini Nathan-Rupp "Die Kutschenuhren" (Collection of Carl and Lini Nathan-Rupp "The Coach-Watches" with its wonderful photographs. Another reason to visit Basel. Thank you for the reminder, Jon.

    Last night I was going through Adolphe Chapiro´s book "TASCHENUHRE" Aus vier Jahrhunderton, Die Geschichte der französischen Taschenuhren. (Pocket-Watches out of the last four hundred years, the history of the French pocket-watch) and the story is very much the same as the Swiss, all starting around the years 1550. Though there are watches very much like those made by Peter Henlein in this book, Henlein is not mentioned. (See photograph.)

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    I would like some opinions on this type of clock, come watch-my feeling is these were carried around the neck because they had no pockets in their clothing, then put down on arrival, somewhere near a sundial.
    So has said, I am off to read more on German clocks, come watches. To be cont......
     

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