Watches From Your Home Town

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jerry Treiman, Feb 10, 2017.

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  1. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    One way to develop a diverse collection is to try to find private-label watches from your home town. I (and my brother, Larry) were born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A few years ago I found a Hamilton grade 927 marked for Henry C. Hoppe, a Sheboygan jeweler. http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?94824-A-private-label-Hamilton-927

    I just added a second example - a ladies’ 3/0-size Hampden from “Jos. S. Grasser & Co.”. It only has a 7-jewel movement, but a pretty little dial and a Dueber Special case. The dial only has the jeweler’s name, but both name and city are engraved on the movement (possibly by the jeweler, himself).
     

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  2. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User
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    I have decided I would keep any watch I ever found from Hopewell N.J. and would feel almost the same toward a watch from Gladwyn Pa. or Charlottesville Va.. I would really go after a Hopewell watch though.-Cort
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I try to do this with watches and clocks, though that's English made so earlier and rather harder to pin down. I only have one watch so far with a signature from my nearest town at 1.5 miles, but I have clocks and watches from within a 10-15 miles radius and several from within a 30 miles radius.
     
  4. John Cote

    John Cote Registered User
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    I was born in NYC...so that is kind of cheating. However I live in Indianapolis so I collect anything I can find from Indy. This is my favorite among many...and it is sort of a private label...private label. :p

    [​IMG]
     
  5. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I was also born in New York City(but, grew up in suburbs), and have been tempted to buy one
    that said Knickerbocker Watch Company but never did(I've read that they primarily sold imported
    lower-grade Swiss watch movements....dollar watches)

    [​IMG]
     

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  6. Candew

    Candew Registered User

    Mar 8, 2013
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    I live just north of Manistee, Michigan. I have been looking for quite some time for a reasonably priced watch made there. They typically sell in the hundreds for uncased non working watches but I will keep looking for one.
     
  7. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the dial handy, although it is marked M.A. Selbert. They are still in business in the same location where they've been for the past 100 years or better.


    I've been collecting Kentucky private labels for several years now, and have a decent sized collection of them. One of the ones that eludes me is very similar to the one John C. posted above :)


    Here's one from the town where I went to college, and is the only watch I've seen marked for a jeweler in that town. I don't know Hampdens, but apparently this is a scarce grade with exceptionally nice two-toning. I know I had to pay dearly for it on Ebay, and Bob Arnold got quite excited when he saw it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. onsite

    onsite Registered User
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    Vermilion Alberta Canada, the home of my mis-spent youth, (anybody wanna shoot some pool?).

    The Canadian Northern Railway came thru in 1905 and became part of Canadian National Railways 1918-23.

    This ad for a Slater's Special is the closest and only thing I have ever found regarding a PL from there.

    [​IMG]
     

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  9. luvsthetick

    luvsthetick Registered User

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    #9 luvsthetick, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
    I like to think this Manistee watch could have been purchased new in Manistee, it belonged to my mom's grandfather. Mom's dad was born in Manistee after the close of the Manistee Watch Co. I do not know when her grandparents moved to Manistee but do know it was because of the timber industry after the turn of the century.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Because of the family connection with Manistee, Michigan I found and brought a 18s back to life.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Good luck in your search!
     

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  10. Nick23

    Nick23 Registered User

    Jul 21, 2009
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    I too have started to collect watches from where I was born and where I now live. This watch is from a village just 2 miles away from my home.

    It is a double silver cased fusee verge pocket watch, serial number 244, engraved with the name of Robert Simpson of Poulton, which is in Lancashire, England. The inner and outer cases are both hallmarked for Chester 1806 with the casemaker's mark of E.M for Edward Maddock, casemaker of Ormond Street, Liverpool.

    Robert Simpson, Watchmaker of Poulton-le-Fylde is listed as working between 1822 - 1848 in 'Clock and Watchmakers of the World' by Brian Loomes. In fact Robert was working as a watchmaker much earlier than this. At the baptisms of all his five children at St. Chad's Church between 1800 and 1812 he is listed in the Poulton Parish Records as a watchmaker. He continued to be listed as a watchmaker in Poulton until at least 1834 when S/N 829 was sold. By this time Robert would have been 67 years old. He continued to live in the village until his death in 1848 at the age of 81. He was buried at St. Chad's.

    The rear cover of the outer case is engraved with the initials JP, and the rear cover of the inner case is engraved J. Parkinson. The only J. Parkinson living in the area at this particular time was James Parkinson who was born and lived in the smaller village of Staining just a mile away from Poulton. He was born in 1776 and was married at St. Chad's Church, Poulton on the 9th November, 1799. His occupation was given as a miller. His 3 children were born between 1800 and 1808 and where all christened at St. Chad's and his occupation was listed as The Miller of Staining. The windmill at Staining is still standing, although it has now been converted to a private dwelling.

    In 1806 when the watch was made James Parkinson would have been 30 years old. A birthday gift perhaps from his wife Margaret?
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  11. 8x57mauser

    8x57mauser Registered User

    Sep 24, 2016
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    For me, living in Massachusetts working in Boston, I've always collected Waltham. But then this came along and it was too good to not take it on as a project.

    Hamilton grade 975, private label, William Kerr & Son, Boston MA.

    I jumped on it because my last name is Kerr, I work in Boston, and being that its a Hamilton even better as I was born in Lancaster. It was just a movement, but I found a nice case for it and when I looked at the inscription on the case, it was dated April 20th 1905, the movement is 1905 and I got married on April 20th. Needless to say its a favorite of mine.

    2017-01-30%2009_49_34.jpg 2017-01-30%2009_52_51.jpg 2017-01-30%2009_53_40.jpg 2017-01-30%2009_54_19.jpg 2017-01-30%2009_55_59.jpg 2017-02-06%2013_07_40.jpg
     
  12. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Watches From Your Home Town

    I grew up in a town where (at that time) 25% of the people who lived
    in the town had some type of job with the Rail Road. We had a
    watch company in our small town that cased Swiss movements, but they were an American Co.
    Croton Watch was Founded in 1878.
    They started out in New York City, and their fourth move was to Croton-on-Hudson, NY in the 1960's.
    They are currently in NJ(under different management).
    I recently found on eBay a RR style PW from the 1950's with a "Montgomery"
    style face from the Croton watch co. I know it's a Swiss watch, but from a New York owned Co.
    It came with it's original box, and cloth bag. It runs very well.
    More info about Croton Watch Co. here:


    [​IMG]


    Rob
     
  13. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Dec 30, 2001
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    I may have posted these before... I've been pretty lucky find personalized watches from around Wisconsin, these 2 are from hometown... One found in Green Bay and the second about 100 miles west.. Please read serial numbers carefully.....
     
  14. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    So what's the story, did you buy them together?


    ....and by the way they are beautiful watches(and Damaskeening)

    Rob
     
  15. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Rob, there really is no story.. they were made in numerical sequence at the Seth Thomas factory, with the local jewelers personalization... The only difference is one has the Roman numeral dial the other the Arabic numerals.. As I indicated, one was found in Green Bay and a few years later the 2nd one was listed on eBay and the seller was located in Wausau Wis..
     
  16. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Another Green Bay watch, an Illinois.. I believe this is personalized for a certain person, as I can not find a jeweler by this name..
     
  17. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I really like the Gothic Roman numerals on that one, beautiful watch.


    Rob
     
  18. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    #18 Clint Geller, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    This watch has a strong connection to my home town of Pittsburgh, PA. It is a Waltham Appleton, Tracy & Company Grade Model 1857, S# 107,296, manufactured in February, 1864. It is in an 18 karat gold hunting case bearing the retailer's mark of J. R. Reed & Co., a prominent Pittsburgh jeweler, and it bears a presentation on the inside of the rear lid that reads as follows:

    "Presented to J.T. Copeland, Brig. Gen. Vol.s [Brigadier General of Volunteers], by the Officer's of Camp Copeland, 1864."

    During the Civil War, Camp Copeland was a large federal recruit collection and training base in Braddock, PA, right outside Pittsburgh. (I often pass through Braddock driving to and from work.) Two streets bearing the general's name, Copeland Avenue and Copeland Street, run along what was once the boundary of the camp. A picture of the sign for Copeland Street is shown here.

    General Copeland was born in Maine, and had clerked for Daniel Webster, then served in the Maine militia before moving to Michigan, where he served on the Michigan State Supreme Court until the start of the Civil War. He was the original C.O. of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, who had the foresight to equip them with repeating carbines at a time when the upper brass greatly frowned on it, and who trained and led them with distinction. Another general, George Armstrong Custer, would lead Copeland's brigade to its greatest glory with his now famous cry of "Come on, you wolverines!" on the East Cavalry Field at the Battle of Gettysburg. On the final day of the battle, while "Pickett's Charge" was taking place five miles to the west, the Wolverines and another federal cavalry unit under General David Gregg met JEB Stewart's confederate cavalry in a bloody, head-on clash, preventing Stewart's men from sweeping around the federal rear and taking the Army of the Potomac from behind. It was only battle of the war in which two large, tightly packed cavalry formations charged right at each other with sabers swinging. Of all the federal cavalry units engaged in the battle, the Wolverines suffered the highest casualties. Copeland had been replaced on account of his age (he was 50!) two days (!) before the battle. But if Custer garnered the leadership honors (he had two horses shot out from under him that day), it is Copeland who must receive the credit for having superbly trained the unit, given them their first taste of battle against Stonewall Jackson, and equipped them with the most advanced arms available.

    Copeland is pictured in a brigadier's uniform in one picture, and in a colonel's uniform in an earlier picture.
     

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  19. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Nice piece of history, and it's in great shape.


    Rob
     
  20. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    John:

    You've got a very nice watch.

    However, I doubt it was made for individual, but probably a Green Bay jeweler since another watch, Illinois serial number 1273137, labeled “Made expressly for Adolf Michaal” was posted five years ago.
     
  21. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Thanks for that Kent ! I only did minimal searching and it came up blank.. I'm going to see what I can find out ..
     
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