What do Ingold watches look like?

Tom McIntyre

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I purchased this watch several years ago and ran across the pictures of it today while looking at my Media Albums.

The plate on this watch is made of steel and the movement has a cylinder escapement that is divided between the dial side and the back side. The regulator is arranged to be moved from the edge of the case.The dial is attached with a single screw near the center arbor that screws into a cock mounted on the plate under the dial.

It is housed in a brass and glass case like those made for Chamberlain by Henry Wing Jr. The case has Ingold a Paris scratched into the brass mounting ring.

Here are the pictures I currently have. I will get some under dial shots soon.
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Tom McIntyre

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Tom McIntyre

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I am surprised that no one seems to have anything to say about this watch.

It is at least an interesting cylinder and the engraved steel plates seem intriguing to me. There is also the matter of the dial cock that I do not recall seeing on any other watch.

My eye caught what I thought may be some very light and old engraving in the banner on the dial and I am now convinced that it reads D. Ingold A' Paris. The same is scratched on the mounting ring by a previous owner, possibly Chamberlain, to remind the examiner to look more closely at the dial banner.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I think this watch could be from P. F. Ingold's time in Paris either before his London adventure or after that but before he returned to Switzerland and went in the fraise business. Are there any existing examples of Ingold watches from either of these periods when he supposedly was making watches in the French style and worked with the Breguet enterprise?

The only clear marking on the watch is the number 50 punched under the dial.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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Ingold deserves a lot of praise. He was a member of the persecuted anabaptists in Switzerland and had to struggle to be heard. His ideas were sufficiently disruptive that he incurred quite a bit of ire from both the established companies and the individual workers in the watchmaking trade.

He was employed by Breguet as an immigrant watchmaker in his first period in France. Later after the fall of the British venture he returned to Paris and became an established maker in his own right. There must be watches by him from the second period but I have not been able to find references to any.
 

Benjamin E.

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If the escapement is divided between the plate, it seems this is a fairly thin watch. What are its dimensions?
 

Tom McIntyre

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The dial cock is the highest point on the dial side and the center wheel cock the highest point on the back. The distance is 0.225" (5.715 mm). The diameter is 1.5" or 38 mm.

The shortest arbor is the escape wheel, which is difficult to measure without disassembly, but appears to be less than half the maximum thickness. Maybe a bit over 2.25 mm.

The height of the cock holding the balance on the dial side and the one holding the escape wheel are the same. On the back side the balance cock is substantially higher since it has to leave room for the balance. The escape wheel mount is directly in the plate.

All of the cocks appear to be steel as is the main plate. The brass is attached to the surface of the steel and is 1/4 the Thickness of the cock it covers. A screw from the bottom side of the cock holds each brass sheet in place. All of the pivots are jeweled except for the main wheel and the center under the dial. The cylinder appears to be a sapphire, so there are 5 jewels in the escapement and 9 in the train for 14 total.
 

gmorse

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Hi Tom,

One clear characteristic of Ingold's work was certainly his striving towards very slim movements. There are a few examples in David Penney's archives which demonstrate this, including one by the British Watch & Clockmaking Company.

Regards,

Graham
 

Tom McIntyre

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Thanks for the input.
Hi Tom, I notice that other Pocket Watches have the Ingold name. Regards Ray
Thanks Ray, I am sure that the Ingold name on the Ditisheim watches is a tribute to him rather than a connection. The tribute is well deserved.

Hi Tom,

One clear characteristic of Ingold's work was certainly his striving towards very slim movements. There are a few examples in David Penney's archives which demonstrate this, including one by the British Watch & Clockmaking Company.

Regards,

Graham
Thanks for making me look at David's site. I had not realized that the British Watch & Clock Co. watches were designed to be thin. Unfortunately David does not seem to have anything in his archive on the Ingold French watches and I have not found anything else except references to how much Breguet thought of him.

David does not read this site, so I will send him a note asking for an opinion on this movement.

I purchased this movement from Bill Scolnik and probably should get back to him again on it now that I have some time to study it a little more fully. Bill was the person who advised me to take my Graham to the British Museum 35 years ago. In the 70's and 80's Bill was a major dealer in exotic and high end horology and his catalogs from that time are still treasures today.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I purchased this movement from Bill Scolnik a
Hi Tom-Just got back-hope you had a fine holiday. I thought you would have seen the below-if so here it is again. (put ingold pocket watches on Google) Best Allan.

s41-l1600.jpg s-44l1600.jpg
PS. If you want more I will go through my Files-I have some info on Ingold.??
 

Tom McIntyre

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Thanks Allan. The Ditisheim watches have no relationship to Ingold except illustrating that Ditisheim knew about him and that he was important. Ditisheim is known as much for his scholarship as for his watchmaking. He was involved in oil improvements also.

By some strange fluke, I seem to have either lost or given away all my copies of Boston, Cradle of Industrial Watchmaking from the Ward Francillon Time Symposium in 2002. David Penney's presentation there had quite a bit on Ingold and his role in the development of the machine made watch.

I did hear from David and he believes this watch would date to the 1830's when Ingold was working for Breguet in Paris and before any of the machine made watch efforts actually were tried. Why Ingold would have made the plate and cocks out of steel is the real mystery. Apparently decorating the back plate was not unusual, but enameled cocks are what has been seen.
 

tonywatch

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Hi Tom
For more information on Pierre Frederich Ingold see the seminal work by R. F. and R.W. Carrington “Pierre Frederic Ingold and the British Watch and Clockmaking Company” AHS 1978 vol.10 pp 698-714. “Quelques Notes sur Pierre-Frederic Ingold et les traveaux de E. Haudenschild”, by the Swiss Society for Chronometry 1932, translated by Richard Watkins. Anon "Some notes on P.F. Ingold", 1932, Berner and Audetat "Pierre Frederic “Ingold 1787-1878", 1962 and the recent paper by Alun C. Davies “The Ingold Episode Revisited: English Watchmaking Pyrrhic Victory” AHS September 2009, pp637-654. Further insight can be obtained by David Penney talk “ Pierre Frederick Ingold (1787-1878); His Impact on Watchmaking both in Europe and America”. The Proceedings of the 23rd Annual NAWCC Seminar, Boston.
Richard Watkins translations are free on his website. Happy reading!
Tony
Cambridge, England
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Thanks Allan.
For more information on Pierre Frederich Ingold see the seminal work by R. F. and R.W. Carrington

Hi Tom- The information above is first class by "tonywatch" though I spent some time this afternoon looking for the piece I had on Ingold. It too is a translation by Richard Watkins." Pierre Frederic ingold 1787-1878 by G. A. Berner past director of the Uhrmacherschule. Biel and Dr. E. Audetat, Gymnasiallehrer, Biel." a really interesting article.Best Allan.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Thank you all. I was at the Symposium in Boxboro for David's talk and presented the banquet talk at the end of the meeting as well as playing the part of Dennison in the dramatic re-enactment of the early days in the form of a debate among the principals. My friend Mike Laux participated in that from the audience by asking questions in the voice of Thomas Avery who wanted to offer the Chicago viewpoint. It is hard to believe that I do not currently have a copy of the volume with David's talk in it but I have one on the way from the NAWCC library.

I do have the AHS volumes and found Richard's translation on line right away so I am almost caught up on what is available. Nothing I have read so far except my email conversation with David has much on Ingold's hand made rather than machine made efforts.

In particular I have not seen anything about the highly decorated watches in print nor anything about making the plate and cocks out of steel. There may be some auction catalog images somewhere, but I have not found those.

When Ingold first arrived in Paris and worked for Breguet he specialized in jewel work. There is a sapphire eight leaf pinion in the Bienne museum and his watch marked 1816 with his name is a keyless cylinder that is also owned by Bienne. Another watch with the signature Ingold Eleve de Breguet number 638 is a gold cased cylinder in the Clockmaker's Company collection.

There are also the watches made for the British Watch and Clock Co. that have pictures on-line in David's archive as well as in the AHS articles. The Ingold numbers on the BWCC watches are 60 and higher. There is a pillar plate number under the dial on this movement that is 50.

I would not risk trying to disassemble this watch and may take it up to Denis Carignan for examination and detailed photography.

I did have some correspondence with Bill Scolnik and he remembered that the movement was purchased from the son of Oscar T. Lang who was another of the major collectors in the early to mid 20th century (NAWCC Chapter 20 is named for him). Since Chamberlain does not mention the watch in his book, it seems likely that it was Lang's watch originally and possibly Henry Wing Jr. cased it for him as he did many of Chamberlain's watch movements.

I suppose I should check for hidden messages in the engraving. I am not sure when steganography was invented but I think it may have been available in the 1830's or earlier. :)
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I did hear from David and he believes this watch would date to the 1830's when Ingold was working for Breguet in Paris
Tom- I think you watch must earlier than 1830- Ingold was not working in Paris in 1830 accordong to to the piece by G.A. Berner. in fact Ingold spend only a couple of years working with Breguet, and after Breguet´s death in 1823 Ingold had left.

IMG_6083.JPG Thought this would be of interest too. best Allan.

PS: Just looked at your watch again- could well be 1830,(or later) but not while working with Breguet.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Thanks Allan, I should not have been so sloppy. I intended "working with Breguet" to include all of Ingold's time in Paris working in the Breguet tradition, not just the while Breguet was alive. It is possible, but much less likely that he made it in Paris after the adventures with interchangeable watch production but before he returned to Switzerland.

Chamberlain has a great diagram and study of his single impulse lever escapement, but very little about his history since Chamberlain did not choose to include him in the Outstanding Horologist biographies.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Chamberlain has a great diagram and study of his single impulse lever escapement, but very little about his history since Chamberlain did not choose to include him in the Outstanding Horologist biographies.
You are quite right Tom-Chamberlain did not write a biography of P.F. Ingold-though if you read all the pages listed under Ingold in "It´s About Time" he wrote nearlly all there was to know then, about Ingold. The reaseach on Ingold is really exciting, and it has been hinted he was the father of the American watch industry-and it has also been reputed. When Ingold went to America, they must have known he was coming, they made him citizen of the State of New York has soon has he set foot there.All very interesting-the piece on Arron Dennison in Chamberlain mentions this too. On thing is sure your watch is a little Jem-I hope you find out more.Best wishes, Allan
 

Tom McIntyre

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Ingold was also at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Watson mentions his name in the judges report, but he gets it wrong with F. P. Ingold. I think he may have already sold his fraise business by then so he may have just been a distinguished guest of the Swiss delegation

Although no one says anything about it, Charles F. Jacot was living in New York when Ingold came over and was also an American citizen. That was where Jacot was when he invented the star duplex.

This thread from 2005 Manafacture of Machine Made Watches discusses Ingold and is largely in response to David's talk in Boxboro a few years earlier. It also drifts into the Pitkin effort in Hartford CT. I really miss some of those who participated in that thread and are rarely seen here now.

On my watch, David Penney mentioned that the Swiss were using soft steel or iron in watches exported to the far east at about the time mine was likely made.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Tom-you are right that thread was really interesting-why did it stop so abruptly? I intend to read DP´s piece this evening. The Berner-Audetat artical I finnished reading today, I wonder if you know anything about Ingolds patent for his combination cylinder+duplex- A diaogram of that would be of great use .I also checked out the book by John M.R. Knudsen "The Jürgenson Dynasty" The Jürgenson father and son had both help Ingold out of some his tight spots, all I could find was page 287, see attached.Great fun- will keep at it.

IMG_6092.JPG
 

Tom McIntyre

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The thread also included Pitkin watches which turned out to be a sore point for some members. That discussion moved to another web site.

I was at a committee meeting at the ACWM in Bristol CT this afternoon and they had a copy of the Symposium Special Supplement 5. I was able to copy David's article. Mike Harrold also had some thoughts on Ingold with respect to watches by machinery but I see Mike regularly, so I did not need to copy that one.

I think I now have most of what is in print. I still do not have any images of the highly decorated watches that David mentioned to me. So, at the moment, my watch is the only decorated one I have seen.

I really want to see the cylinder and to examine the movement disassembled so I need to schedule a trip to NH. Hopefully, we can get some good pictures to share.

I had forgotten that the Symposium Proceedings included a CD with the papers on the exhibit I helped to put together. Since my awco.org web site has been out of service that material was not available on-line. I used the CD to upload it to http://mcintyre.com/present/Boston Seminar Exhibit.pdf. That file is rather large at over 14Mbytes, so be forewarned if you click the link.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I clicked the link-and pleased I did so. Though I have no time to read it till maybe tomorrow. I printed It out on my duplex-so only 58 pages. The file is getting thicker and thicker, though there is now an overall picture developing. There must be somewhere, documents saying Howard and Ingold met??


IMG_6095.JPG IMG_6094.JPG IMG_6093.JPG
 

Tom McIntyre

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I suspect that the key engineers may have known of Ingold whether or not they met. At Waltham, Stratton, Moseley and Woerd were watch and machinery designers. Reed at Howard may have met Ingold but Edward Howard was about product ideas, not the technology. Stratton worked with the Pitkins and also spent time at the Springfield Armory and later visited the UK to look for materials and technology.

Ambrose Webster may have been the closest American counterpart to Ingold the machine maker. He was the motive force behind Waltham making the huge investment in the machines that would produce the watches. The development of the system for managing tooling and standards was led by him.

Mike Harrold's analysis is good, I think. Ingold was brilliant and envisioned the final end point of machine automation. The American System was based on the assembly line as developed in Connecticut and the Springfield Armory. Church's final form of the American machine system replaced many of the assembly line workers with pneumatic robots. Eventually the two visions merge, but the paths are very different.

This is off the top of my head and deserves a more formal treatment.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I am at the moment still catching up Tom-and today I started reading the Carrington article in the AHS-here for the first time I came across some of his early life in London. In 1814-15 he was working with Sigismund Rentzsch, clock and watch makers to the Royal Court. See Attached. To save time I have enclosed some photographs.Will know more tomorrow.


IMG_6096 (2).JPG IMG_6103.JPG IMG_6104.JPG IMG_6099.JPG IMG_6100.JPG IMG_6101.JPG IMG_6102.JPG
 

Tom McIntyre

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My late friend Phil Priestly was fascinated by the fact that Dennison was a Swedenborgian and wondered if the teachings of that religion influenced his choices which led him to watchmaking.

One might wonder the same sort of thing about Ingold and the Anabaptists. Both have a strong focus on current work's influence on the future state. i.e. it is no fault to fail if those who come later can make use of your experience.

Phil thought the religious connection likely influenced Dennison in choosing the location of his watch case business in later years. I suspect it would be difficult to find out how much the Anabaptist community interacted with Ingold in later life.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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There is little doubt here Tom-Ingolds father died when he was three-Berner discusses this in depth. I am still grinding through the Carrington file-enjoying the ride though.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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So I read through the Carrington file and it was worth every minute. Took me down memory way a bit too, I must have read this in 1974, forgive me if it slipped my mind. In his conclusion I found he must be right based on what I have read so far, but before I write it up here, I would like to quote from this article, its a bit long winded but only a small quote compared to the rest of this fine article.

"The aims of the company were three-fold.
1. To produce watches by the newly invented machinery whereby at least 30% profit would accure to share-holders, besides being profitable to the trade.
2.To supply the public with watches cheaper and better than could be obtained from abroad.
3. To regain supremacy in the home and froeign markets for British-made watches..

The machinery and its superior abilities were again heavily emphasised but the prospectus claimed that machinery was then in the possession of the company and that it had been submitted to various watch and chronometer makers and scientists for their inspection. The advantages of concentrating manfactturing activity under one roof were given more weight than in the ealier documents and the profitability level was again quoted as not less than 30%
But there was one important change in the regulations. Ingold no longer laid claim to 2.400 shares or a share of profits. A charter of Act of Parliamet would be sought for the incorporation and government of the company to limit the liability of the company drectors. The company would be considered formed when a thousand shares had been subscribed. The prospectus was published in subsequent editions of The Times.

4th November, 1842. Letter published in The Morning Herald, signed by Parkinson and Frodsham. Barraud and Lund, McCabe & Co., James Murry, Brockbank and Atkins, Clement Harris & Co. John Carter and Hunter and Edwardsm which disassociated themselves from the conmpany and denied having inspected Ingold´s machinery.

!st March, 1843. This documentis titled "Statement in support of the Bill for establishing the British Watch and Clockmaking Company" dated and signed by John Barwise, charman and the company secretary. No fresh information is included and it it is virtually a reprint of the October, 1842, prospectus.

31st. March 1843. The second reading of the British Watch and Clockmaking Bill. The final result was a rejection by the House of Commons by a vote of 154 to 77. A summery of the debate is recorded in The Times od the 1st April 1843. Two petitions were presented to the House opposing the monopoly that would be created by the proposed company- one signed by eight hundred Coventry craftsmen and the other by City of London makers.

The company´s case was presented by a Mr. Ward who concluded that the division of labour in the trade was extremely wasteful of labour and resources and that the application of machinery was vital to the industry and could assist in re.establising its former dominence in world markets. Ingold (whose name appears in The Times account as Ingoldt!) was characterised as a simple minded unpretentious man. Moreover, Ward had inspected the machernery in operation and although ignorant of its mode of operation found it most impresive. Apparently two sets of machines could save the work of 300 men.

The main opposition, spokesman´s case rested not on pressure from the trade, but from his interpretation of the company´s prospectuses and the character of Ingold. The speaker calculated that inventor´s shares would be worth 60,000 pounds, whilst, with profits of 90%, his one-fifthshare would provide an annual income of 129,000 pounds. On the basis he doubted whether Ingold was quite so simple as had been made out. The implications were that the company had been proposed simply to raise money without even the backing of a patent, which had not yet been applied for. In short the proposal was mere speculation and the matter ought to be referred to the House again when patent rights had been secured.

Mr. Gladstone infered that sufficient eminent men were associated with the project to give it credence, and the Board of Trade was prepared to suggest that scientists be given the oppotunity to examine the machinery before a Select Commitee.

Three subsequent speakers were very scathing about the proposals-comparing it to the Aerial Transit Company, and doubting whether scientific enquiry would reveal anything new.

6th April, 1843. After rejection of the Bill the company made one last ditch effort to salvage the situation. John Barwise wrote directly to Gladstone. He enclosed with his letter a draft of an Act of Parliament. prepared by Lord Francis Egerton. The draft was in the form of a bill which hoped that Ingold would be granted letters patent for 14 years, from 8th November, 1842, on condition that he would describe and specify his inventions within six months. But, because the company contended that Ingold would not be able to complete the specifications by the deadline of 8th May, 1843, and because of the alleged danger of piracy by foreign agents, special permission was sought to withhold publication of the specifiations for a period of 12 months after passing the Act. If thr Government was prepared to support the Act, the company would in return surrender"....a duty upon every watch or othe timekeeper manufactured by the the company of one shilling which in the opinion of the directors will, when the company shall be in full operation, produce to Her Majesty´s revenue many thousands a year..... Lastly, if this Act is granted it will prevent the patentee from seeking aid from France...he has had an offer this morning from Paris to establish the company there under favourable terms...." There is no record of a reply in the Board of Trade papers, and one cannot help thinking that the Barwise report of the offer from France was fictional.

July 1843.. The rejection of the Bill and the failure of the overtures to the Board of Trade must have come as a bitter disapointment. Obviously worried about the effect on the share sales, the company issued an address, this is the last document issued by the company and it is noticeable that certain changes had occurred in company personnel. The Duke of Hamilton was no longer a trustee, and Vieyre´s name no longer appered on the Board of Directors. Two additional board appointments were made - James Jephson and A. Peyton Phelps.
The address aimed to reassure public opinion particulary on the problem of patent law and announced the company´s intention to proceed by means of an exclusive futher reassurance a volunteer testimonial was attached, signed by the Attorney General, two professors of mathematics, a professor of mechanics, an M.P., a baronet, a secretary of the Royal Institution and John Frodsham, watch and chronometer maker.

The Testimonial stated that;-
"We the undersigned, having been highly gratified by the inspection of the machinery invented by Mr. Ingold for the manufacture of watches, ect, at the manufactory 75 Dean Street, Soho , do hereby with the view of counteracting the false rumour that no such machinery exists, testify that we have seen the same in operation, and that we believe it fully capable of realising the object for which it is designed by its ingenious inventor."

The company expressed their confidence that if they were allowed to produce British watches by machines, within three years there would be few Swiss watches for sale in the country. One of the results of the rejection of the Bill was to change the financial basis of the company, Certiticates were to be issued to all who wished to subscribe sums equal to paid up shares, such certificates would bear interest at 5 pounds per cent per annum and these could be exchanged for shares, the holders participating in profits as shareholders,Ingold had apparently accepted shares in lieu of all futher ginabcial interests.

So far we have not been able to discover any particular reason why the company failed in 1845. There is for instance no trace of bankruptcy, but it is possable that after an initial capitalisation, perhaps by the directors, further capital failed to materialise when the House of Commons rejected the Bill, forcing the company into voluntary liquidation. rate records reveal that the manufactory at 75 Dean Street, Soho, was occupied by June, 1843-Possably as early as April 1843(The date appearing on the address), but the building was empty by October, 1843.


COMCLUSION.
The evidence of these note suggests that Ingold was tenacious and able. The designs of his machines, illustrated and discussed in Part 3 of this article, reveal a man of exceptional ability and vision. J.F.U.Jurgensen wrote "I have no hesitation in saying that in in the opinion of mechanics, engineers. clockmakers and other specialists, among whom I would place M.Jules Jugersen, my father, Ingold is one of the greatest artists of the century" A fitting tribute indeed.
Clearly, however, Ingold´s business acumen failed to match his mechanical ability. There is evidence that he was financially innocent and to some extent was hoodwinked by others who attempted to promote his ideas.It is probable that if the company had been successful, it would in time have caused some unemployment, but it might well have fitted out the popular cheaper trade with the ability to withstand American and Swiss compation, and ultimately create a new demand for labour. When the British watch companies, thirty years later, did start to make watches in bulk, and used the priciple of interchangeable parts, they imitated American producers. Ironically. Ingolds pioneering ides were lost to British watchmakers.

I recomend all those interested in this thread to get hold of a copy of this article-It should be on the AHS board.

While reading the above, I did stop for a quick look at Mercer´s "Frodsham´s" To my surprise there is no metion of Ingold. I was asking myself why Parkinson and Frodsham signed that letter saying they had not inspected Ingolds machines, yet a year later John Frodsham claimed the opposite. Plus all those on that first letter must have seen Ingold´s work, or they would not have joined the company. ?? or am I missing the point.

Tom do you know how I can get a copy od David Pennney´s piece-I thought I had it??-Best Allan.
 

Tom McIntyre

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The Boston, Cradle of Industrial Watchmaking, Special Supplement No. 5 is out of print, but the NAWCC library does have lending copies. Before I thought to look for it at Bristol CT last Thursday, I had checked it out from the library. The mail charge is $7 for the U.S. and would be rather more for you.

I believe David retains copyright and could reprint it if he chooses. The NAWCC does not have it in the on-line archive as they do some of the supplements. (Which is an issue that might be addressed.) My recollection is that the NAWCC did not put publications on-line unless they had clear permission from the author(s) to do so.

I think you need to read Mercer carefully to realize how little the Frodshams thought of one another. I also think the BWCC organizers may have been a bit overzealous in listing their subscribers.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Thanks Tom-I will get in touch with David on Monday. Please see attached.I know the Frodshams had their differences, but Mercer was writing a history of the family, and I would have thought he would write something about a man that cost John Frodsham quite a bit-Barwise was bankrupt after his Ingold venture. I get the feeling Ingold could have steyed around a little longer?

IMG_6105 (3).JPG
 

Tom McIntyre

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No one was willing to invest when they failed the limited liability charter in Parliament. That would have turned me away. Of course at $10 a share, I would love to have a certificate now.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I have now read the article in the AHS Sept. 2009 by Alan C.Davies which I would say sums up the story quite well. We will never know if Dennison copied Ingolds machine idea´s now. The ride though was well worth the effort, and I found many roads to other question´s I have or had-for example Ingold´s time with Sigismund Rentzsch, and I am now looking for more information there. Best Allan
 

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