William Keith "A Family Tale"

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Richard Watkins, Nov 8, 2006.

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  1. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    I have added to my web site an updated status report on this very important document.

    Sadly, it seems none of us will have the opportunity to read it.
     
  2. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    I have added to my web site an updated status report on this very important document.

    Sadly, it seems none of us will have the opportunity to read it.
     
  3. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    EXCELLENT WRITE UP!
     
  4. mrb

    mrb Guest

    One of the sad bylines of the nawcc is the creation of horological hogs.The participants of this message board represent a minority of members interested in the craft and knowledge in general.
    These horological hogs usually have little if any skill and are just concerned about bragging rights. I think most of them would sell a rat's anus to a blindman if they needed the extra cash to hog another item.
    I am younger than Mr. Collard and hopefully when he dies I can get to the auction.
     
  5. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    "One of the sad bylines of the nawcc is the creation of horological hogs."

    The NAWCC has nothing to do with it. Such people (I personally only know of two but I am sure there are more) are motivated by personality problems/defects which cause them to behave in ways that seem unacceptable to the majority. Such behaviour can be quite different from one hoarder to the next.

    I suspect one cause is that these people need to own unique and important artifacts to give them a sense of worth and status. We have to beg permission to see the item, a request that is always refused, because if we are allowed to look and examine it the owner ceases to be important to us and loses status.

    There is nothing wrong with seeking esteem and most of us probably do so in different ways. I myself am not a "pure as driven snow" saint and am partly motivated by the desire to receive respect from others. Most of the time we achieve this by SHARING and problems only arise when it is achieved by WITHHOLDING.

    Although a sample of two is inadequate, there seems to be a common thread: such people are not able to achieve the status they crave through their own skills. By that I mean that they lack the ability (and intelligence?) to be respected for their understanding. I believe that they wrongly assume facts and artifacts are all that is necessary to understand something like horology. Unfortunately this is nonsense. Facts and artifacts are necessary, but understanding only comes about when they are interpreted and placed within a logical framework which explains them and their significance. Anyone can watch an apple fall, but it takes a lot to UNDERSTAND why they fall. Anyone can admire American factory made watches (and if lucky own a very rare one), but there is a huge gap between this and understanding how and why such watches were made. Unfortunately, it seems the owners of rare objects are not able to take that step and they remain pretty, valuable, but useless things.

    The importance of Keith's manuscript is that it might enhance our understanding. While it is inaccessible it is worthless, just words scribbled on pieces of paper. Its real value (or lack of value) will only be known if someone reads it. In the same way, rare and important watches are valueless collections of brass and steel until someone examines and explains them.
     
  6. ron schneider

    ron schneider Registered User

    Sep 3, 2000
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    are you discussing property rights in a non socialistic society
     
  7. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
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    No, it has nothing to do with property rights in any sort of society. I was simply expressing an opinion on what might motivate the behaviour of some people, which concerns individuals not social structures.

    As it happens, I believe in property PRIVILEGES not RIGHTS. That is, the way we look at ownership should not be from the point of view of absolute power to do anything with that property, including arbitrarily destroying it. Certainly, no-one can control or dictate to an owner, just as no-one can stop me gunning down innocent strangers. But just as I should have a social responsibility not to randomly kill people, I should also accept that I have a social responsibility underpinning ownership of anything. Ownership is temporary and lasts a few years and we would be much better off if we viewed this as custodianship rather than arrogantly claiming some sort of absolute power.
     
  8. ron schneider

    ron schneider Registered User

    Sep 3, 2000
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    very bad comparisons and a socialistic attitude sorry but this is the usa
     
  9. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    OWNERS CAN DO WHAT THEY LIKE WITH WHAT THEY OWN, INC DESTROYING IT--OLD BUILDINGS ARE JUST ONE EXAMPLE. I DO NOT AGREE WITH DEMOS OF BUILDINGS BUT THE OWNERS ARE ALLOWED IN THIS COUNTRY TO WHAT THEY LIKE WITH THEIR PROPERTY, INC WATCHES, ANTIQUES.

    WATCH OWNERS RECASE, SWITCH, BUTCHER, MOLEST, ENGRAVE, CLEAN AND RUIN, CHANGE COMPONENTS, BUFF, POLISH, WEAR AND WEAR OUT, AND ALL SORTS OF THINGS WITH WITH WATCH PURISTS DON'T AGREE BUT THIS CANNOT BE STOPPED--IT IS CALLED OWNERSHIP IN A FREE SOCIETY.
     
  10. Richard Watkins

    Richard Watkins Registered User
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    "very bad comparisons and a socialistic attitude sorry but this is the usa".

    Actually not a socialistic attitude at all. Australia is very similar to the USA. In part because of US television, advertising and pop culture, but mainly because both are capitalistic societies.

    Even in the USA there is no absolute freedom. People can do absolutely anything in ANY society. All any society can do is censure or punish after the event. Any example will do to illustrate that societies, in order to survive, have to have laws which citizens are asked to obey; be it not to drive through red traffic lights or something more serious. And if people want to live in a society then they need to respect that society's requirements, take responsibility for their actions and accept whatever penalty is imposed.

    So society gives you roads and electricity and expects, quite reasonably, that you contribute towards such facilities. But you need not if you don't want to, but you will have the electricity cut off and be penalised for not paying taxes. So you can do anything you want, but that freedom has consequences, consequences that mean you are not actually free to do anything unless you decide to live outside that society and cease to have the benefits it bestows as well as the limitations it imposes.

    Very capitalistic in fact.

    Actually, Jon, you agree with me. When you wrote "WATCH OWNERS RECASE, SWITCH, BUTCHER, MOLEST, ENGRAVE, CLEAN AND RUIN, CHANGE COMPONENTS, BUFF, POLISH, WEAR AND WEAR OUT, AND ALL SORTS OF THINGS WITH WITH WATCH PURISTS DON'T AGREE BUT THIS CANNOT BE STOPPED--IT IS CALLED OWNERSHIP IN A FREE SOCIETY." you put forward the same view that I have stated. You often and vehemently object to people doing things to watches which degrade or even ruin them. So even though you correctly point out that people cannot be stopped, you would prefer it if your "society of watch lovers" could actually impose some sanction or do something. Which is just what I have said.
     
  11. mrb

    mrb Guest

    I am an american citizen and have always been ashamed of the waste we create and the cavalier attitude exhibited. A capitalist, yes I am, I have always owned my own business but I have never understood the senseless greed.
    I have always had plenty and have been able to share with my fellow horologists and citizens. Fortunately I never got infected with affluenza!
    I agree with Mr. Watkins on this topic. It appears he has touched some nerves of the greedy collectors!
     
  12. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Just what is greed, mrb--who is this?
     
  13. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    maybe it is money--throw it at him?
     
  14. mrb

    mrb Guest

    I classify greed in two ways. For some it is an uncontrollable illness. Some of the reasons have already been mentioned in this thread.
    For others it is a way to show that they are better than someone else. They have to have everything they can get their hands on just to show off. I have customers with homes containing ten bathrooms six car garages, huge plots and they are a couple or single and usually very unhappy.
    My big greed complaint is the waste of natural resources to supply this greed need.
    I guess the only compensations I have in meeting these *** is that they seldom recognize the difference between quantity and quality and a general lack of class. Oh, one other thing, they are funny to watch!
     
  15. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Greed: lNEAUVO RICHE (SPELL?); NEW MONEY; GRINDERS FOR THE LAST NICKEL--last nickel Joe's are quite different. Hoarding also is different than greed.

    In a free society folks can spend for the number of baths what they choose--it is their money! We may not agree, but who are we to tell them how to spend their money?

    Hanging on to a MS makes no sense but I believe I know why the owner is--part of one of his GREEDY agendas!

    GIVE ME THE FIVE FINGER WORD- G R E E D!
     
  16. mrb

    mrb Guest

    Hey, I admit to being a fool, I would just like future generations to have a chance to enjoy life like I have. While I don't have any interest in joining the nawcc i have given my heirs instructions to turn over anything I have horological to the museum; it is an extensive collection of printed material and very unusual machinery. I was friends with many of the Hamilton greats and was given many of their personal tools, timepieces and books.
    The only reason I don't do it now is that they are being used, not sitting around as conversation pieces for people unable to use them.
    I think many others have also done this as no one is going to take their place.
    I think enough people will be generous enough to return the museum to a solid financial position and at least people can see what was once a great thing clock and watch making.
     
  17. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    to be used and abused by students or for assoc museum display? (they have plenty of room)
     
  18. mrb

    mrb Guest

    Some of the stuff that they already have could be used or sold but I am sure they would respect the rarer stuff.
     
  19. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    "respect the rarer stuff"--no guarantees; maybe you need to donate the stuff separately. One former teacher was a major tool dealer who sold to the students.
     
  20. mrb

    mrb Guest

    Do they still do that?
     
  21. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    I do not know.
     
  22. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Students in the School of Horology do not have access to any collection items other than that provided all members and the public.

    If one wants to donate material to the school, that is a separate transaction. Tools and material have been donated to the school in the past.

    We do not have any rules concerning sales to students by instructors. They are required to use good judgment. A sale of tools or material does not imply any improper behavior. Many college professors specify their own syllabus or textbook for use in their class.

    If we could tone down the steady stream of innuendo, it would make the job of moderating these forums much easier. :frown:
     
  23. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    donating any items to a museum is risky for many reasons:

    theft

    mis-use

    switching by insiders

    damage

    ultimate sales

    need for additional funds in the future due to mis-management

    back door interception of goods

    ultimate loss of collectibles available for collectors to collect
     
  24. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Jon,

    Have you ever been to the museum? Why would you imply that the museum staff (or whomever you think these "insiders" are) could be guilty of criminal acts?

    All environments are subject to criminal behavior. Whenever you ship an item it could have the same problems you list. It is possible for criminals to be anywhere. It is possible for family members to steal from other family members. We could go down a long litany of unacceptable behavior, but implying that it is somehow related to museums is just wrong headed and paranoid.

    Your final point is valid and one I happen to agree with. The accumulation of permanently invisible goods in museums is not a good thing. They should be in the hands of collectors.
     
  25. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Tom,


    1. Again you know not about what you are addressing. I was addressing ALL museums. I personally know of many museum thefts, switches and back door episodes first hand as well as second hand.

    2. Now we also have an example of name calling.

    3. I have for 40+ years advocated that it is best for collectors to own artifacts--they usually take better care of the articles; in addition, if museums owned everything, would there be collectors? I have publically stated this for decades.
     
  26. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    add: one museum in the greater Boston area had most of their small tools ruined and wrecked forever because some volunteer decided they would look better polished/buffed and pretty!
     
  27. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Jon,

    I did not and do not call anyone names. My reference was to the content of your posting. Your posting feeds unreasoned fears. I would rather you did not make such posts regardless of your personal feelings about museums. Because of the context, your remarks would be taken by most people to refer to the NAWCC Museum.
     
  28. Frank Menez

    Frank Menez Registered User
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    The Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham Mass has had some unauthrozied and improper restoration performed on some of the museum items. The Director has appointed a qualified individual to oversee the proper restoration methods. The Director, Trustees and volunteers are working together to insure that the collections are properly maintained.

    I do not think any volunteers deliberately damaged any items in the museum collection. It is just a matter of education.
     
  29. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    To all:

    Please remember that this message board is where the public comes to learn, meet and interact with NAWCC members and perhaps to make a decision to join. It's not for entertaining oneself by making innuendo and causing controversy where none exists. Our visitors deserve better than that.

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  30. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    #30 Jon Hanson, Nov 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017
    WRONG--THESE ARE FEARS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY! I DID NOT MENTION THE NAWCC MUSEUM, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE PLENTY OF SKELETONS THERE ALSO.

    FRANK,

    YOU ARE CORRECT--THE MOLESTATION OF THE TOOLS WAS FROM IGNORANCE! BUT WHERE WAS ANY OVERSEEING? Any administrator of that facility?

    Frank, do you recall how I harped and harped about the broken lock on the tool showcase? That was 3-4 years ago--has it been replaced yet:???: There is absolutely no supervision in that room, nor is there in the library where anyone can get in with a CCard. Has that isue been addressed yet?
     
  31. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    #31 Jon Hanson, Nov 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017
    I AM VERY SORRY, SIR, THESE ARE REAL ISSUES. DO NOT BE NAIVE. LET'S GET REAL AND EDUCATE THE FOLKS THAT READ THESE TOPICS!

    WOULD ANYONE WHO DONATES TO ANY MUSEUM LIKE TO HAVE FAMILY ITEMS OR COLLECTIONS SUBJECT TO THEFT OR HARM? A GREAT EXAMPLE ARE THE CHAS RIVER MUSEUM LOCKS. VISITING THERE EACH WEEK YRS AGO AND ADDRESSING THE ISSUE FOR ABT 6 MONTHS TO THE FINE FOLKS THAT VOLUNTEERT THERE DID NO GOOD--MAYBE MORE DISCUSSION HERE WILL RAISE THE ISSUE TO BE CORRECTED, IF IT HAS'T BEEN COMPLETED YET.
     
  32. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    #32 Jon Hanson, Nov 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017

    WHICH MUSEUM, UNNAMED? IF IT IS THE NAWCC MUSEUM--YES, SEVERAL TIMES!
     
  33. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Jon, second warning. This is not the place for rants. Take it elsewhere.

    Regards,
    Mike
     

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