Wm Robinson

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by peg leg, Feb 2, 2006.

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  1. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    Just so collectors don't get confused I'm posting this pic for stare and compare. I've seen several of these watches run through Ebay (including one now). If it has this signature it is a grade of MI Tobias of Liverpool. This one is serial number 2534 circa 1842. The high grade version of this watch is Lord Street. On page 576 of 2006 price guide is the other WM Robinson, a Liverpool watch from mid 1850's.

    Hope it helps someone........Keith R...

    17.jpg
     
  2. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Keith,

    Good point and don't forget the 3rd grade Tobias, John Edwards.... Would you happen to know why this example, that is a lower grade 7 jewel, the balance endstone has a 3 screw setting and the current one on ebay, a higher finish, jeweled thru the fusee, has a 2 screw setting.. Was there a reason for the 2 types of settings, or is it purely decrative..
    .
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  3. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    John, as I understood the previous threads on MI Tobias watches it boiled down to your point exactly.......

    Keith R...
     
  4. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    That is decrative........
     
  5. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    For comparison.........note not original crown but dial and hands original.

    18.jpg
     
  6. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    K, the "crown" is a pusher or pendant button!:biggrin:
     
  7. peg leg

    peg leg Guest

    #7 peg leg, Feb 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2012
    Case diameter without crown 54 mm. Keith R...
     
  8. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    This is not a Wm. Robinson made by M. I. Tobias & Co.
     
  9. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    I think I might agree with PapaLouies. The movement shown in the first post does not look like a genuine Liverpool style movement to me and the engraving does not look like I would expect. Here is what I believe to be a genuine Robinson movement.

    By the way, the moderator may wish to move this revived thread to the European section.
     
  10. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    PapaLouies - you need to expand on your statement - please.

    Jerry, could you explain why you think that the original movement in question isn't a Liverpool movement please? The movement that you show is a much earlier one than the original post and, I would suspect, has one of the Massey type escapements, jewelled to the fusee whilst the original post is English lever and is definitely not a top grade watch. I think the engraving style is possibly consistent with its age.

    By the way peg leg, the dial may be original, but the hands aren't; they are odd (ie different styles) for one thing and the seconds hand looks to be gilt, not a type that was available mid 19thC.
     
  11. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Davey - I do not claim to be an expert, but I have had a fondness for Liverpool movements for many years and have come to associate a richer and deeper style of engraving with Liverpool movements. The balance cock engraving on peg leg's movement just doesn't look right to me. I would agree that it is a later movement than mine, but then why is the serial number so much lower than mine (2534 vs. 11318)? Michael Edidin, in his bulletin series on Tobias, mentioned that even the Robinson grade movements were counterfeited, so I do not have a hard time believing that that may be what peg leg has.
     
  12. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Thanks for that Jerry. I'm going to go and read Michael Edidin's articles again. Like you I have an abiding interest in the watchmakers of Liverpool and the North West and, although I've read the bulletin series several times the William Robinson connection had either slipped my mind or I hadn't payed a great deal of attention to it in the first instance. Interestingly, Dr Kemp in his book 'The Fusee Lever Watch' lists a William Robinson & Co with a completely different address to Tobias (44/47/58 Pool Lane, Liverpool). He has him operating between 1795 - 1821 with movements in the Liverpool Museum (#8941, 5067, 48433, 10097) all table roller and he notes "all elaborately finished, Liverpool runner & Liverpool jewelling". By table roller he means English lever escapement. He does clarify that description and where Massey escapements are found he notes them as such. The English lever is generally agreed to have been developed around 1825, with earlier exampled extremely few and far between so the use of the English lever escapement would suggest to me that this company were operating after 1821, indeed, after most likely 1825.

    Anyway, I am confused. The movement that peg leg shows is certainly neither elaborately finished nor is it endowed with Liverpool runner or windows. So, Dr Kemp's book was published in 1981 and he had been an avid collector of English watches for many years but, is there some confusion built into the book and was there a William Robinson & Co. active at the same time as Tobias was marking his second grade watches with the same name? Is your watch, Jerry, a Tobias or a Robinson? How would we know the difference?

    Oh no more!! When you find yourself in a hole - stop diggin'
     
  13. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    I also need to re-read Edidin. I confess to having spead-read it before, and I also entirely missed the fact that he supplied watches to the USA with grade names ... I assume that was strictly for the USA?

    I own only one Tobias, but he is on my look-for list and I should really learn more before I buy rather than after :excited:

    And before I forget, Jerry, let me say that I simply love the movement of your Tobias - it's in superb condition and just screams quality! :)
     
  14. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    A lessor jeweled example of a Robinson..Numbered 1915 and case dated 1833.. A M.I. Tobias '2nd' quality.. althoughtt he photos do not show well, this watch most likely has never been carried.. when I bought it, the movement was completly oiled dryed..the Sterling dial has Gold Applied numerals and gold hand set.. If you collect condition, I do not have one any finer and its 179 years old...
     

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  15. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    Wow, John :eek: Double wow :eek::eek:
     
  16. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    John, I have some very nice Liverpool watches and I am not a great fan of the Tobias clan - but the condition of that is truly awesome. Thanks.
     
  17. MartyR

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    I've just been browsing my collection, and I came across this beautiful watch by an "unknown" maker Edward Bradford. (No reference in Loomes).

    What struck me was the style of the signature - exactly the same font as the Wm Robinsons in this thread and with similar curvature, and also the same as an M I Tobias I have. Interestingly, Edward is abbreviated to Edwd just as William is abbreviated to Wm for Robinson. The dial on this one also bears some striking similarities to my Tobias, and it has a Massey lever and a fancy engraved cock.

    Is there any possibility that Edward Bradford is a third pseudonym for M I Tobias?

    The first three below are Bradford, the last three are M I Tobias.

    12 6 Edward Bradford.jpg 12 1 Edward Bradford.jpg 12 3 Edward Bradford.jpg
     

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  18. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Marty,

    I believe that the name John Edwards was the 3rd grade name for tobias..
     
  19. PapaLouies

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    Davey
    TOBIAS never engraved & Co. on his grade Wm. ROBINSON.
     
  20. PapaLouies

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    DaveyG
    peg leg's watch No. 2534 is so far off the mark I didnot feel an elaboration was necessary but as you request.
    The balance cock is not engraved PATENT DETACHED as are all TOBIAS watches with massey escapements.
    The engraving of Wm. ROBINSON & LIVERPOOL is not in the TOBIAS style. The index arc is too wide and last but
    not only, the works are without a hack feature
     
  21. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Whilst I agree with you PapaLouies that the original posted watch isn't from the Tobias stable I was interested to see why you made that judgement. I have to say that I don't accept parts of your assessment. Firstly (re Post #19) the watch is not inscribed '& Co' so that goes by the board. How do you know that the watch has a Massey escapement? The fact that the cock is not marked would indicate, to me anyway, that it has an English lever escapement; it isn't just Tobias watches that had cocks so marked, in my experience every Massey watch, that I have seen (and that would be in the hundreds), has been marked 'Patent' and 'Detached'. Maybe you know different. I don't subscribe to this view that styles are static and do not change, I have several Tobias watches and they are certainly not all the same, stylistically they change with the times and in tune with current fashion. So I'm not sure that I accept your argument that the style of engraving means that it isn't from Tobias' workshop, althogh I agree that I don't recall seeing any Tobias watch with the name in script. I also have other Liverpool made watches that are very much in the 'Tobias' style - does that mean that they may be attributed to Tobias? In my view the majority of Tobias watches (that I have seen) are of dubious quality, whilst the good ones are good, the average ones are very decidedly average; I have a Tobias with a Massey 2 escapement that I would describe as 'exceptionally ropey'. In comparison to contemporary makers like Roskell, Johnson, Hornby, Blundell, Penlington et al Tobias just doesn't cut it for me. The lack of hack feature is, again in my view, not wholly significant with regards to maker but is an indication of period. In essence I think it very difficult to judge, with such finality, as you seem to have done, without having the watch in hand.

    Now, to take a different tack slightly, because this is where I need education; I have never seen definitive evidence that would pursuade me that Tobias actually produced watches of different qualities under different pseudonyms. Why would he need to do that when his watches are not all of the best quality anyway? Whilst I see that Edidin makes the observation that these Robinson watches were produced by Tobias, yet that seems to be just a statement without support in that context. As I alluded to in an earlier post, Dr Kemp in his English Fusee Lever Watch would have a William Robinson & Co (Britten & Baillie list him without the '& Co) working in Liverpool at the same period as Tobias, and that makes me suspicious about the use of that name by a contemperaneous maker. Perhaps you can help me with this?
     
  22. Jerry Treiman

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    Regarding the Tobias 2nd grade watches, marked Wm. Robinson - Edidin documented from company correspondence that Tobias sold "Robinson" movements. The cited correspondence also confirms that these were lower grade watches. Do you think it likely that Tobias would have sold someone else's watches? I think it more likely he used the Robinson name so that the cheaper watches would not reflect on his name line of watches. Do you feel that the quoted correspondence was not enough supporting evidence? What evidence does Kemp offer, other than a listing somewhere, that Wm. Robinson was a flesh and blood watchmaker? Edidin even produces an example of a Robinson movement that has the Tobias address on it! One detail that I wish I knew more about is that both Baillie and Britten give dates of 1795-1824 for William Robinson. Do those dates come from Clockmaker's Company records? These dates suggest he may have been real (if their source can be determined). Perhaps there was a Wm. Robinson who was taken in to the Tobias operation for the production of lower grade watches? Both sources refer to an example in the Chamberlain collection, reference to which shows that the cited example has a steel balance with a brass rim, temperature compensation curb, and is from around 1830. I will hedge a little on my stance and propose that perhaps there was a real William Robinson making watches in Liverpool up to 1824 and his name later became a Tobias grade.
     
  23. Jerry Treiman

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    Here is a photo of another Robinson movement, somewhat cheaper and later than the one I posted previously. This example is marked "PATENT" on the cock foot and it has a table roller escapement.
     
  24. MartyR

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    I have re-read Edidin's article and it does leave me uncertain of what exactly I am reading.

    There are indeed quotes form correspondence, but it is not clear (to me) who is writing to whom. The correspondence to which you are referring might be intra-company correspondence as you suggest, but it might not. Also, without knowing the name of the writer, it is difficult to place the corresepondence in context. I find the refernces to "Wm Robinson" watches to be derogatory which would surprise me if the Wm Robinsons were a company product, and could allow me to believe these were bought in watches.

    Jerry, you also mention an example of a Robinson watch with the Tobias address on it. Is there a photo in the article, or if not exactly where is this mentioned. I can't find it, but I am working on a home-rpinted version of the article --- does anyone out there have for sale the original Bulletin(s) in which the article was printed ?

    Elsewhere in this thread there was a mention of a further Tobias grade signed "John Edwards" but I cannot find any reference to that name in the Eddidin article. Does anyone have sources for this?

    It's all very interesting. I'm not aware of any other English watchmaker who signed his watches with another name in order to "grade" the watches. This was a well-established practice in the USA, but not Britain. So on the one hand it is surprising that Tobias would have done this, and on the other hand if his primary market was the USA then that could explain such a process.

    Has anyone produced any technical evidence? I would have expected that both a Tobias and a Robinson would share a significant number of components in common, and also share some manufacturing processes which would be visually evident. Has anyone ever forensically examined the material used in both watches?

    And finally, can I ask again about the Edward Bradford watch O posted a few posts back? I can see a number of interesting similarities between it and my Tobias. Just coincidence? Or could this be another "Tobias grade"?
     
  25. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    I must say that this is a quite fascinating debate.

    Actually Jerry, I believe it not improbable that Tobias bought in watches from other makers. He seems to have exported watches in huge quantities, for the period, and it is quite possible that he was, at times, unable to supply the required quantities from his own resources. Kemp has William Robinson's working address as 44/47/58 Pool Lane, so apparently not an inconsequential organisation; Pool Lane was the next major street along the Mersey Pool from Lord Street which I believe was where Tobias' establishment (along with several others) was located. So, there was potential for collaberation? All conjecture of course. He doesn't precisely indicate where this particular piece of information comes from but he does say that much of his data was derived from the Liverpool Museum.

    Interesting Jerry, with the Patent legend on the cock of the watch posted at #23. All of the Massey escapements that I can recall were marked Patent & Detached, Detached being the important word; the most common occurrence of cocks marked simply 'Patent' appears on rack levers which were, of course, not detached. As the lever escapement was never patented, I wonder to what the word Patent refers?

    Another example of graded watches being produced in the English trade at this time, Marty, would be James McCabe who had his 1st grade watches signed Ja's McCabe, 2nd grade watches simply McCabe and (allegedly!) 3rd grade signed Beatson.

    I believe that any attempt to absolutely or scientifically determine the source of the Tobias watches would be difficult; it must be remembered that, most particularly for the Liverpool trade, the vast majority, if not all, of the 'rough' work in plates, wheels, balance cocks, jewels and settings and the like, would have emanated from Prescott, so material analysis I think could be inconclusive. Equally, this parts source and the foibles of individual tradesmen (and women) would likely have had an impact on, at least, cosmetic design where the changes in appearance of Liverpool made watches can be seen to have affected most makers at around the same time. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure that style can be truly indicative of a maker, especially the 'one man band' makers who would all buy their raw parts from the same source and not have the 'clout' to influence the design. With regards to your Bradford watch, well really,who knows. Britten & Baillie have a John Bradford, Liverpool with a watch seen dated 1816 and a watch present in the V&A. Kemp notes a verge signed John Bradford, hallmarked Birmingham 1796 in the Liverpool Museum; but no Edward. You can draw your own conclusions from the Birmingham assay mark.
     
  26. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Sorry, Marty. I should have cited the specifics. It is Figure 3B on page 662 of the second installment (December 1992). The movement is marked Wm. Robinson, 6 Doran Lane, Lord Street.
     
  27. gmorse

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    I have an 1825 Massey type 5 with a perfectly plain balance cock, no engraving at all apart from the movement serial number. It's entirely original, and almost certainly a Liverpool movement judging by the jewelling and regulator, but signed for a "maker" in Bath. It has been confirmed as a Massey 5 by someone who knows what they're talking about!
     
  28. PapaLouies

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    Jerry thank you for your thoughtful responce to DaveyG's question. Since Cecil Clutton added to Britten's William Robinson
    1795-1824 Liverpool in either (1956) or (1973) he would surely have available to him the same information that Dr. Kemp had
    in 1981. Is it possible that Clutton simply presumed there was a person named William Robinson after seeing several William
    Robinson watches by Tobias?
     
  29. PapaLouies

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    MartyR Is your M. I. TOBIAS & Co. No. 14150 missing a compensation curb?
     
  30. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    You should perhaps remember that Robert Kemp lived in Liverpool! so Clutton would quite probably not have had ready and frequent access to the same level of research material. It is also worthy of note that Dr Kemp was an academic of some repute and an avid watch enthusiast over many years (much like Jerry!) spending most of that time collecting and researching the Liverpool trade. My suspicion would be that Kemp gleaned much of his information from Liverpool Directories (Gore's probably) of the period which are held in the Liverpool Museum and from the subsidiary museum at Prescott where many of the Liverpool Museum's watch and clock artefacts were displayed in the 1970's/80's/90's. I don't believe that Dr Kemp 'presumed' the working address and I also can't imagine someone of Clutton's eminence 'presuming' anything.
     
  31. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    #31 MartyR, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
    Good question. Should it have a compensation curb? :confused:

    I did buy this watch very cheaply because it was in serious need of cleaning and repair. That was carried out by one of the top repairers in London, and they made no mention of a missing compensation curb.

    Going back to Wm Robinson, I have checked Loomes who shows him in Liverpool c1780-1824 (so exactly the same as the others) but he has a separate entry (not adjacent to this entry) for William Robinson & Co, Union St, Liverpool in 1848. This confirms Davey's earlier comment, and also places a William Robinson working in Liverpool at a different address from Tobias at around the time period that Tobias in the USA were selling Wm Robinson watches, and after the date of the Tobias letters (about low quality Robinson watches) we were discussing a few posts ago.

    Obviously I don't know where Loomes got his information, but the fact that his entry contains "& Co" suggests to me that he didn't simply observe the signature on a Tobias watch, which would not have contained "& Co".

    I agree with Davey's view that it would be highly surprising for Tobias, a Liverpool maker, to be using the name of another active Liverpool maker on their own watches. Indeed I would suggest that this is so unlikely as to be untenable.

    ETA: I just have to say that this fascinating discussion is proving alone to be worth my annual subscription ... even including the upcoming $12 increase :)
     
  32. PapaLouies

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    MartyR I didnot say a word about William Robinson & Co., or Loomes. Please read post # 28 again. And do you mean
    Williman Robinson & Co. working at a different address from Tobias.
     
  33. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    I didn't say you did say anything about these, PL. But would you like to say a word about them now?

    No, I mean William Robinson & Co :confused: Who is Williman Robinson?
     
  34. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Marty thanks for the information from Loomes. I rarely refer to Loomes but in this instance I obviously should have.

    Just a couple of possible scanarios to conjure with:

    Imagine that your name is William Robinson, you were born around 1770 and as you matured you decided upon a career as a watchmaker. You achieved this objective and set up your business in Liverpool and started to produce watches. Your source material came from Prescott and the watches that you produced were not much different to the many others produced by the hundreds of fairly anonymous makers in the area. You discover, by chance, that one of your neighbouring watchmakers, one of the big cheese guys, is putting out watches with your name on them! You are pretty upset by this. You subsequently discover that not only is he engraving your name on watches that he is producing - but he is openly describing them as second rate. You're more than upset now and you proceed, at a rapid rate of knots, to the local lawyers so that action can be taken to stop this affront to your character and business.

    or;

    Imagine that your name is William Robinson, you were born around 1770 and as you matured you decided upon a career as a watchmaker. You achieved this objective and set up your business in Liverpool and started to produce watches. Your source material came from Prescott and the watches that you produced were not much different to the many others produced by the hundreds of fairly anonymous makers in the area. You are one day visited by one of your neighbouring watchmakers, one of the big cheese guys. He says to you: "My dear William I am in a position to put a bit of business your way if you are willing. I am in trade by way of exporting watches to the USA and the market is vibrant and profits are good. However, I am not able to produce the volume and varying qualities of watch that the market is demanding, not everyone wants to spend the money to buy one of my very good quality products and I haven't the resources to produce all of the different grades that I need. Would you be happy to produce watches, to my design, for me at the lower end of the quality spectrum?" "Oh yes please" you say with visions of a steady income at last, "but I will have my name on them, I will not produce them with your name". He agrees with that condition gladly. Eventually, in order that your contribution to the operation can be expanded, he invests in your little business and you become & Company with the big cheese guy and live happily ever after.

    OK, they're just stories and possibly vacuous, but I'm sure that business then was not too much different to business now and, from what I read of the English watch trade in this period, recourse to the courts was far more readily applied than it is these days. These fellows were neighbours, in fact Edidin has it that Tobias in Liverpool started in Pool Lane, so it is not at all unlikely that they knew each other and collaberation isn't too far out of left field is it?

    Just another hand grenade to chuck into the mix, from Loomes - William F Robinson, Philadelphia, no dates.

    I'll leave someone else to pull the pin on that!
     
  35. MartyR

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    :excited: That is just too much ....

    My only problem with the hypotheses we're developing is that Michael Edidin didn't make any reference to any such arrangements. The second scenario is clearly feasible, but it must have been on the record somewhere surely?

    Can anyone give me some background on Edidin? His thesis on the Tobias's is a true magnum opus which could easily have been developed as a book with some sub-editorial assistance. It's a difficult read, but it is packed with intelligent data! Was Edidin American or British? Was he a technician or a collector? And is he still alive?
     
  36. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Marty I think that you're quite right and articles of association must be available somewhere. I wouldn't be so bold as to call it a hypothesis - just a bit of 'blue sky thinking' maybe. I do like to use my imagination and hark back to the days when these things were happening; I ask myself, why William Robinson? Why John Edwards? Are these names just plucked from thin air? Or is there an explanation somewhere? Whilst concentrating research efforts on the core subject I feel it would be easy to miss a connection or link somewhere.

    I also agree that the work of Michael Edidin is the definitive work on the subject (and that it is not an easy read) but is there scope for someone to shine a light into the dark corners that haven't warranted investigation to date?
     
  37. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    Marty, Dr. Edidin is alive an well, at least the last time I emailed him.. maybe 2 months, with no imidiate plans on leaving the world, .. He lives in the US...Very interesting, astute collector and reseacher..on all English horology.....
     
  38. MartyR

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    That's good to know, John :) Do you think he would take kindly to an email from me containing this discussion? I'd love to hear his comments!
     
  39. PapaLouies

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    #39 PapaLouies, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
    Jerry
    In reference to post #23 & post #9, the watch No.18405 in post #23 is off for several reasons. (1) Only a few very early Tobias
    watches prefaced the serial number with No. (2) Dr. Edidin's article notes that Wm. Robinson's #12680 and #15302 were signed
    " 6 Dorans Lane, Lord Street", so it is likely that would continue in following Wm. Robinson's. Remember, this would be after the
    death of the founder! (3) After table rollers were used, there was no reason for statements on the balance cock. (4) Liverpool
    engraved on 18405 does not have the flair that your Wm. Robinson 11378 has. (5) After table rollers became the standard, balance
    cocks were narrow and straight. (6) Please take a very close look at Wm. on your Wm. Robinson 11378. It was pretty much the
    standard.
     
  40. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Post #8 is a statement about peg leg's watch number 2534 in Post #1.
     
  41. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    PL, just to help readers to follow this conversation, instead of referring to post numbers it is much better if you use the "Reply with quote" facility. If you go to post #23 to which you have referred and click "Reply with quote" you will get the following in your post ----

    You can now add your comments on the post :) Note that because you have picked up on a very old thread, you have to copy and paste the image separately - on newer threads I blieve this is automatic. But it is worth the trouble!!!!!

    To repeat earlier comments by myself and Davey, can you point me to the place in Michael Edidin's article where he actually states that "Wm Robinson" watches were made by Tobias and not by an outside maker? I certainly can't find that myself. I can't even find where Edidin says that "Wm Robinson" is a grade within the Tobias range of watches. Nor can I find the reference to "John Edwards" as a further grade.
     
  42. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    MartyR Thanks for the tip. I'm a complete novis at the computer. How do you highlight the portion of the post you are addressing?
     
  43. PapaLouies

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    MartyR
    RE: Wm. Robinson
    Please read page 543 Edidin the 5th paragraph on!
    RE: John Edwards
    Please read page 681 Edidin the 1st paragraph. " I've never seen a Jn Edwards that I could believe in "
     
  44. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    You got it! Once you've "picked up" the quote, it's often useful to delete the bits of the quote that you're not actually responding to ;)

    Thanks for the page numbers - I will now go away and do some serious reading.
     
  45. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    PapaLouies, I've looked at the page you reference concerning Wm Robinson. The letters on this page are the ones I referred to in an earlier post - unless I know who wrote them to whom, they are subject to many interpretations. The first letter is headed

    "Gt Western"
    New York Nov 23rd, 1838
    Messrs M. L Tobias & Co.

    I have no idea who or what "Gt Western" is, I don't know if they or M I Tobias & Co are the sender or recipient of the letter, if they are the sender then who is the recipient (or vice versa) and I don't know the name and status of the writer.

    Do you know any of that information, or how would you interpret this particular letter?
     
  46. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Marty, The question was proof that Tobias manf. the William Robinson watches. I think there is enough shown to conclude that is
    the case. " Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much " If you must have proof as to sender or recipient, I suggest you contact
    Dr. Edidin.
     
  47. MartyR

    MartyR Registered User
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    Ah well, Papa, methinks thou dost presume too much :excited:

    If you start off assuming that Tobias manufactured the Wm Robinson watches then you will assume that this letter was sent by a manager of Tobias in the USA to a manager of Tobias in Liverpool, and that he was effectively suggesting a transfer of staff from the Tobias prodution line to the Robinson production line in Tobias's Liverpool factory.

    But if you didn't make that starting assumption, and if you knew that there was a firm called Wm Robinson operating at that time in Liverpool, you would more likely assume that the letter was proposing that Tobias hire men currently working for Robinson. You might even conclude that the men working for Tobias and Robinson were casual labour who interchanged between the two firms according to demand.

    You see, you either have to deny that Wm Robinson & Co (as listed in Loomes, and in Britten and Baillie without "& Co") actually existed as a firm, or else you have to come up with a plausible explanation of how and why Tobias would use the name of a neighbouring firm on his own watches.

    Having now read Michael Edidin's references to Wm Robinson, apart from one comment on page 543 which refers to the Wm Robinson as "the second grade watch", I can find nothing in his article which states explicitly that the Wm Robinson was manufactured by Tobias. I accept that one would naturally infer this from what he says, but if we now accept the existence of Wm Robinson & Co thensuch an inference is simply not good enough to state it as a fact.

    As an interesting alternative, how about Wm Robinson & Co actually making ebauches for Tobias? And further, how about Tobias watches having actually been made by Wm Robinson?
     
  48. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    I think that I have stated my position on this issue quite clearly but I repeat that, in my view, the evidence presented assures us that Tobias SOLD watches marked Wm Robinson, it offers no PROOF that he made them. I think that an understanding of the way in which the workforce in the Liverpool/Prescott area was structured is quite key to the debate and I would feel quite sure that Michael Edidin has that level of perception, I'm not too sure that other people do. I would accept, readily, that Tobias organised the manufacture of these pieces and that they were probably made at his behest, but I am adamant that the presence of a known watchmaker named Wm Robinson at that time and in that place casts doubt as to on whose premises and under whose auspices they were actually made. I understand that my doubts are based on conjecture but, I feel, not without basis.
     
  49. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Touche! Some one with a practiced eye must look at the Wm. Robinson & Co. watches in the Liverpool Museum, Could you
    be that person? PapaLouies
     
  50. PapaLouies

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    #50 PapaLouies, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2012
    Yes I think your M.I.TOBIAS & Co. 14150 did have a compensation curb! You will notice the Screw on the Index that holds the
    base of the old curb.
     

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