Wm Williams / London Verge tortoise shell case

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by jboger, Aug 3, 2019.

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  1. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    #1 jboger, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    Here is a watch that set sail from England many years ago to make its fortune in the New World only to run aground somewhere off the coast of Cape Cod. Alas, it had a hard life, and found that making a living in post-colonial New England (specifically Massachusetts) in the early part of the 19th C was not as easy as advertised back in the mother land.

    OK, ok, I embellish. But does sound like the start of a cheap paperback.

    The retailer of this watch was Wm Williams of London. The case is base metal stamped for SH or possibly HS, those particular letters being symmetric. I bought it for the watch papers and the tortoise shell case, which is not in the greatest shape. Nor is the dial. Nor do the hands match--hence the hard life.

    But it is complete, and I find it an interesting survivor of the sort of watch someone in New England of modest means might own.

    I will put pictures of the watch papers in the next post.

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  2. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    And now for the watch papers, which I think are amongst the most interesting things about this particular watch. Here is a list of the watchmakers:

    Wm. Beecher / Watchmaker & Jeweler / Southbridge, Mass
    D. Goddard / Watchmaker / Worcester
    Boyden & Fenno / Watchmakers & Jewelers / Worcester
    John B. Bigelow / Watchmaker / Framingham Ms

    Some having handwriting on the back. One states "Mr. A. Wheelock / Worcester / Aug 1841

    I will photograph the backs later. In the meantime, I hope people find this watch interesting.

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  3. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #3 Keith R..., Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    Interesting! This one 1796 and serviced recently.

    edit.....This McCabe verge from 1805 close to your Tompion disk range.

    Keith R...

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  4. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    #4 jboger, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    Keith: Your McCabe watch is of much better quality than mine--and in much better condition.

    In all the years I've had this watch I don't recall that I ever took a look at the backs of the watch papers. It is the Daniel Goddard paper that is signed for August 1841. The Bigelow paper is also marked on the back. Not sure, but it seems to be: 131 / Mr. Wheelock / B - 8 - B / 1 50

    I'm not sure about the second "B". And the 1 50 should have the 50 raised something like superscript. I suspect Mr Wheelock was charged a buck fifty for the repair work. That would have been about a week's pay in the 1840s.

    I searched Find-a-Grave for A. Wheelock in Mass. There are many A. Wheelocks. It would seem they took the Lord's command to go forth and multiply quite seriously. They seemed to be centered on Worcester County. I'm afraid without more information we won't be able to unlock this wheel.
     
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  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I don't think this is tortoiseshell but painted horn.
     
  6. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    It might be worth putting the watch papers on the American Watch forum
    The people there will be able to tell you more about the watchmakers concerned
     
  7. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    #7 jboger, Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    Hmmm . . . probably not tortoise shell. I believe you are right. I would like to change the title of this thread if only to not so blatantly advertise my ignorance.

    I created a new thread just a few minutes ago, the subject of which is US watch papers. Here is the link: An Inventory of Mostly Pre-US Civil War American Watch Papers
     
  8. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    Meant to put this here:

    The Goodard watch paper is inscribed for Mr. A. Wheelock, August 1841. The other one is on the back of the Bigelow paper.

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  9. LloydB

    LloydB Registered User

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    The 1840 US Census records gave
    4 'fair to middlin' hits, (based on age,
    other factors) If you care to dig further:

    Abner (Charlton)
    Abraham (Shrewsbury)
    (your 'Wm Beecher' paper; Beecher
    has his own interesting history)
    Adam (Mendon)
    Andrus (Mendon)

    Abraham would be my nickel wager.
     
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  10. Lychnobius

    Lychnobius Registered User

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    Could 'D. Goddard' be Daniel Goddard, one of the two sons of Luther Goddard of Worcester, Massachusetts, who is sometimes described as the earliest American watchmaker (as opposed to watch-importer) whose work survives?* There seems to be some doubt as to whether Luther actually made movements from scratch (this being more than almost any British 'maker' would do at the time), but it does appear that there is some genuinely local work in both his and his sons' watches.

    *Thomas Harland of Norwich, Connecticut, was advertising watches of his own make in the 1780s, but I understand no examples are known to exist.

    Oliver Mundy.
     
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  11. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    Yes, I believe it is Daniel Goddard, son of Luther Goddard.
     

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