J.H. Mace Co.

The J.H. Mace Co., Kansas City, MO has provided contract watch inspection services on a number of railroads from the mid-1920s to the late 1940s

J.H. Mace Co. - A Thumbnail Sketch

J.H. Mace Co., Kansas City, MO, is known to have performed time inspection services for the Santa Fe Railway System in the early 1920s. Santa Fe watch inspector David M. Nicholson, in his book Santa Fe: How It Governed Its Timepieces Throughout the System (see references, below), reports on page 19 that in 1927 the Santa Fe decided that many more employes beyond those who operated the trains would come under the time service rules and have to carry a standard watch. To properly handle the increased workload of supervising almost 4,500 additional watches the Santa Fe created the Road and Station Time Service Department. To run this department, the Santa Fe let a contract to J.H. Mace (Jess Mace), appointing him Assistant General Watch Inspector.

In the early 1920s, J.H. Mace claimed to serve "... Fourteen other important railroads." in addition to AT&SF. Based upon a 1926 J.H. Mace letterhead reproduced in the December 1988 NAWCC Bulletin (see References, below) the list of fifteen railroads follows:

Chicago and Alton
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (the Burlington Route)
Santa Fe
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul (the Milwaukee Road)
Grand Island
Kansas City Terminal
Missouri Pacific
Union Pacific
Missouri, Kansas & Texas
St. Louis - San Francisco (the Frisco)
Chicago Rock Island (this may be the Rock Island Line)
Kansas City Southern
Chicago Great Western
Kansas City, Mexico & Orient
Excelsior Springs & St. Joe Electric

The company apparently survived the Great Depression and World War II. As late as 1949, J.H. Mace was listed as having the contract to perform watch inspections on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad's (the Burlington Route's) Group "B" Employes. It is not clear why the Burlington chose to split it inspection responsibilities, but from the list of employe job titles in Group B, it sounds similar to what the Santa Fe had done twenty-two years earlier.


Most of the books listed below, along with back issues of the NAWCC Bulletin (which are available online to NAWCC members who are logged in), are available on loan by mail to members from the NAWCC Lending Library


Santa Fe: How It Governed Its Timepieces Throughout the System
, David M. Nicholson, Dougherty Press, Enid OK, 1985.


"The Answer Box," Paul Heffner, NAWCC Bulletin No. 257, December, 1988, pg. 520.

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