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Pennsylvania Watch Case Co.

The Pennsylvania Watch Case Co. was a little-known firm, in business for only a few years between 1908-1913.


Pennsylvania Watch Case Co.: A Brief History

The Pennsylvania Watch Case Co. was chartered in York, PA on March 26, 1908, capitalized at $150,000. The charter stated that it was to engage in the "... manufacture and sale of watches, including both movements and cases, clocks and jewelry, and all other articles of a similar cognate character." In only a few months, the first cases had been completed, although the same news release that stated that fact also noted that they weren't to be marketed until July. This was possibly because Pennsylvania was still looking for a salesman.

John Henry Bennett, formerly the superintendent of the engraving and decorating department of Courvoisier-Wilcox Mfg Co., Brooklyn, NY, became the manager of the Pennsylvania Watch Case Co. However, it must not have been a satisfactory situation and he only stayed there 18 months.

The overall output of the York, PA plant must have been small, as very few cases are seen today. Part of the problem may have the fact that Pennsylvania operated as an independent company, advertising that they were "Not In A Trust." This referred to the Watch Trust by which the largest companies in the industry controlled the market.

Pennsylvania lasted until 1913, when its plant was sold to J.R. Wood & Sons. When they bought the Pennsylvania plant, the same Mr. Bennett who had been Pennsylvania's manager, became the J.R. Wood & Sons' Newark branch manager.

The Cases

The Pennsylvania Watch Case Co.'s primary product, and its claim to fame, was its XXX grade, "solid gold" case. As a later ad explained, it had a 14K outer layer, a 10K inner layer and a "low K" center. It turns out, as seen in this example, courtesy wilsonpaule, the "low K" center is 4K, something that is not called gold today. Nevertheless, 1/6 of its weight is gold and with the price of gold being what it is, that's not inconsiderable.

Pennsylvania also made 20 and 25 year gold-filled cases as well as permanent gold-filled cases. Whether or not their gold-filled cases lasted as long as the warranties, they probably lasted longer than the company.

Promotional Items

Like other watch case companies, Pennsylvania distributed case openers such as this example.

References


Books
List of Charters of Corporations Enrolled in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - During the Two Years Beginning June 1, 1907, and Ending May 31, 1909
, Pg 131.

A History of the City of Newark New Jersey, Vol. III, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY 1913, Pg. 49.
Categories: Category Watch case makers

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