Newest Addition to the Digital Archive: Rockford Watch Company Railroad Time Keepers Catalog, 1882

The Rockford Watch Company introduced its first watches to the market in 1876 in the midst of a country-wide economic depression. Despite the difficult challenge, strategic marketing efforts helped the Rockford Watch Company to thrive. In 1882, the company distributed a small brochure detailing the product line for prospective customers, including the newly introduced 18-Size…

1875 Springfield (Illinois) Watch Company Material Catalog Price List

I recently digitized the Price List of Material: [Illinois] Springfield Watch Company pamphlet, originally published August 1, 1875. This material catalog covers early grades Stuart, Bunn, Miller, Currier, Hoyt, Mason, and Bates. In addition, an insert was included introducing the “Bates” grade to the trade, dated August 16, 1875. The new grade is described as: “Bates.” –…

What is a Pocket Watch “Grade”?

“Grades” were generally used as a classification system to indicate the quality, level of finish, and characteristics of a movement. Some companies adhered to stricter classification, such as Elgin, where each “grade” was (typically) a specific size, model, finish, orientation, setting type, jewel count, and adjustment level. Other companies, such as Illinois and Waltham, were…