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Elgin National Watch Co.
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Elgin H.Z. Culver Pocket Watch

Howard Zoroaster Culver was one of the original investors in the National Watch Company and part owner of Culver, Page & Hoyne - a stationary and printing business in Chicago that published many of the early Elgin marketing materials. Culver was also president of the American Insurance Company, and evidence supports these companies were all entwined in business dealings. He was on the board of directors at the watch company from 1864-1887.

The Grade 62 Culver was introduced by Elgin July 16, 1867 and was the second grade offered by the company, positioned just below the B.W. Raymond. The original "Culver" grade featured a solid nickel balance but was quickly replaced with an expansion balance and renamed the "H.Z. Culver." For a short period of time, the "Culver" and the "H.Z. Culver" was offered along with the rest of the Elgin line. Early movements were not marked "Adjusted" nor described as such. The 1873 issue of the Elgin Almanac calls attention to the Raymond, Culver, and Taylor being marked "Adjusted," while the previous issue only indicates the B.W. Raymond as "adjusted to temperature" (not marked). The Grade 62 Culver movements with serial numbers above 56,001 should be marked "Adjusted" with the exception of of some movements from the run 170,001-175,000.


Elgin H.Z. Culver Pocket Watch Grade List

Grade 62

Elgin Grade 62 Pocket Watch Image Photo Contributed By casillas  More Images
Est. Production Years: 1867 - 1874
Size: 18
Model: 1
Setting: Key
Configuration: Hunting
Movement Finish: Gilt
Jewels: 15
Adjustments: Mixed
Total Production: 15,146
Introduced: July 16, 1867
Profile Code: 18s-M1-15j-HGK-U/A-H.Z. Culver

The Grade 62 Culver was introduced July 16, 1867 and was the second grade offered by the company. The National Watch Company initially offered two Culver grades, one marked "Culver" (No. 2 Culver) with a solid balance wheel, and another marked "H.Z. Culver" (No. 3 Culver) with an expansion balance. Production of Culver grade with the solid balance was extremely short, with less than 250 manufactured. The first nine runs of the Culver grades are not marked adjusted. Starting with serial 56,001, movements began to be marked "Adjusted" on the top plate around the perimeter of the balance wheel, though some movements are found in the 170,001-175,000 run without this marking. The third-to-last run of Grade 62 (264,001-265,000) is simply designated as "62" in the 1896 Material Catalog Serial Lists. This run was produced while Elgin was introducing nameless grades, and the run could also be marked for Elgin National Watch Company or "H.Z. Culver." The last two runs are clearly designated as "Culver."

Grade 61

Elgin Grade 61 Pocket Watch Image Photo Contributed By casillas  More Images
Est. Production Years: 1871 - 1874
Size: 18
Model: 2
Setting: Lever
Configuration: Hunting
Movement Finish: Gilt
Jewels: 15
Adjustments: Adjusted
Total Production: 3,300
Profile Code: 18s-M2-15j-HGL-A-H.Z. Culver
Grade Number Est. Production Years Size Model Setting Configuration Movement Finish Jewels Adjustments
62 1867 - 1874 18 1 Key Hunting Gilt 15 U/A
61 1871 - 1874 18 2 Lever Hunting Gilt 15 A

Further Reading and References:
1871 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1871
1872 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1872
1873 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1873
1874 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1874
1875 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1875
1876 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1876
1896 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1896
1904 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1904
1915 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1915
1927 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1927
c.1950 Elgin Material Catalog Supplements, Elgin National Watch Company, c.1950
The Complete History of Watch Making in America by Charles S. Crossman
The Watch Factories of America Past and Present: A complete history of Watch Making in America by Henry G. Abbott
Elgin National Watch Company, The Keystone, August 1890