Pocket Watch Database

Elgin National Watch Co.
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Elgin W.H. Ferry Pocket Watch

William Henry Ferry was a New York politician and Director of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad. He served on the board of directors at the National Watch Company from June 10, 1869 to June 12, 1878. Incidentally, Mr. Ferry is the father-in-law of Charles Knapp Giles, brother to Frederick Asa Giles of the U.S. Watch Company (Marion).

The "W.H. Ferry" watch was manufactured by the National Watch Company from 1869-1874 as an 11-Jewel Gilt movement featuring a solid nickel balance. This grade was grouped with the Ryerson and Laflin as grade "55" under the numbered scheme introduced by Elgin National Watch Company at a later date. The Ryerson and Laflin both feature 7 Jewels with the Laflin being fitted with an expansion balance instead of solid nickel. A total of 12,077 Elgin movements were manufactured with the "W.H. Ferry" name.


Elgin W.H. Ferry Pocket Watch Grade List

Grade 55

Elgin Grade 55 Pocket Watch Image Photo Contributed By pmwas1  More Images
Est. Production Years: 1869 - 1874
Size: 18
Model: 1
Setting: Key
Configuration: Hunting
Movement Finish: Gilt
Jewels: 11
Adjustments: Unadjusted
Total Production: 11,777
Introduced: August 31, 1869 - August 11, 1870
Profile Code: 18s-M1-11j-HGK-U-W.H. Ferry

Grade 17

Est. Production Years: 1874
Size: 18
Model: 1
Setting: Key
Configuration: Hunting
Movement Finish: Gilt
Jewels: 11
Adjustments: Unadjusted
Total Production: 300
Profile Code: 18s-M1-11j-HGK-U-W.H. Ferry

Grade 17 was introduced during significant transitions at the Elgin National Watch Company. Though not listed as Ferry in the 1896 Material Catalog Serial List, #340336 has been confirmed as marked "W.H. Ferry" with 11 Jewels (pairs on Escape/4th wheels) and a solid balance. Manufactured in two runs, the #340336 Ferry is within the first run [340301-340600]. No observations have been recorded for the second run [350001-350200], and only the first run of 300 is accepted in the production figures above.

Grade Number Est. Production Years Size Model Setting Configuration Movement Finish Jewels Adjustments
55 1869 - 1874 18 1 Key Hunting Gilt 11 U
17 1874 18 1 Key Hunting Gilt 11 U

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