Pocket Watch Database
Location: Fredonia, New York
Years of Operation: 1884-1885
Predecessor: Independent Watch Co.
Successor: Peoria Watch Co.
Finished and sold movements acquired from the Independent Watch Co. and purchased by Peroria Watch Co. in 1885
Production Jewels: 7-15 Jewels
Production Sizes: 18s
Total Production: ~20,000
Serial Number Lookup
The Howard Brothers begin advertising watches in newspapers across the nation under the name "Independent Watch Co.," promising an 11-Jewel adjusted watch in a coin silver case for $16.
The Inpedendent Watch Co. is organized in Fredonia, New York by E.D. and C.M. Howard with a capital of $150,000. A building that is owned by the Howard Bros. is remodeled to serve as the manufacturing factory. Machinery is purchased from the Cornell Watch Co. and the United States Watch Co. in Marion, New Jersey.
Saturday, May 7, 1881
The Independent Watch Co. purchases equipment and hires workers from Switzerland in order to start manufacturing watch movements.
After unsuccessfully marketing remaining movements from the defunct United States Watch Co., The Independent Watch Co., designs a new 18s movement.
The "Mark Twain" watch is offered by the Independent (Fredonia) Watch Co. with the following announcement: "Born at 2 o'clock p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, the "Mark Twain" gilt key winding movement. The child is vigorous and healthy, and there seems to be a large and increasing number of him. His parents are proud of him, and he already promises to become as universal a favorite as his illustious namesake."
J.C. Adams evaluates the machinery and material at the Independent Watch Co. and finds several faults that result in poor quality in the watches manufactured. He advises the Howard Bros. to cease operations while the factory is overhauled with new machinery to improve quailty. The Howard Bros. are also urged to reorganize the company under an differnt name.
Wednesday, May 27, 1885
The Independent Watch Co. is reorganized as Fredonia Watch Co. with a capital of $150,000. New machinery is purchased to replace the previous equipment. All remaining movements bearing the Independent Watch Co. name were sold at an average of $6 each in order to unload the inventory.
Friday, September 18, 1885
December 19, 1885
After unsatisfactory sales, the Fredonia Watch Co. is purchased by the Peoria Watch Co. The previous Fredonia movements are refinished and sold as Peoria watches.