Friday, May 3, 2013

A Brief History of Pocket Watches by Mike Thomas

. The Walter’s Museum has a couple if you want to see them in person.
. Drum-shaped and were called Nuremburg Eggs.
. Had to be wound twice a day.
. Mechanism was a verge and foliot/crown wheel.

. Woman still wore watches around their necks.
. Still not entirely accurate as they would “slow down” as the mainspring became more unwound.

. Invented by Thomas Mudge in 1759
. Rests beneath the mainspring, balance spring, and balance wheel.
. One displayed in GIF is a modern Swiss version.
. Watches now became incredibly accurate (within minutes) and thin. 
. *(Note that the image on the right was an animated GIF during the presentation)

. During the second half of the 19th Century, watch part became interchangeable and easy to mass produce.
. Mass production of watches was pioneered by the Waltham Watch Company (earlier known as the American Watch   Company) in Waltham, Mass. starting in 1854.
. The company’s standardized product, the Waltham Model 57 was introduced in 1857.
. Most models were made of silver, were cheap, reliable, and accurate.
. The United States became the dominate country for watch manufacturing in the world taking the title from the Swiss.
. Old factory is now a museum.

. The standards read by the General Railroad Timepiece Standards were: " faced, size 16 or 18, have a minimum of 17 jewels, adjusted to at least five positions, keep time accurately to within 30 seconds a week, adjusted to temps of 34 °F (1 °C) to 100 °F (38 °C), have a double roller, steel escape wheel, lever set, regulator, winding stem at 12 o'clock, and have bold black Arabic numerals on a white dial, with black hands."

. Brief resurgence in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when three-piece suits became fashionable again.
. However, pocket watches are still popular as luxury items, in antique markets, retirement gifts, and in the steampunk subculture.
. Interesting enough, the smaller pocket in your right jean pocket was originally for pocket watches.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making the effort to describe the terminlogy to the beginners!
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