Vintage Friday

On our wedding day my mother-in-law handed my husband his grandfather’s pocket watch. It was a surprise to him and one of his most cherished parts of the day.

We’ve since discovered that it was made between 1867-1881 by a company once called the National Watch Company. The name of the company soon changed to Elgin National Watch Company since people started referring to them as “watches from Elgin” which, from what I can gather, was probably the founder’s family name.

I’ve learned that up until around 1850, watches were made mostly by hand which meant that if a part broke you had to find someone with the tools and skill to make a new part. Elgin National Watch Company was founded in 1864 with the goal of mass producing high quality pocket watches using machine-made interchangeable parts so that watches would be more accessible to everybody. The company went on to make over 60 million watches and they still exist today but under the name Elgin National Industries. In 1960 however, they stopped making watches and are now into oil and gas exploration.

Thanks to for all this helpful information.