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Author Topic: Lincoln's Pocketwatch  (Read 1993 times)
E.A. Claringbold
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« on: March 11, 2009, 04:57:50 pm »

Don't know if this sort of thing would go under the Chronautomata... but here goes.

Nice article in the NewYorkTimes. Only two pictures of the pocketwatch, but real nice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/arts/design/11linc.html?_r=1&ref=arts
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HAC
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 05:30:09 pm »

Watch Time had an article on the watches of the presidents.. I'll see if I can scan a better pic of it..

Cheers
Harold
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HAC
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 06:00:32 pm »

That is odd, in that it differs from what I have in several horology books.. They all state that Lincoln owned and used a 18S Waltham "Wm. Ellery" model 1857 key wind in a silver case..
This is also stated in Carl Sandberg's  biography of President Abraham Lincoln.
  The movement on this one looks to be an Ebglish one, possibly London or Liverpool, and I'd guess late 1800's...

I wonder if this was a watch that Lincoln was presented with and not his original "every-day" watch...

Cheers
Harold
 
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Zwack
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 02:00:56 am »

From the article (on page 2)

Quote
Mr. Thomas said the timepiece was in “mint condition” and had its original hands. He said that it was made in Liverpool in the 19th century, but that the gold case in which it resided for generations was made in the United States.

Although Mr. Rubenstein described the timepiece as Lincoln’s “everyday pocket watch,” acquired when he was practicing law in Springfield, Ill., Mr. Thomas said it looked almost untouched. “It seems the president did not wear it much,” he said.

You are too good Harold.

Z.
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Captain Brandsson
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 02:06:44 am »

And still no clues to the location of Lincoln's gold!
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- Maximilian
E.A. Claringbold
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 11:22:22 pm »

Gold? Where?

...I showed it to my dad when I brought the papers home (university gives it to us for free because apparently our tuition covers for the NewYorkTimes and USAtoday). He just looked at it and went, "Good- later you get rich and you go buy it."

....yea.....I wish.  Tongue

XD
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Riaghos Meridian
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 06:24:54 pm »

Speaking of Lincoln's pocket watch... I have a story to share... more... a secret message literally engraved in the watch itself! So fascinating!
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K. D. R. Tempus
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2009, 07:05:57 pm »

Here's an interesting quote from the original article:

George Thomas, a master watchmaker from Towson, Md., had a bit of difficulty removing one of the pins but finally opened the back to reveal the underside of the watch movement.

Pins? To open a watch back?
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Zwack
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 09:00:18 pm »

Speaking of Lincoln's pocket watch... I have a story to share... more... a secret message literally engraved in the watch itself! So fascinating!


Ummm that's the same story as in the post that started this thread.

Z.
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HAC
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 10:05:06 pm »

Here's an interesting quote from the original article:

George Thomas, a master watchmaker from Towson, Md., had a bit of difficulty removing one of the pins but finally opened the back to reveal the underside of the watch movement.

Pins? To open a watch back?
If it was a hinged case back, yes there would be a pin acting as the hinge for the cuvette (if any) and case back. Although why one would go to the trouble of removeing the pin, rather than simply opening the case as it normally would, is beyond me. Its possible there was damage to the case, but then it was decribed as "hardly worn"..

From the NAWCC archives...

"Lincoln did give his silver case Waltham Wm Ellery to his cousin Dennis F. Hanks in 1864, after the Charleston Ill. riots. Serial number is 67613 according to an affadavit signed by Dennis Hanks. Dennis Hanks was given the watch to replace one that was stolen in Altoona PA during a robbery. This is documented by Lincoln's law partner Herndon and can be verified in the book Herndon Informants and other sources from the 1800s. Evidence leans towards the fact that the Wm Ellery was a recent purchase he made in 1857/1858, perhaps with the intention of gifting it to Hanks.. Last appearence of the watch was the 1952 auction by the Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York"

On the watch in the article..

"Lincoln purchased the watch in the 1850s from George Chatterton, a Springfield, Ill., jeweler. Though Lincoln was not outwardly vain, the fine gold watch was a symbol of his success as a prominent Illinois lawyer. In the 19th century, men wore their watches in their clothing pockets. It was not until after World War I that wristwatches became more popular for use by men. The watch came to the museum in 1958 as a gift from Lincoln Isham, Abraham Lincoln’s great-grandson. The case is American made, while the movement appears to be an English fusee with a "hack" feature. It is probably a right angle lever style fusee, not a verge escapement from the looks of it. "

Hope that helps enlighten things..

Cheers
Harold
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Riaghos Meridian
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 07:57:03 pm »

Speaking of Lincoln's pocket watch... I have a story to share... more... a secret message literally engraved in the watch itself! So fascinating!


Ummm that's the same story as in the post that started this thread.

Z.


You are right, my bad. I didn't investigate far enough during my lunch break at the time when I posted that Smiley And there was no mention of the secret message in the first post, so I figured it was a different story, but related to the same watch. Apologies!
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