Origins of the Waltham Model 57, Evolution of the First Successful Industrialized Watch

by Ron Price (NAWCC Special Order Supplement No. 7, 2005).
8-1/2" x 11", 164 pages, many black and white photos and many tables.

Aaron Dennison and Edward Howard collaborated in 1849 to make interchangeable parts for watches on a large scale. The American Horologe Company was established in 1850; the company name changed to the Warren Manufacturing Company (officers from the beginning called this company the Boston Watch Company), and in January 1851 the first watch factory in America was completed. Dennison traveled to England during the construction to learn how to perfect the business, especially the processes of frosting and gilding movement parts, dial making, and fabricating hairsprings and mainsprings.
A sequence of events led to the establishment in Waltham, MA, of the Waltham Improvement Company, which allocated part of its landholdings to build a watch factory on their newly acquired property, which opened in 1854.
By 1856 the company and the country were facing hard times. The author traces the changes in owners, in the company names, and in the watches produced, including Model 57 with its unique and popular design. Model 57 watches were so successful that foreign manufacturers began to copy them. Price compares and illustrates two good fake Model 57s, a Wm. Ellery and an AT&Co.


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