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Newest Addition to the Digital Archive: Illinois Springfield Watch Co. Price List (1878)

In May 1878, the Illinois Springfield Watch Company distributed this price list catalog, featuring their full line of 18-Size and new 8-Size Ladies’ watches. Due to financial strains, the company had recently reorganized, and the future was uncertain. The back cover includes an exceptional illustration of Otis Hoyt’s stem-setting mechanism. At the time of publication, the patent for his design was still pending. (Courtesy of the Harvard University Library)

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  1. I’d like some help identifying an Illinois watch. The movement serial number is 5576757, the case serial number is 8267540. The movement has these inscriptions: 161A, motor barrel 60 hour, double roller, elivar 233333333333(??) Bunn Special, adjusted temp. and six position, 21 jewel, Illinois Watch Springfield. The inside of the back cover is inscribed as follows: Star Case Company, March 29, 1973, 10 KT gold filled. There also appears to be some hand scratched engraving that I cannot read. I am curious about this watch because it appears to have a mismatched case and movement. The story I have on the watch is that it belonged to my grandfather, who died in 1963. The little I know about it so far is that the movement may have been produced in 1943, which would make sense. He did work for the railroad. The watch runs, but I can’t figure out how to set it. The winding mechanism at the top pulls up. When it is wound in either position, it sounds like it is winding the spring. The hands do not change positions when the winding mechanism is turned in the up or down position. The winding mechanism only seems to effectively wind the watch in one position.

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