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1897 Green Bros. Advertisement for Photographs Applied to Watch Dials

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In the late 1890s, photography studios and jewelry supply companies capitalized on the growing trend of applying photographs to watch dials and cases.

This novel feature was accomplished by a technique to effectively transfer a positive image to the surface of the dial. The same process was available for watch cases and other items as well.

In the 1897 Green Bros. catalog, the company offered a single photograph transferred to a watch dial for $2.00 and a photograph transferred to a case cap for $2.50. 


Excerpt from 1897 Green Bros. Catalog Offering Photographs on Watch Dials and Cases
Pictured: Excerpt from 1897 Green Bros. Catalog Offering Photographs on Watch Dials and Cases

1 Comments

  1. This is a topic which has caused me wonderment ever since I began collecting pocket watches. I am still searching for the right watch with a dial picture that I also like, just to have one in my stable.
    So apparently the customer did not have to supply a negative, only a clear picture. The exact transfer process may be quite simple, and easily understood by folk with photographic knowledge (which I do not have); but I still do not “get” how this was done, especially onto metal. Your article does, however, shed some light on the fad (which it clearly was), and suggests that the watch companies themselves did not offer this service, or at least directly.
    I find your articles fascinating reading, and hope they continue.
    Bob in Edmonton

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