The first report of Henry S. Montgomery’s new continuous marginal figure dial design to the industry was published in the October 28, 1899 issue of the Topeka State Journal. This article illustrates Montgomery’s unique design and indicates the dial was specifically intended for railroad use, calling attention to the importance of the minute figures around the perimeter of the dial.
Santa Fe Adopts a New Dial For Watches and Clocks.
It Is Work of General Watch Inspector Montgomery.
The Minutes Are Shown in Plain Black Figures.
Railroad News of a General and Local Nature.
H.S. Montgomery, general watch inspector of the Santa Fe, has devised a watch dial which will prevent mistakes in reading time. On the new dial the minutes are numbered in heavy plain black figures, from one to sixty, as shown in the cut. It has been the custom for watch factories to furnish dials with large black figures of the hours, and call them railroad dials. The minutes are the important factors, and the dial here shown brings out the minutes sharp and prominently, not only in plain lines, but in figures which strike the eye instantly, leaving no possibility for guess work or mistake.
There are instances on record where railroad men mistook the correct time when looking at their watches and accidents results. For instance, instinctively time was called in employe’s mind 17 minutes past the given hour, when in reality the correct time was 22 minutes past, or called 37 past when it was 42, a mistake of five minutes, an error easily made with the ordinary watch dial.
The management of the Santa Fe promptly endorsed it and adopted it for use on the system. Railroad men who have seen it are specially emphatic in their praise of its advantages, and wonder why it was not thought of before. Mr. Montgomery has applied for patent on the device. The dial will be placed upon the company’s standard clocks, such clocks having sweeps-seconds-hand, its utility being equally as important on clocks as watches, which feature will be readily observed.
Pictured: Excerpt from Topeka State Journal, October 28, 1899, Introducing the Montgomery DialTopeka State Journal, October 28, 1899