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Watch Factories and Watch Case Factories Active in 1890

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Seeger and Guernsey’s Cyclopedia of The Manufacturers and Products of the United States

Analyzing original sources is critical to understanding the American watch industry within the context of the era. This list of active watch companies and watch case companies was originally published in Seeger and Guernsey’s Cyclopedia of The Manufacturers and Products of the United States in 1890.

It should be noted that these lists do not represent an entirely comprehensive, nor correct, depiction of the entire watch industry in the United States at the time. For example, the Dueber Watch Case Co. is not listed as a manufacturer even though we know the factory was actively producing cases during this era. As a result, reasonable caution should be practiced when evaluating these lists.

This list provides a snapshot of watch and case factories active in the United States in 1890. The companies in bold do not appear in Seeger and Guernsey’s 1899 list. My personal notes are in italics.

Watch Factories

  • American Waltham Watch Co., Waltham, Mass.
  • Aurora, Watch Co., Aurora, Ill.
  • Elgin National Watch Co., Elgin, Ill.
  • E. Howard Watch & Clock Co, 383 Washn. St., Boston, Mass.
  • Illinois Watch Co., Springfield, Ill.
  • Keller & Untemeyer, 192 Broadway, New York
  • N.Y. Standard Watch Co., Jersey City, N.J.
  • Rockford Watch Co., Rockford, Ill. [Still Active in 1899 Even Though Unlisted]
  • Sterling Watch & Clock Co., Sterling, Ill.
  • Seth Thomas Watch & Clock Co., Thomaston, Conn.
  • Trenton Watch Co., 50 Maiden Lane, New York
  • United States Watch Co., Waltham, Mass.
  • Waterbury Watch Co., Waterbury, Conn.

Chronograph Watches

  • American Waltham Watch Co., Waltham, Mass.
  • Manhattan Watch Co., 234 Broadway, New York.

Non-Magnetic Watches

  • American Waltham Watch Co., Waltham, Mass.
  • Non-Magnetic Watch Co., Peoria, Ill.
  • Waterbury Watch Co., Waterbury, Conn.

Watch Case Factories

Gold-Filled Watch Cases

  • Bay State Watch Case Co., 309 Washington St., Boston, Mass.
  • Courvoisier-Wilcox Mfg. Co., Roseville, N.J.
  • Crescent Watch Case Co., Roseville, N.J.
  • Elgin Watch Case Co., Elgin, Ill. [Became the “Illinois Watch Case Co.”]
  • Essex Watch Case Co., Newark, N.J.
  • Fahys Watch Case Co., Sag Harbor, N.Y.
  • Kenosha Watch Case Co., Kenosha, Wis.
  • Keystone Watch Case Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Ladd Watch Case Co., Providence, R.I.
  • H. Muhr’s Sons, 146 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • S.F. Myers & Co., 50 Maiden Lance, New York
  • H. Wadsworth, Newport, Ky. [Listed in 1899 as the “Wadsworth Watch Case Mfg. Co.”]

Gold Watch Cases

  • Bay State Watch Case Co., 309 Washington St., Boston, Mass.
  • Ferdinand Berthoud, Milford, Pa.
  • Brooklyn Watch Case Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Courvoisier-Wilcox Mfg. Co., Roseville, N.J.
  • Crescent Watch Case Co., Roseville, N.J.
  • Croce & Marchand, 622 Clay St. San Francisco, Cal.
  • Duhme & Co., Cincinnati, O.
  • Durand & Co., 49 Franklin St. Newark, N.J.
  • Elgin Watch Case Co., Elgin, Ill. [Became the “Illinois Watch Case Co.”]
  • Fidelity Watch Case Co. 11 John St. New York
  • P.A. Giannini, 109 Montgomery St., San Francisco, Cal.
  • Hibbard G. Gill, 618 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Chas Glatz, 11 John St., New York.
  • Jeannot & Shiebler, 316 Herkimer St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Kellar & Untemerer, 192 Broadway, New York.
  • Kenosha Watch Case Co., Kenosha, Wis.
  • Keystone Watch Case Co., 813 N. 19th St. Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Henry Lefort, 60 Arlington St. Newark, N.J.
  • Bernard Levy, 190 S. 9th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Margot Bros., 23 Water St., Boston, Mass.
  • H. Muhr’s Sons, 146 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • S.F. Myers & Co., 48 Maiden Lane, New York
  • Rockford Watch Case Co., 112 N. Main St., Rockford, Ill.
  • Roy Watch Case Co., 83 Washington St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Solidarity Watch Case Co., 17 Hope St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Willemin Watch Case Co., cor. Race & Broad Sts., Phila., Pa.

Nickel Watch Cases

  • Bay State Watch Case Co., 309 Washington St., Boston, Mass.
  • Elgin Watch Case Co., Elgin, Ill. [Became the “Illinois Watch Case Co.”]
  • Fahys Watch Case Co., Sag Harbor, N.Y.
  • Keystone Watch Case Co., 813 N. 19th St. Philadelphia, Pa.
  • H. Muhr’s Sons, 146 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Silver Watch Cases

  • Bay State Watch Case Co., 309 Washington St., Boston, Mass.
  • Crescent Watch Case Co., Roseville, N.J.
  • Elgin Watch Case Co., Elgin, Ill. [Became the “Illinois Watch Case Co.”]
  • Fahys Watch Case Co., Sag Harbor, N.Y.
  • Keystone Watch Case Co., 813 N. 19th St. Philadelphia, Pa.

Check out the list published from the 1899 edition of Seeger and Guernsey’s Cyclopedia for comparison to this list.

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