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c.1890 Rockford Watch Company “I Can Fix A Rockford Watch” Trade Card

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Rockford Watch Co. "I Can Fix A Rockford Watch" Trade Card, c.1890 (Front)
Rockford Watch Co. “I Can Fix A Rockford Watch” Trade Card, c.1890 (Front)

This colorful trade card was distributed by the Rockford Watch Company in the 1890s to promote the company’s “Quick Train” watch movements and ease of repair.

The scene exhibits a young child working on a Rockford 18-Size Model 7 watch movement. The caption below the illustration reads,”I Can Fix a Rockford Watch.”

The reverse features a detailed engraving of a train and a watch dial marked “Railroad Watch.” These small trade cards were popular for promoting products and frequently provided a dedicated area for retailers to stamp their business names and locations.


Rockford Watch Co. "I Can Fix A Rockford Watch" Trade Card, c.1890 (Reverse)
Rockford Watch Co. “I Can Fix A Rockford Watch” Trade Card, c.1890 (Reverse)

This card, in particular, was used to promote Phillips & Lucas, located at 28 State Street in Montpelier, Vermont.

In addition to distributing this trade card, the jewelry retailer also published advertisements in local papers, establishing their business as the sales agent for the “Quick Train Rockford Watch.”


Vermont Watchman and State Journal
Montpelier, Vermont, Wednesday, September 10, 1890
Vermont Watchman and State Journal
Montpelier, Vermont ยท Wednesday, September 10, 1890

The card was created and printed by Shober & Carqueville Lith. Co. in Chicago. The company specialized in designing and printing promotional materials and maps – such as this map featuring Elgin, Illinois with the Elgin National Watch Company illustrated prominently in the top left corner.


Elgin, Kane Co., Illinois, 1880. [Library of Congress]
Elgin, Kane Co., Illinois, 1880. [Library of Congress]

Trade cards distributed by watch factories are rather scarce but are usually priced reasonably when they surface, making them excellent items to begin a small ephemera collection.

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