The Appreciation & Authentication of Civil War Timepieces


My latest horological book was published by the NAWCC in June, 2019. This book is intended to stand as the definitive work on the subject of how and why to collect Civil War watches. About half horology and half Civil War history, the book will equip readers with the tools to make informed judgments concerning the authenticity of Civil War timepieces and the provenances sometimes associated with them. The book also endeavors to impart a basic understanding of the importance in American history of the events to which these artifacts relate, and to make the stories of the men whose names appear on some of these watches live for a new group of admirers.

The book is 238 pages at 8″ x 10″, with 162 figures, 12 tables, 155 references, and a 67-book bibliography.

Print copies in both hard and soft cover are available from the NAWCC Gift Shop and, from popular online stores, and from local bookstores (request it by title). The e-book edition is available on popular online sites such as

The list price of the book is $34.99 for the soft cover edition, $44.99 for the hard cover edition, and $29.99 for the e-book. NAWCC members purchasing from the Gift Shop are entitled to a member discount. Members can order print copies by calling 1-717-684-8261, extension 211, or by following the link below (Note: NAWCC members must sign in to access the discounted pricing):

On June 18, History Prof. Alexis McCrossen of SMU posted the following five-star review on

Clint Geller’s carefully researched and beautifully illustrated book, THE APPRECIATION AND AUTHENTICATION OF CIVIL WAR TIME PIECES, is a wonderful addition to the library of watch collectors, Civil War enthusiasts, and others who are interested in the relationship between timekeeping and society. Geller painstakingly researched all facets of the production, trade and use of pocket watches during the Civil War. His findings are reliable. The book is full of previously unpublished illustrations, including tantalizing photographs of soldiers brandishing their watches. I am very happy to have this book in my library, shelved between Cheryl Wells’ CIVIL WAR TIME and Mark Smith’s MASTERED BY THE CLOCK.


My friend, Al Mackey, who writes an erudite and energetic blog on Civil War history, wrote this:

Insightful author and blogger, Chris Mackowski, who has written over a dozen books on the Civil War, wrote this:

William Jackson Palmer (NAWCC Bulletin Article)

My most recent horological article, “Watch Presented to Brigadier General William Jackson Palmer by the Officers of the 25th Pennsylvania Cavalry” appeared in the May, 2019 issue of the NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin.

This 6,600-word article tells the story of a young Quaker from Philadelphia who made a moral choice between pacifism and abolitionism and enlisted in the Union army as a captain to preserve the Union and fight slavery, rising to the rank of brigadier general at age 28, and earning a Medal of Honor.  The article goes on to explore the extraordinary character of the man and the broad footprint he left on the history of the American West.

NAWCC members can access the article by logging into and following these links: PUBLICATIONS / Watch & Clock Bulletin / Past Issues.

The American Civil War Talk (CWT) Website

I am an active participant and a patron of the American Civil War Talk (CWT) website. CWT is a well-moderated message board featuring far-ranging, and often quite scholarly discussions and debates of both historical topics broadly related to the American Civil War, and even some current topics with their roots in the Civil War.  (Hey, some folks think the Civil War never ended!)

Continue reading “The American Civil War Talk (CWT) Website”

Civil War Horology

New Book on the Way:

My new non-fiction book, The Appreciation and Authentication of Civil War Timepieces, has been peer reviewed and will be published by the NAWCC this Spring.  Once again, I will be using Saul Bottcher and for assistance with production. The book discusses the types of watches that saw service during the American Civil War, and the prevalence of watches in the war, with an emphasis on watches (mostly American, and mostly on the Union side) that are identified to specific Civil War combatants.

Continue reading “Civil War Horology”

Upcoming Civil War Watch Exhibit at the NAWCC Museum

In the coming months, I will be adding content on the special exhibit on Civil War watches that I will be guest-curating at the NAWCC Headquarters Museum in Columbia, PA, beginning with a one-day scholarly seminar on July 6, 2019.

(July 6, 2019 will be the first Saturday after that year’s anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place just about forty miles away, concluding on July 3, 1863.)

The 2002 NAWCC National Seminar, “Boston: Cradle of Industrial Watchmaking”

I had the honor of chairing and organizing the 2002 NAWCC National Seminar in Boxborough, Massachusetts, which was the first of two National Seminars I chaired. The Boxborough event assembled a list of leading scholars in the field to discuss the whys and wherefores of the origins of industrial watchmaking in the Greater Boston area beginning in the 1850’s. Beginning at that time, American watchmaking continued to define the state of the art in mass manufacturing technology for the better part of a century, on account of the large number of fine parts in a watch and the high precision required in their production.

Continue reading “The 2002 NAWCC National Seminar, “Boston: Cradle of Industrial Watchmaking””

Pocket Horology

Many friends and fellow watch collecting enthusiasts know of my 30+ year interest in early American timepieces, and especially pocket watches, whether domestic or foreign, which were carried by combatants in the American Civil War.  Over time I’ll be publishing some of my past horological work, as well as discussing or presenting my current collecting projects on the Pocket Horology page on this site.  Added there for your current enjoyment are two presentations – one on E. Howard & Company watches, and the other on Civil War watches and timekeeping.