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!)
I am writing what will be either a short series of articles, or perhaps a monograph, on the watches that saw service during the American Civil War, with an emphasis on watches that are identified to specific Civil War combatants.
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.)
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.
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.