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Waltham Watch Co. Donations

City Councilor Mike Squillante of Waltham, a member, donated a Waltham Watch Company publication of January 1, 1923 (reproduced in 1972). It tells the story of the Waltham Watch. (January 2001)
Joe Adshade of Waltham donated a wooden 1939 Silvertone table radio, a ring of watch repair tools once used by his brother, Ira Adshade, when he worked at the watch factory. Also donated was a farmer's scythe, a large stove kettle, a wooden drying rack, and the hand control crank used by his father, John Adshade, when he operated Waltham’s street trolleys. A bottle of Linseed oil put out by Richardson's Hardware in Waltham, a Waltham Watch Company parts tin and a few other old items completed this donation. (May 2001)
Mrs. Jane A. Moreau of Virginia donated a photograph of the Metal Rolling Room at the American Waltham Watch Factory in 1893. This was #27 in a series of 105 photographs put out that year. The Waltham Museum considers this series a very important part of the watch factory's history. We are especially trying to find #5 - The Boiler Room, and #6 - The Engine Room. Mrs. Moreau's father, Leo Sicotte, graduated from Waltham High School in 1933 and worked for the watch factory and Raytheon. His father worked at the J. L. Thomson Company. (May 2001)
Charles Parkinson, Jr., of Bloomfield, Michigan, donated the tool box and a large collection­ of watchmakers tools used by his father, Charles Parkinson, Sr. while working for the Waltham Watch Company and the Waltham Precision Instrument Company as a tool and die maker. Three of the tools, mainspring indicator, dial gauge and measuring micrometer, were made by the Waltham Watch Company. Four other dial gauges and cylinder points were made by the B. C. Ames Company of Waltham. Much of the collection is now on exhibit. (September 2001)
Gene Paladin of Tennessee donated nine recent photographs of the watch factory building. (July 2001)
John Morrison of Upland Road in Waltham donated two Waltham Watch Company circular tins used to hold watch parts and two watchmakers hammers that are very thin and unusual. (July 2001)

Dave Henry of Waltham, a museum member, donated an old Waltham Watch Company tin that held the springs for key winding of a size 16 watch. The spring number was 2208. (Nov-Jan 99)

Barbara Whitenack of Whitman, daughter of Phyllis Wilson-Zimmerman-Fox, donated three Waltham Watch Company postcards (#2, #13 and #16). (Nov-Jan 99)

Angie Perna of Waltham, who worked for the Waltham Watch Company during World War II, donated a container of parts used on military items. (Sep-Nov 98)

Joseph Arena of Waltham donated a Waltham watch. Serial number 19,684,578. (Sep-Nov 98)

Leslie Nesky of Sudbury, whose father, William Kilbourn, was an executive with the Waltham Watch Company, arranged the above donation of the Dumaine book. She also made the following donations:

a.                  An audio-cassette of interviews with her father about his career with watches, clocks, and the watch factory.

b.                  Another cassette with an interview of Thomas William (Bill) Petrie who was 101 years old and worked at the watch factory for 49 years.

c.                  12 photographs of the watch factory's production rooms in the 1920s showing the belt and pulley layout, and watch making machinery.

d.                  An 1887 publication on the watch factory: A Model Factory in a Model City. (See two separate stories from information in this publication.)

e.                  A 1992 interview of Pasquale Caruso by John Cox on the watch factory.

f.                    A 1974 interview of William Kilbourn by Harvey Wang of Brandeis.

g.                  A publication: Frederic C. Dumaine, Industrialist and Self-Made Millionaire.

h.                  Correspondence between William Kilbourn and the National Watch and Clock Club.

i.                    Timely Voices: Other correspondence and letters to the editor of the National Watch and Clock Club.

j.                     A news story about the Kilbourn and Procter Clock by John Grass.

k.                  Miscellaneous xerox papers relating to the Waltham Watch Company.

l.                     A Waltham bicycle license plate #12609. (Sep-Nov 98)

Leslie Nesky of Sudbury donated another collection of Waltham Watch Company and E. Howard Clock Company papers. (Nov-Jan 2000)

Elizabeth G. Van Arsdale of Florida, a Friends of The Waltham Museum member, donated a Waltham Watch Company traveling clock #25,968,653 made in 1925. It has a beautiful picturesque face in color; probably a view along the Charles seventy-five years ago. Also donated were five colored slides of buildings in Waltham. (May-Jly 99)

Joe & Katherine Adshade donated a photograph of Richard M. Jenson, a Waltham Watch Company machinist in the Wheel & Pinion Department. The duties of this department was pinion making and cutting—make barrel arbor and main wheel hubs. Also donated was a picture of Arthur O'Reilly, A Korean War serviceman from the O'Reilly family. (Mar-May 99)

Leslie Nesky, John DeMoy and Tom Petri donated four large photographs of the Waltham Watch Company and they are as follows:

(1)               July 27, 1944 - Testimonial for Fred (Buck) Dumaine

(2)               April 6, 1940 - Waltham Watch Company Bowling League Banquet

(3)               February 26, 1945 - Executive Staff Dinner at the Hotel Manager in Boston

(4)               Bill Petrie showing two military officers a woman employee doing precision work

Also donated was a taped interview of Bill Petrie who is now 101 years old. Xerox copies of the Watch Factory's employees magazine called "The Minutes," three magnetic advertisements of Waltham watches, several old magazines including Colliers and Liberty completed this donation. (Mar-May 99)

William D. Mansfield of Big Pine Key, Florida, donated the pewter baseball award cup that his grandfather won while managing the Waltham Watch Company baseball team in 1919. (Jly-Sep 95)

Edward Driscoll of Waltham donated a very important collection of watchmaker tools that were used by John F. O'Brien at the Waltham Watch Company for 43 years. During O'Brien's 43 years he built the first automobile speedometer and instrument panel, and participated in the development of the first airplane tachometer, compass and drift indicator. On July 5, 1950, O'Brien joined the research and development group at Anelex Company in Boston when he was 60 years old. Here he played an important part in the development of the first and all subsequent hammer modules for Anelex printers. He also developed the Anelex unit used by Raytheon to test missile nose cones. [The above information came from the Anelex Newsletter dated June 2, 1964.]       In the earlier part of this century O'Brien lived at 58 Willow Street, later at 248 Main Street and finally at 27 Brightwood Road. His two sisters, Katherine and Mary, also worked at the watch factory.       An old B. C. Ames gauge micrometer was part of the tool collection. Also an old handsaw branded with the name William F. Bright was part of this collection. Bright School and Bright Street are named after this gentleman and his family.        [Editor's note: One of the reasons the Waltham Watch Company was so great to America was that for over 100 years technology developed at the watch factory spread throughout the United States. Even in its last years this wealth of knowledge was passed on as shown in a small way by John F. O'Brien.] (Jan-Mar 99)

John Arena of Marietta, Georgia, donated a brand new Waltham wrist watch that he had just bought at a department store. Demonstrating that even today there is a company making, and selling Waltham watches. (Jan-Mar 95)

The Historic Waltham Committee donated a beautifully framed picture of the American Watch Company of Waltham in 1870. During the twentieth century we all knew it as the Waltham Watch Company. (Sep-Nov 96)

Winston Burdett of Waltham donated a wrist compass which was made by the Waltham Watch Company during World War II. Also donated was a miniature anvil made by the old Waltham Foundry as a souvenir. (May-Jly 94)

Walter Peirce of Waltham, a museum member, donated two colored pictures of the Waltham Watch Company in recent years. (Mar-May 99)

Aldia Bushey of Athol donated a photo of the Waltham Watch Company Executive's Dinner at the Manager Hotel in Boston on February 26, 1945. Also donated were three copies of the "American Watch Worker" magazine. Her late husband was Esmonde Bushey, the chief engineer of research and design at the Waltham Watch Company until 1947. He was at the Executive Dinner event. (Mar-May 99)

Leslie Nesky of Sudbury, a museum member, donated pictures of the old D. C. switchboard at the Waltham Watch Company, also photos of a house she saw being demolished at Banks Square. She also continues to give numerous xerox copies of old Waltham newspaper items and she assisted in the above donation by Aldia Bushey.        An example of the information found in these copies of the Free-Press Tribune is a story on May 21, 1901, and reads like this: 24th WALTHAMWATCH-Owned by D.L. Miliken. D. L. Miliken of Clinton is a collector. One of the things in his collection is the 24th watch made by what is now the American Watch Company of Waltham. It is silver cased and was carried by the present owner's brother at the battle of Antietam and worn by him in the Ford Theatre, Washington, the night President Lincoln was killed. The owner has been offered good money and gold watches for his watch, but he clings to his silver treasure. (Mar-May 99)

Mr. & Mrs. Chester Page of Waltham donated a 36-inch-long photograph of the Waltham Watch Company's 2nd Annual Picnic on August 24, 1918. The picture shows approximately 1,000 employees including the Waltham Watch Company band, the company's baseball team, and World War I soldiers who were former employees.      Close-up photographs will be taken of various groups in the picture that will make for good slide show presentations. Assisting in the donation was William F. Wiggins of Waltham. (Mar-May 96)

Dot Smith of Waltham donated a ladies Waltham watch, serial number 28,112,358, which was made in 1935. (Sep-Nov 95)

Fred Butler of Waltham, a friend of the Waltham Museum, donated a picture of a Saturday, September 7, 1912 outing of the Finishing Department of the Waltham Watch Company. Identified in the picture are Ray Everett, Albert Handrahan, George Brockway, George Hopkins, Charles L. Tuttle, Paul Wanberg, Charles Berkley and Grant Hoffman. (May-Jly 94)

Robert Gould of Waltham donated an M&B Street Railway token used when Waltham had trolleys during the twenties. The face of a Waltham watch is in the center of the token on both sides. (Mar-May 97)

Carolyn Schofield of Waltham donated three Waltham Watch Company advertisements. The first one came from the Literary Digest of May 18, 1918, and is entitled, "Why Korea Came To Waltham For Time." The second one came from the Literary Digest of March 8, 1919, tells about the Waltham Watch's hairspring. "The hairspring is the brain of the watch. It is the most delicate tension spring made. For use in the small size watch, 84,000 springs are made from one pound of steel, raising the value of that pound of steel from $5.00 to $30,000." The advertisement also shows a Riverside Watch that sold for $60.00 and up. The third advertisement was in 1947 and was in color. It shows three ladies watches and two men’s watches. The Anita sold for $71.50, the Nora for $47.50, the Mitzi for $69.50, the Conrad for $62.50 and the Sussex for $71.50.       Ira Guilden was president of the company in 1947. He replaced Fred C. Dumaine in 1944 and was trying to save the company after the World War II defense contracts had diminished. (Sep-Nov 94)

John Arena of Georgia donated a publication on the early watch production of the Waltham Watch Company. When they started up in Roxbury in 1949, their first 100 watches were called the Warren watch. The name came from Joseph Warren who was born in Roxbury in 1741 and became a doctor after attending Harvard University. During the Revolutionary War he got involved with the struggle for independence and was made a Brigadier General. He was killed by the British at Bunker Hill. Today, a collector will pay around $40,000 for a Warren watch. (Jan-Mar 94)

Barbara Tracey of Waltham donated a beautiful Waltham Watch Company ad that was in the December 18, 1948 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. (Sep-Nov 99)

Renata L. Clarke of Waltham whose late husband, Peter, was a supervisor for the Precision Instrument Company whose predecessor was the Waltham Watch Company which he also worked for, donated a glass framed picture of an old Waltham Watch Company advertisement. It was donated in the memory of her husband. (Sep-Nov 99)

In a past newsletter we mentioned the September 13, 1919 picture of the Waltham Watch Company Plate Dept. baseball team playing the Machine Dept. team at Braves Field in Boston. Since then we've connected it to another picture we have of the Plate Dept. team that very same day at Braves Field. Bill Mansfield was manager.       Recently Ed Cloonan, Jr. provided a picture of the Waltham Watch Company Jewel Dept, baseball team which Leslie Nesky made a copy of for the Waltham Museum. Among the members on this team were Ed Cloonan Sr. and Martin Coleman. The Waltham Museum has on exhibit this same team of a different year. Around 1930 the Waltham Industrial Baseball League was started and the Waltham Watch Company had a team in this league made up of players from the old Waltham Watch Company League. (Sep-Nov 99)

 Leslie Nesky of Sudbury continues to do an outstanding job of providing all the historical organizations of Waltham with copies of pictures and documents having to do with the Waltham Watch Company and related interest. We want to thank the Waltham Public Library, the Waltham Historical Society, the Charles River Museum of Industry, past Waltham Watch Company employees and watch memorabilia collectors for their cooperation with Leslie. Future presentations and research of the Waltham Watch Company history will be much enhanced thanks to Leslie Nesky. (Sep-Nov 99)

Mrs. Barbara J. Wood of Bedford donated a collection of watchmakers tools used by Willard K. Rice when he worked at the watch factory. Rice lived at 88 Crescent Street and once received a 50 year watch from the company.       Barbara Wood, who lived at 50 Pleasant Street, remembers mobs of people going and coming from the factory. Her mother Marion Rice graduated from Waltham High School in 1902 and her father, George F. Johnson, in 1899. (Sep-Nov 98)

Margaret Foster of Somerville donated two chucks to an American Watch Tool Company lathe and nine other items associated with watches.        The American Watch Tool Company was located on Elm Street in Waltham until 1918 when they went out of business. Last month there was a story in the News-tribune about the building. Plans are to completely renovate the old building. (Jly-Sep 95)

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