Brief History of the Railroad Watch

On April 19, 1891, a great train disaster occurred that would forever change timekeeping on the railroad. Two trains, because of an engineer's faulty timepiece, collided near Cleveland, Ohio with 9 casualties.

Following the disaster, a commission was appointed to adopt a UNIVERSAL set of timekeeping standards by ALL railroads. Precision was now needed in this enormous industry.

By 1893, the GENERAL RAILROAD TIMEPIECE STANDARDS were in effect. Watches that fit this description became known as Railroad watches. Webb C. Ball, a great watch inspector and entrepreneur, had his watches, marked Ball Watch Co., made by several manufacturers including Hamilton, Illinois, Waltham, Elgin and Hampden. These watches are extremely undervalued today, and the ones that I like to collect and sell the most. Put a few away for yourself .... you'll be glad you did!

The 1893 General Railroad Timepiece Standards
Go HERE to see what the railroad watch requirements were.

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