National Watch Company pocket watch
National Watch Company pocket watch

Americans were the first to mass produce watches. Edward Howard and Aaron Dennison founded the Waltham Watch Company in 1850. They designed machinery to mass produce watches and created a company which continued to do so until 1950. Another American watchmaking company which survived for over a century was founded in 1864. The National Watch Company of Elgin continued making watches until the 1960s.

Both Waltham and Elgin made relatively expensive, quality watches. In 1880, the Waterbury Watch Company was founded to make inexpensive watches. In 1892, R.H. Ingersoll began manufacturing their “dollar watch”. In the same year, the Hamilton Watch Company, which is still in business, was founded.

Vintage American watches available now (at eBay US)
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