American Waltham Watch Company
American Waltham Watch Company, Waltham, MA
The American Waltham Watch Company was form in 1850 and began producing watch under the name "American Horology Company".
The company was founded by David P. Davis, Aaron Dennison, and Edward Howard (who later formed the Howard Watch Company)
with financial backing from Samuel Curtis. The founders goal was to produce lower costing high-quality watches using
interchangeable parts. Althought the firest watches were produced in 1850, like most new ventures, the watchmakers ran
into problems producing watches. They were exploring new ways of manufacturing watch using jewels, producing
high-level finishes, and making their own dials, requiring extensive tooling at a great expense to the company. It took
several months to tweek the manufacturing process before producing watch better than the competition.
The factory building was completed in 1851 and started producing watch. It is believed the first 40 watches produced
went to company officials and it was not until early 1853 the first watches were offered to the the public.
In September 1853, the name was changed to the "Boston Watch Company". In October 1854, the factory in Waltham, MA was
completed and starting producing movements. In 1857, the Boston Watch Company failed and was sold at aution to Royal
E. Robbins for the Appleton, Tracy & Company. The company's name was then changed to the "American Waltham Pocket
Watch Company of Waltham, Mass. The new owners increased the stock capital from $200,00 to $1.5 million
The American Waltham Watch Company went on to become one of the most successful watch manufactures in the United States.
According Abraham Lincoln's biography by Carl Sandburg, Lincoln owned and carried a Waltham "Wm. Ellery" 11-jewel,
18 size key-wind watch produced in January 1863. The company went on to produce watches until 1957 when the company became
the "Waltham Precision Instrument Company". The company's name rights were sold to the Hallmark Watch Company of Chicago, IL
which continues to sell watches using the Waltham name.
Images of some of the founders:
- Arron Dennison
- Edward Howard