Railroad Pocket Watches

Tom McGriel posted:

This is remarkable thread, but on a ancillary topic- how did the railroads regulate the accuracy of the time pieces over the expanse of their systems?

There were "Standard Clocks" wired into the Western Union, or some sort of telegraph system, and ever hour on the hour the "Standard Clocks" were all zeroed in, including the second hand, to that exact hour. I remember seeing many such pendulum clocks with the electric zeroing in "fingers", that maintained total accuracy every hour. Thus, there have been many photos of Engineers and Conductors comparing their pocket watches with the Standard Clock in the crew office.

First, you are not intended to be the one removing the back of the watch.  That was to be the job of the authorized jeweler engaged by the railroad to inspect, clean and adjust the watch on a regular basis, usually annual or semi-annual.  He was required to issue a record for you to present to the Trainmaster in order to be continued in the service of the company.  Towns serving as division points all had such jewelers and they would often inscribe (scratch) the date of their inspection on the inside of the back.

It is hard to find anyone to work on these master timepieces, anymore.  Search the web, I think there's a guy in Texas...

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

It is hard to find anyone to work on these master timepieces, anymore.  Search the web, I think there's a guy in Texas...

Nonsense. There are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of people who work on these watches, BEN10BEN among them.

Steve

 

Hot Water posted:
Tom McGriel posted:

This is remarkable thread, but on a ancillary topic- how did the railroads regulate the accuracy of the time pieces over the expanse of their systems?

There were "Standard Clocks" wired into the Western Union, or some sort of telegraph system, and ever hour on the hour the "Standard Clocks" were all zeroed in, including the second hand, to that exact hour. I remember seeing many such pendulum clocks with the electric zeroing in "fingers", that maintained total accuracy every hour. Thus, there have been many photos of Engineers and Conductors comparing their pocket watches with the Standard Clock in the crew office.

Here is one of the station clocks that would have it's time adjusted by the master clock. Every hour the clock would self wind itself via the battery.

20170528_12595520170530_07551920170530_075859

Joe

 

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smd4 posted:
Rapid Transit Holmes posted:

It is hard to find anyone to work on these master timepieces, anymore.  Search the web, I think there's a guy in Texas...

Nonsense. There are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of people who work on these watches, BEN10BEN among them.

That is true that there are thousands of people that work on these watches, but how many of them are truly competent.  It is just like the auto repair business with the myriad of “shade tree mechanics”.  Not disparaging anyone, just pointing out there are levels of competency. 

Larry

 

 

 

There are two types of people in the world.  Those that can extrapolate from incomplete data

 

LLKJR posted:

That is true that there are thousands of people that work on these watches, but how many of them are truly competent.  It is just like the auto repair business with the myriad of “shade tree mechanics”.  Not disparaging anyone, just pointing out there are levels of competency. 

You can say that about any profession.

Suffice it to say that there isn't just "a guy in Texas" that can competently work on pocket watches.

Steve

 

Question about Ball pocket watches.

What is the difference between a watch that is marked “Official R.R. Standard” and “Official Standard”.  Did thay just drop the “R.R.”

Thanks,

 

Larry

 

 

There are two types of people in the world.  Those that can extrapolate from incomplete data

 

NJCJOE posted:

Does anybody know how to open the back of this watch? I was guessing it was screwed on, but I can't get it to move. If it is a screw back, any tips for a stuck back?

My watch repairman, a former watch inspector for N&W, had to use a special glue to attach a lever-like handle on the back of one of my watches in order to get it off. The reason was that a screw inside had backed out and was binding on the inside of the back. After the back was off there was a clean and simple way to get the glue to release.

The interesting thing about this repair was that he had kept records of all of the watches he had worked on and his mark was inscribed inside where he had worked on it when it belonged to my father in law!

LLKJR posted:

Question about Ball pocket watches.

What is the difference between a watch that is marked “Official R.R. Standard” and “Official Standard”.  Did thay just drop the “R.R.”

Thanks,

 

Larry

 

 

Gentlemen,

This may be a simple answer, but I still would like to know.  

Larry

There are two types of people in the world.  Those that can extrapolate from incomplete data

 

LLKJR posted:
LLKJR posted:

Question about Ball pocket watches.

What is the difference between a watch that is marked “Official R.R. Standard” and “Official Standard”.  Did thay just drop the “R.R.”

Thanks,

 

Larry

 

 

Gentlemen,

This may be a simple answer, but I still would like to know.  

Larry

Just a guess but maybe they made watches for other than railroads who needed a watch but maybe not to the standards the RRs kept.  The one I have belonged to my wife’s grandfather who was a sheriff and chief of police in Vicksburg MS.

I got the watch appraised by the way.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

Having A Blast Running BPRC

Hot Water posted:
LLKJR posted:

I found the answer to my question.

Larry

So,,,,,,,,,,will you let the rest of us know the answer?

After Bing and Google searches and adjusting my search string, found an archive of NAWCC.org articles by E. Ueberall and K. Singer concerinig Webb C Ball and RR watches and standards. 

Now I understood that Ball Commercial Standard was not approved for railroad service, but I was confused about the missing “Railroad” in the Official Standard. 

Discovered that in the beginning, Ball used “Ball Standard”, “Ball Approved”, and various other monikers on watches that had the actual manufacturers name on the movement.  The moniker “Official Railroad Standard”, “ORRS” was used on Ball watches marked Ball Watch Company, Cleveland, Ohio sans any identification of the true manufacturer who can be identified by the serial number.  The Brotherhood Ball watches, BoLE, BoLF, ORC, would have a the Brotherhood abbreviation in a circle symbol and “Official Standard” on the movement.  Non Brotherhood watches would have “Official RR Standard”.

Later watches just used “Official Standard”, so depending on the age of the watch, you could see multiple types of monikers identifying the movement.  “Official Standard” does signify approved for RR service.

 

Larry

 

There are two types of people in the world.  Those that can extrapolate from incomplete data

 

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