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Two more private labels "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Here are two more Illinois private labels and companions. First a Henry Birkenbusch from Pekin, Illinois grade 65 18 size SN 1,256,770:

 
posted
Well, okay, this is the clock companion to the watch:

 
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Here is the watch:

 
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The dial:

 
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The other is a J. H. Schmith of Clinton, Illinois Illinois 17j Bunn SN 1,248,792:

 
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and the dial:

 
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Its companion, a Hamilton 924 SN 166,757:

 
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And the dial side:

 
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Steve

It looks like your J.H. Schmith was John H. Schmith, he is shown in the 1910 census as living in Clinton & being about 53, he was born in Indiana & both his parents were from Germany. He is listed as a jeweler at a jewelery store. He is married & has a son & daughter
 
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Also your Henry Birkenbusch was living in Pekins in the 1930 census as a jeweler, he was borni about 1857 in Maryland & both his parents were from Germany. He was married, his son Louis A. also was employed as a jeweler.

Tom
 
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Steve, I am GREEN with envy for that Illinois Bunn, the dial, the movement, they are "Awesome"! It is interesting they always seem to make the 4 o'clock roman with IIII instead of IV, but those early hand-drawn numerals with that outstanding graphic style are just amazing to me. In the 1890's People did that by the sunlight through dirty windows and gas lights, etc.,etc.
 
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It was a remarkable craft, or should I say ART? Thanks David!
 
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Steve - did you buy the Schmith's together or happen across them separately? The same with the Birkenbusch's. If bought separately, it must have been a "wow" moment when you saw the second one and thought "I have one of those"! Great watches and clock Big Grin
 
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Thanks Mary Ann. I bought them all separately, and was surprised and delighted each time. On a separate note, I have a Peoria Non-magnetic that with an Iowa jeweler's name on it, and one of my good friends here in town told me that he has one just like it. That coincidence really amazed me!

Steve G.
 
posted
Here is how the conversation went, as well as I can recall. I told my friend that I collected watches.
My friend: My wife has a watch that's been in the family for as long as anybody can remember. I was looking at it just the other day. It's a great big thing. It has a lid on it that opens when you push in on the thing that winds it up.
Me: Oh, yes. That's called a "hunting case." I like those.
MF: Yea. It has a name on it, and I remember, Davenport, Iowa.
Me: Really? I didn't know there was a watch factory in Davenport.
MF: Yes, and the name on it was, I think Rice, or something like that.
Me: Rice? Reis! Was it Henry Reis? Good gosh, do you have a Henry Reis watch from Davenport, Iowa? I have one of those, too!
MF: Yes, that was it, Reis, do you, really?

I don't think he quite believed me.

Me: Does it have any other maker's name on it? MF: No, nothing.
Me: ... like Elgin, Illinois or Hamilton?
MF: I think something "Magnet" or "Magnetic," something like that.

At this point I goggled like a sock monkey.

Me: No kidding? You have a Henry Reis, Davenport Paillard's Patent Non-magnetic Peoria watch?
MF: Well... I guess so. If you say so...
Me: Well, that's just amazing!
MF: Is it?

I explained to him that the Peoria company made comparatively few watches, even fewer private label watches, and of course fewer still for Henry Reis.
Me: It's just incredible that we are even having this conversation!
MF: You think so?
 
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Great story, Steve! I guess you have since met again to show off and compare the watches. The first thing I thought of after reading this was the theory "Six Degrees of Separation". Although maybe a bit fewer degrees in your case. Fascinating!
 
IHC Member 172
posted
Nice watches and clock Steve,
I have an 18s Illinois PL Henry Birkenbusch serial # 1055095

Ray
 
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Really? Is it a Non-magnetic?

Thanks a lot, guys!

Steve G.
 
posted
OOps, I spoke too soon again. You have a Birkenbusch! Great! Maybe one of our experts can tell us something about this guy. My book dates that as an 1890 piece. Can you post a picture?

Steve G.
 
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator

Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Henry Reis is listed in the 1900 census as living in Davenport & born May 1831 in Germany, he living with his daughter Martha. He is listed as a retail jeweler.

The image is from the 1877 city directory for Davenport.

Tom

1877
 
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Thanks again, Tom. I always appreciate the new information.
Great watch, Ray! I think the 7 jewel Illinois are kind of rare. Thanks for posting the pictures.

Steve
 
IHC Member 1555
posted
Hi All,

I know this thread is very old but I have a 18s Bunn Special Hunter Tu-Tone gold inlaid 3rd pattern with Henry Birkenbusch Pekin Illinois signature on dial and movement. He was a watch inspector for the AT & SF in the late 1890's. Does anyone know the production of the 18s Bunn Special Hunters and what the value of this might be?

Thanks to Everyone
 
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