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The Pocket Watch in History "Click" to Login or Register 
Picture of Stu Goldstein
posted
I think it would be interesting and instructive to compile historical references to pocket watches. I hope many of us will contribute on this subject.

Here’s one I came across last night. It’s from Touched by Fire – The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer, by Louise Barnett (Holt, 1996).

The common code of warfare most often referred to, that of the officer and the gentleman, seems to crop up everywhere in Civil War annals, sometimes in a fantastic form. Henry Edwin Tremain recalled a Confederate prisoner taken prisoner at Sailor’s Creek who appealed to his Union counterpart because his watch had been stolen. The officer replied, “That is to be regretted, sir; if it can be found, it shall be restored and the thief punished.” This against a backdrop that Tremain describes as “scattered horses, wrecked artillery, ghastly human corpses.”
 
Posts: 355 | Location: Northern Idaho in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 26, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
In following up on this post, I am currently reading a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and though a tee-totaler all his life, he was known early on to celebrate on EXTREMELY rare occasions. One of those times was in celebration of his graduation from Harvard. In his diary, he referred to the fact that he had indulged quite heavily in the supplied spirits, BUT, he was STILL able to wind his watch before going to bed with no problem! I have read this many times in Victorian fiction as to the ability to wind a watch as a measure of sobriety for an individual, but this is the first time I've read it written down by a famous personage from our history! Regards. Mark

NAWCC Member 157508
NAWCC-IHC Member 163
 
Posts: 3733 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Picture of Stu Goldstein
posted
“For decades after the introduction of the going barrel, makers felt it necessary to engrave an arrow around their winding holes to warn the user to turn his key to the right; while those who could afford to used “tipsy keys” with ratchet insert, so-called because they could turn squares only to the right and hence were proof against the errors of inebriation.”

– David S. Landes, Revolution In Time, Harvard University Press, p 298

Stu
 
Posts: 355 | Location: Northern Idaho in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 26, 2002
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
How about that!! EekThanks, Stu! High regards. Mark

NAWCC Member 157508
NAWCC-IHC Member 163
 
Posts: 3733 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Picture of Jessica Lane
posted
I was reading somewhere that George's Washington's Crossing of the Delaware wasn't quite as dashing a spectacle as it's pictured. Apparently a lot of men had to walk across (some with the horses, some because they didn't have enough boats). I read that after five hours walking on a freezing day through the icy water, they had only gotten some partial distance (don't remember how far). But I think we can assume that someone had a watch,very likely George Washington, and others, since I distinctly remember five hours.
 
Posts: 834 | Location: New York, New York U.S.A. | Registered: September 06, 2003
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