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BIG OLE CHAIN... "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I was reading some back issues of THE BULLETIN... I came across this interesting article discussing the World's Largest PW Chain....


Well, click on the link below to see what Pat Renwick used in 1898.....
WORLDS LARGET POCKETWATCH CHAIN

I am sorry the image is not better... this is from February 1974 Bulletin, Whole #168.
From an article "Shades of Soapy Smith, The Klondike Gold Rush and The World's Largest Gold Watch Chain" By Eugene T. Fuller

This chain was made by Herman D. Kirmse, who came to Skagway in 1897 and hung his watchmaking "shingle".

The chain was commissioned by Pat Renwick from TEN gold nuggets. The finished chain weighed THREE POUNDS.

The story goes Pat liked to gamble and needed some money to cover from time to time. Herman did not want to see the chain melted down, so he made a deal with Pat to use the chain as collateral when he needed to cover his debts. It is stated in the article this could be two to three times a day! Herman and Pat worked out an agreement in that Pat had a combination to a safe on premises.... Herman would either find money or the chain in the safe! This arrangement continued until Pat's death in 1909 when Pat passed away. Herman did find the chain in the safe at this time. Herman asked the widow if she wanted the chain or the money, she decided on the money.

At the time of the article, the chain was still in the Kirmse family.

Herman also constructed the 'smallest' chain also. It is in the picture above the other. It consists of 283 nuggets and is 53 inches in length and weighs about a 1/2 ounce.

At the time of the article, it was also in the family.

This is just a small part of the article...worthy of archiving on the WWW.
 
Posts: 1496 | Registered: November 20, 2002
Picture of Stephanie O'Neil
posted
Thanks Terry for the article and picture. I would love to see the Big Ole Chain in person. I bet it's gorgeous. I loved the story too.

Speaking of chains, Klondike gold nuggests, has anyone seen pocket watch chains and fob chains made of California gold? I've seen pictures on the internet. They are beautiful. I'd love to add a California gold pocketwatch chain to my pocketwatch chain and PW fob collection!

Stephanie O'Neil
NAWCC #0143979
 
Posts: 1419 | Location: New Orleans, Louisiana USA | Registered: April 01, 2003
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