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I'm hoping that someone will intertain a few questions from a total novice.
What have I got here?
Does it look correct?
What are the tiny inscriptions on the inside of the back of the case?
Any help would be appreciated.
Trouble posting picture. I'll keep trying
Picture of movement number C57755
Back of case
Inside of case back number 1346502
Detail of one of the inscriptions inside case
Welcome Aboard Bill,
Looks like a nice, most likely original example!
Your movement number C57755 fits into 1942 production as does that Case 11 with the 1346502 case number. It has the unusual hands from that time-frame due evidently to War-Time Shortages. The "Double-Sunk" porcelain-enamel "Heavy-Gothic" dial with "Hamilton Railway Special" markings is also entirely correct for that time. Most collectors would consider your watch to be an original combination.
Those little symbols you asked about, letters and numbers hand-scratched inside the case-back are "service marks" which is a code that identifies when and by whom the watch was serviced. Some watches in Railroad Time Service will have quite a few of those markings.
Share what you might know of the history and we'll see what others have to say.
This was one of the pocket watches (I believe the last one) that my grandfather owned. After WWI, after being rendered color blind by mustard gas he could no longer be a house painter because he said that he saw everything in reddish-brown. He took a job as a mail sorter for the Postal Service on the Union Pacific railroad.
His job was to get on the train and sort mail in the mail car between Omaha and Cheyenne Wyoming. At certain time intervals along the trip he would swing an arm out from the train that would snatch a bag of mail from the siding without slowing the train. Obviously this demanded precise timing and consequently, a good watch.
I hope this makes it a little more interesting.
Its always great to have the history of the previous owner. Great story. I don't know how fast the trains went but sure sounds like you could end up with a broken arm.
I think you mean a mechanical arm but whew I would wanna stand back.
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The use of a RR Grade watch to time "on the fly" RR Postal pickups is certainly unique and practical addition to the list of all the reasons RR people needed good watches. I totally agree with Lindell Your watch is not only a fine and original piece, but for you it can still serve to keep you "on time" with RR accuracy with one of the "Pinnacle" movements of US-Made watch Making.
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