Display Watch

EW61 front
watch index 41
country American  
piece name (title): E. Howard series VII
set stem
jewels 15j
size 18s
plate three quarter
plate finish gilt
date 1883
long comment Gent's 18S (N size), stem wound and stem set, silverode (notes), open face pocket watch, Series VII, S/N 202906, made by the E.Howard Watch Co, Boston, circa 1883-1885.
case style snap_back
case material steel
serial number 20290
movement Stem wound and stem set, three quarter gilt brass plate with 15 jewels, some in gold settings, adjusted to heat and cold (marked on the bridge), Ball/Howard type regulator with bi-metallic balance wheel, serial number 202906 and marked for the E. Howard Watch Co., Boston.
case Size 'N' or 18S open face case made of Silverode white metal (notes) with the engraved imprint of a locomotive on the outer cover, while inside the cover the casemaker mark of the Philadelphia Watch Case company (notes) is noted with case number 903071. There is a compressed fluted ball pendant and bow for winding and setting, at the three position.
case marks
dial and hands White enameled dial with Roman hour chapter ring, sunken subsidiary seconds at 6, closed minute ring to the outside, steel Breguet hands and the dial marked for E. Howard & Co. Boston.
notes Silverode was a logo of the Philadelphia watch case Company indicating that the metal alloy had several different white metals in the composition, all EXCEPT silver.

Philadelphia Watch Case Company: MR. THEOPHILUS ZURBRUGG bought out the watch case company of Leichty & Le Bouba in 1884, in Philadelphia, Pa.

"About 1888 he changed the name to the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. He made various types of cases, using a crown as one trademark and an arm and hammer as another. The company moved to Riverside, N.J. in 1902.

"In 1904 this man managed a series of mergers, which brought together his own Philadelphia Watch Case Co., Bates and Bacon, Crescent and the Keystone Watch Case Co."

From page 7: "... After a series of mergers in 1904 the name became the Keystone Watch Case Co., Riverside, N.J."

A different report from above shows that: "... the history provided in legal documents for the anti-trust case against Keystone ... states that all of the capital stock of a newly organized Philadelphia Watch Case Co. (August 1900) was owned by Keystone."

Jerry Treiman in a message board thread about a U.S. Watch Co. Watch.

And in fact, the history of the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. is bound up with that of the T. Zurbrugg Co. and of the Keystone Watch Case Co. It was the T. Zurbrugg Co. which, having moved to Riverside, NJ in 1898, purchased the case business from J. Muhr & Bro. (successor to H. Muhr's Sons) and thus gained the use of the trade marks for Crown and Lion cases. The T. Zurbrugg Co. was apparently absorbed by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. when it was incorporated by Zurbrugg and others in 1899. This is indicated on Philadelphia's letterhead which included a small banner reading "Successors to T. Zurbrugg Co." That letterhead can be seen in an open letter to the trade, published when Philadelphia bought Bates and Bacon in January 1901.

In 1901, the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. had purchased the U.S. Watch Co. at Waltham, only a little more than a year after NY Standard was purchased by Keystone and Zurbrugg. That was at the same time, that the three companies, Zurbrugg, NY Standard and Philadelphia, opened a shared office on New York's Maiden Lane. But, it must be kept in mind that, by that point, Zurbrugg and Keystone were essentially the same company. The stated purpose in an article describing Philadelphia's purchase of the United States Watch Co., Waltham, Mass. was "... to have a large output of high grade watches, ..." but that didn't exactly happen, at least not under the Philadelphia name. Instead, Keystone (the real owner) purchased the rights to use the Howard name on watches and ran the company as the E. Howard Watch Co. Almost as if to add insult to injury, the names used on the cases were Keystone and Crescent, not Philadelphia.
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