Archive of older news
|Changing ISPs||30 Mar 2005|
Sometime in the next week or so, I will be moving my website from
one ISP to another. In theory, this should all be
transparent to everyone and there should be zero downtime. If
things don't go well, you might have problems connecting for a
while, but rest assured that I'll try and fix any problems ASAP.
|Hardware problems||29 Mar 2005|
The power supply on my webserver went out last night. I bought a
new one, it is installed, and things appear to be working ok now.
Sorry about the 12hr outage.
|Elginwatches.org is back||19 Jan 2005|
As of yesterday afternoon, the elginwatches.ORG domain
started working again. It may take up to several days for
everyone to see this change though. Also, there are still
problems, in that I don't control the domains and as a result,
things may break at any time. *sigh*
|Something bad did happen||13 Jan 2005|
Well, apparently something bad did happen, despite my
crossed fingers. Worse, I didn't notice it right away. I've
switched things back to using elginwatches.COM but that
won't help people who can't find the website to begin with.
|"Nevermind!"||10 Jan 2005|
Well it appears that something good happened and
elginwatches.ORG was renewed an hour and a half after it
was supposed to expire. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope
nothing bad happens later on.
|Temporary change in domain name||10 Jan 2005|
Bad news: Sometime in the next day or two, I suspect that the
elginwatches.ORG domain name will stop working. I'm
attempting to switch stuff over to elginwatches.COM until I
can get this fixed. I do not know how long this will be a
The longer story:
The problem is that something is broken in the software ("DNS")
that figures out how to translate the name "elginwatches.org" into
something that can actually reach my computer (the IP
address). DNS is basically like a phone book that translates your
name into your telephone number. The scary thing is I'm actually
as much of an expert in this DNS stuff as I am in Elgin
watches. In fact, right now I'm very busy working with the DNS
group of the Internet standards organization (the IETF) to create
a new standard that will change how things work.
It is kind of like if I was a watch designer and was too busy
creating a new watch to fix my personal watch. So sent the watch
to a watchmaker, and the watchmaker messed it up and won't send it
back. I know what needs to be done. I've done almost everything
right, but it is still in the hands of someone else.
Technically, the problem is with the domain name registrar that
I'm using for elginwatches.ORG. I have been unable to renew the
domain name and all attempts over the last few months to get it
fixed have failed. I am also unable to transfer control from them
to another domain name registrar without the approval of the
current domain name registrar. So far, I have been unable to
reach them on the phone, and I'm not sure I will get any help from
them anyway since they say I'm only supposed to use their
web-based support (which is what they have been ignoring for
|A Brighter Future for Elginwatches.org||5 Jul 2004|
Every once and a while, someone asks me about what I have done to
make sure that elginwatches.org will survive if I get hit by the
proverbial vegetable truck.
In the last couple of weeks I talked with several of my relatives
about this very subject. I'm lucky in that many of my relatives
are very computer literate, and
they have long known that I have wanted them to continue the
elginwatches.org website and they were willing to do so.
As you have probably noticed, I've started running google ads on
my website. The great news is that this is now bringing in almost
enough income to pay for the costs associated with running the
website. This means that continuing to run the elginwatches.org
website will no longer be a (small) burden for my relatives and
maybe one day it will even become a source of income.
It is my hope that the elginwatches.org website will be around for as
long as people find it useful. While I dislike having to run ads,
this helps ensure that elginwatches.org will have a future.
 My father, started using computers in
50s, taught CompSci at UNL during the 70s, and continues to be
very active in very technical computer stuff to this day. My
brother is a system administrator at UNL, my ex-wife is a computer
programmer, and my sister used to do programming for research into
|Film On The Elgin National Watch
Company Now Available!||4 Dec 2002|
Bill Briska of the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum sent me email
and let me know that the film about the Elgin National Watch
Company that they have been working on is now available.
They have been working on this for about three years and was
professionally produced. The cost is $20 plus shipping.
See the Elgin Area
Historical Society website for details.
|Yet more scans||20 Nov 2002|
It looks like I've fallen behind on my updates.
Kent Singer has been busy as always sending more ads. The latest
batch includes ads for
Hamilton 992 in a plain case,
Hamilton 16s dials,
Illinois Bunn Special,
Illinois Alton Railroad,
Kelley's Watch Oil,
Nye Watch Oil,
Regal Watch Cases,
Hamilton Canadian Montgomery Dial.
I have also rescanned the
1914 Elgin Sales Catalog,
although the quality still isn't as high as I would like.
|1939 Elgin Sales Catalog||29 Aug 2002|
Today's new scanned document is a
1939 Elgin Sales Catalog.
This is a beautiful color catalog with around 300 wrist watches,
pocket watches and even a few clocks.
|More scanned documents reorganization||14 Aug 2002|
First off, John Fogarty and Tom McIntyre have graciously allowed me to
mirror John's large database of
Elgin Private Label
watches. There are over 400 watches listed in this database.|
I've continued to work on reorganizing, fixing errors, adding new
links and adding to the scanned Documents and Pictures section of
the website. I have added a scan of the
Elgin Almanac and I have also copied many other scans that
were available elsewhere on the website into the Documents and
Finally, I have also updated the
Frances Rubie Puzzle
with information that I've learned about in the last year and have
added links to documents that are now online.
|Reorganization of online books, ads
and pictures||30 Jul 2002|
The old "Picture Gallery" has been renamed to "Documents and
Pictures" to more closely match the types of scanned images that
are now available and it has been overhauled and reorganized.
There are two features of this reorganization that are the most
visible. First, it should be much easier to navigate with new
"previous", "next" and "up" links, making it much easier to "turn
the page" of the many scanned books. The other feature is that
you are now given the choice of four sizes of images instead of
just two. This lets you better balance the trade-offs of screen
size vs download time vs readability.
Besides the above features, the following new sections have been
added to the Documents and Pictures section:
Cases, Chains etc. Ads
Articles about Non-Elgin Related Topics
Ads for Non-Elgin Watches
Elgin Bulletin on balance poising
The first four sections are filled almost entirely with over 200
scans sent to me by Kent Singer. Thanks Kent!
|Online books: 1871 almanac, 1896 Material Catalog, etc.||8 Apr 2002|
Lots of stuff to report today!
First, I would like to thank Paul Chambre for allowing me host his
Forgotten Masterpieces: The Last Elgins,
which talks about Elgin's DuraBalance based watches.
Next, I would like to thank Kent Singer for sending me two more
Elgin ads on the B.W. Raymond. See the
1925 Two Inspectors and
1951 Railroader's wife makes Discovery.
Both of these ads appear in this month's
Bulletin. These ads are in the second part of Kent and Ed's
Railroader's Corner column on the 16s B.W. Raymonds.
I have continued doing some scanning and with the addition of the
complete 1871 Elgin Almanac and
extracts from the 1896 Elgin Material Catalog,
this website now has almost everything that Roy Ehrhardt's Elgin
book has. The most significant information that can still only be
found in dead tree format are the 4 pages of pictures from inside the
factory in Elgin. On the other hand, I have pictures from inside
the factory in Lincoln.
I'm sure that everyone can under why these pictures are
much more horologically significant. ;-)
The 1871 Elgin Almanac was the
first of 6 almanacs that Elgin published in order to promote their
watches to the public. This one is said to contain the first use
of the "father time" image by Elgin. It should be noted that
several of the advertisers were also investors in Elgin.
The extracts from 1896 Elgin Material Catalog,
are mostly items that are not duplicated in the
1915 Material Catalog. In
particular, there is a very nice list of Society, Sporting and
I have also scanned a few more grades from the so-called
Records. These include the 10s Keywind grades, which are
related to the
Frances Rubie Puzzle.
I also scanned the records for the grade 446 C.H. Hulburd
presentation watch and the "grade 277". The grade 277 is not
mentioned in any of the published serial number lists, the only
list I have found is in the Master Records. It is documented
as being a grade 150 (18s 21j OF) which has been converted from
pendant set to lever set. These "lever set grade 150" watches are
known to exist, but it is not known exactly how many were
produced. It appears that the master records list of converted
watches is incomplete.
Other scans include a
1932 Elgin Aviation
sales catalog showing some of the other products that Elgin
started to branch out into during the depression era. The
Wonders in Your Pocket is an introductory text on watches
that, while it is aimed at the general public, goes into more
detail than the
What is a Watch brochure.
Finally, I have scanned my copy of the
Waltham Watchmakers' Handbook.
This book is fairly technical and
covers subjects such as why double roller escapements are better
than single roller escapements, making adjustments to a watch
and cleaning a watch.
|1915 Material Catalog and Master Records||18 Mar 2002|
Egads! It has been almost a half a year since I've made any major
improvements to this website. I haven't disappeared, I've just
been real busy at work.
The news for today is that I have scanned the
1915 Elgin Material Catalog
and scanned selected grades from the so-called
Elgin Master Records.
These two books add more scans than all the Elgin ads combined
and increase the number of scanned pages on the website from 325
to 475. I've been working on these for quite a while now, so I
haven't been as idle as I might first appear.
|Improved glossary on serial numbers,
grades, models, etc.||13 Oct 2001|
Not much has been happening on my website lately, my new job has
been keeping me very busy.
Kent Singer has, of course, sent in
more Elgin ads, this time from
The only other significant change is to the
Glossary of watch
classifications. This web page has actually been split
in two, one is a short
version designed for new watch collectors. This
document now covers more subjects, has more useful
information, and is shorter than the old document. The second
one is a greatly
expanded version, which discusses the technical details
of how serial numbers, grades numbers, grade names and such
evolved over the years.
|What is a watch?||25 Apr 2001|
Tom McIntyre was kind enough to send me a copy of an Elgin booklet
What is a watch?"
and I have converted it into a web page. It makes a great
introduction to mechanical watches and how to judge the quality of a
|Watch sizes page updated||20 Mar 2001|
The watch size information web
page has been cleaned up, information on the Dennison gauge has been
added and there is a new table of the various watch sizes.
|Guide to watch values||16 Mar 2001|
I have recently finished (or, at least, stopped working on) a guide
to help you determine
how much your watch is worth.
|More donated pictures||13 Feb 2001|
Arthur DeKalb was kind enough to send me scans of a
Waltham Sales Catalog. No, there isn't any Elgin stuff in
there, but that's fine with me.
Kent Singer has continued to send me more pictures, which I really
appreciate. The latest are the "Old Timers" series from
|New Watch Word article||25 Jan 2001|
I came across an article on the remarkable
diagram of an Elgin Watch
that I've had up for a while now. It gives you some idea of just
how much work went into this drawing!
|Scan of 1904 Elgin Sales Brochure||12 Jan 2001|
There is now a scan of the
1904 Elgin Timemakers and Timekeepers
sales brochure. This introduced the Veritas line and ties the
developments of railroads with the developments of watches.
|New Discussion on Watch Jewels||11 Dec 2000|
I have added a web page that
discusses the reasons why watches have jewels, what those jewels
are, and why higher grade watches have more jewels.
|New photos||30 Nov 2000|
Joe Bott was kind enough to
11 more Elgin related photos
from the 1940's and 1950's. I really appreciate this kind of
thing. One of the reasons why I've gone through the effort of
putting this website together is because I know that I'll get stuff
like this in return and everyone comes out ahead.
|John C. Adams' Elgin watch SN113 found!||29 Nov 2000|
Rarely do I get to report actual NEWS about Elgin watches!
Charlie Klimkowski sent me an email tonight letting me know that
Chicago Tribune had
reported that the watch owned by John Adam's has been found. The
requires a "free registration" that asks all sorts of personal
For those of you who don't immediately recognize John C. Adams.
he was responsible for forming the
Elgin National Watch Co. (1864) by getting
the watchmakers and business men together. He later went on to
help start the Cornell Watch Co. (1867), the
Illinois Watch Company (1869), the
Adams & Perry Watch Co. (1874), and
the Independent Watch Co (1880).
|Ebay logs are now searchable||28 Nov 2000|
You can now search the eBay logs
for exactly what you want instead of having to download the entire
database. This should be a big plus if you want to guess the value
of your watch.
This search has now been integrated into the
Online Elgin Serial Number
lookup. You can click a link to list all watches sold with the same
grades ad the watches you looked up.
|Updated Links||27 Nov 2000|
Over the last few weeks, I've been finding a lot of new sites to add to my
links page. The list of sites about other
watch companies in particular has been greatly expanded.
|New page on watch repair||7 Nov 2000|
I've added a new article on
Watch Repair ca 1910 that
gives a little perspective on what things used to be like. In some
ways, things haven't changed much!
|The picture gallery is a little better||25 Sep 2000|
should be a little bit easier to use now. It
now has the same "look and feel" as the rest of the website, and I
have also created pictures that are easily viewable on a web
If you have looked at the Picture Gallery before but found it too
confusing and/or the pictures too large to be worth wading through,
I recommend you try taking another look.
|A neat new picture||18 Sep 2000|
A while ago, I picked up a blue print of an Elgin watch. I had the
image scanned, but the resulting file was too large to work with.
Well, after some playing around with
The Gimp, I managed to shrink the
picture down and turn it into something usable for the website. You
can view the picture on the
page. I wish you could see
the full sized version, it is awesome!
|A few new pages||6 Sep 2000|
Well, before I even finished reorganizing the website, I've added a
few new pages. I how have a list of
recommended books and an
"About Me" page.
|New Website||3 Sep 2000|
You are now looking at the new website for the Elgin Watch
Collectors site. It should be easier to get around in, it looks
a little nicer, but most importantly, it is much easier to add new