The Elgin Master Records
These are extracts from the so-called Elgin Master Records. There is
little information on the history or purpose of these records. They
record information on each grade and appear to have been used by Elgin
during the manufacturing of the watches.
These records appear to have been created in the mid 1890s,
probably based on earlier records. In particular, the grade 274
records appears to have missing information, possibly caused when
the records were rebound or copied in the 1890s. The scans
presented here are from photocopies made by Dan Anderson and Greg
Frauenhoff and additional information was lost during this
photocopying. Much of the writing is not legible either on the
photocopies, nor on the scans, I do not know if they are legible
on the originals. Also, additional notes have been added by Dan
and it is not clear which notes are original. (I believe the
boldest and most clear notes are the ones made by Dan.) The
original records are held in the NAWCC library, however, they will
not allow people to make copies of them.
Each grade has two pages of information. One is a list of
specifications for the grade, often with changes and small notes.
Often on the back side of the previous grade's specifications
page, there were written notes and changes. The information
recorded here appears to be very accurate, but not complete. For
example, if there are notes that say that some serial numbers have
been changed to be are marked with a new name, those watches will
be marked with that name. However, there are often additional
watches that have had their names changed which these records do
not record. Information about watches made before the mid 1890s
appears to be very incomplete, many do not have any notes at all.
These records use
instead of the more common "Adjusted" or "Adjusted to 5 Positions"
notations. These adjustment numbers give detailed
specifications about the adjustment tolerances and which positions
watches are adjusted to.
The following grades have been selected because they are some of
the most interesting examples. Most grades contain far less
I do not have complete copies of the Elgin master records. In
particular, I have no information on the 16 sized grades and many
of the more interesting smaller sizes are also missing. Still, if
there is a grade that you would like to see, contact me and I'll
see if I can scan a copy for you.
Download a complete set of the above images in a printable form:
PDF file print quality: Poor (1.3M) Rough Draft (2.2M) Good (3.9M) Highest (4.4M)