Waltham Watch and the Civil War. The impact of the Civil War on the Fortunes of the Waltham Watch Co.

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1 Waltham Watch and the Civil War The impact of the Civil War on the Fortunes of the Waltham Watch Co.

2 The Boston Watch Company had been purchased at a Sherriff's sale by R. E. Robbins and associates in 1857 The Waltham Improvement (land) Company was merged with the watch company early in 1859 Several key design employees (Stratton, Moseley, Vander Woerd and others) had left the company late in 1859 to form the Nashua Watch Co. Pre-War Period October 16 18, 1859 John Brown, in an attempt to amass arms for a slave insurrection, attacks the federal armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. December 2, 1859 Brown is hanged for murder and treason at Charles Town, Virginia. November 6, 1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected President, with Hannibal Hamlin as his Vice President. December 20, 1860 As a consequence of Lincoln s election, a special convention of the South Carolina legislature votes to secede from the Union.

3 Organization Structure The Waltham Improvement Company was formed at the same time as the Boston Watch Company and owned the land and factory when the watch company failed in Edward Howard had intended to reorganize the company with Rice who had a mortgage on much of the machinery. They removed their goods from the premises just before the sale. Dennison went with Robbins, Tracy and Baker and was hired on generous terms by the surviving Appleton, Tracy and Company when Baker withdrew from the partnership. The key management roles were: R. E. Robbins, Treasurer and managing partner (85%) in Appleton Tracy & Co. William Keith, President Waltham Improvement Company A. L. Dennison, Superintendent and N. P. Stratton Assistant Superintendent

4 Making the American Watch Co. In the first year of operations Appleton, Tracy & Co. was producing watches even though Howard and Rice had taken much of the machinery After two years the watch company did not have enough capital to continue development. In January 1859, the Waltham Improvement Company purchased Appleton, Tracy & Co. by issuing additional stock to subscribers and paid the watch company owners with stock. The Waltham Improvement Company petitioned to change the name to The American Watch Company. R.E. Robbins was made Treasurer of the new company and owned 62% of the stock. He also owned the stock of watches in inventory. Factory employment contracts were carried over to the new company Robbins and Appleton retained their contract as exclusive selling agents

5 Stresses and Problems In late 1859, Stratton and several other key factory employees left to form the Nashua Watch Co. in Nashua, New Hampshire. Dennison s lack of discipline and experimental developments were viewed with concern by Robbins and Keith. Robbins was not comfortable living in Waltham and was having difficulty managing the factory and helping his partners in Robbins and Appleton develop a selling strategy for the factory s products. Dennison was pursuing his own vision of what the company should be and as tensions developed between the North and the South was negotiating with a jeweler in Washington for a low cost watch offering. These stresses came to a head in December 1861 when Robbins returned from his honeymoon and Dennison was dismissed for insubordination.

6 1861 Was a Busy Year Lincoln was inaugurated and the southern states seceded. Ft. Sumter fell and the war had begun. The ensuing depression caused sales to fall by more than 60% Robbins had wooed Elizabeth Horton of Gloucester. They wed on October 2, 1861 and left the next day for a 3 month honeymoon in Europe. Robbins had left strict instructions that Dennison was to be kept in check in this letter to Keith. This firm 1 cannot be bursted or damaged by anything likely to happen in this War. They are, I find, strong and saucy and in better credit than ever. I am determined however that their position shall not be weakened by any calls from the company 2 not absolutely necessary; and that not a dollar be put into the manufacture that can be withheld. There can t be half a dozen financial managers; and no interference with finances on the part of anybody. I know exactly what I am about and I know that everything will come out right with any one man s management of money matters; he must do exactly as he is bid. If he don t there will be a row. 1 Firm refers to Robbins and Appleton 2 Company refers to the American Watch Co.

7 While the Cat Was Away Dennison was busy selling watches instead of operating the watch factory. I. P. Libbey of Washington D.C. lobbied Dennison to produce a cheap watch for soldiers. The low cost Ellery grade was produced and 300+ were sold. The P.S. Bartlett grade of the thin model was sold to the U.S. Navy through Bond & Co. These sales by-passed the exclusive sales arrangement with Robbins & Appleton and were totally unacceptable to Robbins Robbins had ordered development of a cheap watch when he first took over the company in The C. T. Parker was the result. Instead of reviving the C.T. Parker Dennison invested in the new Ellery grade. Stratton s Thin Model had also been cost reduced as the P.S. Bartlett grade. It underwent further cost cutting to become the Ellery thin model.

8 Purchased Bartlett Aug thin model Portsmouth Portsmouth Portsmouth Kingfisher W.G. Anderson Portsmouth Str Mohican Str Sagamore Bond Navy Records Returned various Ellery June Pontivsur 1857 model Ellery July 14, 1865 Richmond 1857 model Ellery July 25, 1865 Tsefon? thin model Ellery Aug Sophronia 1857 model Bartlett Aug Sacramento thin model Ellery Aug Niagara thin model

9 Lincoln's Pocket Watch Reveals Long-Hidden Message Lincoln's English gold watch was purchased in the 1850s from George Chatterton, a Springfield, Illinois, jeweler. Lincoln was not outwardly vain, but the fine gold watch was a conspicuous symbol of his success as a prominent Illinois lawyer. Lincoln s English gold watch The National Museum of American History acquired the watch in 1958 as a gift from Lincoln Isham, Abraham Lincoln great-grandson.

10 Lincoln s Waltham Watch After the delivery of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln was presented a Soldier s Watch serial number an 1857 model Wm Ellery grade that was from a run of 320 examples made during January Pictures are of another watch from the same run.

11 Robbins View From The R. E. Robbins reported on the affairs of the company each year. Treasury There are no reports until the Watch Company was merged with the land company in The small partnership did not require such reports. In the initial 1859 report Robbins declined to give an account of the stock of watches and cases on hand however the accounts did show an advance payment of almost $20,000 from Robbins and Appleton against future purchases. (At that time Robbins personally owned the watches in inventory from before the reorganization.) The 1861 report showed modest continued progress but noted a dividend had been skipped. The report was given by Keith because Robbins was away tending to his sick father. In 1862 the business showed its first loss under Robbins, but the impact was greatly reduced by sacrifices made by the employees The financial impact of the start of the war was brief and the business was recovering by 1863 when the runaway Nashua Watch Co. was purchased. By 1865 plans were underway to increase the workforce and the size of the plant.

12 R. E. Robbins Production Reports Feb 1 st Mvts Made Cases Made Mvt Sales Case Sales Mvt Inv Case Inv Net Inc. Emp 1859 * 5,500 * 3,500 * 4,000 * 2,000 ^2,711 ^1,844 $56, ,304 6,146 10,799 5,212 ^4,216 ^2,778 $180, ,055 3,768 10,206 5,041 ^6,065 ^1,505 $164,546 NA ,734 1,654 4,145 1,967 4,654 1,192 $61, ,059 8,450 20,341 7,700 3,278 1,959 $242, ,103 12,059 39,188 11,506 2,167 3,253 $576, ,632 14,485 36,376 11,719 10,373 6,604 $838,534 Fiscal not Calendar Year Notes to Treasurer s Report * Estimated numbers ^ Extrapolated numbers 1. Laid off 20, 4/5 time. 2. Reduced to contract hands working at ¼ to ½ reduction in pay.

13 The record of watches lists all production runs through 7,555,000. This snapshot is from Record of Watches

14 Record of Watches Production War Models Yr\Mdl Full Pl Thin Ladies Spc l KW16 KW20 Ladies Total , , , , ,113 1, , ,760 4,320 1, , ,315 6,740 1,600 1, , ,600 6,940 2, , ,960 1,200 2, , , , , ,800 74,315 TOTAL 208,805 22,109 11, ,628 2,389 1, ,311

15 Record of Watches Production War Grades Yr\Grd ATCo AWCo Ellery PSB Other Total , , , , , , , , , ,185 3, , , ,400 8,670 35, , ,800 18,710 48, , ,600 20, , , ,920 37, ,315 Total 28, , ,776 2, ,311

16 Run up May 24 Union troops cross the Potomac River from Washington and capture Alexandria, Virginia, and vicinity. Colonel Elmer E Ellsworth is killed by a local innkeeper and is the first officer to die in the war. He becomes a martyr for the North. May 29 Richmond becomes the capital of the Confederacy. July 21 Confederate forces win a victory at the First Battle of Manassas. Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson earns the nickname Stonewall for his tenacity in the battle. November 1 George B. McClellan, thirty-four, replaces the aging Winfield Scott as general-in-chief of the Union armies. November 8 The Union navy seizes Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and France James A. Mason and John Slidell from the British steamer Trent, inflaming tensions between the United States and Great Britain. November Julia Ward Howe, inspired after seeing a review of General McClellan's army in the Virginia countryside near Washington, composes the lyrics to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It is published in the Atlantic Monthly in February January 9, 1861 Star of the West, an unarmed merchant vessel secretly carrying federal troops and supplies to Fort Sumter, is fired upon by South Carolina artillery at the entrance to Charleston harbor.

17 January 9 February 1 Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas follow South Carolina s lead and secede from the Union. January 29 Kansas is admitted as a state with a constitution prohibiting slavery. February Delegates from six seceded states meet in Montgomery, Alabama, to form a government and elect Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America. March 4 Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the sixteenth President of the United States. April Fort Sumter is bombarded and surrenders to South Carolina troops led by P. G. T. Beauregard. April 15 Lincoln declares a state of insurrection and calls for 75,000 volunteers to enlist for three months of service. April 17 May 20 Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina secede from the Union. April 19 Lincoln orders a blockade of all Confederate ports. April 20 Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army.

18 Record of Watches Production War Models Yr\Mdl Full Pl Thin Ladies Spc l KW16 KW20 Ladies Total , , , , ,113 1, , ,760 4,320 1, , ,315 6,740 1,600 1, , ,600 6,940 2, , ,960 1,200 2, , , , , ,800 74,315 TOTAL 208,805 22,109 11, ,628 2,389 1, ,311

19 February 6, 1862 General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Henry, Tennessee. Ten days 1862 later he accepts the unconditional and immediate surrender of Fort Donelson. These victories open up the state of Tennessee for Union advancement. March 9, 1862 The ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly the sunken USS Merrimack, which the Confederates had raised from the Norfolk Navy Yard and rebuilt as an ironclad) battle to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia, demonstrating the superior potential of vessels made of steel. April 4 On the peninsula southeast of Richmond, McClellan leads the Army of the Potomac toward Yorktown, Virginia, beginning the Peninsular Campaign. April 6 7 Union General Ulysses S. Grant prevails at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, but not without enormous losses. April 16 Conscription is adopted in the Confederacy. April 25 Federal fleet commander David G. Farragut captures New Orleans. May 8 Stonewall Jackson s Shenandoah Valley campaign begins successfully with a victory at the Battle of McDowell in Virginia.

20 May 31 June 1 During the Battle of Seven Pines in Virginia, Robert E. Lee takes over command of the Confederate army from the wounded Joseph E. Johnston. June 25 July 1 Lee forces McClellan s army to retreat, ending the threat to Richmond in the Seven Days campaign. August 20 Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune publishes The Prayer of Twenty Millions, a plea for Lincoln to liberate slaves in the Union. August The South is again victorious at the Second Battle of Manassas. September 17 The Battle of Antietam, Maryland, exacts heavy losses on both sides. September 22 President Lincoln issues the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. November 7 General McClellan receives Lincoln s order relieving him of command of the Army of the Potomac. December 13 Lee wins the Battle of Fredericksburg decisively.

21 Record of Watches Production War Models Yr\Mdl Full Pl Thin Ladies Spc l KW16 KW20 Ladies Total , , , , ,113 1, , ,760 4,320 1, , ,315 6,740 1,600 1, , ,600 6,940 2, , ,960 1,200 2, , , , , ,800 74,315 TOTAL 208,805 22,109 11, ,628 2,389 1, ,311

22 January 1, Mid-War Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which declares that slaves in the seceded states are now free. Timeline March 3 President Lincoln signs a federal draft act. April 7 In a test of ironclad vessels against land fortifications, Union Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont s fleet fails to penetrate the harbor defenses of Charleston. May 1 4 Lee hands the Army of the Potomac another serious loss at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Stonewall Jackson is wounded during the battle. He will develop pneumonia and die on May 10. June 9 Confederate cavalry under Jeb Stuart clash with the Union mounts of Alfred Pleasonton in an all day battle at Brandy Station, Virginia. Some 18,000 troopers approximately nine thousand on either side take part, making this the largest cavalry battle on American soil. In the end, Stuart will hold the field. Yet this battle signals the rise and future domination of Union cavalry in the eastern theater. July 1 3 The Battle of Gettysburg is fought in Pennsylvania. General George G. Meade compromises his victory by allowing Lee to retreat South across the Potomac.

23 July 4 After a long siege, Confederates surrender Vicksburg to Ulysses S. Grant, thus securing the Mississippi River for the Union. July Violent riots erupt in New York City in protest of the draft. September Confederates under General Braxton Bragg win a great tactical victory at Chickamauga, Georgia. Union General George H. Thomas wins the nickname "Rock of Chickamauga" for his stubborn defense of his position. November 19 Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, in which he reiterates the nation s fundamental principle that all men are created equal. November After three days of battle, the Union victory at Chattanooga, Tennessee, opens the way for Union advancement into the heart of the Confederacy.

24 Ladies Watch The Watches Nashua KW20 Watch Full Plate Watch Thin Model Watch Waltham s 1857 model was just called the Full Plate watch. The Thin Model was the name used for the ¾ plate 1859 model The Ladies Watch was a small version of the 1859 model With the purchase of the Nashua Watch Co., the KW20 and KW16 were added to the repertoire. Nashua KW16 Watch

25 Record of Watches Production War Models Yr\Mdl Full Pl Thin Ladies Spc l KW16 KW20 Ladies Total , , , , ,113 1, , ,760 4,320 1, , ,315 6,740 1,600 1, , ,600 6,940 2, , ,960 1,200 2, , , , , ,800 74,315 TOTAL 208,805 22,109 11, ,628 2,389 1, ,311

26 March 10, Newly commissioned to the rank of lieutenant general, Ulysses S. Grant is given official authority to command all of the armies of the United States. May 5 6 The Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia is the first of a bloody series of month-long engagements between Grant and Lee. May Battles at Spotsylvania Court House and Yellow Tavern impede Grant s drive for Richmond. Confederate cavalry commander Jeb Stuart is killed at Yellow Tavern, May 11. June 1 3 The Battle of Cold Harbor results in heavy Union casualties. Grant prepares for a ten month siege of Petersburg. June 19 The USS Kearsarge sinks the CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France, where the Confederate raider was bound for refitting. June 28 Lincoln signs a bill repealing the fugitive slave laws. July Confederate forces under Jubal Early probe and fire upon the northern defenses of Washington, D.C., throwing the Capital into a state of high alert. August 5 Union Admiral David G. Farragut wins the Battle of Mobile Bay.

27 September 2 After forcing the Confederate army of John Bell Hood out of Atlanta, Georgia, General William T. Sherman captures the city, a major munitions center for the South. October 19 A Union victory at Cedar Creek ends the Confederate threat in the Shenandoah Valley. November 8 Lincoln is reelected President, with Andrew Johnson as Vice President. November 16 Sherman leaves Atlanta and begins his march to the sea, in an attempt to demoralize the South and hasten surrender. December General George Henry Thomas wins the Battle of Nashville, decimating John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee. December 21 Savannah falls to Sherman s army without resistance. Sherman gives the city to Lincoln as a Christmas present.

28 Record of Watches Production War Models Yr\Mdl Full Pl Thin Ladies Spc l KW16 KW20 Ladies Total , , , , ,113 1, , ,760 4,320 1, , ,315 6,740 1,600 1, , ,600 6,940 2, , ,960 1,200 2, , , , , ,800 74,315 TOTAL 208,805 22,109 11, ,628 2,389 1, ,311

29 1865 Last Days January 31, 1865 Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolishes slavery throughout the United States. Time Line February 17 Columbia, South Carolina, is almost completely destroyed by fire, most likely set by Sherman s troops. March 4 Lincoln is inaugurated as President for a second term. March 29 The Appomattox campaign begins, with Grant s move against Lee s defenses at Petersburg, Virginia. April 2 Petersburg falls, and the Confederate government evacuates its capital, Richmond. Confederate corps commander Ambrose Powell Hill is killed in action while attempting to rally his men. April 3 Union troops occupy Richmond. April 9 Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant at Appomattox. April 14 John Wilkes Booth shoots President Lincoln at Ford s Theater; Secretary of State William H. Seward is stabbed and wounded in an assassination attempt inside his Washington home.

30 April 15 Lincoln dies, and Andrew Johnson is inaugurated as President. April 26 Joseph E. Johnston surrenders to William T. Sherman in North Carolina; John Wilkes Booth is shot in a barn in Virginia and dies. May 10 Jefferson Davis is captured and taken prisoner near Irwinville, Georgia. May 26 In New Orleans, terms of surrender are offered to General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department. His acceptance on June 2 formally ends Confederate resistance. June 30 All eight conspirators are convicted for the assassination of President Lincoln; four are sentenced to death.

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