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The Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company Charles Clark Munn's new book, "The has just received from Dr. Everett T. Girl from Tim's Place," whose sayings are Tomlinson the manuscript of an important quoted on a card issued by the publishers, juvenile entitled “Four Boys in the Yel- Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, that lowstone," the first volume of “Our Own he has ordered five hundred of these cards Land Series." In this important series in order to present one to each student Dr. Tomlinson will by the travels and good under his charge. times of his characters teach an actual knowledge of the United States as few are qualified to do.
When the manuscript of Dwight Tilton's new book, “The Golden Greyhound," was submitted to its publishers, the manager was so impressed with the skilfully conceived mystery which completely baffled him that he felt safe in offering a dinner to any one in his office who would fairly guess the denouement. After repeated failures the guess was made, and the manager settled, but the readers of the book are now declaring that the successful one must have "peeked.”
Published by the Scribners
Frances Powell, whose full name is Frances Powell Case, was born in Newburgh on the Hudson River and spent most of her childhood there. Of late years she has lived in a little town called Wainscot, on the south shore of Long Island. There she spends most of her time and it is there that she does her writing. The scene of her first success “The House on the Hudson” is in the country around Newburgh, and the
the original of the "House" itself is an old tumbledown mansion not far from that town about which there were many stories.
Mr. Jesse Lynch Williams, whose new novel “The Day Dreamer” has just been published by the Scribners, is the son of a Presbyterian clergyman and editor. The author was born about thirty-five years ago in Virginia. Mr. Williams is Princeton man of the class of '92, and his first literary work, an unusual success, was “Princeton Stories" which has been called “the truest and most attractive picture of the recreative side of American college life that has yet been written.' After leaving college he became a newspaper man and for some time worked on the staff of the New York Sun.
President Charles F. Meserve of Shaw
The Marvelous Growth of the Waltham Watch Company and the Factors which have Made its Product Known
throughout the Whole World
[In view of the prominent mention of the Watch Industry in the National House of Representatives within the past few weeks, it seems appropriate to include in the present issửe of the New ENGLAND MAGAZINE a brief sketch of the now mammoth Watch Factory at Waltham, an industrial establishment of which New England—and especially Massachusetts-may well feel proud. This sketch naturally follows the brief history of Waltham, as given in our May number.]
commenced the enterprise which has now grown to be the most extensive of its kind in the world,—the manufacture of watches.
This enterprise had its conception in the brain of Aaron L. Dennison, a Maine
The late Martin Farquahar Tupper, in his very thoughtful book entitled "Proverbial Philosophy,'' has a chapter on “Good in Things Evil.” He might well have added a chapter on “Greatness in Things Little.” If there may be truly a greatness in little things, so there may be a greatness in the making of little things.
A Pocket Watch is an aggregation of pieces,---most of which are small, many of them almost microscopical in size, but all of them demanding great exactness in their making in order that a resulting exactness of performance may be secured when the numerous small and simple units are assembled to form a greater complex unit.
Greatness is a comparative term; in that sense, even if in no other, it is certainly proper to class the Waltham Watch Fac tory as one of the Great American Industries. As a watch industry, it takes its place as the largest in the world; moreover, it is the oldest establishment of the kind in America. It was not "born great." neither was its “greatness thrust upon it," but in a period of over fifty years of continuous labor it has “acquired greatness": and that not by aggregation, but by healthy and persistent growth.
When the American nation set up in business on its own account, in 1776, by declaring itself free and independent, its primary aims were political; but the spirit which led the American Colonists to sever the political ties binding them to the mother country, led them also to strive for their independence in commercial and industrial inatters. Naturally, the earlier efforts of the Colonists would be directed towards the supply of their material needs, and as their various manufactories were estab lished they would naturally be in the line of such supplying. But the spirit of American enterprise began to be felt, even in the childhood of the nation, and within seventy-five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence there
capitalist of Boston. This infant proved to be a voracious eater, and after a time other parties were called in to assist in furnishing the needful sustenance. Its infancy was spent in its birthplace, Roxbury, (now Boston Highlands) but after about three years it was thought best to try the virtues of country air, and it was removed to Waltham, where a home was built (in 1854) to receive it. Three years of feeble existence in its new home demonstrated that air alone was insufficient to support a healthy, vigorous life, and as the requisite financial nourishment could not
Improvement Company. In February, 1859, the name of the Corporation was, by act of the Legislature, changed to the American Watch Company.
At that time its capital was $200,000.00. In 1860 a dividend of five per cent. was. declared, which was notable as being the first profitable return obtained from watchmaking in America. A few months later the capital was increased to $300,000.00, and the future looked bright, but the war cloud suddenly darkened the prospects, and the watch business came to a standstill. However, the threatened evil proved a timely blessing, for an unexpected call came for watches for the soldiers; the watch factory was forced to its utmost capacity to supply the demand, and the following five years were exceedingly prosperous. In 1865 the capital was increased to $750,000. Since that time there has been a number of such increases, till in 1885 the amount authorized by the Legislature was fixed at $4,000,000.00. At that time the name was changed to the American Waltham Watch Company.
This change was made needful by the fact that the name "Waltham" had been made famous by the multitude and excellence of the watches produced by the American Watch Company, and another watch factory had been organized, and proposed to call itself the “Waltham Watch Company," thereby tending to deceive the public, who would naturally assume that in purchasing a watch marked "Waltham" they were getting one of the genuine make. The Courts decided that the original watch: company, by nearly half a century of constant labor, and steady imorovement, had made the name "Waltham” world-famous, and a synonym for excellence in watchmaking, and had earned the right to the exclusive use of the name.
Mr. Royal E. Robbins served as the Treasurer of the Watch Company from the time of its purchase in 1857 until within a few days of his death, which occurrea in July, 1902. He was
succeeded by his eldest son. Royal Robbins, who had had the advantages of association with his father, during his later years, and who had gradually assumed many of the duties of the responsible position which he now holds.
The growth of the business and the consequent need of enlarging the factory and giving it a larger measure of personal supervision than Mr. Robbins was able to give, led him to call to his aid one of his partners in the firm of Robbins & Appleton, the Selling Agents of the Company, and since 1884, Mr. E. C. Fitch has been the General Manager of the factory. In 1885 Mr. Fitch was chosen President of the Watch Company and has held tha“ office to the present time.
E. C. FITCH
President Waltham Watch Company be secured, the infant industry passed into a condition of syncope.
In 1857 the property passed into the hands of an assignee, and from him was purchased by Mr. Royal E. Robbins, for himself, and a firm of watch-case makers, to whom the watch company was indebted. The time for the purchase of a new and undeveloped business was most unfortunate, for the year 1857 witnessed the most extensive and disastrous financial disturbance in the history of the United States. But by rigid economy, careful management, and hard work, the business survived. It was carried on for two years under the names of Tracy. Baker & Company, Appleton, Tracy & Company, and the Waltham
adoption of the plan of interchangeability (then just coming into practice in some forms of American manufacture—notably the manufacture of muskets at the National Armory at Springfield, Massachusetts), could be made uniform, and at the same time, much cheaper. The theory of Mr. Dennison was a sound one, but it was a bold undertaking to adapt such a theory to the manufacture of such microscopic mechanism as that constituting a pocket watch. Mr. Dennison's plan was to substitute for the individual workman impersonal machines, in great variety, each
He has great ability in dealing with men, and under his leadership the productive capacity of the factory has more than doubled.
A potent factor in the enlargement and improvement of the factory and its products has been the wonderful development of automatic machinery, specially designed for the production of the individual pieces which constitute the various watch movements. In this line of machine invention there has probably been no one possessing the ability, and even genius, of the late Mr. D. H. Church, who for about twelve years served as Mechanical Superintendent of the Factory.
We have already said that the European methods of watch-making demanded high degree of individual skill in workmanship
The watch as a time-keeper originated in Germany about the year 1500, and the making of watches was exclusively a European industry from that time until the middle of the 19th century. In the earlier days, and in the older countries the matter of time was not a consideration of as much importance as it has come to be. when quick results are eagerly desired; so that the learner in the watch-making industry was expected to work for years before he acquired the highest degree of skill. This skill could be attained only after years of practice, but its acquirement was made easier by the fact that successive generations in a single family continued to produce the same class of work: that is, one family would continue to make a certain part of the watch; it might be the train wher's, or the pinions, or the regulators; while another family would produce screws. another springs, etc., all the members of a family, including "the children, being engaged in the work. The material thus produced by the various families would be gathered and fitted together by some firm, or individual, possessed of some capital; who could thus. eventually, turn out completed watches of various grades, upon which he would put his name. While many watches so produced might be most excellent in workmanship. and in accuracy also, yet there was a lack of uniformity in the dimensions of the corresponding parts of different movements; so that interchangeability was impossible,—and was
As has been suggested. “America was for many years entirely dependent upon the watch-makers of Europe for its supply of watches. But the spirit of independence, coupled with the fact that many watches imported from Europe were of very inferior workmanship, led Mr. Dennison to the confident belief that watches could be made not only better, but, by the
specially designed for the performance of a particular operation, or series of like operations. A few such machines were made in Mr. Dennison's day, but they constituted a mere beginning. They now seem to have been somewhat crude, but the time was not ripe, nor would the conditions have warranted any attempt to create machines of the character now required. Automatic watch-making has been an evolution, and it is by no means a completed process, and while
progress made during the first two decades of the Waltham Company's history, the last twenty years have seen wonderful develop
ment in that line, which has been made equivalent to saying over the whole civipossible, first because the continued en- lized world. largement of the business gave warrant Our space forbids more than a fragfor the expenditure of the large amount mentary sketch of this great industrial of money required for the construction of enterprise. We, therefore, close with the such complicated pieces of machinery; statement of a few facts which may be of second, the demand for watches has justi- interest. Exact information concerning fied the use of machines of great produc- the early production of the factory is not tive capacity, which would not have been obtainable, but it has been stated as a matwarranted during the earlier days. Lastly, ter of history that at the time of the rebut not least, the talented inventor was at moval of the "Boston Watch Company" hand, for Mr. Church's connection with to the present factory location in Waltham the Waltham Watch Factory was in the in 1854, there were employed about ninety line of watch-making, as he stood in the hands, producing five watch movements front rank in that profession. But his lier day, i.e., one watch for each eighteen
employes. At the present time the product is practically three thousand movements per day, with thirty-nine hundred and twenty-five employes, or one watch for each one and one-third employes. When people are told of the making of a completo watch movement for each twelve seconds of working time, the very natural question is asked—“Where do they all go?" And the answer is “everywhere.” The Watch Company itself does no commercial business, but consigns its entire product to Robbins & Appleton, who have acted as the Company's Selling Agents_since the purchase of the factory by Mr. Robbins in 1857.
The demand for Waltham watches has increased so rapidly that factory enlargement has been almost a yearly necessity. and the present year is no exception, for work is now in progress on the erection of two additional wings to the factory buildings, which even now, if placed in a continuous line, would make a five-story factory building considerably more than half a mile in length.
Recent inquiry disclosed the fact tha' from one of the more than twenty Departments of the factory a single month's delivery of maunfactured pieces amounted to 9,500,000, or a daily average of 380.000 nieces, the greater part of this work being the product of automatic machines. But while the productive capacity of automatic machines is so much greater than that of
the individual, it is a fact that the operaTreasurer Waltham Watch Company tives who attend them receive a higher rate
of wages than was the case when work ability in the line of original invention was was produced by the simpler mears. The so marked that on the occasion of the Waltham Company prides itself on payvisit to the United States of Prince Henrying the highest wages of any watch comof Germany, Mr. Church was honored by pany in the world, and is confident that being included in the one hundred "Cap- its employes, in intelligence and ability. tains of Industry” who met at a dinner are the peers, at least, of any similar given in New York in honor of the Prince. group to be found.
The Watch Company has practically The impossibility of meeting the world's made the City of Waltham, inasmuch as, demands for Waltham watches without a it may be safe to say, three-fourths of the material enlargement of its manufacturing City's population are directly or indirectly plant, has led the Company, by a unanidependent upon this company for their mous vote, to reorganize, and form a new employment or welfare. So also it has Corporation, to be called the Waltham made the name "Waltham" a familiar one Watch Company; and also to increase its wherever watches are carrie which is capital stock to twelve million dollars.