Railroad Pocket Watches History



The pocket watch was first introduced during the 1500s and was referred to as a transportable watch because it was either kept in the pocket or worn on a chain that hung from the neck. These represented the first movable timepieces and started a revolution that saw the companies that manufacture them become very prosperous. Soon they were building watches with precise mechanisms that could more accurately tell time.

It was during the early 1600s that watch makers were suddenly paying such close attention to design and craftsmanship that they became more like artists. Round designs replaced the square that was popular early on and the cases became more streamlined. It was around this time when Christian Huygens was credited for discovering a principle noted as law of pendulum. This discovery greatly increased accuracy in keeping time and the minute hand was born.

One hundred years later, watch makers starting adding jewels to their creations to serve as bearings. The most elaborate and expensive of those produced incorporated diamonds into the design. Oil was also added to the mechanism to allow the hands to move smoothly and a second hand was added.

The railroad pocket watch was used by engineers during that era in an effort to keep the trains running on time. Precise time keeping was mandatory in this industry because inaccuracies could lead to tragedy if a pair of trains ended up on the same track at the same time.

The 19th Century saw the quality of these items increase significantly and certificates were eventually required to ensure that the watches that were produced were absolutely accurate.

The popularity of pocket watches began to decline with the introduction of the wrist watch. Even though they are not seen very much in modern times, they still hold an important place in history as significant time keeping devices.

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