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  #1  
Unread 01-22-2008, 02:12 AM
Confused Colonial Confused Colonial is offline
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Default Railway Watch Question

I understand that a railway employee had to obtain his own watch at his own expense to meet the standards set down from time to time. He was then required to submit it to an authorised inspector on a regular basis for service and adjustment as required. So far easy but, if the watch needed work who paid. I can see a lot of potential for all sorts of shifty stuff if that part is not well controlled. How did they work it.
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Unread 01-22-2008, 05:11 PM
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The system that was used was simple.If the employee didn't have another watch ( most did) and it needed to stay tied up for a part etc., the inspector loaned him a watch. These were marked on the cases as LOANERS.

Most RR inspectors were the largerest Jeweler's in town and he would always have many surplus watches from his trade to use for this purpose.
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Unread 01-22-2008, 09:14 PM
Confused Colonial Confused Colonial is offline
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Thanks for the additional information Jim but you did not fully answer my question. Suppose driver x put his watch in for service. He gets a loaner and the watch maker services his watch. Who pays for the service? A normal watch was not checked and timed as often as a railway watch. Did the owner have to pay for this additional attention or did the railway company?
Suppose the watch had a worn balance staff. It may be good enough for normal use but can not meet the tighter requirments for railway use. Did the owner have to pay for the work or did the railway company? If the owner had to pay could he shop around for a better price or could he only go to the nominated place. I can't see the owner getting a good deal if the work had to be done and he had no choice where to take the watch. On the other hand if the railway company paid they could negotiate a good deal due to the quantities involved.

In the Victorian Railways (Australia) they supplied all watches and had a department set up to look after them. The same for typewriters. If you needed one it was assigned to you and if you left you had to give it back or pay for it.
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Unread 01-23-2008, 06:45 AM
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Colonial,
You have too many "supposes" in your question and to find the answers you must do some research. The best place to start would be the NAWCC library and back issues of the "Bulletin" .

The US railway system didn't do as the Australia railway system did. The workers paid for the timing service, however the Railroads got a cheaper price than the public.

Balance staffs didn't wear out because the jewelling made them friction free. Some are running 100 years later. They did break and when dropped causing many problems with the jewels and the staff could bend the tips, but wear wasn't a problem.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:45 AM
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I have talked to watchmakers, and they said that dropping or banging a watch will ruin the balance staff. Trains are bumpy. How often did the railroad men need to borrow a loaner watch while having the balance staff of their watch replaced?
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Unread 05-05-2008, 10:11 AM
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They get broken mostly by crashing to the floor and that is why you need a watch chain when wearing a pocket watch.

Or, smaking into a show case can also break them--IT IS AN ABRUPT BANG that breaks the staff.
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Join the ranks of ethical/credible pocket watch collecting practices--KEEP POCKET WATCHES ORIGINAL--DON'T PART THEM OUT OR SWITCH COMPONENTS!
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Unread 05-05-2008, 10:32 AM
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So then the jarring motion of a train did not have that much effect on the balance staffs?
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Unread 05-05-2008, 10:35 AM
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no
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Jon "the truth" Hanson
American Horologe Co. (America's Most Respected Name).
Founder of nawcc Chapter 149--the leading pocket watch collectors' club!
Long time collector; NOW over 60 years of collecting, researching, educating and assisting collectors with pocket watch issues.
Join the ranks of ethical/credible pocket watch collecting practices--KEEP POCKET WATCHES ORIGINAL--DON'T PART THEM OUT OR SWITCH COMPONENTS!
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  #9  
Unread 05-05-2008, 10:37 AM
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Thanks!
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