Saving Time: Cataloging America's Hidden Horological History


The records in the National Watch and Clock Museum archives are from numerous American horological manufacturers, including Seth Thomas Clock Company, Hamilton Watch Company, Illinois Watch Company, Westclox Clock Company, and Gruen Watch Company. Many other manufacturers are likely represented in the collection as well. These companies employed tens of thousands of Americans in the manufacturing of their timepieces, impacting millions of Americans directly and indirectly. Millions of clocks and watches were made all over the country from the mid nineteenth to late twentieth centuries. The history of the watch and clock industry in the United States is an important part of the history of the industrial revolution and manufacturing in America. Uncovering the records housed in the archives will allow scholars to better understand the workings of these companies, which employed tens of thousands of Americans. Everyday timepieces purchased at the height of American dominance in the field of horology are passed down to new generations, who wish to know more about their new heirlooms. A better understanding of the materials housed in the National Watch and Clock Museum's will allow librarians and researchers to better serve the public in identifying and learning about their clocks and watches.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



National Watch and Clock Museum


  • Noel Poirier

Collection Size

381 linear feet

Date Range

1830 - 1970

Geographic Scope

The companies know are covered in the collection were based in Ohio, Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Their pieces were sold all over the US.