American System of Watch Manufacturing

American System of Watch Manufacturing

In the mid 19th century Aaron Lufkin Dennison became inspired by the manufacturing techniques of the United States Armory at Springfield, Mass. The "armory practice" was mainly based on a strict system of organization, the extensive use of the machine shop and a control system based on gauges.

In the rest of the world manufacturing involved making certain parts under the roof of a factory and obtaining other parts from piece workers who used their own cottages as workshops.

The American System of manufacturing by interchangeable parts meant the establishment of working facilities for the entire manufacture. It meant that everything was made on the premises, not according to the plans or ideas or methods of work of individual workmen, but under the direct supervision of a company's foreman, according to gauges the company furnished, under conditions of time, cleanliness and care which the company prescribed.

There was probably no greater industrial challenge, no line of manufacturing in the world demanding such a high grade of business and mechanical ability, and such unremitting care and oversight, combined with technical skill and individual dexterity and judgment as is indispensable in systematic watch making.

Waltham soon found that it was necessary to invent, develop and build its own production machinery, special gauges systems adjusted to the smallest watch parts dimensions, new alloys & materials.

The chronology of production lessons at the Waltham Watch Company can be divided into three phases:

*1849-1857 learning and experimenting
*1858-1870 refining and gauging
*1871-1910 automating and factory organization

References

* Hoke, Donald Robert; The Time Museum Historical Catalogue of American Pocket Watches; Time Museum Rockford, Illinois, U.S.A.

ee also

* E. Howard & Co.
* Waltham Watch Company
* Elgin Watch Company
* Armory practice

External links

* [http://www.awco.org/Seminar2002/ Boston The Cradle of American Watchmaking]
* [http://www.awco.org/Seminar2002/bostonwatchco.htm The Boston Watch Co]
* [http://www.timemuseum.com/ Time Museum Rockford, Illinois, U.S.A.]
* [http://www.watkinsr.id.au/favre.html Philadelphia Exhibition 1876 Report to the Federal High Council by Ed. Favre-Perret (1877)]


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