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James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967

view James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967 digital asset number 1
Collector:
Arthur, James (machine shop owner) 1842-1912
Lender:
New York University
Subject:
Jones, Ezekiel
Physical description:
15 cu. ft
32 boxes
Type:
Photographs
Collection descriptions
Business records
Publications
Inventories
Manuscripts
Reports
Advertisements
Sales catalogs
Press releases
Patents
Clippings
Date:
1743
1743-1967
20th century
1850-1900
19th century
Notes:
James Arthur owned and operated a New York machine shop for patent models. He came to the United States from Scotland in 1871. Fourteen years later he established Arthur Machine Works in New York City for the construction of original and special machinery. He was a skillful, ingenious, highly trained mechanic. While not technically a clockmaker or a watchmaker, he was especially interested in horology and timekeeping devices. From boyhood, clocks and watches were his hobby and he was a discriminating collector.
For more than forty years, he collected watches and clocks from many countries and periods. Arthur was quick to recognize any features of a clock or watch that gave it a distinctive character. His fondness for the fine points of the machinery did not blind him to distinctions of form and beauty in the cases, to originality in the maker, or to the historical significance of the work. He was devoted to the science no less than to the art of timekeeping. Arthur's collection contained some 1,200 watches, 300 clocks, and numerous accessories.
Summary:
These records contain material on the Arthur collection of clocks and watches. Includes publications, inventories, manuscripts, reports, photographs, advertisements, catalogues, newspaper clippings, patents, and business records; correspondence files of NYU curators concerning the administration of the collection; a watch record book of sales of Ezekiel Jones, carried on bookkeeping, 1822 and 1825; and a copy of the Smithsonian-NYU permanent loan agreement, 1964.
Cite as:
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Lent by New York University
Topic:
Collectors and collecting
Horology
Clocks and watches
Watches
Models (Patents)
Data Source:
Archives Center - NMAH

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