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James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection

Creator:
New York University  Search this
Arthur, James, 1842-1912 ((machine shop owner))  Search this
Names:
Jones, Ezekiel  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (32 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Reports
Sales catalogs
Advertisements
Publications
Clippings
Business records
Inventories
Patents
Manuscripts
Press releases
Date:
1743-1967.
Scope and Contents note:
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.
Arrangement:
Divided into 7 series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Patent Specifications, (3) Horological Pamphlets and Articles, (4) Miscellaneous Articles, (5) Clock Makers Directory, (6) Press Clippings about Watches and Clocks, (7) Photographs.
Biographical/Historical note:
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.
Provenance:
Collection donated by New York University, 1964.
Restrictions:
Portions of this collection are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to access it.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Watches  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Horology  Search this
Models (Patents)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Reports
Sales catalogs
Advertisements
Publications
Clippings
Business records -- 19th century
Inventories
Patents
Manuscripts -- 19th century
Press releases
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Lent by New York University.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0130
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0130

Howe Scale Company Records.

Creator:
Howe Scale Co.  Search this
Names:
Ross, Thomas  Search this
Strong, Frank M.  Search this
Extent:
32 Cubic feet (77 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Cashbooks
Charters
Clippings
Stock certificate books
Specifications
Minutes
Newsletters
Photographs
Sales records
Inventories
Journals (accounts)
Ledgers (account books)
Legal documents
Correspondence
Place:
Vermont
Date:
1868 - 1963
Scope and Contents:
These records, 1868 1963, include records of various companies some of which eventually merged into the Howe Scale Company. Included are corporate records: minutes, charters, legal documents, stock certificate books, and correspondence; sales records: newsletters, inter branch correspondence, catalogs and price lists; financial records: ledgers, journals; cash books, inventories, reports, trial balances with recapitutlations; photographs; specifications; and news clippings. The 32 cubic feet of material is housed in 15 Paige boxes, 6 Hollinger boxes, and 44 volumes.

There is also a collection, the Howe Scale Company Papers, 1856 1961, at the Special Collections, Bailey Howe Library of the University of Vermont.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Corporate Records, 1868-1953

Series 2: Sales Records, 1928-1960

Series 3: Financial Records, 1883-1928

Series 4: Photographic Scrapbooks, 1887-1925

Series 5: Specifications, 1890-1927

Series 6: Clippings, 1953-1971
Biographical / Historical:
The original inventor of the Howe Scale was Frank M. Strong of Vergennes, Vermont. In 1855 while working for the Sampson Scale Company of Vergennes, he conceived of the idea of ball bearing protection for the scale. In 1856, along with Thomas Ross, Strong obtained the first patent.

The lever system was also simplified. This problem of accuracy led to a new ball bearing principle. The Strong and Ross improvement concerned a method for protecting the knife edges.

"A scale weighs by means of a system of levers. The fulcrum, or balancing support of this system is the sharp edge of a piece of steel called a pivot, on which the platform of the scale rests. When a load is placed on the platform the impact causes it to shift about on the pivots. This action tends to blunt the sharp edge of these pivots and affects the accuracy of the scale."

Frank Strong conceived of the idea of placing the scale platform on metal balls resting in cup shaped depressions over the knife edged pivots. This enabled the platform to move freely, absorb vibrations, reduce wear on the pivots and insure longer accuracy expectation of the scale. This invention became the first outstanding scale improvement in America, and was the real foundation of the present business.

The first scale with the new improved ball bearing was installed at Vernon Village Mills in Oenida County, New York in 1856. In 1857 the installation of a gigantic scale on the Morris Canal, Washington, New Jersey, for weighing canal boats was completed. The scales also took first premium at the Vermont State Fair in 1857 and 1858, competing with older and better known scales.

Also in 1857, Mr. John Howe, Jr., who owned a foundry at Brandon, lent financial assistance and in the Spring purchased all the patents taken out by Strong and Ross. The two partners remained with the company on a salary and royalty basis.

In 1858 the Howe Scale Co. began to win awards consistently at fairs and exhibitions throughout the country. By 1859 the Howe Scale Company had no competition at these annual events. At the Paris Exposition in 1867 Howe Scale took first prizes competing against all the manufacturers of the world.

In 1868 the Brandon Manufacturing Company was incorporated. The name was subsequently changed and the company merged into the Howe Scale Company in November, 1878. In 1873 Howe began manufacturing hand trucks as a utility measure to facilitate handling of scales and parts within the factory.

However, that same year 1873, proved disasterous. The warehouse, dryhouse, and office of the company was destroyed by fire. The company moved to Rutland.

In 1886 there was a general reorganization of the Howe Scale Company. The newly reorganized company was incorporated as the Howe Scale Company of 1886. John A. Mead of Rutland became president. A new Board was formed and held its first meeting in August of 1888. In 1920 Mead died and his son in law, Carl B. Hinsman was elected president. In 1925 the Mead interests were purchased by another management group, and Frank G. Riehl became head of the company. The new management purchased rights for the weightograph, a device which produces weight readings on a ground glass screen by means of optical magnification. This was one of the greatest innovations in weighing improvements since the original Strong and Ross patent.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Scales (Weighing instruments)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cashbooks
Charters
Clippings
Stock certificate books
Specifications
Minutes
Newsletters
Photographs -- 20th century
Sales records
Inventories
Journals (accounts)
Ledgers (account books)
Legal documents
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Howe Scale Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0004
See more items in:
Howe Scale Company Records.
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0004

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