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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:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Reports
Sales catalogs
Advertisements
Publications
Clippings
Business records
Inventories
Patents
Manuscripts
Press releases
Date:
1743-1967
Summary:
A collection of diverse archival materials on the subject of watches and clocks assembled by James Arthur (1842-1912).
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:
The collection is divided into 10 series.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1937-1964 (bulk 1950-1957)

Series 2, Subject Files

Series 3, Organizations

Series 4, The Arthur Collection at New York University, 1930-1968

Series 5, Patent Specification (Unprocessed)

Series 6, Horological Pamphlets and Articles, 1743-1947 (Unprocessed)

Series 7, Miscellaneous, 1825-1966 (Unprocessed)

Series 8, Clock Makers Directory, 15 volumes (Unprocessed)

Series 9, Press Clippings about watches and clocks (Unprocessed)

Series 10, Photographs (Unprocessed)
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:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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
See more items in:
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8eb766704-3ca2-4615-835b-c8b334f70231
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0130

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  • Arthur, James, 1842-1912 (machine shop owner)
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  • Arthur, James, 1842-1912 (machine shop owner)
  • Jones, Ezekiel
  • New York University
  • Archives Center, National Museum of American History