No author I'm afraid, but it is a fascinating read. In 1869 the attention of a number of public spirited citizens and capitalists of Springfield was called to the great advantage which would result to the city from the establishment and conduct of manufacturing industries. He came to Springfield in 1869 and pointed out the benefits to the city, and the very possible and probable profits to be secured for the stockholders, of a company organised for the manufacture of watch movements. The buildings are of brick with stone trimming, and the visitor is at once impressed with their compact and, at the same time, convenient arrangement. Miller, who took the road for that purpose and visited all the large cities.
Even in those days men who were what we now term promoters were keenly active in various lines, and one of the pioneers in this profession was Mr. Attention was directed to the benefits which would come to the city in the establishment of an industry in which the chief expense of production was the high wages paid to skilled labor and in the bringing to the city of a large number of skilled mechanics and their families. Miller, Secretary and a Board of Directors consisting of John W. In December, 1870, the tools were erected in the basement of the North Wing and the work on watch making machinery was pushed. This soon proved to be too great a task, and in 1873 a New York office was established at 11 Maiden Lane, in charge of J. Morrow, who placed the product with the jobbers and continued with the company until 1884.
Up to the year 1902 the product of this company had been almost altogether cheap and medium grades, but in 1903 the company discontinued manufacturing cheap movements altogether, and have since confined themselves almost exclusively to the higher grade movements in seventeen, nineteen, twenty-one and twenty-three jewels.
Testimony as to the perfection of the railroad grades manufactured by this company is furnished by general watch inspectors on many railroads - perhaps even a greater authority is that of the National Naval Observatory in Washington, D.
The room is fitted up with appliances for serving lunches, with tables and chairs, a piano, and an emergency room for use in case of illness, and is in charge of a matron regularly employed by the company.
It is planned to devote a portion of the first floor for the use of the men as a club room.
Money was borrowed on the surplus stock of watches which at that time amounted to about one hundred thousand (0,000.00), and the business was continued by means of these expedients until 1875, when the stockholders refused to put in any more money on the ground that the preferred stock would take all the profits for several years, and reorganization became imperative, although the company had assets enough to more than pay its debts if the watches could have been sold.
The company now employs 518 hands, and produces more than 525 high grade watches per day.The first floor is used as a store house, and a part of the second story as the material office for the entire factory.A pleasing feature of the remaining space on the second floor of this building is a Rest and Club room for the women employees of the company.In 1886 two new movements were brought out - the 6 and 4 sizes - the latter being the smallest watch movement ever produced by American manufacturers up to this time. In 1896 the New Thin Model 16 size supplemented the former 16 size model and proved itself to be the most popular movement in 16 size ever produced in this country.In the fall of 1905 new models were produced in 0 and 12 size, both of which have proved most popular and the demand for them is constantly increasing.The company began making their own balances, having previously imported them.