Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rockford Watch Company

The Rockford Watch Company was at 300 South Madison Street: originally built in 1876.
On May 1st in 1876 the first key-wind 18" watch was on the market.
By the year 1877 Rockford was producing their highest grade of watches. Those were watches were engraved with: Ruby, Ruby Jewels and then eventually R.
Three railroads went through Rockford during that time and so railroad men were fond of them.
The watches made in the years after were engraved with "RG," meaning railroad grade.
They were closed by 1915.
( source: Rockford library, digital archives; Illinois and pocket watch repair )
Street View
It looks like the factory originally occupied the two blocks between Grove and Walnut Streets.

1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

I was aware that Rockford had a time museum. But I notice the operative word is "had." "It was closed in March, 1999. The collection then moved to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, where it was viewed by over two million visitors from January 2001 through February 2004. This exhibition is now closed, and the collection has been sold." [TimeMuseum] It has been on my todo list since the 1970s to go see it. When it comes to history and preservation, one needs to do stuff sooner instead of later. I wonder if the collection was sold intact and who got the money.

(On the satellite image I noticed Ingersoll Centennial Park. I wonder what Ingersoll used to make here. Update: Ingersoll is still in town and it makes milling machines.)

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