Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Tradition includes Dueber-Hampden Watch Works

A Snowy night outside the Dueber-Hampden Watch Works
An older Canton man reminiscing his childhood trips to Canton with his mother recalled one event in these words.  "Only the sound from the horse's  hoofs on the old road could be heard as the great Watch Works rose in front of my mother's wagon.  Against the dark night, the Works  looked almost fairylike with the flicker from the gas lights for the workers crafting watches."  This scene described Dueber-Hampden Watch Works when the great watch and case factory ran a second shift to make some of the best watches in Canton, Ohio. 

This copy of the original painting by Tom Franta, was commissioned by the Canton Rotary Club of Canton to be placed on Christmas cards.  The painting shows the Dueber Watch Case building of the Dueber Hampden Watch Company circa 1925. The great Watch Works was sold to Russia and the buildings were torn down.  The clock from the clock tower can be seen in operation at the McKinley Museum in Canton. 

John Dueber used the Christmas season to sell and promote his watches and cases as illustrated in this early trade card.

Conley Family includes Dueber-Hamdpen Watches in  Family Christmas Tradition
Giving Dueber-Hampden watches as Christmas gifts is a nice tradition and one that has been enjoyed by the Conley Family for many years and several generations.  I had the opportunity to speak with Beth Heinicke recently about her father who was the late James Albert Conley.  Mr. Conley loved collecting antiques and toys, especially anything with a tie to Canton and its history.  But the interesting part in talking with Beth is that her father loved Dueber-Hampden watches and the history of the Watch Works.    
Beth's dad introduced his children to Dueber-Hampden watches and his love of Canton.  He began a tradition of giving his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren watches--always around Christmas.  It was never really every year,  said Beth.  "But it was when Mom and Dad found the right watch with the right serial number."  The serial numbers had to be from the time period when his mother, Flora Belle Melchior Conley worked for the Watch Works.  Although Beth said she wasn't sure how long her Grandmother Flora worked for Dueber-Hampden helping to make watches. Beth said her grandmother continued to work at the Watch Works even after having her children.  Flora married Michael Conley who started the M. Conley Company in Canton. 

The M. Conley Family
The M. Conley Family.  Top clockwise Grandmother, Flora Belle Melchior Conley holding James Albert, Norm, Richard, Arthur, and Grandfather Michael holding Mary. 

Beth Conley Heinicke shares her 1903 Molly Stark Watch 
What a nice tradition for a family to share.  Not just a beautiful watch, but a watch made while their grandmother/great grandmother was part of the process, and a part of Canton history.   Beth said, all of the children's watches are different.  Her own Christmas watch is a 1903 Molly Stark.  She wears it around the holiday, or for special occasions. 
This Hampden 6-size watch is 15 jewel grade No. 213.  All 6 size watches were hunting movements.  This particular watch was a gift from Grandpa Conley to P.J. Heinicke.  

Dueber-Hampden Watches serve another generation.
Photograph taken December 24, 1996, left to right is Claire, Drew, and Hillary Swallen, Danny Conley, and P.J. Heinicke.  

Drawing on memory

Joan Green, reference librarian at the Stark County District Library, Canton, Ohio
I started my Dueber-Hampden blog in January this year.  What a fun time it has been.  I thought I would get more original history, but I'm too many generations away.  Gibbs' book, From Springfield to Moscow: The Complete Dueber-Hampden Story has proven to be a good resource.  While researching more,  I became acquainted with Joan Green.  Mrs. Green is a reference librarian for the Stark County District Library.  In my search to learn more about Dueber-Hampden, Joan told me an interesting story.  When she was about 15-years-old and a high school sophomore, she and a girlfriend decided to sketch the Dueber-Hampden Watch Works before it was completely torn down.  Armed with sketch pads, pens, and pencils, the girls climbed a nearby hill close by the Watch Works.  Joan said she has lost touch with her old friend, and doesn't remember if they ever did finish the drawing.
Reflecting on my Blog and saying Thanks            
I am trying to research and record some history about the Watch Works, and to share with others who may have an interest in it before it is forgotten.  As I close out this year's post I want to thank all the people I talked to this year, who shared their stories, and their own history about Dueber-Hampden.  Especially thanks to all my collectors who provide the technical expertise.  This blog is possible with all the help people have given me so far.  Without them I have no story. I have no blog.  So I hope you have enjoyed reading their stories as much as I have enjoyed hearing them and writing them.   If you want to read back on some of the earlier blog posts, the achieves are at the right-hand side and are easily accessible. 

Happy Holidays!
As I sign off for this year, I wish you a happy holiday season and good things in the new year.    

Green, Joan. Personal interview. 1 Dec. 2010.
Heinicke, Beth. Personal interview. 17 Dec. 2010.

Green, Joan. Yearbook photographs. 1961. Photograph. Private Collection, Canton South.
Heinicke, Beth. Family Photographs 1, 2, 3, 4. Photographs. Private Collection.
Franta, Tom. The Dueber Watch Case Building. card. Private Collection--Edward Thouvenin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mid-Ohio Insulator Show Raises Questions about Dueber-Hampden Watch Crystals

Uncovering treasures in Springfield, Ohio
Springfield, Ohio is home to Wittenberg College and Clark State Community College, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House. Built in 1908, this house is an example of Prairie style architecture. The design of this house extended Wright's concept of relating the building to the other landscape elements, by using the pool, the terrace, and the garden.

Besides this architectural gem, Springfield has some 78 miles of hiking and biking trails. Just a few of the treasures waiting to be discovered when you have a chance to visit this city west of Columbus. But what I stumbled upon quite by accident in Springfield was the Mid-Ohio Insulator show. The show is held every year the first weekend in November at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

Mid-Ohio Insulator Show turns out to be nice surprise
Steve Blair in the early days,
as a lineman for the telephone company
The Mid-Ohio show was started by Steve Blair. Steve started his career in 1963 at Western Reserve Telephone and moved on to Ohio Bell in 1967 as a cable repair man where he worked though all the systems, and ended up as a digital repairman.
Steve said he started out as a basic lineman. One day he climbed a telephone pole and found a nice olive-colored insulator which he still owns. From that day on, Steve's interest in insulator collecting began to grow. Because his children were small he wanted to start a show close by so people could come share their collections of insulators. Steve organized the first Mid-Ohio show back in 1971 in London, Ohio. There were about 40-plus tables and cost a quarter for admission. This year more than 500 people exhibited or visited the 40th anniversary of the Mid-Ohio show to browse the collection of insulators from around the country.

Over the years, Steve had some help with the show from Glenn Drummond, a hydraulic engineer for the Corp of Engineers. Glenn is from the Cincinnati area and likes history. He begin to dig around the Ohio River and found pieces that were from the Hemingray Company that was once located in Kentucky. Glenn and Steve's collaboration started about three years after the first show and has continued through the years. Steve said the show has continued to grow. This year, there was even a collector from Great Britain. Some of the states represented by collectors, included Alaska, Montano, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and California.

Lou Hall, President of the National Insulator Association talks about the telegraph & insulators
Speaking of California, I had the pleasure of meeting Lou Hall from Fresno, California. Lou is the president of National Insulator Association (NIA). This group was founded in 1973. Lou in his first year as NIA president said he felt he needed to make the pilgrimage to the one show every insulator collector must attend. Mid-Ohio is one of the largest shows of insulators in the country, with the most variety. There was something for everybody, including battery covers, and electrical plates.

Steve Blair and Lou Hall share a moment at the
40th Mid-Ohio Insulator Show in Springfield, Ohio.
Lou said the first use of insulators was for the telegraph line that ran from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. in about 1840-1843. The telegraph replaced the transportation system in delivering the news. Before the telegraph, it took news about three months to travel from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco by boat, and four weeks by stage coach, or 10 days when it was carried by the pony express. The telegraph cut this time to 10 seconds. Lou said it took the 10 seconds because the message needed to be keyed in at each different station.

The Overland telegraph line from
Carson City, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah was completed in October 1861. All military and government communication was free, but all other messages cost, and the cost was steep. To bring competition to the telegraph line and lower the cost of sending a message, in 1864, another line was built. Ironically though, both lines ended up being owned by same company. In 1869, the line moved along the transcontinental railroad, and the original line was abandoned.

Lou is a member of the transcontinental research group who are tracking the transcontinental telegraph line from anything west of the Mississippi to California. For the last 10 years, uncovering any part of the original line that was abandoned is Lou's interest. He also spends time collecting pins and brackets that the lines were attached to. His interest began in 1967, when Lou's dad bought a small ranch in Clovis, California and during the process of cleaning out a barn Lou and his father discovered a feed sack of insulators. This discovery sparked Lou's interest that has been growing ever since.

Lou's favorite piece currently is a Goodyear Rubber insert in a wooden shield clamp on a wooden thread-less pin, probably created in 1858 or possibly earlier. The thread-less insulators are extremely early, they were pushed down on a pin or on a metal bracket. These were the very first because no way had been invented yet to create the thread inside the insulators.

Louis Cauvet, a carpenter, invented and patented the threaded pinhole design
According to the website, A Brief History of Insulators, Louis Cauvet, a carpenter, invented and patented the threaded pinhole design in July 25, 1865. The threading inside pinhole of the insulator was the method that helped the insulator to be screwed down on a threaded wood or metal pin. This design is the one that many collectors still find in insulators lying along old railroad tracks throughout the country. Cauvet’s threading process is an excellent way to identify how old your insulator might be.

40th Mid-Ohio Insulator Show in Springfield, Ohio

Many in the NIA have a different focus on insulator collecting.

Kevin Jacobson inspects a potential insulator
to add to his collection.
 Another exhibitor at the Mid-Ohio show was Kevin Jacobson. After building his new house in Phoenix, Arizona with several large book cases, his wife told him he really needed something to fill them, so the couple began visiting antique shops, when they found insulators. He bought about six insulators for around eight dollars. Much to his surprise he bought an insulator worth about $2500. He didn't know this for about six months. The internet turned out to be the best source of information and Kevin spent a lot of time looking at colors and style. He kept coming back to his own piece that was a cornflower blue insulator, patent Dec. 19, 1871. Kevin said he was lucky because people in the hobby aren't as lucky at finding a prize piece. As an electrical and computer engineer who runs his own business from his home, what could be more perfect for Kevin, then insulators.

Kevin said he likes to specialize in anything embossed in the patent Dec. 19, 1871 because of the first piece he bought. The model number tells the unique shape which is for the unique design and that goes for different applications. The Hemingray Company, located at one time in Covington, Kentucky and later moved to Muncie, Indiana, made the largest amount of insulators.

Insulators raise questions about Dueber-Hampden Watch crystals. 
Where did the crystals come from?
The more I looked at the insulator collections, the more it raised the question of where did John Dueber find all the glass for his watches. Dueber-Hampden collector, Edward Thouvenin said that most of the watch crystals for Dueber-Hampden watches came from France, and many of the watch makers bought from the same glass maker.

Robert "Bob" Arnold said he believes John C. Dueber bought watch crystals unique only to cases he was manufacturing at the best price ready to install from companies that specialized in this product. He added that the crystals were cut and formed from hot glass sheets in different thicknesses, with as much automation and little grinding, polishing and hand-work as possible to keep the costs of the finished watches down. Bob said he has seen labels on crystals that are manufactured by V.T.F., A.I.J., J.H.P. &S., and distributed by watch material supply houses located in major cities in the U.SA.

Bob added that, “these companies had a good thing going in that they sold beautiful wood cabinets (see image right) with a lot of drawers containing crystals of every possible diameter, thickness and curvature. The downside of this is that only a few of these were in common usage. When these old cabinets are offered for sale today there are usually some compartments (of just the size that you happen to need!) that are empty and most that are still full. Years ago individual sizes could be ordered without buying the whole cabinet but today these companies are mostly out of business and supplies are dwindling or gone. Now, some "collectors" are hoarding glass crystals from watches they are selling by replacing them with plastic. The reaction to this is that other collectors won't buy a railroad grade pocket watch unless it has a glass crystal,” said Bob.

Thanks for sharing your expertise!
Thanks Ed and Bob for helping to expand our knowledge on Dueber-Hampden crystals and watches, and more history of the Dueber-Hampden Watch Works.

Special thanks to Kevin who gave me the Mid-Ohio Show photographs to use on my blog and the video. Thanks Steve, Glenn, Lou, and all the NIA collectors at the Mid-Ohio Show for sharing your collections with us. See you next year. And Springfield, next time I bring my bike.

If you found this interesting, please consider joining us on Dueber-Hampden Facebook, or tweeting the link

Arnold, Robert. "question on Dueber glass." Message to the author. 10 Nov. 2010. E-mail.
Blair, Steve. Personal interview. 6 Nov. 2010.
C & E Marshall Co. Advertisement. Marco 1925: 3-8. Print.
Farrar, Floyd. ""Confederate Eggs" or Southern telegraph pole wire insulators…." A BRIEF HISTORY OF INSULATORS. The Drum Barracks Civil War Museum , 2001. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. .
Hall, Lou. Personal interview. 6 Nov. 2010.
 Jacobson, Kevin. Personal interview. 6 Nov. 2010.
 Thouvenin, Edward. Personal interview. 09 Nov. 2010.

C & E Marshall Co. Advertisement. Marco 1925: 3-8. Print.
Jacobson, Kevin. Mid-Ohio Insulator Show Images. 2010. Photographs. same.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ohio & Erie Canal played a part in Dueber-Hampden's history

            This past weekend with the weather unseasonably warm, nearing high 70s, I took the opportunity to explore the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Ohio & Erie Tow Path located in upper Summit and Cuyahoga counties. One of my past jobs was photographing for the Summit County Engineers.  I took many pictures as the biking tow path was under construction, and it is nice to see the completed project that was at one time only a vision with a few bike paths completed here and there, but not completely connected. 
A biker rest near the deepest lock along the Ohio & Erie Canal Tow Path 

            You may ask yourself how this ties in with my blog about Dueber-Hampden Watch Works.  Well, when John C. Dueber was making the decision about which city to move both his Newport, Kentucky case factory, and his Springfield, Massachusetts watch works from, one city vying for the relocating combined Watch Works was Massillon, Ohio.  Although Massillon desperately wanted the Watch Works, the major means of transportation Massillon had to offer John Dueber and Company was the Ohio & Erie Canal. The Canal was beginning its decline in the late 1880s and by 1913 a major flood destroyed a portion of the canal near Akron that was not repaired.  Goods could go either south or north from Akron, but as the railroad became the major mode of transportation, the canal was declining and dying.  Richard Haldi, a Canton historian, said, it was the railroad that influenced the choice for Dueber to relocate his watch works to Canton.  
Bikers line up to catch the Cuyahoga Valley Train
            Between the months of June and October, on Wednesdays through Sundays,  bikers can bike the tow path either north or south, and then for two dollars catch the Cuyahoga Valley Train traveling in the opposite direction.  This past weekend, many bikers and joggers did travel the Ohio & Erie Tow Path, and several passed me as I poked along on my bike pedaling north to Peninsula~an arty little town where I had lunch before putting my bike aboard the train back to Akron. 
            The Cuyahoga Valley Train rumbles up and down a set of tracks that were laid back in the 1880s.  According to the Cuyahoga Valley website, these same tracks were built to haul coal from south of Canton to a growing industrial Cleveland.  In addition the train served farming communities transporting goods north, as well as industries such as Dueber-Hampden shipping its finished pieces. 
The Cuyahoga Valley Train just north of Peninsula, Ohio
            The Cuyahoga Valley railroad is 51 miles long from Canton to Rockside Road near Cleveland.  If one wouldn't want to bike the entire tow path, they only need to board the train with their bike at one of the stations and ride north or south exploring the stops along the way. 
William B. Dreurey (in the third window from the rear of the bus) rides the public bus with his sister Martha Dreurey to Dueber-Hampden Watch Works in Canton. 
            While researching Dueber-Hampden I have been meeting interesting people who are either searching for their own roots, or who had a relative work at the Watch Works, or who are collectors and who have a bit more information to add to the Dueber legacy.  I was lucky enough to meet Mrs. Marilyn Phillips-Garver who owns Wild Card Sportswear on Cleveland Avenue south.  While explaining my project to Mrs. Phillips-Garver ~What Luck~ I found out that her father had worked at Dueber-Hampden. 
Marilyn Phillips-Garver and the watch her father made while working at Dueber-Hampden Watch Works in Canton, Ohio
William B. Dreurey, named for William Jennings Bryan, began at Dueber-Hampden when he was just 16 years old.  Everyone called him "Bryan".  Marilyn said the Tam O'Shanter Golf Course occupies the land that was once her father's family farm.  Today, the Club House sits atop the old barn foundation.  Marilyn showed me a watch her father made while working for Dueber-Hampden.  When William Dreurey left the Watch Works he went into the coal mines.  In 1958, he started Bryan Dreurey Brick Contractor, and spent the better part of 10 years laying up bricks.  In his later years he worked for Stanley Miller's company in East Sparta, Ohio.  

Thanks Marilyn for adding to our story and sharing your watch and your reflections about your dad.

Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad . N.p., 2009. Web. 19 Oct. 2010.

Haldi, Richard. "Dueber-Hampden Watchworks ." Massillon Genealogical Society. Massillon. 3 Feb. 2010. Lecture.

Phillips-Garver, Marilyn. Personal interview. 2 July 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Molly Stark--the caregiver who inspired a watch and a hospital

At our event, "Spending Time with Dueber-Hampden," the one watch that was most prevalent was the Molly Stark.  This little watch was named for General John Stark's wife,  Elizabeth " Molly" Page Stark.  One of George Washington's generals, John Stark gives Stark County, Ohio its name in 1808, even though he never set foot here. 

Because there is such an interest in Molly Stark watches, I wanted to write about the watch that gets its name from a lady who inspired not only her husband, but many others. 

Molly was born February 16, 1737 to  Caleb and Elizabeth (Merrill) Page.  Her father was the first Postmaster of New Hampshire.  Together, Molly and John Stark had 11 children.  During her husband's war years, Molly opened her home as a hospital to nurse his soldiers suffering from small pox or other injuries.  The kindness and courage Molly Stark showed others inspired Stark County residents to build the Molly Stark Hospital to treat tuberculosis just off of Ravenna Road (SR-44).

Todd Clark, Historic Programming Educator for Stark Parks

On Saturday, September 11, 2010 the Stark Parks offered walking tours of the Molly Stark Hospital grounds.  Todd Clark, Historic Programming Educator, took groups of visitors around the structure that is destined to be demolished.  The Hospital opened its doors in 1929 to tuberculosis or TB patients.  Those poor souls who developed a cough with blood, lost weight, developed night sweats and paled in color, were diagnosed with the aliment often called the wasting disease, or consumption.  
Before Molly Stark Hospital was built, residents diagnosed with the illness were sent to Springfield Sanitarium also known as Edwin Shaw Hospital located in Lakemore township, near Akron, Ohio.  Mr. Clark said the most ill and bedridden patients at Molly Stark Hospital were located on the upper floors, where windows could be opened, or patients brought to porches to enjoy the sun.  As the patients regained strength and became more mobile they were moved to lower floors where they could walk outside and enjoy the park-like grounds surrounding the hospital.   

Mr. Clark said the hospital was to be built in the late 1920s at Faircrest Park in Canton Township, but the water wasn't very good, so a new location for the hospital was found. The hospital was expanded in 1952 after much debate about closing it.  The architect for the expansion was Charles Firestone, who also designed the Memorial Civic Center in downtown Canton.  At one time there were 25 TB hospitals throughout Ohio.  

The Molly Stark Hospital in disrepair, September 11, 2010
There are 1200 feet of tunnels underground that houses the steam pipes that warmed the hospital.  The tunnels were built as one of the work progress programs during the depression.  One visitor said he heard the doctors' children rode their bicycles in the tunnels. 

Although the building is expected to be torn down there is a group studying how to save some of the architecture, the doors, and the arch ways.  Mr. Clark said the cost of renovating the building is astronomical and that a figure of ten million was on the table some 10 years ago.  He said the building was constructed during the era of lead paint and asbestos, and that after years of neglect the building has considerable structural damage, molds, and broken glass. The cost of demolishing the building is projected to be about two million dollars. 

The  building inspires beauty, but also fear--fear of death.  But Todd Clark said it also inspires hope and courage, and the building shows a tie to the community.  

Balconies at Molly Stark Hospital where patients could enjoyed the sunshine
The building that saved so many at one time, was named for a woman who was also a kind caregiver.  In addition to a hospital, Dueber-Hampden Watch Works years earlier named a watch in honor of Molly Stark. 

 According to the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors website (NAWCC), the Dueber-Hampden Watch Works introduced the Molly Stark, a size-3/0, 7-jewel, gilt-finished watch in 1896.  When the Molly Stark (pendant watch to be worn around the neck, or pinned to the blouse)  was introduced it was the smallest watch made in America.  Because Dueber-Hampden was located in Stark County some feel this is the reason for naming the watch in Molly Stark's honor.

The NAWCC website added that a new Molly Stark Watch in a 14K solid gold Dueber case sold for $17.00, in 1902 from Sears, Roebuck and Co.,  and the same movement in a 14K gold-filled Dueber case was $11.50.  Molly Stark watches were also cased as boys' watches to carry in their pocket.  (see image right) 

To help understand the wage and cost of that time period, in 1914, Henry Ford astonished the industrial world when he doubled the wages of assembly line workers to $5.00 per day, thus making them the highest-paid hourly workers  (NAWCC).  When the pendent watch fell out of fashion, many were scrapped for the gold cases but other were re-cased into wrist watches. (see ad) The kit included a case, dial, crown and hands that your local jeweler could refashion for the customer.   

Mrs. Stark died in 1814 at the age of 78 from typhus.  Her husband was 86.  Stark was the last Continental general of the Revolution.  In his later years and nearly up to his death on May 8, 1822, the General  was nearly penniless, before the Congress voted him a small stipend (SeaCoast).

Thanks Todd and Stark Parks for an informative and enjoyable tour of the Molly Stark Hospital grounds. 


"Hampden/Molly Stark Ladies' pocket watch -." National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, 05-30-2005. Web. 11 Sep 2010. .

Lever Set Hampden Movement. advertisement. Edward Thouvenin, private collection, Canton.

Molly Stark. Print . Edward Thouvenin, private collection, Canton.

Moran, John. "Major General John Stark of New Hampshire, One of George Washington." Revolutionary War Archives. Sons of Liberty, California Society SAR, May 2006. Web. 11 Sep 2010.

"SeaCoast" Framers of Freedom, John Stark. SeaCoast, 1997-2003. Web. 11 Sep 2010. .

Molly Stark Hospital & Todd Clark. Photographs. Lee Horrisberger, Canton. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dueber-Hampden event at the Hoover Historical Center draws a crowd

Thanks to all those who attended the Spending Time With Dueber-Hampden event at the Hoover Historical Center on August 10, 2010.  More than 350 people came to learn about the Watch Works that at one time made Canton the Watch Making capital of the world. Some people came with a watch that belonged to a father, or grandfather, who worked at Dueber-Hampden.  Some folks came with a desire to learn more about this giant that helped shape life in Canton for decades. Still others were there to share in a love of repairing and collecting watches. Although temperatures touched 90 degrees, we had a nice crowd to hear the lectures and examine the watch collections that are some of the best Hampdens in the country.  This event was such a huge success primarily because of our audience and our collectors whose passion for Dueber-Hampden watches is keeping the legacy alive.

I would like to introduce our collectors:

Bob Arnold is a retired General Motors Product Engineer and spent most of his career at AC Spark Plug Division in Flint, MI.  Bob was interested in watches even as a child. His father offered to give him his pocket watch (an Elgin, which he still owns) if Bob would only buckle down and get better grades in high school.  Bob said "I got interested in Hampden watches in the 1970's when I noticed these beautiful watches, comparable to those by Hamilton and Illinois but at half to two thirds the price, were attracting very little interest."  Bob, along with Jim Hernick, is a co-author of Hampden Watch Co. book. 

Robert A. Capestrain founded Capestrain Jewelers in downtown Canton in 1956 and was fully active in his business for 50 years until his semi retirement in 2006. Bob started his watchmaker training as an apprentice at the age of 10 under the supervision of former Dueber-Hampden employees.  He pursued the study and restoration of antique timepieces and was a collector and speaker on the history of the Canton Dueber-Hampden watch factory.   He is a member and past president of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.   In 2003 he undertook and completed the restoration of the 100 year old four dial Stark County Courthouse tower clock. 

Bob's talks at the event were standing room only.  He said it all began with a carrot...and the victory garden that led him to Mrs. Poet and an apprenticeship repairing watches...the rest is history.

Bob Dasco is a retired teacher from the Canton City School System, retiring in 2002, after 35 years. Bob has been collecting Dueber-Hampden watches and other related memorabilia for over 20 years.  He enjoys looking for Dueber items in antique stores, estate sales, flea markets, garage sales, local and regional NAWCC meetings, but lately the internet is his biggest source of Dueber-Hampden items. Bob is a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and regularly attends local, regional, and some national meetings. Bob said "My goal is to have one of every model manufactured by the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company, a goal that I probably will never reach but am having fun striving for."

Bob Kerr's attraction to Dueber-Hampden started actually by mistake, he began several years ago by buying a pocket watch at a garage sale.  He said "Being somewhat mechanical, I thought I'd try to get it running. Later I found out that this was a "dollar watch" and not worth much. It’s still not working today."  Bob likes to focus on Hampdens' everything from key-winds to railroad grades. He said there is nothing like getting one of the old ones back in running condition. “They are marvelous little machines that were built right in our back yard!” 

Edward Thouvenin wanted a pocket watch to wear when he drove his Model A.  In 1965, he found a key-wind watch in an antique shop in Charleston, South Carolina, but it wasn't for sale.  When he was stationed in Scotland, there was an abundance of old 19th century English watches. In Glasgow, Scotland Ed found his first Dueber-Hampden.  On returning to the states, he learned about railroad grade watches.  After retiring from the Navy and returning to Canton, Ed began collecting Dueber-Hampdens – his home town’s watch. 

Two other collectors who joined us were Bob Cooper and Jack Kern.  Thanks gentlemen for sharing your collections and passion with us. 

We made Mr. Ralph Goodenberger an honorary collector (image right shows Ralph and Robert "Rob" Vail Jr., member of the Dueber family).  Mr. Goodenberger's grandfather led the employees to Russia in 1930, and it was his grandfather's scrapbook that helped document the history about the move more clearly.

Special Thanks

Thanks to ArtsinStark for an individual artist grant that helped fund in part my project.

Thanks to Mr. Chris Skeeles of the Magic Picture Company for his holograph image of Dueber-Hampden. 

Much thanks goes to the First Ladies' Library for the loan of several glass showcases.

Special thanks to two student photographers, Kristi Trompower from Fairless High School, and Nancy Weaver from Stark State College of Technology. 

Our thanks especially goes to the Hoover Historical Center and its director Ann Haines and staff for making everyone feel welcome. 

Many unanswered questions were raised that will require more research.  It is nice to know there is still a continued interest and a passion for the Watch Works.