Monday, October 31, 2011

Taking Dueber-Hampden Watch Works Project to the NAWCC Ward Francillon Symposium is a good experience

The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) organized the Ward Francillon Time Symposium to present the art and science of time keeping. This year’s symposium featured an overview of Ohio’s watch and clock history and was held in Hebron Kentucky, at the Cincinnati Airport Marriott.

Patrick Loftus prepares his clock display at the 2011 Ward Francillon Time Symposium
in Hebron, Kentucky running October 20-22, 2011

Patti Moore, chairman, and the Buckeye Chapter 23 sponsored this year’s event. Patti came to our “Spending Time with Dueber-Hampden,” in Canton, Ohio on August 10, 2010 and she invited me to speak to this group. I have to admit I was nervous; most of these speakers have spent years, if not decades researching their specialty, whether it is clocks or watches. My research into Dueber-Hampden Watch Works is in its infancy and my real intention was studying social media.  I am not a watch expert or as steeped in the watch history, but Patti assured me I did have something to contribute. The group was very welcoming and it helped me to evaluate where my own Dueber-Hampden project fit in the larger context of watches and clocks, especially Ohio’s.

Phillip Morris explained the Connecticut influence on Ohio wooden tall clocks. He said that after Connecticut, Ohio was the second largest producer of tall clocks, even though most of the clocks produced stayed in Ohio. Tom Spittler continued the discussion of tall clocks, and included mention of Hiram Power in his lecture. Power, one of America’s premier sculptors, worked in Luman Watson’s clock shop in Cincinnati from 1822-28. Power’s best known work is the Greek Slave. Some of his other sculptures include the Fisher Boy and The Last of Her Tribe. This is definitely another area to research and read about.

Kris Klingemier’s project—Clock Dials of Trumbel County—centered on north east Ohio clock dials and how to identify their makers.

Lehr Dircks covered the Columbus Watches. He said a railroad watch would have cost a railroad employee a month of his salary, which was his responsibility to secure a watch, not the railroads. Mr. Dircks touched on the American Watch Case Company in Mansfield, Ohio. Originally started as the Bell Watch Case Company in Cincinnati in 1892, it was moved to Mansfield by 1899. The watchmakers went on strike because they didn’t want to move. I found this interesting because this was about 10 years after John C. Dueber moved his combined Hampden Watch Company of Springfield, Massachusetts and his Newport, Kentucky Case Company to Canton, Ohio. One of the guests told me that many of the workers from Springfield were homesick and didn’t want to be in Canton.

I didn't find out why John C. Dueber and his family originally migrated to Cincinnati, but some have told me it was the large German settlement in Cincinnati, and they had relatives all ready there. I also heard it was the large hills that reminded the Dueber Family of their homeland in Germany. That’s easy for me to understand. With the sun coming up I was heading home from Kentucky and driving down past the hills into Cincinnati, it’s hard to say goodbye to this beautiful area.

Symposium attendees were treated to a tour of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) training facility, research library and museum.
Thanks to all the speakers at the symposium: Philip Morris, Lehr Dircks, Chris Klingemier, Patti Moore, Rebecca Rogers, Fortunat Mueller-Maerki and Tom Spittler, and all my new friends in the NAWCC who made me feel welcome. Special thanks to Patrick Loftus for sharing some of his images of the symposium.  I hope you enjoyed this snapshot report of the symposium. The event helped me to refine my research.

Enjoy a look at the video NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium and Visiting the AWCI on the left-side of this blog for a look at some of the clocks and watches we saw at this event.

More to come.


  1. How do you pronounce Dueber?

  2. Hello Anonymous--thanks for your question, the proper pronunciation of Dueber is just as it looks, Due as (dew) and, ber (brrrr)= Dueber

  3. Hello Lee,

    I am following up on a question about John Deuber's birth and death dates. I know he died in 1907, but I am unsure if his birth day of 1841 is correct?

    Can and independently confirm besides what is quoted in James Gibbs's book?

    Andy Dervan

  4. Andy--I am going to get our genealogist to answer this in detail for you. He was able to uncover some documents that do show John Dueber was younger when he came to America that what Gibbs has reported in his book. I will post again as soon as I get his response. Thanks for reading.

  5. Andy, this is what Greg Farino, (genealogist) says about your question:

    "There have been several articles written about John which stated that he was 9 years old when he arrived in the United States. This is not true, he was 12 years old as the ship record indicates. This information is easily verified by the fact that he was born in 1841 and arrived in the USA in 1853."

    If they want more proof, I have a copy of his passport application which gives his date of birth. If they want further proof, they can obtain it from a Family History Center at a local Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. They may have to order microfilm number: 995291. A copy of the ship record which has been highlighted is included with this blog.