Tuesday, November 29, 2011

John C. Dueber, Master craftsman and watchmaker

In this blog and those upcoming, I want to share my presentation from the NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium in Hebron, Kentucky. 

It seems that the logical question to begin this blog post with is,  just who was John C. Dueber?

John C. Dueber

• According to Greg Farino, our geneologist working on the Dueber Family tree, he tells us that John Dueber was born in Netphen, Germany in 1841 (Farino).

• John Dueber was the oldest of 6 children—three of his siblings all died in infancy in Prussia (Farino).

• Arriving aboard the steamer Herder along with John Dueber were his parents Johannes and Katharina (Schmitt ) Dueber and his sister Pauline (his brother Hermann is believed to have died in Germany before the family came to America. They arrived in New York on October 20, 1853 (Farino).

• Ship records indicate the family's final destination was Cincinnati, Ohio. It is unknown why the family chose that city.

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 already there. I also heard it was the large hills that reminded the Dueber Family of their homeland in Germany.

• The ship record with the family's name (Farino).

• About one year after coming to America, on August 17, 1854, John Dueber’s father died. It is believed but not certain that he is buried in Cincinnati (Farino).

• For five years, Dueber spent his days making watch cases in a small room in Cincinnati as an apprentice watch maker. At night, he crafted wedding rings.  He saved the money that would one day fund his own watch factory. (Heald,v2., pg.170)

• In 1863, after his apprenticeship ended, Dueber with partner Francis Doll, rented a one-room office and workshop on the third floor of the Carlisle Building in Cincinnati (Gibbs).

The Dueber Watch Case Factory--
(used by permission from The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Canton, Ohio)

One guest at the Symposium who is also researching watches and has written about Dueber-Hampden and John Dueber said he has yet to find anything about John Dueber that was negative.  The source said although there were bigger watch and case companies, John Dueber's reputation was pretty impecable. 

Farino, Greg. "Dueber webfile." Message to the author. 16 May 2011. E-mail.

Gibbs, James W. From Springfield to Moscow: The Complete Dueber-Hampden Story. Revised Edition--supplement to the 1954 Dueber-Hampden Story. Philadelphia, PA: Supplement to the Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., 1986. Print.

Heald, Edward T. The Stark County Story. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. Canton, OH: The Stark County Historical Society, 1958. 262-275. Print.

Graphic images: 

John C. Dueber--used by permission from Edward Thouvenin, private collection

The Ship record with the family's name--used by permission from Greg Farino, private collection

The Dueber Watch Case Factory--used by permission from The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Canton, Ohio)

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