Dating elgin watches by serial number
Hamilton continued producing Illinois watches in the Hamilton factory until 1939. The Illinois Watch Company was purchased by Hamilton Watch Company in 1927, but continued to produce Illinois watches under Hamilton management until 1932 (the year the last "true" Illinois watch was made).Elgin watch serial numbers can be used to determine an approximate date of manufacture, and other information.The date is not exact because plates were often made, with numbers, and stockpiled for later use, sometimes years later. Note that the serial number this information refers to is the number appearing on the movement itself, on the works of the watch, on the inside. John Stuart was a Springfield lawyer and former partner of Abraham Lincoln. Illinois later produced an extensive line of extremely fine and accurate Railroad-grade pocket watches like the "Sangamo Special," "Bunn Special" and "Santa Fe Special" (just to name a few).
There is some question as to whether Burlington was actually a subsidiary of Illinois. The Illinois Watch Company produced watches under contract for several different brands, including Burlington Watch Company (Chicago, Illinois) which operated primarily as a mail-order business, and Santa Fe Watch Company (Topeka, Kansas).Look up the details about your antique Elgin watch here For just a rough estimate of the age of a movement however, given the serial number, the following table is pretty widely accepted.The Illinois Springfield Watch Company was organized in 1869 primarily through the efforts of J. Watches produced under the Burlington name include some very fine (including some railroad grade) watches, which are nearly identical to Illinois movements.
By 1885 the company name was changed yet again to the Illinois Watch Company. John Williams was president of the First National bank of Springfield. In 1879, due to financial difficulties, the company was reorganized and the name changed to the Illinois Springfield Watch Company.