Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Workday Wednesday - Tools of the Trade

Every tradesman has a collection of tools specifically designed for the job to be done. J. J. Spurlock, my watchmaker grandfather, was no exception.

The unknown author of a magazine feature about my grandfather wrote:
...not knowing that factory made tools could be purchased [he] made his own hammers, pliers, tweezers, mainspring winder, etc., in his father's blacksmith shop. Then he came upon a catalog of Sears Roebuck and found that watchmakers tools were illustrated in it. Recognizing their superiority he immediately sent away an order.[1]
A few months ago while browsing in a local antique store, I found a commemorative edition of the 1900 Sears catalog. Then a few days later, I found that Ancestry had published digitized versions on their website. Here is an image of the page on which watchmakers' tools were advertised:

Sears Roebuck Catalog Fall 1900, Vol. 110; digital images,
Ancestry ( : accessed 18 June 2011); image 42.

I wonder whether my grandfather selected individual tools based on his needs at the time or if he bought the "complete watch tool set" for $10.00! Perhaps he ordered one of these books on watchmaking as well!

Sears Roebuck Catalog Fall 1900, Vol. 110; digital images,
Ancestry ( : accessed 18 June 2011); image 242.

[1] "Finds Pleasure at the Bench," Horology: The National Magazine for Advancement in Timekeeping, August 1938, 31. 

© 2011 Denise Spurlock

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