When the itinerant clockmakers and watchmakers came to the parish, he observed them as they went about their work of repairing timepieces. He likely asked questions and examined the tools with which they worked. He fashioned tools of his own and began to refurbish the clocks and watches that others could not fix.
This is how my grandfather J. J. “Jack” Spurlock (1876-1940) learned the basics of the trade in which he would engage for the rest of his life.
Soon after being enumerated as a watchmaker in the 1900 census for Bienville Parish,
Jack headed north to sharpen his skills through a training course at the
Canadian Horological Institute in Louisiana .
The institute offered several programs of study. Since he had already acquired
the basic skills required for the trade, he likely completed a six-month
“finisher’s course.” Toronto
By 1905, he was a partner in the firm of Spurlock and McMillan in
After his marriage late that year, he entered into a partnership with his
father-in-law and formed the Spurlock Martindale Company in Nacogdoches County, Texas ,
Cherokee County, Texas
After several years doing business in
he headed west. In 1913, he worked as a watchmaker in Jacksonville . By 1918, he
had arrived in Maricopa
County, Arizona . California
Living first in
he found employment as a watchmaker with J. Jessop & Sons. According to an
announcement in the trade publication “The Jeweler’s Circular,” he opened a
school in San Diego to train
watchmakers in 1919. Sometime during the 1920s, he moved north to San Diego where he operated a retail watch store and
repair business under his own name until his death in 1940. Los
He was an active member of the California Horological Association, serving on its Technical Committee and as Vice President. In 1939, he published a book titled Split-Second Chronographs and Timers.
|Source: "Finds Pleasure at the Bench," |
Horology: The National Magazine for Advancement in Timekeeping, August 1938, 31.