Elgin Pocket Watches

1864 – 1964


The idea of an industrial sized watch company began in 1863 and was put into motion a year later as the National Watch Company. The initial license for the company needed to be surrendered on April 25, 1965, and the company was reorganized under a special charter generated by the General Assembly of the State of Illinois that same year.

With the new Charter in place, the building committee selected the Elgin, Illinois location. The founders of the company were donated the land in Illinois, 35 acres to be exact. The first to be a part of the company ranks were president Benjamin W. Raymond, Vice President Philo Carpenter, Treasurer Thomas S Dickerson and secretary George M Wheeler. The initial workman for the new factory solely made up of employees from the Waltham Watch Company with a promise of a half-acre of land, a $5,000 bonus and a promised a yearly salary of 5,000 dollars for 5 years.

In 1865, the company brought on Daniel G Currier from Waltham to aide in creating a model pocket watch while the permanent factory buildings were constructed. The first pocket watch movement created by the company was named the B. W. Raymond after the company president and was released for sale in April of 1867.
The company underwent a name change in the year of 1874 when corporate stockholders decided the old name of the company, National Watch Company, would be now incorporate the city name and was replaced with The Elgin National Watch Company.