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Pocket Watch - Wendell Miller

These are photos of the railroad grade pocket watch Wendell Trenton Miller carried while working as a locomotive engineer for the Norfolk & Western Railroad Company.

Before a devastating accident in 1891, caused by a conductor's faulty clock, railroaders could use any type of watch or time mechanism.  After the accident the railroad industry demanded that railroaders carry only approved watches, and they must be accurate to 30 seconds in 14 days. Jewelry stores were often located near railroad stations so that railroaders could bring their watches in to be cleaned, repaired and calibrated.  Only a few companies made mechanisms to these standards: Hamilton, Waltham, Illinois, and Elgin.

Manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company (Springfield, IL 1869-1927), this "Bunn Special" 18 size watch has 21 ruby jewels that have a double roller.  It is stem wind and pendant set and is housed in a gold-folled case make by the Crescent Watch Case Company.  As you can see this watch has received some restoration work.  It still runs and keeps good time.