Antique ROCKFORD WATCHES Tip Tray - A Beauty
is an outstanding advertising tip tray promoting ROCKFORD HIGH GRADE WATCHES. It measures 4 7/8" tall x 3 3/8" wide by 1/4" deep. It was manufactured by the H.D. Beach Co., Coschoton, Oh. as printed on the bottom right corner under the woman's dress. The jeweler or watch sellers name O. NELSON of Peshtico, Wisconsin is printed at the bottom of the tray.
CONDITION: T are no dings, dents or scratches and the color is fabulous. T is a very small blob of corrosion close to the maker's name. The verso shows light wear on the edges. This is a fantastic old tray.
HISTORY OF ROCKFORD WATCH CO. - (from ) The Rockford Watch Company, located 93 miles from Chicago on the Rock River, began operation in 1873 using equipment purchased from the Cornell Watch Company. Two of Cornell's former employees, P. H. Wheeler (Wheeler's Patent, etc) and C. W. Parker became key employees of Rockford. Their factory building was built in 1875-76, and was located on the 300 block of South Madison in Rockford (parts of the original factory building were later used by Rockford High School).
Their first watch, a key-wind, 18-size, full plate with expansion balance was placed on the market on May 1, 1876. By 1877, the company was producing its own 3/4 plate nickel movements that fit standard size cases. The highest grades of early Rockford watches were signed "Ruby" or "Ruby Jewels" which later became a stylized letter "R" engraved next to the jewel-count. Rockford watches were quite popular with railroad men, as 3 railroads went through Rockford, and the company advertised heavily to them. Many of the later Rockford watches are signed "RG" for "Railroad Grade" The company had financial difficulties in 1896, and after reorganization the name was changed to Rockford Watch Co. Ltd. They finally closed their doors in 1915.
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