James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0130
Creators:
New York University
Arthur, James, 1842-1912 ((machine shop owner))
Dates:
1743-1967.
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
15 Cubic feet
32 boxes
Repository:

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
These records contain material on the Arthur collection of clocks and watches. Includes publications, inventories, manuscripts, reports, photographs, advertisements, catalogues, newspaper clippings, patents, and business records; correspondence files of NYU curators concerning the administration of the collection; a watch record book of sales of Ezekiel Jones, carried on bookkeeping, 1822 and 1825; and a copy of the Smithsonian-NYU permanent loan agreement, 1964.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Divided into 7 series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Patent Specifications, (3) Horological Pamphlets and Articles, (4) Miscellaneous Articles, (5) Clock Makers Directory, (6) Press Clippings about Watches and Clocks, (7) Photographs.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
James Arthur owned and operated a New York machine shop for patent models. He came to the United States from Scotland in 1871. Fourteen years later he established Arthur Machine Works in New York City for the construction of original and special machinery. He was a skillful, ingenious, highly trained mechanic. While not technically a clockmaker or a watchmaker, he was especially interested in horology and timekeeping devices. From boyhood, clocks and watches were his hobby and he was a discriminating collector.
For more than forty years, he collected watches and clocks from many countries and periods. Arthur was quick to recognize any features of a clock or watch that gave it a distinctive character. His fondness for the fine points of the machinery did not blind him to distinctions of form and beauty in the cases, to originality in the maker, or to the historical significance of the work. He was devoted to the science no less than to the art of timekeeping. Arthur's collection contained some 1,200 watches, 300 clocks, and numerous accessories.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by NMAH Staff, undated
Author
NMAH Staff
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by New York University, 1964.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Portions of this collection are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to access it.
Preferred Citation
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Lent by New York University.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Arthur's collection of clocks and watches was administered by New York University (NYU) until 1964, when the collection was sent to the Smithsonian on a permanent loan.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs -- 1850-1900 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watches Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sales catalogs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collectors and collecting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clocks and watches Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inventories Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Models (Patents) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Press releases Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Ezekiel Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives