Guide to the Jon and Jennifer Hanson Watch and Clock Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1122
Creators:
Hanson, Jon
Hamilton Watch Company.
Dates:
1931-1954
undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
11.7 Cubic feet
8 boxes including photographs and negatives
Repository:
Photographic prints and negatives documenting the interior operations of the Hamilton Watch Company primarily in the 1930s and 1940s.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of approximately 760 photographs and negatives created by the Hamilton Watch Company and documenting its employees, equipment, materials, and factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Many photographs depict the company's research and development efforts. There are also images of the Hamilton Watch Company's work in fuse assembly for bombs during WWII. The photographs are mainly organized by factory department or location. A number of these photographs were created by the advertising department and include identification numbers, location of the image, name of the photographer, and the identification of people in the photograph, as well as release forms for those pictured. If not located with the photographs, these items, as well as additional information, can be found in the corresponding folders. Negatives in poor condition were scanned. There are also five glass plate negatives.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in one series.
Series 1, Photographic Prints and Negatives, 1931-1954, undated

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Hamilton Watch Company, established in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1892, was known for its manufacture of high quality wrist and pocket watches. Broadway Limited, its first series of pocket watches, was nicknamed "the watch of railroad accuracy," and Hamilton soon became associated with the railroad industry. The company also supplied wristwatches to the United States Armed Forces in the 1910s Hamilton continued its association with the military during World War II when it stopped production of watches for consumers in order to provide the armed forces with one million timepieces. The company was responsible for the Ventura, the world's first electric (battery-powered) watch, and in 1970, the world's first digital watch.
In 1969, Hamilton closed its factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, signaling the end of its American manufacturing operations. All production moved to the facilities of the Buren Watch Company in Switzerland, a company that Hamilton had acquired three years before. The Hamilton brand is currently owned by the Swatch Group and carries two product lines, American Classic and Khaki.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Kiley Orchard (intern), 2008, Christopher Ruggiero (intern), 2008, and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist, 2008.
Author
Kiley Orchard (intern), Christopher Ruggiero (intern), and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Jon Hanson in 2008.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Hamilton Watch Company Photographs, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
E. Howard Clock Company Records (AC0776)
Seth Thomas Clock Company Records (AC0627)
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection (AC0130)
National Company (NATCO) Atomic Clocks Records (AC0547)
Harold Lyons Atomic Clocks Collection (AC0701)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Custodial History
Custodial History
Acquired by a clock and watch collector in 1969 when Hamilton closed its Lancaster plant and later sold by his estate.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Annual reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertising Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Assembly-line methods Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Price lists Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 -- Industries Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Account books -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fuses Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Factories -- Pennsylvania Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manufacturing processes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bombs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clocks and watches Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chronometers Topic 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