RAILROADS & WATCHES: A HISTORY

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RAILROADS & WATCHES: A HISTORY

Post by koimaster » March 20th 2021, 10:47pm

PART 1


GENERAL RAILROAD HISTORY

Railroads have almost always shared an intimate experience with timekeeping as goods and people were transported to and fro, usually on a sort of schedule. We often think of the great American railroads, the Robber Barons, and even the Wild West when we think of trains. In the context of economic history, instead, the United Kingdom and coal may come up. Nonetheless, throughout history, goods have necessitated transport and that had to be done on a schedule.

The history of trains usually starts around the 16 or 17th century, however, going back to ancient times, there was a form of rail transport already used known as rutways. Diolkos was the name of a paved pathway that stretched across the Isthmus of Corinth in 600 BC. The pathway had tracks and goods be pulled along these tracks by animals or slaves, on what were effectively wagons. The traffic along the Diolkos was constant and it was used mostly to transport goods – which is why it is often considered the first railway. Keep in mind this was a 6 km track, in the Mediterranean, thousands of years ago. According to historian Michael J.T. Lewis, public transportation was also part of the Diolkos to an extent, which was in use for hundreds of years until the first century.


https://montrespubliques.com/long-reads ... ory-part-1


RAILROADS & WATCHES: A HISTORY – PART 2

CANADIAN RAILROAD & WATCH HISTORY

Between American watch companies like Waltham and Elgin, that first started making railway watches as early as the late 1860s, Waltham was the most notable supplier to Canada, making movement specifically marked for the CPR. Canada was a very important country for railroad watches as it was home to the Canadian Pacific Railway, a customer for American and European brands alike. The Canadian Pacific Railway was started in 1881 and completed in 1885, connecting the west coast of Canada to the more populous eastern region. Not only were American watches often on the wrists of Canadian train operators, but the railroad companies themselves had a long history of collaboration; generally in the form of American investment in a Canadian railroad. One example of this is the Great Western Railway, which started operations in the mid-1800s between Niagara Falls and Windsor.

The Canadian National Railway was another customer for watchmakers, it started in 1919 and was the longest railway in North America.

Apart from the watches specifically commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, private label watches were also used in Canada and in the United States. These would’ve been companies like those of Richard Hemsley, former train inspector for the CPR and Grand Trunk railways turned jeweler and watch distributor.


https://montrespubliques.com/long-reads ... ory-part-2
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