One man’s 1,648-page quest to preserve an American watch company’s history

Watch brands with roots in North America
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Racer-X
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One man’s 1,648-page quest to preserve an American watch company’s history

Post by Racer-X » November 17th 2019, 1:54pm

"First, there’s the heft: 24.5 pounds.

Then, there’s the size: 1,648 pages.

But, really, it’s the topic of this five-volume book set that elicits the biggest surprise: the Illinois Watch Co.

Presidents, wars, social movements — few, if any, have prompted histories of this depth.

Yet Fredric J. Friedberg devoted a decade of his life to writing “The Illinois Watch & Its Hamilton Years,” a history of a defunct company that, odds are, you’ve never heard of before.

Though not a household name like Rolex, Illinois was once at the vanguard of a vibrant American watchmaking industry, crafting Art Deco-styled timepieces that rivaled the best from Switzerland in both accuracy and artistry.

Friedberg hopes his opus will reinvigorate interest in Illinois, which has been out of business for nearly 90 years. And even if it doesn’t, Friedberg could be satisfied knowing he completed a task that tested him in ways he never imagined when he began the work in 2008."

https://www.latimes.com/california/stor ... watch-book

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MKTheVintageBloke
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Re: One man’s 1,648-page quest to preserve an American watch company’s history

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » November 17th 2019, 2:08pm

I wonder what took him 1648 pages. Even the most extensive books about brands and their watches, like Rossler's book on Zenith, don't take up that much space.

If he filled it with anecdotes from the lives of janitors and typists in the offices of Illinois facilities, I'm not going to even try reading it. Well, OK, because I don't really care about Illinois watches, I'm not going to even bother trying to read it anyway.
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Re: One man’s 1,648-page quest to preserve an American watch company’s history

Post by bobbee » November 18th 2019, 5:26am

Illinois Watches are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
I wish they weren't so rare and pricey, I would have a few.


Dozen!
Well done to Fred, his work will go down in horological history as one of the all-time greats, and well deserved too.

Here are some watch photographs on his Facebook page.

https://m.facebook.com/Vintage-Deco-Ill ... l&mt_nav=0
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Re: One man’s 1,648-page quest to preserve an American watch company’s history

Post by biglove » November 20th 2019, 7:07pm

Looks like he has numerous offerings up for sale. I don't know squat about vintage Illinois watches or any other vintage watches but would love to hear what some of our vintage experts here have to say?

http://www.illinoiswatches.com/product- ... n-product/
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