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