LOANER?

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LOANER?

New postby Marty101 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:01 am

Friends,is this CWCCo. case a Loaner? And by definition a Loaner movement would have to be railroad worthy,right?

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Re: LOANER?

New postby Neilywatch » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:38 am

Looks like an actual RR case, that looks like the engine number on the back. All the loaners I've seen are marked "LOANER".
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Marty101 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:44 pm

Thanks Neil-I've seen the obvious ones but also several of these "numbered" cases. You really think it's an engine number? It seems like an odd thing to do;that it must have had some designated purpose-?
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Larryl » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:05 pm

They don't have to say "loner" on the back from some that I have seen in different discussions Mart. But they DO have the "loaner" number and the manufacture,s name on the back, on all that I have seen. I have also seen them that the movement was railroad grade but "pendent" set. Was the movement changed over time, or did some railroads approve a loaner like that?

I guess one has to really get in to looking at the different loaners, and the requirements to really know.
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Glyn Meredith » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:17 pm

I've seen many pocket (railroad) watches with a number engraved on the back, sometimes with the watchmaker company name (not the manufacturer's name) also engraved. It has been my certain knowledge that this is the number of the loaner watch, not an engine number, but I'm always ready to stand corrected. :)

For example
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If a watchmaker had a long-standing and exclusive contract with a certain railroad, my theory is they would not have needed to go to the trouble of engraving their business name on the back too.

Were pocket watches ever sold to the railroad companies as their property? We know that many (most or nearly all?) railroad men (conductors and engineers) had their own watches, but what about the men starting out on the job? ... did they have to acquire their own watches before they could start the job, in the same way that a craftsman would be employed with his own tools?
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Larryl » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:13 pm

Glyn looking a little closer your right, the only one that put there name on the cases was "Ball"

Also that number is the loner number. It was the only way that the inspector could keep track of the watches that he loaned out to the employees. The watches did not all have loaner on them, It was up to the inspector as to how he wanted to mark them. The only thing the RR cared about was that the watch he loaned out was approved by that particular railroad.

This is what I got from a person who just retired from the railroad a few years ago;

"Whatever the watch inspector[s] had inventoried to "loan" that met the requirements of the RR would of been used. One can assume they were a basic RRG/RRA watch and not one with all the bells & whistles such as highest jeweled models and/or wind indicators. That could have been a 21Jewel watch adjusted 5 position, lever-set, steel escape wheel, that wound at the 12 O'clock position in an open face case. The Hamilton 992, 992B, Illinois Bunn Special or Sangamo or Sangamo Special, Elgin BW Raymond etc. etc. etc.

Another words whatever was RR grade and RR approved at the time and that the watch inspector/jeweler owned to be let out would of sufficed. Generally the inspector or jeweler would use a cheaper plain jane case with a number engraved on the backside so that he could keep up with the loaned out watches and to make sure say "Number 10" was returned when the RR employee came to pick up his newly serviced watch.

Sometimes these were marked "LOANER" but the majority were simply marked "No.10" etc. and sometimes with the jewelers store name. I personally don't like the word "Loaner" on a watch case as today they are too easily engraved that way and passed off as the real McCoy from that era."

So it looks like the "pendent" set that I had mentioned earlier would NOT be an approved loaner watch.

It is a VERY interesting topic for sure, and an all new part of collecting. :)
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Marty101 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:52 pm

Wow-thank you all,very interesting stuff. I'll have to say that Lar's friend's testimony has the solid chugga-chugga railroad sound of practicality. No bells no whistles-just make sure you give me back that watch back :lol: .
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Re: LOANER?

New postby MikeM » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:55 am

I think it has all been said, but I thought I would add two from my collection:

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1) Pyper Watch Co. Indianapolis, Ind #127

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2) This one is so worn down that it is barely legible,

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but if you hold it just right it says: H.F. Coalburn Elkhart, Ind. No.2
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Glyn Meredith » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:41 am

Glyn Meredith wrote: ... Were pocket watches ever sold to the railroad companies as their property? We know that many (most or nearly all?) railroad men (conductors and engineers) had their own watches, but what about the men starting out on the job? ... did they have to acquire their own watches before they could start the job, in the same way that a craftsman would be employed with his own tools?


Any answers?
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Harvey Mintz » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:21 pm

The way I heard it, the first Railroad watches were commissioned by the Pennsylvania Railroad (bought from Waltham) and given out to crews. Some of these watches were pawned by the crews (the surmise is to get money for alcoholic beverages), so the railroad stopped buying watches for the crews to use, and required that they get their own. All of this occurred in the 1870's, so after that I'd expect that railroad crew members had to buy a watch before they showed up to work. I'm reasonably sure that the jewelers would have sold the watch "on time" (if you'll excuse the rather obvious and very bad pun), making it possible for someone with very little money to start a career on the railroad without having to put out too much money up front (the jeweler would, no doubt, have taken an extra fee for extending credit to the purchaser).

While I was not there, and this is basically a story that's been told, I believe it because it makes sense given human nature.
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Neilywatch » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Hi Glyn-

I am not a RR person but I would suspect that one could not START as an engineer. One had to be PROMOTED to that job. IT was one of the better positions in the RR. So, I suspect that one worked for the RR already had been given the criteria before they could start a position, and this included getting a watch to RR specs. And yes, as Harvey stated they made payments towards the watch before actually collecting it from the jeweler.
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Re: LOANER?

New postby Larryl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:37 pm

The other thing that many RR companies did was to give you a watch when you started with them and then took so much a week out of your pay until it was paid for..
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