"THE WONDER" coach

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"THE WONDER" coach

New postby 4thdimension » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:10 pm

I received my new Addison aluminum movement watch and was able to read the finely engraved inscription on the back which states
"The Wonder by P.J. Rumney of Ridge's Food Fame" So I googled him and found that he was a chemist and food distributer who took up a second career driving tourists in his four horse carriage from Piccadilly, London out to view St. Albans cathedral. This ad appeared in the "Otago Witness" , a newspaper in New Zealand, in "30 Haratua 1885". "Haratua" is Maori for May.
-Cort

%22THE WONDER%22.jpg
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Re: "THE WONDER" coach

New postby 4thdimension » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:27 pm

The back of the Addison.

DSCN2314.JPG
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Re: "THE WONDER" coach

New postby 4thdimension » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:08 am

At risk of hammering this watch story to death, I offer the following version i found tonight after googling for info on this watch again.
from: The Hollyhead road: the mail-coach road to Dublin, Volumn 1 By Charles George Harper 1902

"The "Wonder" has run daily to and from St. Albans, sometimes through the winter as well as summer, since 1882; owned by that consistant amateur of coaching, P.J. Rumney, familiarly known down the road and at Brighton as "Dr. Ridge'", from his proprietorship of a certain world-famed "Food for Infants" But, before the "Wonder" came upon the scene,the modern coaching revival had provided St. Albans with summer coaches from about 1872"

There follows a long description of the routes , timetables etec.,etc,. What got me was the line "modern coaching revival". As it happens my own Greart-G-Grandfather was a Four-in-Hand Coach racer from around 1900-1915. He was damn good at it and even went to England once (his only trip ever out of the U.S.) with his horses and competed ,successfully, in an international event there.

As far as i know the sport is completely obsolete today. This may be because it is harder to find other "four-in-handers" than it is to find a good luge race in Texas.

So, this little Addison had a pretty good story thanks to the internet. Ten years ago I never would have found out dirt about this watch's tale.
-Cort
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Re: "THE WONDER" coach

New postby Cary Hurt » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:21 pm

Nice story Cort. I love these additional details about a watch's original owner...

I had to laugh at the "compliment" paid to Mr. Rumney, when he's described as the "...consistent amateur of coaching..". I've always appreciated the British gift for phrasing things.

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Re: "THE WONDER" coach

New postby JerryT » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:12 pm

Great story and research, Cort. Might the watch have been a souvenir item? Any speculation on how it came to be so engraved?
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Re: "THE WONDER" coach

New postby 4thdimension » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:20 pm

Cary, I thought "consistent amateur" was pretty choice line too ;)

Jerry, Its hard to speculate but, as it is a lady's watch, I suppose it may have been a souvenir; perhaps a gift for a frequent rider or a frequent buyer of Fitch's baby formula?

-Cort
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