Keeping time was a major responsibility in the late 19th century. Vintage pocket watches with their chains and various "fobs" were popular items among railroad timekeepers who needed precision timing devices to avoid collisions. Among the many companies that sprouted to satisfy the needs of their growing customer base was the Elgin Watch Company based in Elgin, Illinois. Elgin was also the world's largest watchmaking establishment for 100 years. Other companies like the Waltham Watch Company and the Hamilton Watch Company are also key early historical watchmakers that have created some of America's most iconic watches. Many are preserved in museums like the watch presented to Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address; however, newer vintage models can still be found and collected. You can find a large inventory of these vintage pocket watches on eBay to choose from. Vintage Elgin pocket watches are favorite collectors' items partly because the company stopped its operations in 1968, making every watch produced by the company a coveted timepiece. Likewise, in addition to their high quality, vintage Waltham pocket watches are cherished due to the company's early start in 1850 before any watchmaking industry was established in America.
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