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1867 Presetation Watch, National Watch Co. (Elgin)

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Posted 2 years ago


(546 items)

I have a National Watch Co. watch, serial number 1731, Grade 62, Model 1, H.Z. Culver, that I believe is very unique because of the inscription that is on the dust cover of the case.
It reads:

Geo. D. Barnard
Culver Page & Hoyne
November 22nd 1867.

I would like to know any insight you can offer about the watch and it's inscription.
Here is some information or scenarios that I have obtained so far:

Culver, Page & Hoyne Co. was a noted stationer, bookbinder, printer & seller of fine writing implements located on Lake Street in Chigago.
I also found on a google search of Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co. a little history and financial difficulties of their company.
I was told that in the book, Elgin Time: A History of the Elgin National Watch Co. that there is a reference to Howard Zoroaster Culver, one of the original 8 investors and owned a successful stationery & printing business.
Could the 'Friend Culver' inscribed here, be the same Culver who was one of the 8 investors of The National Watch Co. (Elgin) that was formed in 1864 & the name that this watch movement bears?
I have not yet been able to find any information on Geo. D. Barnard.
Thanks for looking and sharing,

Mystery Solved


  1. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    I took your advice and rearranged the photos.
    Great job. I don't know how many times I googled Geo.. D. Barnards name and came up blank every time. These business cards are great.
    After further searching this morning, I found the different addresses he used on his letterheads.
    I also found where George D. Barnard , wealthy St. Louis businessman, donates $130,000.00 for a new building at the St. Louis Skin & Cancer Hospital.
    Things are coming together on this presentation watch.
    I just need to confirm that the Culver here is the same H.Z. Culver of the National Watch Co.
    I need to make a correction from my original post about Culver being one of the 8 investors of the National Watch Co.. I found information that it might have only been 7 investors.
    On August 27, 1864, a company was incorporated under the name of "The National Watch Company of Chicago, Illinois," with a capitol of $100,000.00.
    The incorporators were:
    Philo Carpenter
    Howard Z. Culver
    Benjamin w. Raymond
    Geo. M. Wheeler
    Thomas S. Dickerson
    Edward H. Williams
    W. Robbins
    Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction,

  2. thisoldwatch thisoldwatch, 2 years ago
    Hi Dave,
    I don't think you realize the significance of this beautiful watch. The serial number places it in the 1st. run of watches and the first year that the company was founded. If you can definately tie the engraving with Culver in some way any Elgin collector would mortgage his house to own it. It is too much of a coincidence that the two Culver's aren't connected in some way. I would look in some newspaper archives for some solid connection. It could be a piece of history and well worth your time.
  3. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    First, thank you for your interest and sharing in this watch and I would be interested in anything you can find out.
    I have researched this for some time & thanks to AR8Jason for helping on identifying Geo. D. Barnard.
    What I have found in my research so far is:
    The watch serial number 1731, is a grade 62, model 1, H.Z. Culver
    The production of this grade is: 16,146
    The 1st serial number in this run (1st run) is 1001
    The last serial number in this run is: 1801 (800 watches in this run)
    The only possible tie that I can find between Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co. and Howard Zoroaster Culver of Elgin National Watch Co. (and it is a pretty good tie) is, The New York Times published in October 30, 1883, an article titled "AN OLD FIRM RETIRES". The Chicago house of Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co. Sells Out. It talks about their success & financial difficulties.
    The third paragraph states:
    "The firm began business in 1856, and was the oldest as well as the largest in its line in the city. The original members were H. Z. Culver and D. W. Page, who bought out a stationer named Stacy. Six months afterward M. A. Hoyne was taken in, and the name was changed to Culver, Page & Hoyne."
    I have not been able to find another H.Z. Culver of that time period. I would like to have a more solid connection if I can find one. Sill searching.
    Thanks to all for looking & sharing,
  4. kerry10456 kerry10456, 2 years ago
    Dave, I've got to say, this is one of the most impressive watches , I've seen in a VERY long time. It's a "Keeper" for sure. Thanks for sharing this "AWESOME" historical timepiece.
  5. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    This is great stuff. With what I found on the sale of Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co. and what you have posted here, They have to be one in the same.
    I tried to click on your contact, on your profile page, It kicked me off-line. I don't participate in facebook so that might be the reason.
    My email is, if you want to email me anything.
    I have the full article from The New York Times but would like to see the American Stationer one also.
    I'm a nut about finding the history about things I have, so this is great. Thanks so much for your effort and for others who have contributed.
  6. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    Thanks to everyone for your help and sharing in this history lesson.
    I shared this watch and the fantastic history behind it with my three granddaughters who have been visiting me for a few days. The could not believe that I had this 145 year old piece of history, and that it is still ticking.
    This shows that FRIENDS are FOREVER and BEYOND! I wonder if H.Z. Culver ever imagined that a watch bearing his name would still be around and working 145 yraes later.
    I'm proud to be allowed to be the caretaker of this piece of history.
    Thanks for sharing,
  7. toolate2 toolate2, 2 years ago
    Love this! Don't you love this site???
  8. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    I'm running way behind in my Thank You's.
    Thanks to thisoldwatch, AR8Jason, officialfuel, packrat-place, kerry10456, BELLIN68, gearpunk, musikchoo, toolate2 & scandinavian_pieces for the appreciation.
  9. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
    Thanks musikchoo for the appreciation.

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