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Cotton Belt Fordyce pocket watch

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Pocket Watches810 of 1471My Best Item.Pocket Watch M.J.Tobias Liverpool england (Railroad Time Keeper)
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Posted 5 years ago

(2 items)

My late husband collected Cotton Belt Route memorabilia, and was also an engineer for the company for 20+ years or so. He purchased this “investment” of an antique pocket watch with numerous engravings. On one side of the watch was engraved “Capt Samuel W. Fordyce”. On another side of the watch is the Cotton Belt logo, along with “St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad Company”. I know that he officially became president of the railroad company on this date of May 1, 1886. It is also the anniversary of his marriage to Susan Chadwick, his wife. I’ve been able to date the serial number of the watch as manufactured by the Illinois Watch company in 1887, give or take a year or so. I’m fairly certain the watch is authentic, but I don’t know who gave him the watch. There is also a Morgan Dollar attached to the collection; one side is the normal Morgan Dollar eagle and the other side has the Cotton Belt Route logo and the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad Company engraved on it. I’m still searching for information about who gave Fordyce the watch.
I also know it is a size 18, 11 jewels and made by Illinois Watch Company. It’s a pretty cool collection I think!

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  1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    If that is the orig. presentation box, it adds a lot to the value as a collector's item. Are there any markings on the lid?
  2. pw-collector pw-collector, 5 years ago
    Great collection. I love the train watch keys.
  3. toolate2 toolate2, 5 years ago
    Crazy nice watch! Love the key!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us... You should also post it on the NAWCC site. It seem's to me that you have a watch there of major horological significance and interest. Here's a link to their site: http://mb.nawcc.org/ Post it under the American Pocket Watch section...
  4. Heron789, 5 years ago
    The front of the box has the same Cotton Belt Route Logo with the St. Louis, Arkansas, Texas Railroad as you see in the first photo, along with the "Capt Samuel W. Fordyce" on it. There is not a single nail in the box. I have no idea if the box is authentic or not. I think it has dovetails (?) or whatever the woodworking terminology is. On the inside of the watch, opposite the engraving of his name is, "FAHYS, oresilver, 220". The 220 looks to be stamped and possibly a unique number of some kind.
  5. trgrubaugh trgrubaugh, 5 years ago
    love it
  6. musikchoo musikchoo, 5 years ago
    What's not to LOVE about This watch!!!! An incredible Keepsake !!
  7. TubeAmp TubeAmp, 5 years ago
    Hi Heron:
    The man wrote an autobiography, it's worth a look.

    Thank you for sharing,

  8. toolate2 toolate2, 5 years ago
    So the guys at NAWCC think all the engraving and such was done in the last 30 yrs or so. They felt it was done more as a "commemorative" piece... Some felt it might even have been done to deceive.... but whatever the case it was very well done. The tip off for most was the engraving. On close examination it was all machine done. Probably on a modern CAD type engraving machine. Still, my thinking is that it's a beautiful set and ANY collector would be proud to own it. I love it!!!

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