***************** A.W.C.Co. *****************

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My name is Lorne Wasylishen, retired Canadian National Railways locomotive engineer. What got me here and what follows is a result of trying to discover why the numbers 07 or 08 were stamped on some  A.W.C.Co.  pocket watch cases. (April 2018)

If you have any questions, comments or corrections, please use the contact form on the right or use this email,   awcco AT citywest DOT ca      Don’t be shy,  just a note to say hello makes me happy.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE I HAVE SUSPENDED WORK ON THIS SITE DUE TO HEALTH ISSUES .

SEPT. 26/2018

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INDEX

Pg. 1 – HISTORY
Pg. 2 – CASE CHRONOLOGY
Pg. 3 – CASE GUARANTEES BECOME ILLEGAL IN CANADA – 1908
Pg. 4 – The 07/08 QUESTION – CASE & MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WTH PHOTOS
Pg. 5 – FORTUNE 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 6 – CASHIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 7 – PREMIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 8 – EMPRESS 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 9 – SILVEROID/NICKEL SILVER 16s & 18s Case & Mvt. SN’s WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 10 – A.W.C.CO. COIN 16s & 18s PLUS EXCELSIOR – PERFECTION – N P – NEVADA  SN’s & PHOTOS
Pg. 11 – Coming soon SOLID GOLD & STERLING SILVER
Pg. 12 –
Pg. 13 –
Pg. 14 –
Pg. 15 –

INDEX NAVIGATION AT BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE

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  HISTORY

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Toronto Illustrated 1893 – open library.org

No need to read that small print, here is the above text:

A representative and progressive concern that reflects the highest credit on Toronto is that known as The American Watch Case Company, manufacturers of fine Gold and Silver cases, whose offices and factory are situated at 509 to 515 King street west.

This important industry was established in 1885, on Adelaide street west, and in 1893 it was removed to it’s present location.

The business has been incorporated with ample capital, and the executive officers are, Mr. John N. Lake President;  Mr. W. K. McNaught, Secretary-Treasurer;  and Mr. R. J Quigley, Manager.

The premises occupied comprise a substantial four-story and basement brick building, 34 X 200 feet in dimensions. The basement is devoted to melting and refining gold and silver, the ground floor to offices and machine shops, the first floor to turning, polishing, etc, while the engraving dept. and the third floor for plating.

The various departments are fully equipped with the latest improved tools, machinery and appliances, and operated  by electric motors, aggregating thirty horsepower. 120 highly skilled workmen are employed.

The gold, gold-filled and silver cases manufactured are unrivalled for finish, elegance of design and reliability, and have no superiors in the USA or Europe. These watch cases are recognized standards with the trade, and demand for them is steadily increasing.

Messrs. Lake and McNaught are Canadians, while Mr. Quigley was born in New York. They are widely known for their ability and strict integrity, and under their careful guidance the prospects of the company are most encouraging.

The Company’s trade is strictly wholesale and extends throughout the entire Dominion of Canada. There are only two watch case companies in Canada, the A.W.C.CO. being the largest and doing the lions share of the business.

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Robert J. Quigley was born in Hoboken NJ. Oct 3, 1848.

He was educated in public school and  entered apprenticeship with Joseph Fahys of New York.

In 1868 Fahys formed the Brooklyn Watch Co. and Quigley, now a journeyman and one of the first employees of that company, remained in their service until 1874.

At this time he came to Canada eventually buying the machinery of Robert Crawford of Guelph and moving it to his place in Toronto at No. 8 King st. E..

Under careful management the new enterprise was successful and  he found he needed  larger capital to supply the growing demand for gold and silver cases.

E.H Arms was admitted to partnership and the business was reorganized under the name of Arms and Quigley turning out 40 silver cases per week in addition to gold cases.

Although at first there was a prejudice against Canadian watch cases the company was successful from the start.

In 1880 larger quarters were needed and the firm moved to Nos.33 &35 Adelaide St. W.

The business prospered until the retirement of Mr. Arms in 1882 and Mr. Quigley continued alone until 1884.

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William K. McNaught was born in Fergus Ontario, Sept. 6 1845.

In 1866 he took a course  at the British  American Commercial College, then in 1868 entered the employ of wholesale jeweller Robert Wilkes of Toronto.

In 1877 McNaught entered into partnership with John Zimmerman forming Zimmerman, McNaught & Co., wholesale jewelers and in 1879 G.H. Lowe was admitted to form Zimmerman, McNaught and Lowe.

McNaught had charge of the financial part of this large and successful business.

In 1879 Mr. McNaught began  publication of THE TRADER, an organ of the Canadian Jewelery trade.

McNaught  was the sole editor of this publication, the first issue had only 8 pages but by 1891 it had grown to 68 pages.

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Men of Canada 1901

In that first issue of The Trader is mention of Arms & Quigley of Toronto as showing a very creditable assortment of gold and silver watch cases of their own manufacture. The collection which embraced both key and stem winders reflects great credit on the Canadian pioneer of this industry.

Ad cuts in the Oct. 1884 issue state:

“Ask your jobber for Quigley’s new patent invisible joint case.”

“Watch cases (gold and silver) manufactured by me and stamped “QUIGLEY”, are now sold to the trade.”

As far as this author is aware,  no cases stamped “QUIGLEY” have been reported .

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TRADER Oct. 1884

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R.J. Quigley & W.K. McNaught Unite to form A.W.C.Co.

In Nov. 1884 McNaught purchased a half interest in the watch case factory of Mr. R.J. Quigley and the following year the business merged into the  American Watch Case Company of Toronto with a capital stock of $50,000, which was subsequently increased to $200,000.

At the first annual meeting  W.K. McNaught was elected as Secretary-Treasurer and R.J. Quigley as Manager.

At the time of organization this company employed some 30 people but by 1891 there were 120.

By 1903 output of the company amounted to about 340 cases per day with a yearly turnover of about $300,000 and employing 125 men. (Cdn Jrnl of Commerce May 29 1903)

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Debut Announced in Mar. 1885 Issue of the Trader

Trader Mar. 1885 P. 10-12  :  The American Watch Case Company of Toronto – It will be news to most of our readers to learn that a new Watch Case Company has been organized in Canada for the purpose of manufacturing watch cases of all kinds.

The new company proposes to buy out the present plant and business of Mr. R.J. Quigley, (Invisible Watch Case Co.) and to add to it sufficient machinery of the latest pattern to enable them to turn out goods equal in construction and finish to anything manufactured on the continent.

With ample capital and a pick of skilled workmen from the leading case factories across the border we do not see why this cannot be done, and we feel sure that if such a thing can be done at all, the promoters of the new company are the men to do it.

Quite a number of leading Canadian jobbers have become stockholders in it, and the company looks forward to a large trade in the near future.

The company have secured four very valuable patents in cases which they will control in this market, and they propose to turn out nothing but first class goods, and combine in them all the latest improvements.

In a future number we may have something to say about some of these patented specialties, but in the meantime we congratulate the country upon this latest addition to it’s manufactories and wish it all the success that such an enterprise deserves.

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TORONTO WATCH CASE CO. Merged into A.W.C.Co. 1891

Charles Stark in 1890, manufactured watch cases under the name of the Toronto Watch Case CO. Trader Aug. 1890 (Pg.49 1/2 way down the left side (People Who Live in Glass Houses) I left the search feature in the link so you can see a few more Charles Stark mentions if desired. It takes about 20 sec. to load and the little indicators appear below.

That company was merged into the A.W.C.CO.  by Oct. of 1891, Frank S. Taggart still the manager at least as late as Nov. of 1890.

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Jewelers Circular Oct. 21, 1891

For some additional light reading on Charles Stark.

Charles Stark Catalogue 1884

Charles Stark Catalogue 1887

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Stock Purchase by US Interests – 1903

In early 1903 American interests purchased some stock in the AWCCo.

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The Canadian Journal of Commerce May 29 1903, states the AWCCo has passed into the control of an American watch syndicate, the capital stock of the company being sold for $250,000 being at a rate if $150 per share.

The purchaser is Mr. E. Zurbrugh representing the syndicate which includes managers of the Keystone & Crescent Watch Case Co.’s.

There are 30 shareholders, one of which,  Mr. W.K. McNaught who has been manager of the company since it’s formation will remain, 4 directors will retire.

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The Boston Evening Transcript May 26 1903, states that certain officials of the American Waltham Watch Co., The Elgin National Watch Co. and the Crescent Watch Case Co. have bought a large block of stock in the AWCCo.

The purchase of stock was made by E.C. Fitch & F.R. Appleton of the Waltham Company; Irving Smith of the Crescent Company; and T Zurbrugg of the Keystone Company.

These men have not purchased the entire stock but a block which came to the market through the death of the manager recently.

Mr. Smith said the purchase was made to avoid payment of large duty on cases and to afford a means of selling American made movements.

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The deceased manager is not named and there are conflicting reports as to the date of J.R. Quigley’s death.

If one were to rely on the second report putting Quigley’s death in 1903 it can be assumed that event put the block of shares on the market as mentioned above.

Quigley Deceased CBRCYO.pngQuigley Deceased Dictionary of Canadian Biography.pngR. J. Quigley Death 1902 A History of Ontario 1907.png

In 1904 McNaught became President of the company and remained until his death in Feb. 1919.  In 1906 he was elected to the Ontario Provincial Parliament.

While running for office again in 1911 a bit of a political debate in the newspaper touches on the sale of the Company and duty on American watch cases. Waldron Well Walloped On Matters Of Fact, The Toronto World Sept. 20, 1911

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This company has manufactured and marketed OVER 800,000 CASES of various kinds. (Goldsmith’s Cat. Sept.1900)

The company have manufactured and marketed in Canada alone  NEARLY 2 MILLION of WATCH CASES  (Goldsmith’s Cat. 1906-7)

Over Two Million Canadians Carry Winged Wheel Cases (Toronto World Sept. 1911)

More Than Three Million Canadians wear and recommend “winged wheel” watch cases (Toronto World Feb. 1918)

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TORONTO WORLD Sept. 6, 1911
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Toronto World Feb. 6, 1918

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Still Standing in 2017

Designated as architecturally and historically significant in 2001, the building was occupied by A.W.C.Co. until 1939 then lay vacant until 1943. It has since had various tenants. City of Toronto by-law No. 678 2001

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American Watch Case Co. Building 511 King St. West, Toronto – Erected 1893 – Architect, G.W. Gouinlock – Contractor, Thomas E. Cannon Jr.  –   Image Courtesy Google Street View 2017

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INDEX

Pg. 1 – HISTORY
Pg. 2 – CASE CHRONOLOGY
Pg. 3 – CASE GUARANTEES BECOME ILLEGAL IN CANADA – 1908
Pg. 4 – The 07/08 QUESTION – CASE & MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WTH PHOTOS
Pg. 5 – FORTUNE 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 6 – CASHIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 7 – PREMIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 8 – EMPRESS 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 9 – SILVEROID/NICKEL SILVER 16s & 18s Case & Mvt. SN’s WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 10 – A.W.C.CO. COIN 16s & 18s PLUS EXCELSIOR – PERFECTION – N P – NEVADA  SN’s & PHOTOS
Pg. 11
Pg. 12
Pg. 13
Pg. 14
Pg. 15