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Ingersoll Pocket Watches Gave More Value For Your Grandpa's Dollar

Jun 2, 2008
Nowadays, cheap pocket watches can be bought even in supermarkets. However, did you know that there was a time when they were considered the ultimate status symbol especially for men? A man was not considered a true gentleman without a decent-looking watch somewhere in his pockets because only the wealthy were able to afford to buy one. But with the introduction of Ingersoll pocket watches, that elitist standard got shattered to pieces.

Watch companies in the late 19th century wanted to produce more pocket watches at lower costs in order to reach a much bigger market. Thanks to Ingersoll, a pioneering watch making company based in New York, the aptly named "Dollar Pocket Watch" was introduced. This step helped a lot in making pocket watches more affordable to the masses. Ingersoll is considered the real first maker of the Dollar Pocket Watch, which proved to be a runaway hit shortly after its first release.

The geniuses behind the Dollar Pocket Watch were the Ingersoll brothers, Charles and David. In 1881, they set up a mail-order system for their watches and featured them in catalogues. In 1896, the brothers introduced their famous "Yankee Watch" priced at only $1.00. Even though a dollar had much more value in the late 1800s than now, it was still an affordable price for a pocket watch.

Three years after, by 1889, Ingersoll was producing as much as 8,000 pocket watches a day. The watches came in different grades because they were produced from different parts forged together. The pocket watches were not of the highest quality, but for their prices, they were durable and attractive enough to be carried in one's pocket. They were so popular that Ingersoll used the tagline "The Watch that made the Dollar Famous!" for their Dollar Pocket Watches. Soon, other watch making companies followed suit and produced their own watches priced only at a dollar. Such companies were New Haven, Ansonia, Ingraham, and Westclox, to name a few.

From US, Ingersoll expanded its market all the way to London in the UK in 1904. Because of the difference in the currencies of the two countries, the name "Dollar Pocket Watch" had to be changed to "Crown Pocket Watch." The Crown Pocket Watches were sold for just 5 shillings, which was also a cheap price for an acceptable pocket watch at that time in England.

Nowadays, Ingersoll pocket watches, especially the Dollar Pocket Watches are sold and traded as collector's items. They also cost much higher than a dollar. Try bidding on an authentic old Ingersoll Watch on auction sites, and you'll be surprised how far high up the bids can go. Some people would argue that because the materials used to make these Ingersoll pocket watches were nowhere near to high-quality, they don't deserve their high asking prices nowadays. But if you think about it, a working Dollar Pocket Watch in this day and age carries a lot of history. That alone is enough to warrant not just one, but a lot of dollars.
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