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I have a Currier and Ives lithograph that is entitled "American Railroad Scene, SnowBound". At the bottom of the print are the words "The Ball Company, Our 76th Year, On Time" with the years 1865-1941. I am assuming this is referring to the anniversary of the Ball Watch Company. Does anybody else agree? Also, was Ball Watch really started in 1865? I have found conflicting information on the internet. Just thought I would see what Ball Watch enthusiasts think. Take a look at the following photos for more detailed info. Thank you in advance for any feedback!:)
Jennifer

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa149/jewelllane/DSCF0024-1.jpg
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa149/jewelllane/DSCF0026-2.jpg
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa149/jewelllane/DSCF0030-1.jpg
 

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Jennifer,
I'm no expert, but I don't think that's right on the date. My understanding is that Webb C. Ball started his own business in 1879. The infamous train collision that resulted in the deaths of engineers and postal workers was in 1891, and I think the company went corporate in that same year, but I believe it was called the Webb C. Ball Company (or something like that). The corporate name referenced in your litho is close enough that it makes sense, but the year just doesn't sound right to me.

True Ball corporate historians like Jeff Hess would know this for sure.

Regards,
-Jeff
 

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Hmmm... well, "Official RR Standard" is definitely the trademark, so I think that is the right company and lineage. Maybe I'm wrong about the date, but for some reason, 1865 just doesn't sound right. Anyone else know?

Regards,
-Jeff
 

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Well if BALL already in business since 1865. It only show that it has longer existance. But base on age, not really possible. Maybe someone, somewhere got it wrong.Hahahaha
 

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The Ball Company, as mentioned on the print, was established in 1865.

Then came the first Ball store, the Webb C. Ball Jewlery Store, in 1879.

Finally, Ball Watch Company was founded in 1891.
 

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There is a lot of confusion to this issue. Webb was quite a promoter and his family was even more "promotion-oriented".

One of Webb's first stores was in the back of a boot and shoe store, where he repaired watches and sold jewlery. And he apprenticed at an early age to jewelers in Central Ohio. He joined forces with a fellow named Whitcomb and produced a watch called the "Whitcomb & Ball" that was a Hampden ebauch around 1878 or so.

he opened his store in Cleveland in 1879. He was also VP of hamilton Watch company at one point as well!

Here are a few of the changes made over the years.


"The Webb C. Ball Watch Company " formerly incorporated under the laws of Ohio filed with the state of Illinois to formed in January of 1912 with officers being Webb, his wife, , his son Sidney and some railroad men, a Frank Rockefeller and others as a "general Jobbing" business.

In 1913 (july) Ball Watch Company bought the assets of the the Norris Allister company.

In late July of 1913 The Webb C. Ball Watch Company accepted a proposal by Sidney Y Ball to "purchase as of August 13th all of the tangible assets accounts and bills receivable of the business" of the WEbb C. Ball Watch Company with the proviso that the "retail jewelry business" in Ohio would be retained by the former owners. Sidney said that the new company would now to be called the "Norris Allister Ball watch company".

In 1913 an application was made and the Saftey First "movement" had its logo registerd with the United States Patent office in 1914 by Sidney Ball. (The Safety First meetings were already being held) (Webb C. Ball then "hit the road" barnstorming throughout this decade these meetings while Sidney ran the business)

The Railroad Time Service (a not for profit business) was charted in 1918 with charter members being Webb C. Ball, Warren Stone, Robert Gross, F Ball, Oscar Horn Sidney Ball W. f. Hayes and Henry J. Cowell "

Around 1927 the firm became known as the Norris Alister Ball Bridges Co. which lasted a few short years.

By 1945, the Webb C. Ball Watch Company had as its shareholders Sidney Ball, D. E. Morgan, other BAll family members, Mr. Ruthart, Chemical bank and The Ball Raillroad Time service.

In 1948 Webb C. Ball II, Sidneys son, (Webb's grandson) filed to purchase the 325 shares that the Railroad Time service held in the Webb C. BAll Watch Company.

Then in 1951, a proposal was set up to merge the Webb C. Ball Watch Company (now strictly a Holding Company "having ceased operations")with "The Ball Company".

Around 1970, When Webb C. Ball's grandson Webb C. Ball II passed away, the torch was passed to George Ball, his son, and Webb's great grandson (Who stopped by my office last week to say hi, believe it or not!) and he owne the company until the 1990;s or so, even after it's reorganizaion in the 1980 era.

this is all a work in progess, so it is subject to change.

As you can see there were many companies involved. The BALL Co. The Railroad Watch Company, The webb c ball co, the webb c. Ball watch co., the Ball Railroad Time service and on and on and on!

Jeffrey P. Hess
 

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That is great information Jeff! A lot of things I did not know. Thank you for posting that great information.
 
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