Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,385 pages of information and 233,851 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Dennison Watch Case Co

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1929. B

of Handsworth, Birmingham. (1922)

of Villa Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, 19. Telephone: Northern 58 and 59. Cables: "Dennison, Birmingham". (1929)

Ditto Address and Cables. Telephone: Birmingham Northern 4545-6-7. (1947)

1812 Aaron Lufkin Dennison was born in Freeport, Maine, USA.

1833 After a three year apprenticeship with James Cary, he went to work as a journeyman watchmaker in Boston. He followed the advice of a fellow American watchmaker and discovered inaccuracies in the workmanship and construction of even the best hand-made watches. He often visited the Springfield armoury, predicting that the manufacture of watches would soon be reduced to as much system and perfection as the manufacture of firearms.

c1840 He invented the Dennison Standard Gauge and then began to develop the "Interchangeable System" (the American System of Watch Manufacturing).

1844 Aaron Lufkin Dennison, who was then also engaged in the jewellery business in Boston, decided that he could make paper boxes better than the imported products. He bought supplies of box board and cover paper and took them to the family home in Brunswick, Maine. He developed the box business successfully, but five years later turned it over to his younger brother.

1849 Dennison partnered with clockmaker Edward Howard to manufacture interchangeable movement parts, to enhance quality and lower the price of watches.

1850 They started up with capital from mirror manufacturer Samuel Curtis

1854 A new factory was built on the banks of the river in Waltham, Massachusetts and the company eventually became the Waltham Watch Company.

1874 After adventures in Switzerland he moved to England, where he founded a very successful watch case company, Dennison Watch Case Co

1895 He died in Birmingham.

1922 British Industries Fair Advert (double page) for Watch Cases. The Case for Present Day Use. The Case for Presentation Watches. Also: Sovereign Purses, Compass Cases and kindred articles. (Stand No. E.28) [1]

1929 British Industries Fair Advert for Watch Cases. Also manufacturers of Compasses, Powder Boxes, Coin Holders, etc., Fine Chains, in 18ct., 14ct., and Silver, 25 and 20 year gold-filled and 10 year rolled gold. Small Tools. (Watches and Clocks Section - Stand No. J.74) [2]

1947 British Industries Fair Advert: "His was no empty dream". High-grade watch cases in Gold, Silver, Rolled Gold, Nickel and Steel. (Jewellery etc. Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. E.1779) [3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair Adverts lxiv and lxv; and p22
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 223; and p49
  3. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 333; and p82