Hamilton Boxes

Hamilton Boxes from all era's
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retroworx
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#81 Post by retroworx » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:02 am

I loved reading that, thanks so much!

Here is the box on the cover of the 1955 catalog:
catalog cover 1955.jpg
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Note from the catalog cover that some of the boxes for men were blue; these seem to come up less frequently:
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blue box open.7.jpg
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Mugea
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#82 Post by Mugea » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:37 am

Hi Susan,

thanks very much for showing this blue box – most interesting and exciting (and perfect photos, by the way) !!!


Meanwhile, I found the matching Braun-Crystal design patent (at leat, the long box): it’s US Design Patent No. 181546 belonging to Braun-Crystal. Inventor (designer) was a Worthen Paxton. The Patent was filed on 29. November 1955.


USD181546Paxton_Hamilton_Atomic-box_01.jpg
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I hope, all this “patent stuff” isn’t too boring – for me, patents may be a good source to nail down some details of an invention/design.

Regards

Martin

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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#83 Post by retroworx » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:51 am

Very interesting that it looks like the original intended purpose was for a watch band.
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inatime
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#84 Post by inatime » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:59 pm

Mugea wrote:
I hope, all this “patent stuff” isn’t too boring – for me, patents may be a good source to nail down some details of an invention/design.

Regards

Martin
Not boring to me. I like the history on how the designs evolved and were patented.
Patrick

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Mugea
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#85 Post by Mugea » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:38 am

From the "Contemporary Classic" (Atomic boxes) back to the forerunner. Well, almost:
Shortage_Boxes_Still_02_1024x768.jpg
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The boxes shown are the "shortage versions" of the "candy bar" molded plastic boxes. These boxes have (nearly) the same shape and dimensions, but aren't made of plastic, but of wood (?) with a leather imitating paper covering. The Hamilton crest on the top is the same as on the inside satin lining.
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One of the box is for a men's watch (unfortunately, the label on the outer box is missing), the other is for a Ladies' watch, i.e. for a Clara (the Clara was listed first in 1941 and appeared until 1951 (missing in the 1948 catalog).

Shortage_Boxes_01_1024x768.jpg
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Shown here are the tops of a normal plastic box, the men’s paper box and the CLARA box

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The “paper” box is considerable lighter than the plastic box. Weight is 4 5/8 oz (132 grams), while the weight of the plastic box is 6 oz (171 grams).

Both boxes have a brown inlay, so I assume, both were mentioned for a coral gold (filled) watch. Interestingly, the "Clara" was available in coral in 1941 only.

Both boxes have a red label on the outer box (well, on the men’s box only a small snippet remained) – are red labels typical for coral versions?

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Let’s have a look under the hood:
Shortage_Boxes_03_1024x768.jpg
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Now, I like surprises like that: Certificate is present (and it’s there also under the lining of the Clara’s box)

Now, the question is: when were these boxes made?

Such boxes were discussed (but not shown) here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6756

Assumption was, reason for the box was the Armstrong strike in 1947.

Well, I don't think so. My assumption is: they were made during WWII due to supply shortage (and involvement of the supplier(s) in other business activities). There's a Boulton on ebay what could prove my assumption:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Hamilton-Lancast ... SwubRXM9HT

Serial number of the 982 movement is J169707 - consequently, it was made in 1941. I asked the seller, if the serial number on the box would match the movement serial number - he answered with "yes" and confirmed, that the box is such a "shortage variation".

So I'm confident, these "shortage" boxes were made during WWII.
I have bought already a project watch (coral Wilshire) of the appropriate date frame – just to have a matching filling for the box.


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Best regards

Martin

P.S: I nearly forgot to show the top of the outer box of the "Clara" box:


Shortage_Boxes_11_1024x604.jpg
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Cute, isn't it? ;)

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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#86 Post by retroworx » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:20 am

On the run here, so not too much time to locate it for us, but I believe Rene has posted somewhere on the forum a letter from Hamilton to jewelers describing the Armstrong shortage and explaining that the substitute boxes could be swapped out for the real deal when the stock became available again. . . .
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gatorcpa
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#87 Post by gatorcpa » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:50 pm

I think I found the post you were looking for:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3136&p=22818&hilit=Armstrong#p22818
image.jpeg
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The letter from Hamilton doesn't mention these paper boxes, so I really don't know when they were made.
gatorcpa

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Mugea
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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#88 Post by Mugea » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:29 am

Hi gatorcpa,

Thanks for bringing this up:

gatorcpa wrote:I think I found the post you were looking for:


The letter from Hamilton doesn't mention these paper boxes, so I really don't know when they were made.
gatorcpa


Well, the letter is great, especially, as the letter explains, that the outer boxes and the “plush pads” (I’m most thankful for that expression – I had my problems with naming the inlay pad) were available in 1947, but not the plastic boxes. And that’s the reason, why Hamilton shipped the watches during the strike in the outer boxes, filled with wadding and the plush pads:

hamiltonelectric wrote:One oddball is an outer box with no inner box -- just cotton batting to support the blue velvet liner and a note explaining that due to a strike, the box would have to be delivered at a later date:

Image

It took me several years before I finally could date that, thanks to a letter I found:
So: question still is: when were the paper boxes (shortage boxes) made? I still believe: during the war:

- The mentioned 1941 Boulton comes in a matching paper box
- my Clara box has the date 1942 written on top
- my Clara box (as well as the other box) comes with a brown plush pad, made for the Coral versions – the Clara was catalogued only in 1942 as a Coral variation

Regards

Martin

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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#89 Post by hamiltonelectric » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:01 pm

I have never believed the paper-covered so-called 'shortage' boxes were from the Armstrong strike. I have long wondered what the actual story was on them, but could never find any information. I think your WWII theory is very plausible, and the box you have that is dated 1942 is pretty good evidence. Obviously not as strong as something written by Hamilton, but it makes sense to me.

The emergency box referred to in the Hamilton letter matches perfectly to the box I showed in my photo. It's clear from Hamilton's letter to wholesalers that they didn't expect the Armstrong strike to last long so it is unlikely they would have contracted with another company to make a paper-covered box. The evidence shows they considered their interim approach, with the velvet pad, outer box, and explanatory note, to be adequate for what would presumably be a short strike. (I don't know how long it really lasted.)

So while I'd still like to find clear-cut documentation to explain the shortage boxes, I find the WWII theory to be logical.

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Re: Hamilton Boxes

#90 Post by gatorcpa » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:53 pm

More on the paper box mystery.

Just found a ladies version of the Hamilton paper box for sale on eBay:

Image

This one has the yellow sticker with the name of the model and serial number of the movement:

Image

This particular Grade 721 watch movement was made in 1941, as per the Pocket Watch Database:

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/ ... on/N132057

The "Doris" model was available from at least 1940 through the 1942 catalog found on this site. I'm pretty sure that those 1942 models were all made in 1941 or earlier due to the controls put on by the US Government for WWII.

I'm not sure if the plastic shortages and rationing had started as of the time this watch was produced. I certainly don't know the lag time (if any) between the production dates of the watch and boxes. In all three examples that we have been able to match to a watch, the production date is listed as 1941. Could it just have been a change from plastic to compressed paper for 1941 which was followed by a total stop to civilian watch production in 1942?

If Rene is stumped, then this may just be one of those things that will remain a mystery...for now.
gatorcpa

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