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Manufacturers Index - American Watch Tool Co.
History
Last Modified: Sep 12 2019 10:46AM by Jeff_Joslin
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American Watch Tool Co. was formed in 1876 when Ambrose Webster joined John Whitcomb as a reorganization fo Ballou & Whitcomb. American Watch Tool Co. designed and built watchmakers' lathes and other tools and machinery for that industry. By 1900 they were also making somewhat larger lathes for more general use. Between their various product lines the company achieved considerable success, but by 1917 they were in financial difficulty and entered "voluntary liquidation". In January 1918 the company assets were auctioned off. Former American Watch Tool Co. employee F. W. Derbyshire acquired everything need to produce the the company's 8 mm and 10 mm watch lathes, which Derbyshire had helped design. Meanwhile, the company's line of larger lathes was acquired by Wade Machine Co., which discontinued its own "No. 8" model lathe in favor of the former American Watch Tool lathe model No.'s 3, 5 and 7. (Wade Machine Co. changed its name to Wade-American Tool Co. for a few years and then became Wade Tool Co.)

"Webster Whitcomb" (WW) is still used to identify the style of watchmakers' lathe pioneered by American Watch Tool Co.'s founders and introduced by them in about 1889. This style of lathe was produced by AWTC as well as by F. W. Derbyshire, Inc., Hardinge Bros., and numerous others.

A WW-style lathe, from 1894 Johnston's Electrical and Street Railway Directory

Information Sources