From Ohio History Central
Employees in flat-steel division of the Dueber Hampden Watch Co.
The Dueber-Hampden Watch Company was an important employer in Canton, Ohio during the early 1920s.
The Dueber-Hampden Watch Company formally organized in 1923. Previous to this year, the firm actually consisted of two separate companies: the Dueber Watch Case Company and the Hampden Watch Company. In 1886, John Dueber, the owner of the Dueber Watch Case Company, purchased a controlling interest in the Hampden Watch Company. In 1888, he relocated the Hampden Watch Company from Springfield, Massachusetts and the Dueber Watch Case Company from Newport, Kentucky to Canton, Ohio. These two companies shared manufacturing facilities in Canton but remained two separate companies. The Dueber Watch Case Company provided casings to the Hampden Watch Company, which manufactured the internal workings of the watches.
The Dueber Watch Case Company and the Hampden Watch Company quickly became two of Canton's largest employers. In 1888, the companies' first year in Canton, the firms employed 2,300 Canton residents. In 1890, Canton's population was 26,337 people. Thanks to these two companies, Canton became an important center for watch manufacturing in the United States of America. Unfortunately for Canton residents, in 1927 the company went bankrupt, finally ceasing operations in the city in 1930. The machinery and tools were sold to the Amtorg Trading Corporation, one of Soviet Russia’s buying agencies in the US, for $329.000. 23 former Dueber-Hampden watchmakers, engravers and various other technicians were hired, for one year, to help train the Russian workers in the art of watch making at The First State Watch Factory, Moscow.
- Garratt, Alan. Beyond Springfield and Moscow: The remarkable story of Hampden watches. 2014. Web. 2 October 2014. <http://hampdenwatches.blogspot.co.uk/>.
- Gibbs, James W. The Dueber-Hampden Story. Exeter, NH : Adams Brown, 1954.
- Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Henry Howe & Son, 1891.
- "The Watch Trade War." The New York Times. 10 April 1895.