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Discussion Starter #1
The original Hamilton factory was built in 1875 in Lancaster, PA, for the Adams & Perry Watch Company. They went bankrupt in 1876 and were succeeded by the Lancaster Watch Company, and then by the Keystone Watch Company. The newly incorporated Hamilton Watch Company (November 1892) took over the factory and equipment, and also bought out the machinery from the Aurora Watch Company in Illinois.

Here's the factory as it appeared in 1875, with some artistic license (the cupolas on the ends were never completed):



And a photo from 1895:



And here's a view of the same building about 10 years ago:



Fortunately, this magnificent building was not torn down like so many others. Today it has been converted to condominiums, and is called Clock Tower Apartments. It's a fabulous building with a regal history.
 

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Where did James Hamilton enter the picture? Did he own the property and give it or sell it to Hamilton Watch Co.?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Hamilton name comes from Andrew Hamilton who had been a major politician/land-owner/lawyer in the 1700s. He and his son James founded the city of Lancaster over a century before the Hamilton Watch Co. was founded. There's no direct connection, the founders simply chose that name when they learned that their first choice, Columbian, was already taken. It was an homage to the founders of the city.

Richard Arbib worked out of his office in NY. While he visited the factory he never worked there. I met Arbib 20 years ago and have a couple of his original drawings for Hamilton. A very interesting guy. There's an excellent book about him by Frederic A. Sharf, published by Distributed Art Publishers in 2006. One of Arbib's interesting claims to fame was his very close relationship with pinup girl Bettie Page. Arbib's son, Richard Jr., told me that after Arbib's death his daughter burned all of Page's love letters. What a shame....
 
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