Presented by Michael Schwartz

Six watchmaking companies were founded — and failed — in the 16 years from 1874 to 1890 in Lancaster, PA. From the ashes of that dubious corporate lineage rose one of America’s greatest watchmakers, Hamilton Watch Co. Lancaster owes its place in horological history to Hamilton, but Hamilton isn’t the whole story. The early Lancaster watchmakers made some of the most distinctive timepieces in America, and left an infrastructure, spirit, and tradition that positioned Lancaster to earn a place in global watchmaking.

Michael Schwartz is the associate editor at the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors in Columbia, PA. He’s been able to read and tell time since the Reagan Administration. He’s used these skills to write for The Onion and, more recently, help curate several new exhibits at the National Watch & Clock Museum, including “London, Geneva… Lancaster?” about the early Lancaster watchmakers.