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October 1999

Timepieces: News

'On Time' Exhibit to Begin in November

Timex keeps exhibition ticking at Smithsonian

The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, will kick off its "On Time" permanent exhibit Nov. 18.

As noted in our January issue (page 65) the exhibit will feature hundreds of clocks, watches and other timekeepers (see example in box). The exhibit, exclusively supported by Timex, explores timekeeping and its increasing importance in everyday life in the U.S. Traditional timepieces will be interlaced with items from daily life used to tell time.

Included among the hundreds of items is the first quartz watch and first prototype quartz movement. Look also for a collection of U.S.– made timepieces from the 19th and 20th centuries. Contact the Smithsonian Institution, (202) 357– 2379, or its public affairs office, (202) 357– 3129, www.si.edu/lemelson/Quartz.

by Michael Thompson


Timely Facts:The Battery

Miniature batteries were developed during World War II by Samuel Ruben and manufactured by P.R. Mallory (this pair later formed the Mallory Battery Co.). But these batteries were neither leak– proof nor long– lasting enough for use in watches.

A team of researchers at Hamilton Watch Co. first tried to develop a battery for watches. After initial setbacks, Hamilton joined forces with National Carbon Co. (later Union Carbide) in 1954 to develop a battery for Hamilton's first electric watch, the Ventura.

This Hamilton Ventura, circa 1957, used the first commercial watch batteries. It's part of the Smithsonian's "On Time" exhibit.


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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