Dueber-Hampden Watch Company

From Ohio History Central
Revision as of 18:11, 24 April 2013 by (Talk)

Dueber Hampden Watch Company.jpg
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 1930, the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company ceased operations in the city. The factory and all manufacturing equipment was sold to Armen Hammer, who moved the company to the Soviet Union (modern-day Russia) and established the Amtorg Watch Co. Several former employees of the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company traveled to the Soviet Union to train workers.