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Marking Modern TimesA History of Clocks, Watches, and Other Timekeepers in American Life$
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Alexis McCrossen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226014869

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226015057.001.0001

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Republican Heirlooms, Instruments of Modern Time Discipline

Republican Heirlooms, Instruments of Modern Time Discipline

Pocket Watches during and after the Civil War

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter 3 Republican Heirlooms, Instruments of Modern Time Discipline
Source:
Marking Modern Times
Author(s):

Alexis McCrossen

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226015057.003.0004

This chapter discusses the history of pocket watch use among soldiers during and after the American Civil War. During the American Civil War, many soldiers acquired pocket watches, which sparked a newfound interest in mechanical time and timekeeping. After the war, local authorities took more responsibility for the distribution of accurate time than they had before, and the owners of pocket watches also expressed their interest in setting their time accurately. Pocket watches that were personalized individuated the public time of clock towers and hour's bells; to some degree they fed a sense of ownership of the time, while reinforcing the ties between the self and society.

Keywords:   time, Civil War, pocket watches, timekeeping, mechanical time

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