Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sepia Saturday #141 - Time Stands Still for No Man...or Woman

Pocket watch 1897 Sears Catalog
Well actually it does...sort the case of the art of taking a photograph.  It hasn't waited for me either.  I have been missing from Sepia Saturday for the last few weeks for a couple of reasons, the main one being that most of my "time" has been spent resting in a chair after a tumble through space.  To try and make a long story short, I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and in trying to be quiet so I didn't wake my husband, left the lights off as I usually do.  On the way back I tripped over the dog's bed, fell forward and landed on my stomach on the corner of the the bedpost, rolled and landed on my ribs, hit my chin, my head, my elbows, my butt, well, I think you are getting the idea.  I was bruised and banged up from head to toe and ended up waking all three dogs and my husband. I dragged myself to work everyday, but didn't feel like doing much else afterwards.

Pocket watches 1897 Sears Catalog

Now I'm back and ready to tackle the issue of time.  I wasn't sure where I was going to go with this week's Sepia Saturday theme, but when I was looking through all my vintage photographs I kept noticing that in many of the photos of men you can see the chains connected to the pocket watches.  It was a little frustrating because I really wanted to see a pocket watch but not in one single photo out of dozens did I see one.  According to Wikipedia "a pocket watch is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket."  Wow, I would have never figured that out on my own!  They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after WWI. Pocket watches generally have an attached chain to allow them to be secured to a waistcoat, lapel or belt loop and to prevent them from being dropped (Wikipedia).

Please take a look at the photographs below and you will see what I mean about just seeing the chain - you will have to use your imagination to visualize the watch.  Hopefully, the photos from the Sears Catalog will give you an idea.

CDV of Late 1860 couple (unidentified)
Cabinet Card 1870's Couple (unidentified)

Cabinet Card Late 1880's Medina,
NY Man (unidentified)
Summer 1866 Philadelphia Man - CDV
(Blue Playing Card Rev Stamp on back)

Please take the "time" to click here to visit Sepia Saturday too see more intriguing  photos and stories posted this week.


  1. A big sympathetic OUCH! As for the theme, I too had looked for the picture of my great-grandfather, the railroad conductor, hoping to SEE his pocket watch, not just the chain. Oh well. Your collection of chains is still fine, watch or no watch.

  2. Very sorry to hear that you tripped over the dog's bed! I'm afraid some of your bruises looked more sepia than some of your pictures! But glad to hear you are back on the job.
    I was equally astonished by the Wikipedia capability of defining things. Absolutely brilliant!

  3. Glad you're back if somewhat bruised! I fell on my 'butt' coming down the mountain on a walk a week ago and still have a huge bruise in a delicate place so you have my sympathy. The perils of getting up in the night to use the bathroom eh? You have my sympathy there too. And as for the pocket watches - that's me too, so we have a lot in common this week.

  4. Oh wow! Sounds like you took a terrible tumble! Glad you're feeling better.

  5. Regardless if you can see the watches or not, you have shared a great collection of photos. So sorry to hear about your accident - hope you're feeling better now. As we say in the South, "bless your heart". :) Just a suggestion, but have you tried a night light in the bathroom? I leave one on and keep the door cracked and it gives off just enough light to make it down the hall to the bathroom without running into anything.

  6. I'm so glad that you are feeling better...and that you were not hurt more than you were. I have made that trip through the dark so often, but haven't fell down yet. I just usually bruise my leg.

    Great photos, even if we can't see the watches.

    Kathy M.

  7. Oh no, you poor dear. I am so sorry about your fall. If you're like me, you were half asleep at the time, so that must have been a rude awakening.

    It's interesting that the photos all show men wearing pocket watches. I wonder what the women used to tell time...a parlor clock, I suppose.

  8. Tumbles are no fun when they are aren't in the Olympics. I had a less harmful fall myself earlier in July and know how unsettling it is. Glad you are feeling well again to return to blogging.

    I have the same wish to see those hidden pocket watches. I suspect that the charms on the watch fob chains, which are often visible, offer some clues, like masonic membership. Christine asked about ladies watches and those are special when you find them hanging around a dress on a long chain or pinned like those old style nurse's watches.

    1. I wondered what those little charms were - could see just glimpses of them on some of the pictures. Thanks for clearing that up! I may have a picture or two with women wearing watches, will have to go back and do a search.

  9. Ouch! Bet you got a fright but glad your rest TIME has worked. I love the lady's dress in the second cabinet card :-) Jo

    1. Thanks, and I had actually posted that picture previously in another post. Believe the photo to be a wedding photo. I think the train could have been easily removed to make the dress serviceable for daily use. If you are interested in reading this earlier short post check here:

  10. I'm still wondering what happened to my father's pocket watch. I have his gold watch awarded for 25 years service in industry.

  11. Love the photographs and had a laugh at the Wikipedia definition. I hope your bruises are healing and have you moved the dog's bed to a safer place? Here (Scotland) you can buy some attractive little lights on a plug which fit directly into the socket and are ideal for night time use.


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