George P. Reed was born in 1827 in Grafton, N.H., and apprenticed to Jacob Carter in Concord, N.H. He worked for Dennison, Howard and Davis in both Roxbury and Waltham, Massachusetts, and therefore was involved in the factory-era watch industry from the very beginning. He was granted 13 patents during his career including his mainspring barrel safety patent, a feature on early Howard key wind watches that prevented damage to the watch train if the mainspring snapped (Harrold, 21). In 1865 he started his own watchmaking business producing chronometers and size 16 and 18 pocket watches.
Where this example, signed "G.P. Reed Fitchburg Mass", fits into Reed's history is not known but appears to predate his 1865 venture.
G. P. Reed Watch
G. P. Reed Watch Movement
High quality 19 jewel movement, serial number 69397 with detached lever fusee escapement. Two arm bimetallic compensating balance with gold timing screws. "RL 18 0" is stamped on the dial plate. Missing dust cap.
RS Case Maker's Mark for Ralph Samuel
Silver consular case has Chester date letter for 1851-52 and maker's mark "RS" for Ralph Samuel of 54 Wood Street, Liverpool. Ralph Samuel was one of the larger Liverpool case makers producing about 600 gold and 800 silver cases a month.
Additional References and recommended reading:
Michael Harrold, American Watchmaking, A Technical History of the American Watch Industry 1850-1930, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin Supplement No. 14 (1984)