William Keith Watch Maker
T&W Keith Pocket Watch
William Keith was 14 years old when he became an apprentice for the renowned Massachusetts watchmaker, Luther Goddard. Upon fulfilling his indenture in 1824, he partnered with younger brother Timothy, a listed silversmith in Worcester, in the firm T & W Keith. They primarily were Jewelers, watch retailers and performed watch repair.
William continued in the trade becoming an executive of Waltham Improvement Company and an instrumental figure in the merger with Appleton, Tracy & Company to form the American Watch Company. In 1861, he became the second president of the American Watch Company. William's writings of his experience working for Goddard, the first American maker to produce watches in quantity, are an important historical account of American watchmaking in the early 1800's.
VR Case Maker's Mark for Vale & Rotheram
The watch is engraved T&W Keith Worcester, serial number 6475 and has an average quality fusee and verge movement with turned baluster pillars, enamel dial and gold hands. The silver pair cases have Birmingham assay letter for 1826-27 and maker's initials "VR" for Vale & Rotheram of Coventry, England.
Goddard Watch Papers: A wonderful set of 3 desirable watch papers by Daniel Goddard, Daniel Goddard and Co., and T.A. Lamb are located within the watch case. T&W Keith watch paper courtesy Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc. Read about American Watch Papers.
Additional References and recommended reading:
Richard Newman, A Contract Watch Signed T&W Keith Worcester, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 383, (December, 2009), pp. 673-675
Percy Livingston Small, Luther Goddard and His Watches (three parts), NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 48 (April 1953), pp. 355-360, No. 52 February 1954), pp. 104-108 and No. 53 (April 1954), pp. 181-187
William Erik Voss, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~silversmiths/makers/silversmiths