pocket watch

William Simpson’s home ransacked.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 July 1905.

This report of a burglary at the home of William Simpson and his unnamed wife on Pine Street near the Hackney Wagon factory reveals interesting details of the material possessions of a working class family in turn-of-the-20th century Wilson. Apparently, Simpson’s most expensive possession was a second-hand pocket watch, which, judging by its valuation was likely gold-filled and quite fancy. (An ordinary new pocket watch could be purchased in 1905 for less than two dollars.)

Detail of ad for The New England Watch Company, 1905.

[N.B. I do not know what “donning his best clothes and going with the boys to the encampment” means.]

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.