Church-tower clock evolved into modern wristwatch

First came the church-tower clock to help everyone in town know the time. Then in the 1500s, a watch on a chain or a ribbon was used by the very rich. By 1700, women could have a watch pinned to a dress as part of a chatelaine that held keys, scissors and other household tools. Later came the traveling clock, then the pocket watch.

In the early 1900s, the first watches with a matching pin were made to wear on a lady’s lapel. In 1915 the lapel watch was improved – the watch face was upside down so the wearer could read it more easily.

During World War I, the wristwatch was created for soldiers, and by the 1920s the wristwatch was the most popular timepiece to wear. Today, many have given up the wristwatch and rely on a cell phone to tell time.

But attractive lapel watches — especially those with enamel finish and matching fleur-de-lis or bow pins – and wristwatches that look like gold or jeweled bracelets sell well. The very best of the brand name watches, like Rolex or Patek Philippe, and those with features that tell more than time sell for extremely high prices.

Q: I have a tea set made by Camark Pottery. I’m trying to find some information about the company. Can you help?

A: Camark started out in 1926 as Camden Art Tile and Pottery Co. It was established on land donated by the Camden Chamber of Commerce in Camden, Ark. By the end of the year, the company name had been changed to “Camark,” a contraction of “Camden” and “Arkansas.”

Production of hand-thrown pottery began in 1927. Vases, planters, figurines and other decorative objects were made. Cast and molded pottery was mass-produced beginning in 1933. The company was bought by Mary Daniel in the early 1960s. Production ended in 1983.

Terry Kovel’s column is syndicated by King Features. Write to: Kovels, (Las Vegas Review-Journal), King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

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