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Webb C. Ball

From Academic Kids

Webb C. Ball was born in Fredericktown, Ohio, on October 6 1847 and became a jeweller & watchmaker. When Standard Time was adopted in 1883, he was the first jeweler to use time signals, bringing accurate time to Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon a grave collision between Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railways at Kipton, Ohio, incurred because an engineer's watch had stopped unnoticed for about 5 minutes, the railroad officials commissioned Webb C. Ball as their General Time Inspector, in order to establish precision standards and a reliable timepiece inspection system for the Railroad chronometers.

He established strict guidelines for the manufacturing of sturdy, reliable precision timepieces, including resistance to magnetism, reliability of time keeping in 5 positions, isochronism, power reserve, accompanied with record keeping of the reliability of the watch on each regular inspection.

The Waltham Watch Company complied immediately with the requirements of Ball's guidelines, later followed by Elgin Watch Company and most of the other American manufacturers, later on joined by some Swiss Watch Manufacturers.

Today's checking criterias for the certification of each COSC Officially Certified Chronometer are still based upon Webb C. Ball's standards.

At the end of his career, Webb C. Ball was overseeing over 125,000 miles of rail tracks in U.S.A., Mexico & Canada, having greatly contributed to the security of all railroad systems.

The colloquial phrase "on the ball" derives from Webb C. Ball's watch standards and their reputation for accuracy.

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