Because I'm a history buff, I do a lot of genealogy work. I knew my great-grandfather came to Ohio as a young boy from La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1887. As a watch lover, I always had wanted to believe that even though he was young when he left a watchmaking mecca behind and crossed the pond, his roots had left some impression on him and that he had done something - anything - with horology. I wanted to believe that my passion was genetic because then I could tell my wife that I couldn't help my disorder.
So I was going through the 1910 US Census records and I noticed it listed his employer as "Watch Company". I thought, "What the hell? I've done all this research and I never once knew anything about that. Someone is just toying with me. There's no watch company in Canton, Ohio."
I knew he had been a machinist and his parents had come with him and clearly had done something in the old country. Was there any possibility? So out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search. Not only did I find out there was a watch company in Canton, Ohio, I also learned it was a mile from his house! I called my mom and she confirmed where he had lived all his life and it was in walking distance from the watch factory!
Turns out it was torn down in the 1930's and the company moved to Russia. It was called the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company. I'm sure some of the vintage watch folks are saying "Duh!" right now, but I seriously knew nothing of this. After all that stupid, reserved wishing about my origins, I found out he worked here:
This made my day and I thought I'd share. Now I need to get one of the watches made during the time he worked there!