History of Nurses Watches?

Thread: History of Nurses Watches?

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  1. #1
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    History of Nurses Watches?

    I was recently introduced to the historical medical drama "Casualty", which details the daily working lives of doctors and nurses in the London Hospital in the years 1906, 1907 and 1909 (and I think there's a 1910 series coming out soon).

    While I was watching the episodes, I noticed the matron wearing one of those upside-down nurses pocket-watches on her blouse.

    Does anyone know where I can find out the history of nurses pocket watches? Why were they pinned or clipped to clothing, instead of hung on chains? And why were they set out so that they were upside down like that? My curiosity is aroused...
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  2. #2
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Can't really help - but this thread on a nurse's forum is quite interesting:

    http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...es-130988.html

    I always thought it was to do with keeping the watch easily accessible and secure whilst not exposed to water - or other fluids - while hand washing or doing the other things nurses do. There must be a book somewhere, but I can't google one yet.
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    Last edited by Marrick; March 18th, 2010 at 15:18.
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  3. #3
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Hi Marrick,

    That thread was really interesting! Thanks!
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

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  5. #4
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Upside own so that they could "lift" it with the back of the hand and read the time.
    This in case the hands/gloves were dirty.

    My mom was a`midwife.

  6. #5
    Member jedanzoom's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    They used a straps like this on the photos too,to atach the watch on the blouse pocket.



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  7. #6
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Interesting. I also found reference to a requirement that a watch be worn on a black ribbon around the neck (don't know where now).

    Anyway this:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq59-31.htm

    U.S. Navy Nurse Corps General Uniform Instructions, 1917 says:

    "No ornaments or jewelry other than a plain watch fob to be worn while on duty. Plain wrist watches are permitted to be worn except when center-indicated by professional duties."

    It should probably be counter-indicated.

    It also seems to me that the 'upside down pendant' watch was much more widely used in the UK than the US. Certainly it was the norm in the UK in the past. Anyway, Shangas, there are many books about nurses uniforms - probably with bits about watches in some of them.

    Take care though - googling for images of nurses uniforms is not always 'safe for work'!

    Actually, I have now found this current dress code from an NHS (UK) trust:

    http://www.cambridgeshirepct.nhs.uk/...2F2005+10%3A14

    which states:

    "Wrist watches must not be worn but securely pinned (similar to a fob watch) to the uniform to prevent any hazard to patients."

    and these regs http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29755712...-Midwifery-and for a midwifery course state that:

    "Wrist watches must not be worn. Fob watches are favoured and must be pinned to fall inside a pocket. Wrist watches have been found to be a source of infection and prevent adequate hand washing and drying. A wrist watch may also injure a patient."
    Last edited by Marrick; March 18th, 2010 at 17:56. Reason: added a bit
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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  8. #7
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Hey Marrick! How fascinating! Thanks! I'll read that now.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Thank God a Dentist can wear a Wristwatch!!!!

  10. #9
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Are you a dentist, Janne?
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  11. #10
    Member huck's Avatar
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    Re: History of Nurses Watches?

    Ok thought i would throw this one in, if only for you all to laugh at my hair! well it was the seventys, my girlfriend wore her watch on her chest, mine was hidden in the breast pocket, both fob watches manual and as poor nurses the cheapest we could find, ingersols or timex as i remember, as an after note, i recently got in contact with the lady in the picture with me, alas to find she has a terminal brain tumor, so any prayers out there going spare, a little one for her would be appreciated, thanks
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    A man with a watch always knows what the time is. A man with two watches is never sure.

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