We found this handsome Lord Elgin, plus a strange looking Russian, in Tacoma's "antiques row" last week. The shop had a July 4th half-off sale that brought the grand total to $85. A shake of the Elgin brought it to life.
I was totally pleased with my good fortune ... until we got home. The date on the Elgin's little window has vanished! By next morning it had lost 20 minutes.
(Reminds me of a ‘50s car-guy description a pretty but speed-challenged hot rod: "All show and no go.")
Now on to the mysterious Russian.
I was unable to locate any reference on WUS ... but here’s where the fun began.
Desiree and I collect, and research the history of, daguerreotypes (the earliest photographs - The Daguerreian Society if you're curious), and we enjoy following intriguing leads to a conclusion.
“CT. NETEP6YPR”, we learned, translates to St. Petersburg, and the cyrillic stamp on the back is “Poljot.” So now we had a location and a watch maker.
But the date remained a mystery, and we decided it was probably commemorative ... but of what?
A Google search provided just one significant event taking place in St. Petersburg during 1994:
The Goodwill Games, created by Ted Turner to help thaw the U.S. & Russia’s chilly relationship.
Sure enough, the logo on the back of watch matched that of the Games.
We’ll grant that this is a cheap, touristy, souvenir watch - undoubtedly made in the thousands - to be instantly put away and forgotten.
Nevertheless we’re glad to have it, because it symbolizes an important juncture in U.S. & Russian history.
And July 23rd, 2014 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the contest!