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William Wallace Dudley
[William Wallace Dudley]
1851 - February 8, 1938
William Wallace Dudley was a designer of highly prized masonic watches. Born in St. John, New Brunswick, he joined the Waltham Watch factory in Waltham, Massachusetts, after completing his apprenticeship as an horologist.
From 1906 to 1920, he was designer and superintendent of manufacture at the Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pa., but left at the age of 69 to establish his own factory.
A member of both York and Scottish Rites, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, his Craft lodge affiliation is not documented.
In 1918, Dudley started to work on a masonic watch with its bridge plate in the form of masonic symbols (a slipper, plumb, trowel, level, square, compasses, the Letter "G" and a Bible). He later applied for, and was granted, design patents dated June 29, 1923.
His production went through three variations: Model 1 was a 14 size, 19 jewel, 14kt. solid gold watch; Model 2, a 12 size, 19 jewel, 14kt. gold filled watch; and Model 3, similar to Model 2 with some design changes and masonic symbols printed on the dial.
Less than two years later, with diminishing sales and mounting debts, the Dudley Watch Company was bankrupt on February 28, 1925. At the age of 74 Dudley accepted a job at Hamilton Watch Company as a mechanic, where he continued to work until 1931, retiring at the age of 80.
In the fifteen years that Dudley watches were produced in Lancaster, less than 2,600 watches of the masonic design were made.

Source: "The History of Dudley Timepieces", C. Julius Clark Masonic Timepieces, Rings, Balls & Watch Fobs Self-published [York, PA]. 1987. (1983). 3rd printing. 51pp. 8vo. See http://www.tallcedars.org.


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