Gold Pocket Watch

Great-Grandfather's Pocket Watch
Great-Grandfather's Pocket Watch

 After narrowly escaping the Russian draft for the Russo Japanese War, my great grandfather was forced to make the difficult journey to America. Like many Jewish immigrants, he wanted to assimilate to American culture. During his first years in Brooklyn (starting in 1912), he purchased this gold pocket watch - a key fashion piece for men at the time. Working as a cashier in a dry goods store, the watch saw a lot of use. Not only did it serve as a functional piece, but also proved to be a positive representation of his wealth and status in society. He worked three laborious years in the store, but decided it was time for change. In 1916, he turned to the garment industry, and operated machines for a company called Klassy Kiddie Koats. After securing enough money to start a family, my great grandfather married my great grandmother and had four children. The watch was eventually passed down to my grandfather, who used it during his time in the military, preparing for unexpected conflict in the Korean War. Ultimately it was handed down to my father, but outdated and aging, the watch didn’t serve the same purpose for him as it did the previous generations. The role that this watch has played in my family’s history makes it a sentimental piece of memorabilia. Regardless of its age and condition, the colors of the watch's significance still shine. 

Place(s): Brooklyn, Eastern Russia, Ellis Island
Year: 1912

– B.S.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more