Elgin National Watch Company
The marker is located in Elgin, at the entrance of the Clock Tower Plaza. It faces north toward the intersection of National Street and South Grove Avenue. The Plaza is a block east of the Fox River.
The Elgin Heritage Commission and the Illinois State Historical Society
From 1866 to 1966 this site was occupied by the Elgin National Watch Company. This was the first watch factory built west of the Alleghenies and grew to become the world's largest. During its lifetime over 60 million "Elgin" watches were manufactured here. The building was highlighted by a 144 foot tall clock tower containing dials with numerals three feet in length - a foot longer than those of London's "Big Ben." Located nearby was an observatory built for astronomical time determination before the advent of national standards. The observatory is now used as a planetarium by School District U-46.
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