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Theodore Crom Collection

Identifier: MG-352
This collection consists of correspondences, papers, research, receipts, information on tools, photographs, etc.


  • 1922 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1990


Language of Materials




Conditions Governing Use

These records are open to researchers for personal or scholarly research. Most of the records in the collection are available for photocopy, depending on the preservation needs of the material as well as other variables not specified here. Researchers, however, are responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use materials and documents. These records are part of the permanent collection in the archives of the Library & Research Center of the National Watch and Clock Museum and researchers are required to comply with the Archive Rules when using the collection.


8.5 Linear Feet (15 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Theodore R. Crom was born on the 4th of July in 1920 in Evanston, Il. He was educated at three separate institutions including the University of Maryland, Columbia University, and the University of Florida. After having served in World War II, stationed in the Aleutian Ilands in Alaska, he returned to Gainesville, Florida to win the love of his future wife, Wynona (Nonie). After having married Wynona, he founded the Crom Corporation, which was an engineering corporation that was founded on his education in civil structural engineering and his honorary doctorate he received after having made important contributions to the field. This corporation was run by himself, his father, and his brother, with Ted acting as president.

It was most likely his engineering background that laid the foundation for his fascination with horology and the intricate workings of watches and clocks. However, Ted's focus shifted as his collections grew to include more and more clock and watch making tools. He delved into the history of the first and foremost innovators in the subject and the role of clock and watchmakers during the Industrial Revolution as well as during other important moments in history.

Ted was a prolific writer. When he was not writing correspondences with his multitude of friends, he was writing and researching for his six books and plentiful articles in an attempt to teach and share.

Ted and Wynona attended many NAWCC conventions, traveling incredible distances in order to be an integral part of the 68th Chapter of the NAWCC, the Jean Ribault Chapter as it was named after the first Protestant to set foot on the shores of the New World in 1562 near what is now Jacksonville, Florida. As Ted was one of the charter members of Chapter 68, he was an important part of choosing the name. Every August, Ted and Wynona would invite the Chapter to meetings in order to share his collection of horological tools and present workshops and speak in order to bring a set of people with a common interest together.


This collection is arranged into six series. Series III is then further arranged into two subseries

  • Series I: Tool Information and Pictures
  • Series II: Places
  • Series III: Correspondence
    • Subseries a: Clock Correspondence
    • Subseries b: Personal Correspondence
  • Series IV: NAWCC
  • Series V: Clippings and Collections
  • Series VI: Book

Technical Access

This collection contains one 3x5 floppy disk.

Related Materials

MG 353: Theodore Crom NAWCC Papers, 1955-1986.


Theodore R. Crom

Processing Information

This collection was processed and partially described before May 2016. During the Summer of 2016, the collection was revisited and the archival description was expanded. It is unclear if the order of the collection present at the time of the revision accurately reflected the original order.
Kate Van Riper, Archivist. Biography written by Alexa Sleeper (Summer 2011)
Summer 2011; Summer 2016
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the NAWCC Library and Research Center Archives Repository

514 Poplar St
Columbia PA 17512