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General Time Factory Photograph Collection

Identifier: MG-435

This collection is comprised of various photographs related to the General Time Factory in Athens, Georgia. This includes photographs of the factory,employees, and events throughout the latter half of the 20th Century.

The photographs of the factory itself are of the interior as well as the exterior of the factory, including the factory floor and assembly, and the offices in the building as well. There are a number of personnel photographs in this collection, most of them not dated but seem to date from the 1970s through the 1990s. These photographs are primarily individual portraits of various employees, or those assumed to be employees. The majority of the individuals in these photographs are unidentified.

The majority of the photographs, however, are of various events hosted by or for the employees of the Athens, GA factory from the 1950s/1960s through to circa 2000 before the plant closed in 2001. These events include retirement parties, awards banquets, picnics, employee appreciation days, halloween parties, as well as the 10th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Athens factory from the 1960s. Many of these events have been identified through context clues in the photographs, as there is little written documentation about these photographs. Some of them have not been identified, while others may only be identified by the first name of the retiree as seen on a banner within one of the photographs of the event.


  • circa 1964-2000


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.


1.2 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

The General Time/Wesclox factory in Athens, Georgia opened in 1954. The factory initially employeed around 500 individuals. When the factory opened, it was roughly 100,000 square feet, but later expanded to 181,000 square feet. The factory originally created electric timepieces under the Westclox and Seth Thomas names. The factory in Athens, GA closed in 2001, when General Time filed for bankruptcy.


The photographs in this collection were completely unsorted in a box with very little description of the contents. The photographs were sorted into three series:

  • Series I: Factory Photographs
  • Series II: Personnel Photographs
  • Series III: Events

Series I: Factory Photographs was further arranged into exterior and interior photogrpahs of the factory and arranged in chronological order. Series II: Personnel Photographs was furhter arranged into group shots and individual portraits.

Series III: Events is the largest of the series. These photographs were sorted by event and then arranged in rough chronological order. The sorting process required some level of conjecture due to the lack of written documentation. Much of this was based on the images on the photographs and identifying events by context clues, the setting, and the individuals. Some of the identification was based on the type of paper the photographs were printed on and if there were any identifying marks there. Other photographs were stamped with the date on the image, signifying the photographs were at least taken on the same day, and thus likely the same event.


Kate Van Riper, Archivist
Winter 2019
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the NAWCC Library and Research Center Archives Repository

514 Poplar St
Columbia PA 17512