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About Us

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IWFAI Mission Statement

The International Watch Fob Association Incorporated is an educational and non-profit organization devoted to furthering the field of watch fob collecting.

What are Watch Fobs

Watch fobs are an important part of advertising history. Prior to World War Two most people kept track of time with a pocket watch. These pocket watches were carried either in a small pocket at the waist line of a pair of pants,  in a vest pocket,  in the bib pocket of a pair of overalls and even ladies wore pocket watches.  It was easier to remove the watch from these smaller pockets with a piece of string or a leather strap attached to the watch.  The fob was used as a weight to hold the strap close to the body so that the strap did not catch on something and be accidentally pulled from the pocket.  In the late 1800s there were over 2000 manufacturers of farm and construction machinery in North America, plus untold manufacturers of clothing and household products.  In order to sell their products, trade fairs were organized and manufacturers gave away mementos to remind the prospective buyers of the articles they had seen at these fairs, additionally there were numerous World Fairs to expose the populace to the many new products developed yearly.  The watch fob was one of the earliest give aways at these trade fairs.  At the beginning of the 1900s a large percentage of people in North America could not read or write and manufacturers quickly realized that these prospective buyers did recognize a trade mark.  Most early fobs had a trade mark or picture of their product on the front and a brief message on the back for those who could read.  The fob was widely used by almost every company that made a product to be sold to the buying public prior to World War Two.  With the advent of the wrist watch coupled with a scarcity of metal caused by the Second World War the fob slowly disappeared from the advertising promotional scene.  After the war fobs were mainly used by manufacturers of Construction and Farm equipment manufacturers and their dealers.  Today they are relentlessly pursued by collectors,  many of whom are still operating machinery and like to carry a pocket watch. 

IWFAI Goals

The goals of IWFAI are:

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  • To promote and stimulate the study of the collecting of watch fobs.
  • To cultivate fraternal collector relations.
  • Encourage youth to develop an interest in the hobby.
  • To encourage research and articles and recordings pertaining thereto.
  • To disperse information and knowledge in a biennial newsletter.
  • To advance interest and prestige.
  • To promote educational seminars at our annual show.
  • To promote and encourage distinct classifications of exhibits.
  • To endeavor to determine values of rarities.
  • To permanently record historical information relating to watch fobs by publishing original works by members, and by reprinting old works not readily available to beginning collectors.
  • To minimize the sales of counterfeit watch fobs by monitoring Ebay.

Commemorative Watch Fob



1916 Monarch Neverslip 30-18 Commemorative Fob

The Monarch Tractor Company was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1913 and incorporated September 6, 1916 as Monarch Tractors Inc. Shortly thereafter, the Company purchased the Dornfeld-Kunert plant at the foot of First Street in Watertown. This plant was remodeled to include an enlarged foundry with a capacity of thirty-five to forty thousand pounds per day and a modern machine and erecting shop with all necessary machine tool equipment, overhead traveling crane, and other mechanical devices.
The first work undertaken by the new Company in its plant was the building of the early models of the well known Luce Cane Harvester sugar cane harvester.

Prior to the organization of the Monarch Tractor Company, its incorporators had been working for several years on the development of a crawler type of tractor modeled somewhat after the military tanks.  This work was continued in the new company and resulted finally in the completion of the Monarch Tractor as a commercial product. During World War I, Monarch employed about 200 men and turned out six completed tractors per day.  Large numbers of these tractors were shipped to France and there took part in operations in connection with the Great War.

The first two models of crawler tractors produced were the 10-6 Lightfoot and 20-12 Neverslip. In 1919 the company added a larger 30-18 "Neverslip" model to its product range, and this was soon followed in the 1920s by several other models of heavyweight crawler with enclosed engine compartments and operator cabs.

The firm was reorganized as General Tractors Inc. in 1919, then was purchased by the Foster Machine Company of Elkhart, Indiana, in 1921. The Monarch name was restored at this time. In the early 1920s, additional products included a rotary snow plow and a stump puller.

The Watertown plant was closed in 1925, and a new company, Monarch Tractor Corporation, was founded in Springfield, Illinois, that year. Allis-Chalmers Company (Collection 54) acquired Monarch in April, 1928, to gain entry into the crawler tractor industry, and operated the plant as the Monarch Tractors Division until the name was phased out circa 1930 and the plant became the Springfield Works of Allis-Chalmers.

This company is not to be confused with the Monarch Tractor Company, a British manufacturer of compact garden tractors.

 

Why do People Collect Fobs

If you ask twenty collectors why they collect fobs you will probably get at least fifteen different rationales for their collecting fobs. Many start collecting because the fobs represent the collectors’ line of employment. Some even specialize in the specific type of equipment they operate. Yet other people will collect fobs as they are related to another collection the collector has.

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A few collect fobs for resale by building up a collection of a specific product then sell to someone who might be interested. Some people collect for the Historical significance of the fobs. As was stated at the beginning there are many reasons people collect, and some of the benefits are going to shows and meeting others who have similar interests to yours. Finally, believe it or not collecting is good for your health, as noted in sociological studies.

How Can I Get Involved with Watch Fob Collecting

Should you have an interest join the club, come to our Annual show, meet other collectors and correspond with other collectors to improve your collection. Another benefit of going to shows and meeting others who have similar interests to yours, believe it or not it, it is good for your health, as noted in sociological studies.

 

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