We've all used and have heard the expression, "Get on the ball!" But how many of us have ever stopped to ask ourselves where that phrase originated?
The story behind the phrase is one we here at Gold Coast Jewelry love to tell.
Back in 1891 there was a terrible head on collision train wreck in Ohio. A passenger train collided with a fast moving mail train.
An inaccurate timepiece that was off by four minutes, was determined to be a major reason for the crash.
Because America's Railroad system was booming after the Civil War, the leaders at the time began to understand that an absolute industry standard needed to be put in place in regards to time, so to prevent collisions from this from happening like this again in the future.
The disaster prompted officials to enlist the infamous Mr. Webb C. Ball to investigate Time and Watch conditions through the Lake Shore Railroad Line and develop an inspection system for their desired implementation for a time standard all Conductors could rely on and follow.
Ball set about immediately and put in place fortnightly checks on the watches worn by all railroad workers. The checks were approved and carried out by only approved watchmakers. Ball set strict time standards, and forbid any variations more than 30 seconds among the watches.
By the end of 1883, the railroad industry had agreed to divide the nation into four time zones, and had adopted Standard Time. The public soon followed suit. Congress did not officially sanction the concept until 1918.
We here at Gold Coast Jewelry are extremely proud to offer this Swiss Watch Line to our customers.
We recognize, commend, and are personally proud of the accomplishments of Webb C. Ball.
We honor the man for the system he created, which was the first one to be accepted on a broad scale. It was HIS system that set the standard for the railroads; it was HIS system that helped establish accuracy and uniformity in timekeeping.
It is fun to note that very often in movies we watch today that include scenes with railroads in them, that characters are portrayed asking train conductors, "What time is it mister?"
This is no accident. And although no history is ever offered for why railroad conductors are asked the time in movies set in the 1800's, Webb C. Ball and the standard his watch company created, is certainly the backstory and the reason why.
Gold Coast Jewelry--A Proud Authorized Ball Watch Dealer