Pre Elgin History
The Hadley company was founded by Arthur Hadley in 1912, it was one of the pioneers in the manufacture of wristwatch bracelets. Mr Hadley was a toolmaker and started the firm in a small one room shop on Fountain street in Rhode Island capitol. The company grew steadily, moving to a larger shop at 21 Eddy street in 1915. In 1920 the organization took an entire floor in the Doran building on Chestnut street. In 1927 the company purchased a large modern building on Dexter street and in 1929 enlarged it to take the entire block bordered by Dexter, Ford and Hanover streets.
Hadley has been the originator of many constructions of watch attachments and holds many patents covering these inventions. Among most noted is the ratchet folding center used on link, chain and cord bracelets, for which a patent was granted in July 1934. Hadley manufactured wrist watch bracelets exclusively until 1940, when it marketed its first line of men’s jewelry.
At the outbreak of World War II, Hadley turned its facilities over to the manufacture of radar equipment and held large government contracts. Watch attachments were produced in limited numbers during the war years, but it was necessary to discontinue men’s jewelry. Since the war, Hadley has marketed its two lines of watch bracelets and men’s jewelry.
As part the diversification programme with its long-range plan of strengthening its leadership in the watch industry, Elgin has purchased the outstanding stock of The Hadley Company Inc, of Providence, R.I. The primary purpose of buying Hadley is to guarantee Elgin a source of quality watch attachments. However, there are many other advantages to Elgin owning this company.
Style is becoming increasingly important in timepieces and Elgin has to have its finger on the pulse of the nation when it come to style.
Elgin now has facilities to design its own attachments as well as its own cases and therefore in a position to assert even more forcefully the leadership in styling that jewelers have come to expect.
Hadley will continue to supply watch bands to other watch manufacturers and importers as well as Elgin.
Elgin purchased all outstanding stock as The Hadley Company Inc. at the book value. The purchase price was approximately $750,000, subject to an audit determination. The transaction was announced on the 28th of November 1951.
About 250 Hadley employees will be part of the Elgin family.
George A. Ingleby, the Hadley president, joined the organization in 1922 as assistant to the general manager. He became vice-president and general manager in 1932 and upon the death of Arthur Hadley in 1941 was elected to president and and treasurer. He has agreed to remain as president until 15th of March 1952 at which time he wishes to retire. Fred M. Birch, vice-president will continue in a managerial capicty.
Post Elgin History
On the 17th of January 1959 Elgin announced plans to close its Hadley watch band division, affecting approximately 100 workers at Providence. Elgin said it plans to suspent operations abouth the 15th of March.
The Hadley Plant is still standing today.