Two silver pocket watches fused together at edges. One watch has a small square floral pattern engraved on the front, the other a mesh-like covering with badly damaged floral pattern at edges . Both are blackened and distorted on outside edges.
These silver watches were found in the safe of the Wendell-Hyman Jewelry Company, 99 Lake Street, after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The two watches had been fused together in the heat of the fire and were saved as mementos of the event.
These watches help document the Great Fire of 1871 and its place in Chicago memory. The fire began on the evening of October 8th and burned for 36 hours. The heat was intense enough to melt metal, as these watches illustrate. After the fire, city residents collected small items like the watches from the ruins as reminders of the momentous event.