Lincoln's Pocketwatch Contained Secret Message, Secret Not So Secret Anymore

March 11, 2009

secret watch message.jpg

Apparently a watchmaker who was repairing President Lincoln's watch on the day gunfire broke out at Fort Sumter, SC (sparking the civil war), secretly immortalized the day by engraving a note inside Lincoln's pocketwatch.

The engraving, by watchmaker Jonathan Dillon, is dated April 13, 1861, and reads in part: "Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels" and "thank God we have a government."

Forty-five years later, Dillon the watchmaker told The New York Times that he was repairing Lincoln's watch when he heard that the first shots of the Civil War had been fired.

Dillon said he unscrewed the dial of the watch and used a sharp instrument to mark the historic day on the president's watch. He told the newspaper that, as far as he knew, no one had ever seen the inscription.

The National Museum of American History agreed to open the watch to see if the inscription was there after being contacted by Dillon's grandson. And lo and behold -- there she blew! Apparently Lincoln never knew about it -- probably because he was too busy chopping down cherry trees. Am I right? What do you mean, "that was Washington?" Carver? I thought he was the peanut guy.

Museum finds "secret" message in Lincoln's watch [reuters]

Thanks to NTF, who found a hidden message in her Tokyoflash. It read "Made in Japan".

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