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WEBB C. BALL CO.

The WEBB C. BALL CO. was one of Cleveland's major jewelry retailers. It was established by WEBB C. BALL, who bought an interest in Whitcomb and Metten Jewelers upon his arrival in Cleveland in 1879. By 1881 he had become the sole owner of the Webb C. Ball Co., which consisted originally of 2 showcases and a workbench at Superior Ave. and Seneca (W. 3rd) St. It was incorporated in 1891 and in 1911 moved into its own building at 1114 EUCLID AVE., where its large bronze clock became a familiar sidewalk fixture. Inside were housed the company's 4 divisions: the Ball Retail Jewelry Store, the Ball Watch Co., the Ball Railroad Standard Watch Co., and the national headquarters of the Railroad Time and Watch Inspection Service established by Ball. A wholesale watch and jewelry business, the Norris-Allister-Ball Co., was also established in 1911 in Chicago, headed by Sidney Y. Ball, son of the founder. There were branch stores in 5 other cities, as Ball became the largest wholesale distributor of standard railroad watches in the country. Before any watch with Ball's name on it was sold, it was thoroughly checked by his watchmakers to ensure that it met the industry specifications which Ball himself had set. Following World War II, the company was adversely affected by the declining railroad industry. It continued selling fine jewelry at the Euclid Ave. location until it went out of business in 1962.