The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: September 14

WILLIAMSBURG, September 14, 1779.
A PLAIN GOLD WATCH. Left yesterday in a necessary house in this city. It is remarkable in having no figures over the hours on the dial plate; is cased and jewelled; the maker's name H. Fish London. No chrystall, a steel chain and gold seal set with a white cornelian; coat of arms engraved thereon. The stud which covers the spring to the outward case is worn, and shews the red wax within. If such a watch is offered for sale, the party stopping it will be thankfully rewarded. Whoever will deliver it to the bar-keeper at the Raleigh, shall receive ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS and no questions asked.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Nicolson) September 18, 1779

About this entry:

A necessary house is a privy. $100 in 1779 is worth more than $1500 today. For $1500, someone would have been willing to clean out that privy to find that watch!

Sources: OED, MeasuringWorth (website)

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