University Archives

Lot 180

Previous image preload Next image preload


He Missed L. H. Oswald! Texas School Book Depository Guard Watchclock, Contemporary to Assassination!

Measuring 6.5" in diameter, New Braunfels, Texas, no date [circa 1960s]. A large security watchclock, in a die-cast aluminum housing, with heat treated crystal and a riveted and reinforced case of harness leather. Stamped on verso "Property of Texas School Book Depository Dallas." With a silver and red "Detex Guardsman" trademark tag, which acts as the keyhole cover. Brown leather strap is still present, but the clock's key is missing. With wear and rubbing to the edges of the casing, along with scratches to the leather front and back. Metalwork is also worn and scratched. The keyhole cover has been kept open with adhered Velcro. From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist. 

The clock is accompanied by a letter of provenance from the niece of Ron Hoskins which reads in part: "The Guardsman Security Clock/Key Item was purchased by my uncle/collector, Ronald E. F. Hoskins/Assassinologist, and is an item from the time of the JFK Assassination of 1963. On the case of the watchman, Texas School Book Depository is punched…The Watchclock was used by the TSBD guards during their regular patrols. He acquired this item from a man who knew one of the guardman at the TSBD…"

Detex Watchclocks were manufactured for nearly 130 years, only being discontinued on December 31, 2011, when superior forms of electronic recording were chosen as the preferred method of security. Each clock had a key that would manually time punch an internal strip of paper, and could record between 96-120 hours of a guard's activities while on patrol. This particular clock belonged to a guard at the infamous Texas School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald found his perch to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. It is entirely possible that this clock was carried by one of the guards who missed finding Oswald hiding behind the stacked book boxes. Had Oswald been found, our world today could have looked drastically different.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


Accepts online payments

Accepted Forms of Payment

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


We do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice, unless you inform us otherwise, immediately upon your receipt of invoice***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.

After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 5 business days following receipt of full payment for item.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Wilton, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

March 3, 2021 10:30 AM EST

Wilton, CT, US

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25.0% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000