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Keeping Watch

If you’re familiar with Edward Magill (1825–1907), then you know that Swarthmore’s second president was somewhat of a stickler — for order, discipline, and, of course, time.

Look no further than his infamous 100 Rules. Numerous guidelines from the 1883 code of conduct addressed the hourly expectations of Swarthmore students. Among them: when to bathe (never before 6 a.m.), when to turn in (by 9 p.m.), and when all lights were to be snuffed out (10 p.m., no exceptions — and clearly no all-nighters permitted).

So you can bet Magill appreciated this golden gift, a pocket watch now housed at Friends Historical Library. The timepiece was presented by a Swarthmore student during the president’s tenure, from 1871 to 1889.

Judging by the well-worn engraving on its cover, the watch was often kept close at hand, as Magill kept a close watch on campus.