Pocket Watch Made by D.D. Neveren, London, UK, circa 1848 Metal,Glass and Fabric 1991.183.001 - Gift of Martin Fabricius Framed Print of the Ship "Galathea" 1996.014.001 - Gift of Ken Estlund
Share this Item
Item CategoriesA to Z to A Clothing and Accessories Family Histories
The pocket watch was a given to Soren Olesen as a gift for his outstanding service on the ship Galathea.
Soren Olesen was born in Tobel, which is located near Guldager in Jutland on February 27th, 1821. At the age of four Soren lost his mother and their family home to a fire. After suffering neglect from his stepmother during childhood, Soren ran away from home when he was fourteen. He drifted until being taken in by Ms. Beck, the woman who would later become his sister-in-law. When Soren was about twenty-three years old he joined the army. After a year of service he was selected as one of one hundred soldiers to sail aboard the corvette, a small warship, named Galathea. The Galathea was the first Danish ship to sail around the world. On Soren’s journey, which lasted between 1845 and 1847, Danish Consuls were being established in various countries. Soren began the trip as a soldier but soon began to serve both the officers aboard and the consuls.
One of the officers, Second Lieutenant Burn, asked Soren to stay on the Galathea after it docked in Copenhagen in 1847 at the end of the journey. Soren declined the offer so that he could return to family and his betrothed. Before leaving Copenhagen, the Second Lieutenant took Soren to a jewelry store where he purchased the pocket watch for him.
On January 30th, 1996 the great-granddaughter of Soren Olesen Tovel visited the Danish Immigrant Museum to see the famous pocket watch. At this time she and her husband donated a framed print of the ship Galathea which Soren had served on.