Ezra F Bowman manufactured watchmaking tools in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ezra paid H Z Rhoads & Brother of Lancaster to teach him watchmaking in 1873. He worked for the Adams & Perry Watch Company in 1876. Adams & Perry became the Lancaster Watch Company in 1878 and the Keystone Standard Watch Company in 1886. The Aurora Watch Company merged with Keystone in 1892 becoming the Hamilton Watch Company.
Ezra left Adams & Perry to establish a retail shop in 1877 and began making his own watches in 1879. The Bowman Technical School was established in 1889 to teach watch repair. The school was used by the U.S. Govt. to train soldiers and provided skills needed for employment after service. Thousands of students attended the school.