Museum - Manufacturers & Merchants
S. Hills & F. Richards, Planemakers

hillsrichardssmall
Trade Catalog

Catalogue and Invoice Prices of Carpenters' Bench, and Moulding Planes, Manufactured by S. Hills, and F. Richards, Norwich, Mass. Jan. 23, 1833. Before there were bound trade catalogs, the typical catalog was a single sheet price list of goods offered. Before the single sheet price list, the trade card often served... but I don't have one of those early ones to show you. Yet.

This is the earliest price list/catalog in my personal collection. It's of particular interest in that it's a plane makers price list from a lesser known maker of Massachusetts. To add to the interest, it was sent not in an envelope, but by itself. Before postage stamps were the norm, the sender folded up a piece of paper to a given size, wrote the 'To' and 'From' on the outside and paid for the service. In some cases, the recipient had to pay for the service.

This price list/catalog was issued by Hills & Richards, one of the many partnerships of the Hills bros', Samuel and Hervey of Amherst, Springfield and Norwich, Massachusetts. The Hills worked during the early part of the 19th C. Frederick Richards has been listed as a planemaker, toolmaker and hardware dealer. In the 1850 Census, he was listed as employed by H. Chapin as a toolmaker.

hillsrichardsCat1833back
From the primary resource for wooden planes of the United States, A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, we have a brief review of these makers:

  • Samuel Hills: Amherst & Springfield, MA: 1830
  • Samuel and Hervey Hills, succeeding Hills & Wolcott: Amherst, MA: 1829-1830
  • Hills & Richards: Norwich, MA: 1833 (date now known from this catalog)
  • Hills & Winship (William Winship worked for H. Chapin, 1826-1832): Springfield, MA: 1832
  • Hills & Wolcott (possibly Gideon Wolcott, a planemaker who worked for Leonard Kennedy): So. Amherst, MA: 1829
  • Frederick Richards: Springfield, MA: 1833-1850

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