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Museum - Trade Catalogs: 1900 - 1909












ALBUM VAN SCHAVEN EN GEREEDSCHAPPEN: Rabots et Outils - Planes and Different Tools: JOS. HARM, Vijzelstraat 120, Amsterdam. c1900 (judging by the Stanley Planes offered). This catalog of planes, braces, saws and bench equipment is tri-lingual in Dutch, French and English. Tools shown are primarily Dutch, followed by select items from the Stanley line, then a few French and British style planes. There is a small selection of Dutch style braces and saws, along with replacement handles and bench equipment.

This catalog was clearly published for the Dutch trade, as the Dutch planes are not translated. The French, British and Stanley tools are translated in varying sets. Of particular interest are the varieties of Dutch planes and braces that continue styles often listed as from the 18th Century. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite catalogs.


Shurly Dietrich: Price List Of The Maple Leaf Saw Works; Manufacturers of Refined, Silver & Cast Steel Saws Of All Kinds; Patent Ground; Plastering Trowels, Straw Knives, &c. Galt, Ont. c1902. Courtesy of John Pirie. Canadian tool manfucaturers catalogs are exceedingly rare. Why? I asked this question over at a Canadian Woodworking Forum. The consensu was that the climate does not lend itself to the survival of paper. One person guessed the old catalogs found their way into the stove. Whatever the reason, they're hard to find.

From The Southworks Outlet Mall web page:

"The Saw Works of Shurly - Dietrich were founded by Jerome C. Dietrich and Cosmos J. Shurly in 1873, in an old tannery building on Malcolm street. The building was owned by the Goldie & McCulloch Foundry. Malcolm street is where Southworks Boardwalk is now located. The buildings were situated on the property that is now Southwork's North parking lot.

Jerome Dietrich was born in New York State in 1838 and, both he and Cosmos Shurly, worked for Joseph Flint, a Rochester, New York, saw manufacturer. They founded Shurly and Dietrich Co. with an initial investment of $12,000, they commenced operations in Galt with nine skilled saw makers, who were brought in from Rochester and Sheffield, England. Canada in those days still had forests to be cleared and there was a ready market for top quality saws that would stand up to harsh conditions. Shurly Dietrich emphasized quality and the company's saws were readily accepted by loggers throughout Canada, the United States and the British Empire. They were one of the first companies in Canada to use the Maple Leaf as a symbol of things Canadian.

The company developed expertise in the hardening and tempering of steel. It produced about 40,000 tons of light armoured plate during the Second World War, returning to the production of saws and machine knives after the war. By 1968 Shurly Dietrich was producing 1,400,000 feet of metal-cutting band saw blades and 1,000,000 jigsaw blades annually. An American company, H.K. Porter, purchased Shurly Dietrich in 1969 and continued operations in Galt (now Cambridge) until 1973, when, after a hundred years in business, the plant was closed."

If only more outlet malls would provide such excellent histories, my work would be so much easier.


MILLERS FALLS COMPANY, CATALOGUE "B", POCKET EDITION , c1904?. Millers Falls issued a series of pocket catalogues that are simply cute to behold, apart from superb graphics of rare and unusual items. Read it and drool.

Contributed by Randy Roeder of the Oldtools eMail List, owner of A Millers Falls Home Page.


The L. & I. J. White Company Edge Tools. 137-159 Perry St., 53-93 Columbus St., Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A. 1905. Edge tool makers get short shrift in the world of tools. Planes and saws are the most talked about tools. The poor edge tool companies somehow fall to the side in the fracus. Not so the L. & I. J. White Company. This 1905 full line catalog displays the array of goods this famous company offered to the trades. Ship builders, cooper and timber framers in particular preferred this brand, one of the few edge tool companies to survive as a family owned affair. In production from 1837 through 1928, The L. & I. J. White Company produced a full line of chisels, planes, drawknives and many of the tools specific to a skilled trade. In this catalog you'll find Firmer Chisels, Coopers planes and tools, Carriage makers routers, Axes, Hatchets, Adzes, Plane Irons, Paving Irons, Fireman's Axes, Butchers Cleavers, Ice Tools, and everything else edge tools.

The question was raised: "What is a firmer chisel?". Tom Holloway suggested that the answer lay in the derivation of the word.

Main Entry: fir·mer chisel; Pronunciation: \ˈfər-mər-\; Function: noun
Etymology: French fermoir chisel, alteration of Middle French formoir, from former to form, from Old French forme form; Date: 1823: a woodworking chisel with a thin flat blade

In the end, the term "Firmer" began life as a description of the function of a chisel... a tool that forms.


UNION IRON AND WOOD PLANES, UNION MFG. CO., New Britain, Conn, U.S.A., Warehouse, 100 Chambers St, New York. c1905. I particularly like the steel faced transitional planes. If anyone has one of the Union Beading Planes, please mail it to me.


MACK & CO. SOLE MANUFACTURERS GENUINE D. R. BARTON... Planes, Edge Tools, Etc., Rochester, N. Y.: Price List of Genuine "D. R. Barton" Planes, Edge Tools, &c. Made only by Mack & Co., 18 Brown's Race, Rochester, N.Y. c1909. Nice Arte Noveau cover design. My order is placed. I'm just waiting on the delivery...


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