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L. & I. J. White Edge Tool Company

Trade Card

L. & I. J. WHITE MANUFACTURERS OF EDGE TOOLS and Machine Knives, 310, 312, 314 Exchange Street, Buffalo, N.Y. c1870.

Great image of their store / factory ? puffing smoke. A little bit out of perspective. The reverse, or front (depending upon your choice) is another of those typical lithographic trade cards. Unless you can tell me how an image of a cute little girl in a bonnet relates to edge tools?

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lijwhite1905Cat01low1Trade Catalog

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.

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