June ‘Chronicle’ – Sneak Preview

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The new issue of “The Chronicle,” the quarterly journal for members of the Early American Industries Association is at the printer now. I’ll be asking for the updated mailing list to be sent early next week…so join now if you’re interested not only in this issue’s contents, but in a four-times-a-year dose of fascinating articles on the tools and trades that helped to build America.

In this issue:


Welch & Griffiths Handsaws, by David La Touche
This Boston-based 19th-century company was founded by Charles Griffiths and William Welch, who trained in Birmingham, England, as sawmakers before emigrating to the United States where they founded the company that bore their name. The author owns a treasure trove of information – some never-before published – and shares the rich history of the firm, as well as type information about the saws themselves (some of the prettiest handles I’ve seen!).

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The Country General Store – Part 2, by Paul Wood
Wood has an unbelievable collection of tools and implements from a wide variety of trades, and has shared them with EAIA members over many years, with articles on subjects ranging from ice fishing to rural water systems to maple sugaring. In this four-part series, he discusses (and shows) the types of items that could be found at general stores. This installment covers kitchenware, foods, cloth, clothing, and domestic textiles.

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Plane Chatter: Layout Lines Reveal Mysteries of the Planemaking Trade, by Ted Ingraham
This column appears in most issues, with a rotating group of experts sharing their research on and experience with (mostly) 17th- through 19th-century handplanes of all sorts. In this issue, the author discusses scribe lines that remain on the sides of user-made wooden planes, and how those are used to determine the pitch. (Plus, he shares a simple formula for making wooden-bodied planes that requires only three simple dimensions and a consistent body size.)

Fig 1_No 1166 tape measure

Stanley’s first coilable and auto-retractable tape measure.

Stanley Tools: Stanley ‘Push-Pull’ Rules, by Walter W. Jacob
This regular column by Walt Jacob is (no surprise, given the kicker) devoted to the prolific output of The Stanley Works (founded in 1843) and The Stanley Rule and Level Company (founded in 1857), which merged in 1920. In this issue, he discusses “Push-Pull” tape measures, which the company began producing in 1932 after acquiring the tape rule business of Hiram A. Farrand, who invented the modern steel coilable tape measure in 1931. (You know – that indispensable thing you can never find when you need it…even though you probably have at least three of them!).

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For more information on EAIA, visit the website. And if you’d like to submit an article on any early American tool or trade please shoot me an email: 1snugthejoiner@gmail.com.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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