Missing link in the S&J story?

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by Barleys, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    This is at first glance a very unexciting saw, but I got excited when I first glimpsed the mark on US ebay (had to wait 4 months for it until our daughter arrived for a visit). I think it is a missing link in the development of Spear's business (at first with Mr Love, who didn't last v long). He took young Samuel Jackson as an apprentice during the first decade of the 19th century, and the apprentice quickly became the driving force – his notebooks of selling trips to Europe in the 1820s are in the Sheffield City Library's Archives. At some point I am guessing that Spear, having taken Jackson into partnership, had to order new marks for the saws they were making, and the size of the letters, and the fact (at least I think it's a fact) that the saw was marked with two separate punches, indicate that Jackson is the addition; older saws have simply the Spear mark, which looks very similar to this one. Later still – from only about 1880 I think –the two had new marks made which gave Jackson a more equal place, but they kept on the John Spear name alone for a long time, maybe as an extra product line?
    Now…as to dating. Here is a tentative dating sequence for Spear (& Jackson) marks up to about 1920: it may not be wholly consistent with the dates I put in the saw book, and I apologise if I'm being annoyingly inconsistent; I can't show the saws as well here, but the datings are based on the whole appearance as far as possible.
    I can't seem to place a caption, but the dates of the sequence below – all on backsaws except where noted – are c1810, c1815, c1820, c1830 (* the one I'm getting excited about), c1840, c1840, c1850, 1850-1870 (handsaw mark), 1880-1920

    Attached Files:

    pmcgee likes this.
  2. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Thanks for the timeline with the marks, Simon.

    That is the sort of thing that is so helpful with dating.

    The American sourced S and J was lovely when you bought it, and it still is so.
  3. shoarthing

    shoarthing Most Valued Member

    Simon - Hi - such a persuasive & helpful sequence . . . thank you.

    A possible tightening of the saw-making dates & duration for LOVE & SPEAR (expressed in your BSSM as: " . . . towards the end of the C18th") may come from these two newspaper obituaries; the first from June 1849:


    . . . the second from September 1801:


    LOVE & SPEAR - as Factors & merchants; also as steel-refiners - was a partnership or partnerships dating back to 1769; listed as such (but not as saw-makers) in two Sheffield Directories of 1787 & 1797.

    John Cawthorn's obituary notice infers he - LOVE & SPEAR's saw-manufactury's first apprentice - began work in 1797, at the age of 12.

    John Love died in September 1801.

    An apprentice-indenture of May 1802 for Stephen Liversidge is to: "Jno & Alex Spear & Co" "saw manufacturers" . . . . .

    As usual, the nicety of judgement shown in BSSM is reinforced by further research.
    David likes this.