Moulsons for T J Wood

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by fred0325, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Hello all,

    I recently bought this off Ebay USA. It has an almost perfect handle (the bottom horn has had a bit of nibbling) and some very nice stampings on the back. The blade is 14 inches.

    One of the better aspects of this saw is that it may be possible to date it to within 11 years if some of the Googled websites that I have seen are correct. It looks like TJ Wood of New York made planes (and hopefully retailed saws as well) between 1831 and 1842.

    There is a brief reference to Wood in an article by Philip W Baker on the WK Fine Tools website.

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/pBaker/amBacksaw/amBacksaw1.asp

    He is basically referring (amongst other things) to a saw made for Wood by Turner and Davies of Sheffield.

    The "Moulsons" on the embossed (as opposed to incused - thanks Joe) must be the "Moulson Brothers", if the dates for Wood are correct and the dates in HSMOB for Moulson Brothers are also correct. Yet it is stamped as "Moulsons".

    Does anyone have any images of an embossed "Moulson" stamp of any description with a fairly verifiable date or explanation for this type of stamp? Or did they do this stamp for the U.S market, or merely for brevity on a back with such a lot of information on?

    All ideas (including refutations), as always, appreciated.

    Fred
     

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  2. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

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    77
    Hi Fred,

    I know it's not a back saw but below is the link to a Moulson rip saw.
    I don't have this one any more I gave it away as a Birthday present to a friend. No date, I'm afraid but it did have a very nice and decorative handle.

    With the amount of stamps on your saw, you'd like to think you could get a reasonable date from it.

    http://www.backsaw.net/index.php?option=com_jfusion&Itemid=58&jfile=showthread.php&t=89


    Cheers

    lui
     
  3. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    546
    Moulsons for TJWood

    A lovely saw, Fred!
    I have the one Phil Baker mentioned (Turner & Davies for TJW), which is also closely dateable to the same 10-15 years, and is I believe the equal earliest example of a Sheffield made saw which also has a retailer's name.
    The Moulson mark is almost identical to the usual Moulson Brothers mark, one of the last to use the saw edge border [Sheffield industry terminology - not Zb, the Goodman-invented term for planes] ( but not as long as Hill late Howel).
    The wording is different, though, and this mark would I am sure have been used specially for this consignment made for Wood. I think ( and this is a guess) that a special mark would have been made - almost certainly in Sheffield, but not necessarily - to go with the one giving the Wood details. In favour of its being done in Sheffield is the fact that so much heavy marking could well have distorted the brass back, making the process a difficult one. Did Wood have access to specialised saw making skills, I wonder? But the words Sheffield and Cast Steel were used on other Moulson Bros saws.
    I've sent the text of my proposed book on British saws and saw makers to a publisher, but it would be wonderful to be able to add this beautifully made saw mark to an update (if there ever is such a thing).
     
  4. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    If this comes out twice anywhere I apologise because I lost the first post.

    I put this saw on here, not because it is a "Moulson's for Wood", it being a "Moulson's" only, but because it is a Moulson's and not a Moulson Bros.

    Having said that, the saw is not even mine as I got outbid badly on it on Ebay yesterday. (I was one of the "also rans").

    It looks early with a very simple stamp, and if I squeeze my eyes and imagine enough, there may well be a dot between the cast and the steel.

    Which would put it as a very early Moulson Bros or maybe even another of the "Multiple Moulson's" i.e. the J J or the Company variety. (See HSMOB). But if it was not a mark of the "Bros" then if HSMOB is correct my "Moulson for T.J. WOOD" would have to be earlier than 1831 - and which it probably isn't.

    If anyone who reads this bought the saw, can you put the mark on to see if it is cast-dot. I would love to know

    Fred
     

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  5. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    546
    Moulsons for TJWood

    I was the lucky final bidder on this, Fred, and I can add a bit of the information you were looking for.
    Yes, there is a very faint but I'm sure genuine dot between cast and steel.
    There are other reasons for putting it, I think very close to this firm's starting date of 1828:
    1. The style of the three separate struck marks. "Moulson's" is in a zigzag border - early, although Moulsons in particular (Hill late Howell apart) were one of the longest users of this style. The other two marks are in very small letters (only 1/16inches) and are from memory the smallest any maker used except Drabble and Sanderson. The marks are also widely separated on the back, which is quite unusual and I can remember it only on one or two saws of a similar date.
    2. Only three marks is itself early - compare the marks on the Kenyon saws in the Seaton Chest, and also the way they are widely spaced.
    3. The three screws are all the same size (blind medallions came 30+ years later) and again quite small - 7/16inches.Incidentally they are magnificently tight all these 180 years later (and it's been nicely sharpened and is dead straight).
    The question the spelling Moulson's [sic] is interesting (it's been pursued on another thread, I think). Is it an example of what snobbish grammarians call greengrocer's apostrophe? Or did the Moulsons indeed consist at this date of only one brother who was doing the actual saw making, and could as it were say this is mine - hence "Moulson's". Or some other mundane explanation??

    It's on view in the Hawley Saw Shop at Kelham Island Museum.
     
  6. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Thank-you Simon,

    Christmas has come early.

    It is nice to know that it has gone to a good home.

    It is also lovely to know more about the saw. Particularly the Cast dot bit.

    There have been a number on Ebay that I have not got and would like to know more details of, but this is the first saw that it has happened with.

    Fred
     
  7. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Simon and all,

    Re Greengrocer's apostrophe.

    I have just re-looked at the photo's of my saw and it is a "Moulsons" without an apostrophe anywhere. It also may have a very faint dot embossed into the cast steel mark. Or is that just my wishful thinking? (My saw is tucked away at the moment, I'll get it out to look properly later)

    If the firm was trying to indicate that your saw was one belonging to a single Moulson and they were consistent in their grammar, then mine should have an apostrophe after the "S" (if it denotes belonging to more than one Moulson) and which it hasn't. The spacing of the letters does indicate on mine Moulsons plural.


    Not a very world shattering series of observations I know and it probably gets us nowhere except to point to either an inconsistency in marking or a grammatical error.

    But interesting (for me at least) to speculate

    Fred
     
  8. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    546
    Moulsons for TJWood

    Your photo certainly seems to lack the apostrophe, Fred.
    I think we should - in the absence of positive information to say otherwise - remember that mark makers were not necessarily the foremost grammarians of their day. They could even have been illiterate, and were just copying something put in front of them, maybe written in pencil on a dirty piece of paper, to be deciphered in a poorly lit workshop etc etc - you get my drift. So if we start to build great edifices of supposition on the basis of where an apostrophe is placed... They could easily have been confused as many people are to this day about how to punctuate - it's easy, if you know how, but its still easy to make a mistake.:)
     
  9. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Thanks for the input Simon,

    Without wishing to put too many cats amongst the pidgeons, the blade is nigh on 11 3/4 inches long.

    I have just measured the screws and the front one is 1/2 ", the rear one is 7/16th. Purposeful or poor quality control? If they had heard of the notion then.
     
  10. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    352
    The manufacturing process of grinding the screw head flush with the handle might account for a small variation in the final head diameter, since the screw head is tapered and different screws may have seated to different depths before grinding. But 1/16 variation would seem to me to be the max if they started out the same. (Another possibility that just popped into my head is that the manufacturer might have to grind down different amounts on different screw heads to remove casting roughness ? ) If you really wanted to test this theory you could remove the screws to measure the head thicknesses. I have noticed that my collection of salvaged screws have various head thicknesses, but they include screws from a variety of saws.
    Anyways, the non-conformance to identicality of product is, to me, one of the delightful aspects of antique manufactured items

    Rob, ... rambling on.....