Saw find John Middleton info?

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by Scott M., Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Scott M.

    Scott M. Active Member

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    Found this saw this summer. It was in a falling down building laying on an old rotten work bench directly under a huge hole in the roof. So it's pretty rough. The medallion caught my eye though because I never saw it before. So I had to have it. Love a good mystery.
    When I got it home I was surprised to find any of the stamp it's so rusty, but the small part I cleaned turned out pretty smooth. Though magnification and a lot of studying I can barely make out Middeton Newton & Co. Hmm? Medallion just has John Middleton. Some kind of partnership maybe? Not much luck in Simonds book. There is a listing for a J. Middleton but the time frame doesn't fit the look of the saw. More promising is a Francis Newton, Cutler 1849-1864. He never made saws but sounds like he was in the hardware jobbing business also.
    I don't know this may be a common saw I don't find much English stuff. I took a picture of the stamp but you can't make out much so I included a drawing of what I see. I know it's just a wall hanger, but I saved a bit of history literally from the dumpster. Any thoughts, info appreciated.
    Scott
     
  2. Scott M.

    Scott M. Active Member

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    Trying to attach pictures hope this works
    Scott
     

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  3. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    There's also a Middleton Newton & Co backsaw (14" brassback) at http://www.jonzimmersantiquetools.com/tools/saws.html but I didn't find any additional info on the company. Your guess that Francis Newton was involved seems reasonable. Medallion is a very nice find.
     
  4. Scott M.

    Scott M. Active Member

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    Hey Kiwi,
    Thanks for the reply. I checked that site out and boy that's a beautiful old saw. I was thinking about the medallion and the design on the shield and somehow remembered Moulson Bros. Clicked over to Summerfi's medallion page sure enough, one looks quite similar to mine. Looks like a bunch of crossed arrows.
     

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  5. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    Hi Scott,
    That is a nice medallion, and with permission I will add it to the medallion reference guide.

    I love doing detective work on old saws, and I've done a little looking into yours. Here's what I've found.

    Middleton, Newton & Middleton was a 19th century Sheffield company located on Union Street and known as "merchants". I believe the first Middleton was Matthew, Newton was Francis, and the second Middleton was Matthew's son John. The company seemed to specialize in selling cutlery, such as knives, razors, and obviously saws (link). It is unclear whether they made cutlery, or simply were factors for other makers. The backsaw noted by kiwi is the only saw besides yours that I've been able to track down. It is interesting that John went to the trouble of having a medallion made bearing his name since it appears from the scarcity of survivors that their sale of saws was relatively minor. The company, however, must have been prosperous, as they opened an office in New York. The attached picture is their advertisement in an 1840 New York commercial directory (link), and bears their New York address of 70 Maiden Lane. They appear in numerous other early New York directories. So, they were involved in export from England to America, which makes it unsurprising that you found one of their saws in an abandoned building in the U.S.

    In 1841, a note in the London Gazette (link) states that Matthew has died, and the company then lies in the hands of the survivors, Francis Newton and John Middleton. Apparently the company name then changed to Middleton, Newton & Co. Your saw, therefore, must have been made sometime after 1841. I am unable to find how long the company remained in business.

    Congrats on finding an interesting old saw. It is a keeper.

    Bob

    middleton.jpg
     
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  6. Scott M.

    Scott M. Active Member

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    Hi Bob,
    By all means, feel free to add it to the reference guide! Glad I could chip in a little.
    Thanks for all the great info. It kind of brings the saw to life for me somehow? Knowing it's starting point a little better now combined with where I found it and the condition it was in. Drove past a big pile of junk along the side of the road with a giant SALE sign. I was an hour and a half from home and had just been skunked at a flea market and all I wanted to do was get home. Then I started getting that little whisper in my ear that says what if? For what ever reason this time I turned my truck around and headed back. From the info. you posted I'm glad I did. Sounds like an uncommon find. I was inspired by this post to finish cleaning the plate. I put it off for a long time because it was so heavily rusted. Had to do something to make it presentable the rust was flaking off in spots. Ya it's got some Harvey pitting but for what it is it ain't bad.
    Thanks again Bob, your research is greatly appreciated!
    Scott
     
  7. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    Scott, one additional note on your medallion. The eight crossed arrows on your medallion can be found on the medallions of several British saw makers, as well as in the center of the common British Warranted Superior medallion. It is an adaptation from the Sheffield coat of arms and is a symbolic indicator that these saws were made in Sheffield.
    Bob