Spear and Jackson Mermaid/Leapfrog Dating

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by tonyba, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. tonyba

    tonyba Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Dear All
    With a bit of lockdown time on my hands I was sorting messy computer files (similar state to my saw collection) and came across this jpg file of a S&J Price List for 1910.
    Mermaid and Leapfrog are listed at the bottom of the page as NEW TRADE MARKS.
    No mention of Double Mermaid yet or Spearior.
    Only the one page available so no pics of saws.
    Hope this is useful.
    Cheers
    Tony
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    645
    Hi Tony,

    The Double Mermaid is listed in the 1915 S&J catalogue "Vanadium Alloy Steel" Straight Back Hand Saws. I didn't see Spearior, so maybe that's later than 1915.

    The catalog copy I've got is in a book called "The Handsaw Catalog Collection" Astragal Press.

    Kiwi already posted an image of the relevant page here

    http://www.backsaw.net/forum/index.php?attachments/img091-jpg.5950/
     
  3. tonyba

    tonyba Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Thanks Ray and Kiwi
    Is the Astragal compilation good value?
    Are there many S&J pages ; currently they are occupying my attention a bit obsessively.
    Cheers
     
  4. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    119
    Tony, I've seen a bazillion Mermaid 88's, but models with the fabled heel plate are exceedingly rare. I think I've seen 4 in 20 years. This is the (gorgeous) intricate etch from an 87, which has the American applewood handle but alas the heel plate is MIA. S & J really pushed the hammer setting of saws...this saw has a bevy of broken teeth so I suspect it is pretty hard and a spring set might be hard work. The saw has bolts instead of split nuts so it must be post 1915.

    upload_2020-8-3_15-6-4.png

    upload_2020-8-3_15-6-45.png
     
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  5. tonyba

    tonyba Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Dusty
    Lovely etch, is the 87 the one with different tooth spacing at the tip so it could cut nails.
    I am awaiting a hopefully gorgeous pre etch SandJ which I will post separately after it arrives.
    Tony
     
  6. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    119
    Tony, according to the 1915 catalogue it's the same as an 88, except an apple wood handle and a heelplate (87A is sans heel plate). The apple wood is notably low grade and sappy, nowhere near the standard of US made gear.

    88B is the nail cutter version with a knock-off of the Atkins perfection style handle. I've dealt with two, both were broken about 1/4 way in from the toe, probably because they are freaking hard.

    I've done a couple of stamped S&Js (= pre etch) lately and they were also crazy hard.
     
  7. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    545

    Catching up with you all for a friend, who wants to know what's new on backsaw, and had to notice that Tony and co are trying to make sense of S&J marks. I have to say I wish everyone good luck. Years ago, Ken Hawley and one of our volunteers spent many many hours with his collection of about 30 S&J handsaws, plus the largest run of hands-on S&J catalogues anywhere, trying to date the 30:they failed, I think possibly because the firm had a very large output, and kept redesigning its marks, more frequently than could be represented in a catalogue that maybe was 3-4 years between new editions. Don't want to sound dispiriting, and I think the work should be done, but I really can't help with illustrations or examples from our museum collections, even though we now have about 50 to go at – almost makes it more difficult, and the backsaws are no easier!
    (Had a lot of other things on my hands lately, not least moving house away from beloved Sheffield, and am due soon to donate the remainder of my saw collection to the museum, currently semi-open only)
    All best Simon