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Dominy Craftsmen Collection

Hummel, Charles F. / With hammer in hand; the Dominy craftsmen of East Hampton, New York (1968)

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Chapter III

The Dominy Tool Collection

  [p. [31]]  

At the outset it should be realized that the Dominys' tools were used to produce goods. Nathaniel Dominy IV, Nathaniel V, and Felix needed their tools in their work; they were not using them in an avocation or as an outlet for artistic innovation. These statements are not intended to give the impression that the Dominys derived little pleasure from their work or that they were not interested in producing aesthetically pleasing objects. But the main purpose of these tools was to enable the Dominys to earn a living, to support their families, and, if possible, to advance socially, as well as economically, in their society.1

The number and variety of tools the Dominys used for woodworking and clockmaking leave no doubt that their shops were self-sufficient and capable of turning out a wide variety of products. The shops were true "manufactories" in which the craftsman was competent to perform each operation and produce a finished piece. There was no division of labor, no assembly-line production, and the Dominys powered their tools by human muscle. The survival of so many of the tools used between 1760 and 1840 by three generations of this East Hampton family gives a picture of well-stocked craft shops of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Such shops, however, disappeared in the second quarter of the nineteenth century with the transition from craft to factory production and its resultant need for new types of tools. Peter Welsh, a member of the staff at the Smithsonian Institution, has described the efforts of nineteenth-century patentees as the "quest for multipurpose solutions through the perfection of the combination tool."2 The nineteenth-century factory hand was often a specialist who took his tools to work with him. His tools, therefore, had to be portable and "multipurpose." He could not have carried the number of tools the Dominys found indispensable, nor would there have been a place to house them on the job. The factory age brought the development of the versatile tool as it spelled the decline of the handcraftsman.

The Dominys were not unique either in their shop operations or in the tools they used. That much is evident in the craft shops from rural areas which have been restored or reconstructed in a number of American museums. There were other country craftsmen who practiced as many different trades as the Dominys and who undoubtedly had a great variety of tools on hand. On August 18, 1763, for example, the Maryland Gazette, published at Annapolis, carried the sale notice of a rural woodworking establishment rivaling that of the Dominys: "To be sold…for the use of the Orphans of Richard Taylor, Deceased . . . [at his dwelling at the] head of South River…Carpenter's, Cooper's, Joiner's, Wheelwright's, and Turner's Tools." The reconstruction of Anthony Hay's cabinet shop by Colonial Williamsburg represents a craft establishment in an important eighteenth-century town. Its appearance derives from careful archaeological work during which artifacts were discovered preserved in   [p. 32]   clay silt. Research indicates that, like the Dominys, Hay may have done metalworking to supplement his cabinetmaking income. However, only some forty-odd fragments of his tools were found as compared to the more than one thousand tools preserved by the Dominy family.3

The Dominy Tool Collection, because it is almost complete, can serve as an index to the equipment used by city as well as country craftsmen. Tools in the shops of both urban and rural artisans were identical and quite often came from the same source—England.4 As the following list shows, nearly every joiner's tool imported in 1760 by William Wilson, of Philadelphia, had a counterpart in the Dominy woodworking shop.

List of a Chest of Joiners Tools to be Shipt pr William Neale for accot of Wm Wilson (being for Richard Johns).
12 Pair of Hollows and Rounds [Cf. Nos. 71, 72, 89]
1 Oge [ogee] of 4/8 [Cf. No. 77]
2 Astricles [astragals] One 4/8 the other 6/8 [Cf. No. 61]
2 Picture frame Planes
2 Bead Planes, one 8 the other 3/16 [Cf. Nos. 61, 62]
3 Rabbit Plains viz One 1 1/2 In [ches] escou [skew] the others square One an Inch, the other 1/2 Inch [Cf. Nos. 83, 85, 86]
1 Side Rabit Plain [Cf. No. 84]
1 Astrical & hollow to work in Quirk 1 1/8in on
1 Moving Filister without Arms
1 Left handed Fillister of 2/8
2 Pair of Groving Planes with the Tongue brass, the one 4/8 the other 6/8 [Cf. No. 81]
1 Plow with 2 Set of Irons [Cf. No. 81]
1 Sett of bench Plains wth a jointer [Cf. Nos. 69, 70, 73, 74, 80]
1 Half Upright Foreplain & Smoothing Do [Cf. Nos. 92–94]
1 Strike block & one tooth plane wth 2 Irons of different Cut
1 Stock with 1 Set of Gouge, 1 of Center & 1 of Alis' [the maker] Nose Bitts [Cf. Nos. 12, 15, 20]
1 handsaw 2feet 2 1/2in long all of white's [the maker's] best sort with a good Saw Sett [Cf. No. 104]
1 Panel Do same length
1 Tenant Saw [Cf. No. 101 ]
1 Sash Saw
6 Small key holedo
6 small key hole saws [Cf. No. 105]
8 Mortois [mortise] Chizells [Cf. No. 24]
12 broad & narrow Firmers [Cf. No. 24]
12 broad & narrow Gouges with the Steel the Inside [Cf. No. 40]
2 Scribing Gouges with the Steel the out Side of 3/8 & 5/8 [Cf. No. 40]
3 doz Moores [maker] best plain Irons 2 @ 2 1/2 In.
3 doz Handsaw Files fine cut [Cf. No. 33]
1 Pair Pinchers [Cf. No. 60]
1 Pair of Nippers for Cutting Wier [wire]
1 Joiners Hatchet
1 Turkey Stone Clear of Knotts

Let the Beach [beech] be well seasond the chizels & gouges be handled, The plains in good   [p. 33]   order – Let all things be of the best & the Chest neatly fitted – Let the planes be of John Ridgus's [Ridge's?] make [.]5

The same kinds of tools as those owned by the Dominys were also used by Jeremiah Cresson, a Philadelphia cabinetmaker whose Chestnut Street shop stood near that of his well-known colleague Benjamin Randolph.6

Some writers hold that urban craftsmen used imported tools, while rural artisans either produced their own or had them made locally.7 To some extent this may be true, but it is much more likely that geography and the practices of a rural economy were the determining factors. Craftsmen in both cities and villages whose shops were located near navigable water probably received the cheaper and well-made English imports directly from overseas or by transshipment from major ports. Although there were toolmakers at work in America during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, their products never seriously rivaled those of European manufacturers.8 Transportation costs for the overland movement of goods in the United States prior to 1840 were so high that they almost prohibited the distribution of American-made tools. The report of a United States Senate committee written in 1816 indicated that "a ton of goods could be brought 3,000 miles from Europe to America for about nine dollars, but…for the same sum it could be moved only 30 miles overland in this country."9 In the same year A. J. Dallas, Secretary of the Treasury, reported to Congress that hardware, ironmongery, and cutlery were in a class of "manufactures which were so slightly cultivated as to leave the demand of the country wholly, or almost wholly dependent upon foreign sources for a supply."10 Moreover, the American craftsman's attitude toward locally made tools may have been typified by a turner who advertised the loss of "a parcel of turning tools" in the July 1, 1732, issue of the South-Carolina Gazette. "The Turning Tools," he said, "were made in this country, and are very clumsy, and may be known by that."11

There is ample evidence in both the Dominy manuscripts and the tool collection that English tools were brought from New York City to East Hampton in ships plying Long Island Sound. In 1765 Nathaniel Dominy IV purchased a number of tools from Aaron Isaacs, who sailed weekly between East Hampton and New York.12 They may have been replacements for worn or broken tools originally used by Nathaniel's father. The list of these purchases included:

  [p. 34]  
January 6 1795 by Sundries bro't for me
Viz a tenont saw [Cf. No. 101] [£]0-15-0]
a sash do 0–10–6
by 6 Plane Irons at 10d 0–5–0
by 2 files @ 6d 0–1–0
April 3 1765 by 2 gimlets & 1/2 lb. of spice [Cf. No. 39] 0–2–0
April 9 1765 by a hammer 0–3–6
June 20 1765 by 1 plane Iron 0–1–0
June 20, 1769 by a Hammer & Gin 0–4–2
June 12, 1770 by a Hand Saw [Cf. No. 1041] 0–8–0
January 4 1775 2 Black Pots [melting pots or crucibles] No 344 0–2–4
August 15 1789 by 2 Black pots No 5 @ 1/8 — 1 1/4 Emery at 1/6 0–5–3
March 1790 2 Dubl Plane Irons at 3/ 0–6–013

His brother John (1760–1837) brought "2 large files at 2/3" and "2 small do at 8d" in a group of "Sundrys yt you bot for me at N. York" in February 1789.14 Tools were often sold "at vendue," and "an ax" was acquired in 1798 in that manner from Joseph Osborn, Jr., at a cost of "5/1."15

The references in early accounts to files, plane irons, saws, gimlets, and hammers may indicate that Americans imported only the metal parts of tools from England and the Continent and fitted them with handles of their own making. In the Dominy Collection, for example, the tools bearing marks of London, Sheffield, and Warrington makers but having handles or stocks of American wood outnumber those with mounts of English or European wood. The English mounts are of beech, European ash, birch, or boxwood. Moreover, we should remember that when William Wilson ordered tools from England for Richard Johns he stipulated that "the Beach [beech] be well seasond the chizels & gouges be handled." Many catalogues of English tools advised that boxwood, birch, ash, or beech handles could be supplied with the tools pictured. Planes, bevels, braces, squares, and saws are illustrated in some pattern books with the wood parts attached, although the woods are not usually identified.16

Some of the Dominys' tools were acquired from or repaired by local blacksmiths, probably because it was the only way they could pay for services rendered to them by the Dominys. Whether blacksmiths actually made some of the tools listed in the accounts is uncertain, except when the entry is preceded by the word "forgeing." These account books show, however, that East Hampton artisans supplied the Dominys with a variety of items as follows:

William Hedges
July 13, 1765
by a Hatchet [£] 0–3–6
by a Hoe 0–6–0
November 13, 1765
by an Ax 0–7–0
January 17, 1773
by 1 file 1s 10d & 2 at 8d 0–3–2
March 21, 1791
By New-lay17 an Ax 0–4–6
April 23, 1791
By New-lay & a new Eye to a Broad Ax 0–8–0
July 20, 1792
By a small Ax 0–8–018
  [p. 35]  
Samuel Sher[r]il
January 17, 1770
by New laying Snick [sneck]19 0–3–6
November, 1770
by forgeing Drills &c 0–0–9
February 9, 1771
by Casting Brass for Gun makeing plyars &c 0–4–0
January 14, 1773
by 1 Pair of Snibels20 0–0–6
July 21, 1773
by forgeing a Screw plate & Eleazer work 0–5–0
October 22, 1774
by a Triangle for Engine [Cf. No. 136] 0–1–021
  [p. 36]  
Deacon David Talmage
May 11, 1786
By 3 Plane Irons 0–2–0
By a Heading tool [Cf. No. 146] 0–1–6
May 26, 1786
By mending Broad-Ax 0–1–0
June 14, 1786
By forging a wireplate 0–1–6
By a pair of forging Tongs Wt 2 1/2 lb. [Cf. No. 165] 0–2–6
August 19, 1786
By laying 2 Chizzels 0–2–6
September 14, 1786
By forging a Screwplate 0–1–0
August, 1787
By a plane Iron 0–1–6
January 2, 1788
By a Gridiron for Clock faces 0–2–0
January 28, 1788
By a Center bit &c 0–0–10
March 25, 1788
By an Ax 0–9–0
March 27, 1789
By mending my Beekhorn22 0–5–0
February 18, 1790
By lay 1/2 inch Chizel 0–0–10
May 6, 1790
By 1/2 the Laying an Ax 0–2–3
February 18, 1791
By mending … & Steel Arbr for Engine 0–2–6
February 23, 1791
By 1 Screw Augre & Faceing Hammer 0–2–6
March 3, 1791
By 2 Center Bits, draw steel & stops for Steel yards 0–1–5
March 5, 1791
By a Head to Steelyard &c & Wire-Plate 0–3–6
March 14, 1791
By a Broad-Ax with Steel Poll 0–18–0
March 16, 1791
By Laying an Ax 0–4–6
March 20, 1791
By a Stamp 0–0–9
April 30, 1791
By 2 bits @ 7d 0–1–2
July 16, 1791
By a Hammer 0–2–0
August, 1791
By Screw-Box Bits &c [Cf. No. 107] 0–5–8
February 26, 1793
By 1 Hammer 0–2–3
May 22, 1793
By Lay Broad-Ax / Cross &c 0–9–4
December, 1794
By New lay Turn Chizzel 0–2–0
January 16, 1795
By 1 3 square Turning Chizzel [Cf. No. 25] 0–3–0
February 27, 1795
By an Arbor & Cross for Turning Stands [Cf. No. 47] 0–6–9
Abraham Hedges Jur
July, 1805
By Harden &c Sml Broad Ax 0–1–0
November 20, 1805
By New lay Small Ax, my Steel 0–4–3
By Do Common Do 0–4–3
By Do Broad Do 0–10–024

Their customers often paid debts with tools. Payments included two files from Joseph Ellis in April, 1768; a plane iron from Nathan "Conking" (Conkling) in 1770; six gimlets from "Isaac Barns Esqr" in May, 1770; two "gimblets" from Abraham Miller, 1773; three large files from Herbert Latham 1786; a saw from Sylvester Dearing in 1790; a "Grin[d]stone" from Jeremiah Miller, 1791 (No. 42); two small files from Jonathan Sizer in 1792; and a "Double Iron Jack Plain" from Miller Dayton in 1808.25

At least one important tool, a whipsaw, was owned by the Dominys in partnership with other local craftsmen. On September 29, 1794, Nathaniel Dominy IV paid Jonathan Conkling 14 shillings for a quarter share "of the Whip Saw which was ownd in Co[mpany]," and on the same day he bought Abraham Mulford, Jr.'s half share for £1 8s. Unfortunately, that saw, used to cut trees into logs of manageable size for hauling, has not survived.26

The Dominy manuscript records and the tools pictured in Chapter IV show a constant flow of new tools into the Dominy shops and an equally constant conversion of worn-out tools into new and useful implements from the 1760's on. In cataloguing the tools for display in the reconstructed shops, the problem of eliminating tools acquired by Nathaniel Dominy VII between 1850 and 1900 arose. When these early mail-order examples were marked by the manufacturers, dating them was usually not difficult; it developed, however, that names were not a reliable index because many eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century toolmaking firms continued production into the twentieth century.27 As a result, the type of stamp used, its form, and the style of the lettering often proved to be more important than the name itself.

The shape of a tool, its design, and the presence or absence of decoration were also important clues used in establishing the date of some of the Dominys' implements. It was generally found that the more decorative and ornamental tools were of early origin. As toolmaking by   [p. 37]   machines and specialists advanced, there was a consequent stripping of the design to basic essentials. The machine age destroyed the reflection of the toolmaker's personality; the simple aesthetic flourishes he usually added to his products in the form of notches, cyma and other curves, and chamfered edges vanished forever. All these personal touches can be seen in the Dominy tools illustrated in Chapter IV.

A third important resource used in dating the Dominy tools was the illustrations in such eighteenth-century books as Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie, André Jacob Roubo's L'art du menuisier, and other volumes of the Descriptions des arts et métiers published by the Académie Royale des Sciences, as well as tool catalogues circulated by English toolmakers or distributors in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.28 When the Dominy tools were compared with those pictured, it was discovered that, although these craftsmen did not have access to the contemporary dictionaries of craft technology, many of the tools and processes used by Nathaniel IV, Nathaniel V, and Felix were remarkably similar to those illustrated in the books mentioned above (see Nos. 9, 19, 27, 39, 46, 49, 101–3, 107, 121, 132, 169). Perhaps no better evidence than this exists for establishing the universality of craft techniques and equipment in the Western world at a time when the "art and mystery" of individual crafts were passed on to succeeding generations through the apprentice system. The great French and, by comparison, minor English encyclopedias were compendiums of the experience and technical knowledge accumulated over the years; they mirrored the skills that master craftsmen of the "Atlantic Civilization" passed on to their apprentices or sons.

Dating a tool by its shape alone is not a reliable method unless the assigned date spans many years. The changes that have taken place in the design of hand tools have been subtle and undramatic and have occurred over a long period of time. The snail's pace at which hand tools have evolved through the centuries will not be reviewed here since it is documented in W. L. Goodman's The History of Woodworking Tools, Henry C. Mercer's Ancient Carpenters' Tools, and in several articles in A History of Technology, edited by Charles Singer et al.29 In considering form as an evidence of date, a human characteristic must also be taken into account. George Kubler points out in The Shape of Time that men do not discard familiar objects easily: "When the industrial designer discovers a new shape to satisfy an old need, his difficulty is to find enough buyers for the new shape among people who already own satisfactory old forms."30 This principle is well illustrated by the calipers (No. 129J) probably purchased by Nathaniel Dominy VII between 1850 and 1860 and almost identical to a pair shown in a catalogue of craftsman's tools published in 1965. Still another factor must be considered in connection with form. During the period when the Dominys were active, it was easier to repair or convert tools than it was to purchase new ones. Thus, in the Dominy family manuscripts there are numerous references to new layers of steel put on the cutting edges of worn chisels and axes and to the conversion of old file blades into turning chisels, screw taps, and brace bits. It must be remembered, too, that after 1790 two Dominy craftsmen worked in the shops and that new tools ordered were only slightly, if at all, different from those already at hand. Obviously, dating tools by shape alone must be done with great caution.

Although a recent author has developed a chronology of changes in the shapes of tool handles,   [p. 38]   his findings are not substantiated in the Dominy Collection.31 Careful study of the latter shows that when handles and other wooden parts of tools used by early Dominy craftsmen were replaced by later members of the family, they sometimes made the new part very plain; at other times they patterned it directly after the original. There are also some instances in which a handle in good condition was removed from the worn part and refitted with a new metal blade. In both instances the researcher is confronted with handles and metal parts of different dates.

There is some evidence to support the theory that the shapes of handles and tools were influenced by the preferences of local or regional craftsmen. The Museum of English Rural Life, Reading, Berkshire, has manufacturers' catalogues and manuscripts which give the choices for agricultural tools in various localities. In 1863 the Douglas Axe Manufacturing Company published the Price List and Illustrated Patterns of axes and other edge tools made at its East Douglas, Massachusetts, factory. That the products were designed with local customs, lumbering practices, and types of trees to be cut in mind is suggested by the offering of slightly different versions of the felling ax with a heavy poll for "Kentucky, Ohio, Yankee [New England?], Maine, Michigan, Jersey, Georgia," and "North Carolina." Broadaxes were shown in patterns for "New England, New Orleans, Ohio & Western," and "Pittsburgh." A recently published picture of three try-plane handles made between 1750 and 1800 in different parts of Europe shows marked differences.32 Therefore unless the history of a tool, its original owner, and subsequent owners are known, only very general date ranges can be assigned to tools on the basis of handle designs.

The Dominy Collection is important because of its size; it is unique because the tools were owned and used by people whose life spans, working habits, purchases, customers, and shop sites are known. Thus research can be carried on within narrower limits than is usually possible. In the study of tool dating, however, it is the craftsmen themselves who have made the collection of inestimable value: the Dominys marked some of their tools with manufacture or acquisition dates plus the initials or the name of the owner. Forty-seven planes (ranging in date from 1765 to 1817), two marking gauges, a brace, a bevel, a yardstick, a square, a container for polishing compound, and a shotmold—a total of fifty-five articles—carry the date of manufacture or acquisition. At least fifty-nine others are stamped ND (Nathaniel Dominy IV), DOMINY (Nathaniel Dominy V), or FD (Felix Dominy). This makes it possible to establish when the unmarked Dominy tools were made by comparing them not only with illustrations in encyclopedias and tool catalogues but with dated examples used by the craftsmen during their working years.

In the following chapter the catalogue of the Dominy tools is divided into two sections, one describing the tools used in woodworking and the other those used in metalworking. It is obviously impractical to illustrate all of the one thousand tools. Instead, one or more representative examples are shown in categories which are arranged alphabetically. This system is contrary to Mercer's classification in Ancient Carpenters' Tools, where the categories are determined by function or purpose, and to S. C. Wolcott's modification of Mercer's method, with groupings by function, craft, and age.33 Because the Dominys practiced such a variety   [p. 39]   of crafts and used the same tools for so many different purposes, neither of the established classification systems could be applied. All dimensions are given in inches; the identification of the woods used in the tools is the result of microanalysis by Gordon Saltar, who is a specialist in the identification of wood samples at The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum. Woods used for the tools illustrated proved to be as expected, hickory (64) being by far the most common tool handle, followed closely by soft maple (48). An amazing variety of woods was used for tool parts by these rural craftsmen: cherry (17), beech (16), dogwood (14), white oak (10), birch (9), white pine (8), apple (7), Ceylon satinwood (6), red oak (6), tulip (5), boxwood. (5), ash (4), pear (3), and mahogany (2) were found as well as one instance each of white cedar, black gum, hard pine, Australian rosewood, lignum vitae, and European yew. The appearance of Ceylon satinwood was rather a surprise, but its presence in tools used by the East Hampton craftsmen was confirmed by analysis of the stocks of three smoothing planes and a hollow plane. Two of these Ceylon satinwood planes are dated 1765. The most popular wood for plane making was, as expected, beech (31). Other woods of which plane stocks in the Dominy Collection were made include birch (17), cherry (3), soft maple (3), and white oak (1).

One question not answered by the Dominy Tool Collection is this: How many tools of each type were needed in an eighteenth- or early-nineteenth-century craftsman's shop? Because there are no inventories of the estates of two of the Dominy craftsmen, it is impossible to discover how many tools were in the shops when Nathaniel IV died in 1812 or when Nathaniel V died in 1852. At the time of his death in 1868 Felix had been removed both from craft activity and from East Hampton for thirty-three years. The inventory of his estate contains no mention of the tools. Any attempt to reconstruct a list of the equipment which stood in each shop at a given time is practically impossible because the working dates of father and son overlap. This overlap particularly clouds establishment of the precise work location of unmarked tools.34

Compounding the problem of establishing the shops' original inventories is the knowledge that some tools vital to the Dominys' craft production have not survived. From the lists of tools purchased in New York and acquired from local smiths, cited above, it is known that the Dominys owned hammers, broadaxes, and a hatchet acquired in the eighteenth century; if these exist today, their whereabouts is unknown. In the collection, however, are nineteenth-century broadaxes, purchased after the earlier ones became worn. A cabinetmaker's bow saw larger than the one now seen at Winterthur would have been essential, as would the whipsaw Nathaniel IV owned. Mallets were necessary tools, but they wore out quickly; undoubtedly there was a predecessor of the late-eighteenth- or early-nineteenth-century one seen in the collection today. For the reasons just given and in the interest of accuracy, the tools discussed in Chapter IV are presented as examples of those actually used by the Dominys rather than as a complete picture of their shop equipment.

Many of the tools illustrated in the catalogue bear the stamp CAST STEEL on the blades. The stamp identifies the metal in the tool. It does not indicate a manufacturing process by which objects are cast into shape. "Cast," or crucible, steel was "more homogeneous in composition   [p. 40]   and more free from impurities" than other steels. It was made by melting steel in air furnaces and then casting the steel into ingots. Tool blades were later tempered and shaped from pieces of the cast-steel ingot. Benjamin Huntsman (1704–1776), an Englishman of Dutch descent, perfected the process early in the eighteenth century, but Sheffield firms and other English manufacturers considered cast steel too hard and did not adopt it widely until the very late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.35

Unless otherwise indicated, all the tools listed in Chapter IV were purchased with funds provided for that purpose by Henry Belin du Pont.


1 The best summary of the craftsman's goal of work as a way to become a merchant capitalist is found in Louis B. Wright, The Cultural Life of the American Colonies, 1607–1763 (New York, 1957), pp. 23, 28.

2 "United States Patents, 1790 to 1870: New Uses for Old Ideas," United States National Museum Bulletin 241: Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, Paper 48 (Washington, D.C., 1965), pp. 124–25.

3 Carlisle H. Humelsine, The President's Report [Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.], 1960 (Williamsburg, Va., 961), pp. 3–30.

4 Charles F. Hummel, "English Tools in America: The Evidence of the Dominys," Winterthur Portfolio, II (1965), 27–46.

5 Letter and Order Book, William Wilson, Philadelphia, 1757–1760, DMMC, Microfilm 847; original manuscript in the New York Public Library. Moores best plane irons were made by Robert Moore, a London and Birmingham edge tool maker, ca. 1745-1775, identified by W.L. Goodman, letter to the author, December 31, 1975. In the same letter, Goodman identified ‘John Ridgus’ as John Rogers, planemaker in Tufton Street, Westminster, London, 1734-1765

6 A complete list of tools sold by Cresson at his retirement is found in the Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), March 15, 1779, as quoted in Alfred Coxe Prime, comp., The Arts & Crafts in Philadelphia, Maryland, and South Carolina, 1721–1785 (Topsfield, Mass., 1929), p. 164.

7 Carl Bridenbaugh, The Colonial Craftsman (New York, 1950), p. 41.

8 Hummel, pp. 29–35.

9 Quoted in George Rogers Taylor, The Transportation Revolution, 1815–1860, Vol. IV of The Economic History of the United States (New York, 1951), pp. 132–33.

10 Quoted in J. Leander Bishop, A History of American Manufactures from 1608 to 1860 (Philadelphia, 1866), II, 221–23.

11 As quoted in Prime, p. 187.

12 Probably Aaron Isaacs, Sr. (1722/23–1797/98), because Aaron Isaacs, Jr. (1752–1815), would have been too young to warrant so much mention in the Dominy accounts. See Rattray, EHH, p. 405.

13 Account Book B, Nathaniel Dominys IV and V, 1762–1844 (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 100, 105.

14 Ibid., p. 109.

15 Ibid., p. 47.

16 For an example, see Joseph Smith, Explanation or Key, to the Various Manufactories of Sheffield (Sheffield, Eng., 1816).

17 A term used to describe the placing of a new steel edge or facing on an old tool. See Definition 36, The Oxford English Dictionary.

18 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 3, 47.

19 "The latch of a door or gate; the lever which raises the bar of a latch; a catch" (OED).

  [p. 41]  

20 A colloquial expression for snipebill; "the bolt connecting the body of a cart with the axle" (OED).

21 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 60.

22 Probably refers to bickern, bickhorn, or beak-iron; the tapered end of an anvil or an anvil with such a tapered end (OED).

23 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 105, 135, 150.

24 Ibid., p. 150.

25 Ibid., pp. 1, 21, 24, 44, 47, 109. See also Account Book and Day Book of Nathaniel Dominy V, 1798–1847 (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 5.

26 Because records indicated the presence of a whipsaw in the Dominy woodworking shop, the Museum was pleased to accept Eric Sloane's gift of a fine eighteenth-century example found in Connecticut.

27 See Wallace A. Bartlett, Digest of Trade-Marks (Registered in the United States) for Machines, Metals, Jewelry, and the Hardware and Allied Trades (Washington, D.C., 1893). See also "The Sabot Maker," Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc., XVII June, 1964), 21–22, 24.

28 An excellent comparison of the merits of the several French encyclopedias with notes about the compilers and plagiarists can be found in Arthur H. Cole and George B. Watts, The Handicrafts of France as Recorded in the Descriptions des arts et métiers 1767–1788, The Kress Library of Business and Economics, Publication No. 8 (Boston, 1952).

29 Goodman's book was published in London by G. Bell and Sons in 1964; Mercer's book in Doylestown, Pa. by the Bucks County Historical Society in 1951. In A History of Technology, ed. Charles Singer et al. (Oxford, 1954–1958), see articles by Cyril Aldred, "Fine Woodwork," I, 684–703, and "Furniture: To the End of the Roman Empire," II, 221–39; R. W. Symonds, "Furniture: Post Roman," II, 240–58; R. A. Salaman, "Tradesmen's Tools, c. 1500–1850," III, 110–23; and K. R. Gilbert, "Machine Tools," IV, 417–33.

30 The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things (New Haven, 1962), p. 116. Other useful ideas related to tools occur on pages 11, 14, and 77–80.

31 Eric Sloane, A Museum of Early American Tools (New York, 1964), pp. 7, 27, 41, 71, 77, 79.

32 Goodman, Figure 76, p. 76.

33 "Classification of Certain American Tools of Certain Trades" and "Exhibiting Early American Tools," Chronicle, XI (Oct., 1958), 54–56. Reprinted from Vol. I, Feb. and May, 1934.

34 This problem was not faced in the reconstruction of the tools owned and used by the Connecticut clockmaker, Daniel Burnap. All the surviving tools were known to have belonged to one man. See Penrose R. Hoopes, Shop Records of Daniel Burnap, Clockmaker (Hartford, 1958), 95–104.

35 H. R. Schubert, "Extraction and Production of Metals: Iron and Steel," in A History of Technology, ed. Charles Singer et al., IV, 107–8. For an illustration of the process of making cast steel, see Hummel, p. 31.

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