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Dominy Craftsmen Collection

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Hummel, Charles F. / "English Tools in America: The Evidence of the Dominys" from Winterthur Portfolio
(Winter 1965)

English firms producing tools used by the Dominy craftsmen,   pp. 37-46 PDF (2.3 MB)

Page 42

xillev Street," where it was still located in 1841. The file stamped 1K  KENY OX,
therefore, could have been made at any time between 1774 and 1841.
SQUARE: 1833-1849; brass, mahogany, steel; L. (handle) 5Vs", L. (blade) 104"
(63.156.5, Gift of CREsTLFA Vm \ DTION).
From 1833 to 1849, William 11arples, Jr., manufactured "joiners' tools, braces,
bits, and skates" on Broomhall Street in Sheffield. The semicircular stamp W.
MARPLES JUN appears on a square probably purchased by Felix Dominy shortly
after 1833. A William Marples, presumably the father of the craftsman active in the
1830's and 1840's, is listed in the Sheffield directories of 1821 and 1828 but not in the
Directory of 1833. The firm of William 11arples and Son was producing tools for
craftsmen as recently as 1928, when it published a tool catalogue (see page 21 of the
article, "The Sabot Maker," The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Associa-
tion, XVII [June, 1964]).
BRACE (OR BITSTOCK) : 1828-1841; beech, rosewood, brass; L. 14's", Diam. (of
cap) 27%" (57.26.19, Gift of H i:'<'c 13. it PONT).
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The addition of metal to the wooden parts of tools was an improvement of the late
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The brace used by the Dominys is an excel-
lent example of the new construction. Previously, woodworkers generally had the ex-
perience of seeing the wooden end of a brace, where the bit was forced into the stock,
split from repeated pressure and torque. The brass mount with a spring catch, which
secured a bit to the stock, eliminated this problem. Near the catch release of the Dominy
brace, A1oulson Brothers stamped the mark they used from 1828 to 1841. These
Sheffield "saw and joiners tool manufacturers" were located on Tudor Street in 1828,
but by 1833 they had moved to the "Union Works" in Division Street. In the latter
year, William White described the firm as "saw, edge, tool, joiners tool, brace, bit,
and skate mfrs. and merchants" in his History and General Directory of the Borough of

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