Some days we just can't get enough of saws. Not the plastic handled, stamped sheet metal things at the local Borg that won't cut paper more than once, I mean SAWS, the real deal, the kind that still cut after lo these many years. Just as the saying goes, "you can never have too many planes", it's even more so a truism that "you can never have too many saws". Witness the myriad companies that came into being over the centuries, each oft to be swallowed up by the early conglomerates, yet each producing under their own label. What does that tell you but that customer loyalty was and is a powerful force.
The latest addition to the Saw Catalog Collection (I just named it that, don't go looking for it at the website yet) is this early Monhagan Saw Works catalog of 1859. The proprietors: Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell, who begat Wheeler, Madden & Clemson, who in turn had the fortune, or misfortune, to be swallowed up by The National Saw Company. In time The National Saw Company owned just about every working saw shop with the exception of Disston, Atkins and Simonds. In their day, The National Saw Company became known as the Saw Barons of the industry (just kidding, I made that up... please don't quote me and create a new and spurious historical fact that is based on the writings of some author who needed to fill space).
What's more curious is that most, if not all of the saws produced under the Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell label had the stamp of Josiah Bakewell on the blade of panel saws or the spine of back saws. The tote medallions often did have W M & B initials. I wonder if this trio had a back stock of Bakewell saws blades that needed to be used up? Did they buy up Josiah's shop at bankruptcy? Did Josiah sell out to them and retire to the West Indies to brew rum? How many more historical inaccuracies can I add to this tale? Why did Josiah have the family name of Bakewell and not Sawswell? Personally I think that stamping Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell Co. on each and every saw blade and spine was too time consuming, not to mention it yielded an unwieldy bit of graphic design. Plus, stamp makers charged by the number of letters and/or size of the stamp.
I'll leave you to peruse the catalog over at the Toolemera Press Website.