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February 2010

On Sale Now (Finally!) Moxon, Thorold, Baird, Bryant

Yes, after much fuss 'n bother, the Shop is finally up and running. A few last minute problems with the UPS connection presented a problem or two. I opted to scratch that for now and added a simple Shipping & Handling calculation, based on destination and weight (of the books, not mine).

All of which works out to:

Mechanick Exercises: Or The Doctrine Of Handy-Works, by Joseph Moxon: 1703: List price, $22.95 - OUR PRICE, $18.95

Our Workshop, by Temple Thorold: 1866: List price, $17.95, OUR PRICE: $14.95

The Painter, Gilder, and Varnishers' Companion, by Henry Carey Baird: 1850: List price, $17.95, OUR PRICE: $14.95

Working Drawings of Colonial Furniture, by Frederick Bryant: 1922: List price, $14.95, OUR PRICE: $12.95

From Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and all those other places, the prices will be list or whatever they choose (they being the large gorillas, or in the case of Barnes & Nobles, a large chimpanzee?). I can offer a discount as I am the boss. Wholesale and bulk retail orders happily accepted at substantial discounts.

Feel free to look around, comment, actually buy something or whatever you will.

Till next, Gary

PS: Someone asked who the printer is? Lightning Source, the printer arm of Ingram Books who are the largest book company in the U.S. There are good odds that a book you are reading was printed by Lightning Source but you didn't know it. They're the company that most of the POD middlemen use, as well as LuLu, Createspace and a host of others. They simply don't tell you that they are middlemen, adding a charge to the production costs to cover their services. And that's a good part of the reason I can offer titles at very reasonable prices. It's Me > Lightning Source > You.

Comparing Nicholson to Nicholson to Nicholson

Taking a break from the Olympics (really just watching ice skating as well as Apolo Ohno), I sat myself down to compare the 1832, 1849 and 1850 editions.

For the record, Mechanic's Companion was first published in 1831. Prior to that, a book entitled Mechanical Exercises was published by Nicholson in 1812. Much as I would love to get my greedy palms on a copy of that one, the price for the one copy offered for sale is beyond my current means. I've contacted two libraries that hold copies of the 1812 but am still waiting for a response. Even contacted the book dealer who has a copy for sale, simply asking for some information on the book but again, no response yet.

The 1850 edition has the addendum on steam engines, authored by 'we don't know'. Other than that difference, what else, if anything, sets them apart? Precious little, to my surprise.


  1. Plate 12 is the lead in plate opposite the title page
  2. Cover is simple leather over boards (the spine is long gone)
  3. Published by James Locken, Philadelphia


  1. The contents is a duplicate of the 1832 edition, although a little less distinct in the illustrative plate details
  2. Unfortunately, this one was rebound by a library so I cannot speak to the nature of the original binding.
  3. Published by John Locken, Philadelphia (families keep the good stuff to themselves)


  1. 27 extra pages on the Steam Engine, along with one extra page of Table of Contents and one plate featuring Watts' Double Acting Steam Engine. Otherwise, it's a duplicate of the 1832.
  2. Interestingly enough, the Watts plate replaces plate 12 as the title plate. Plate 12, the ever popular workbench and woodworking tools plate, is where it should be, opposite page 125.
  3. Blue blind embossed cloth cover with ornate gilt lettering and images on the spine (one of a steam ship and one of assorted tools)
  4. Published by F. Bell, Philadelphia
  5. Different Title page

Continue reading "Comparing Nicholson to Nicholson to Nicholson" »

4 New Reprint Titles - PDF Samples

A few people asked if there are pdf samples of the upcoming reprints.  I can't update the websites yet as I am (still) waiting on word that the titles are ready to go on sale. Rather than re-direct to another post or page, here are the PDF samples for each title:

Mechanic Exercises by Joseph Moxon; 1703

Download Mechanicexercisessample

Our Workshop by Temple Thorold; 1866

Download Ourworkshopsample

The Painter, Gilder, And Varnisher by H. C. Baird; 1850

Download Paintergildervarnishersample

Working Drawings of Colonial Furniture by Frederick Bryant; The Manual Arts Press; 1922

Download Workingdrawingsbyrantsample

Till next, Gary

1855 Valuation of Tools

I like this one so much I'm not waiting to post it on the website. In any event, the website is getting itself ready for a spring cleaning as well as the official opening of the Shop. Which is to say, I can't update anything on either the Toolemera Press or the Toolemera Shop site until I hear from the printer that the last three books are ready to go on sale. Next Monday is the projected day for that event. Champagne and beer will be served along with nacho chips, salsa and guacamole.

Forgatevaluation1855 Back to what I can't wait on. This is a supremely neat legal document from 1855 concerning the assignment of property, to wit, tools and related equipment, in settlement for a fire that must have been someone's fault. The tools are listed, sometimes individually and sometimes in groups, complete with the assessed value for that year.

What more can you ask from a hunk of ephemera? Dates, names, values, wax stamps and embossed paper (Super Fine no less).

Thanks to some new Typepad features, you can download the PDF from this blog, Download Valueletter1856.1. In time, I'll transcribe the entire thing and place it permanently on the website. Unless some impatient reader out there is itching to know exactly what is written here and does the transcription before I get to it.

In the meantime, I'm drooling over the proof of Moxon. It's all that I could ask for in a facsimile book. I guess keeping my fingers crossed worked after all. Other than a minor change to the cover text, Moxon as well as the other three books will be ready next week. Did I say that already?

Till next, Gary

PS: The EAIA now accepts membership (New, Student and Renewal) through Paypal on the website itself. Personally, I think this is a fabulous idea. Of course, Toby had to remind me that I could renew from the website... Duh.

Mechanic's Companion x3

Yes, I have a book problem. Some people have tool problems. Well, I have that too, to be honest. While I do not feel the need to buy one of every Stanley #5 made, arranged on my shelf by type, I do have a tendency to do this with books.

Finding it's way to my shelves yesterday was a copy of Peter Nicholson's Mechanic's Companion. I already have two editions, 1832 and 1849. The new one is 1850. I may have to go into a collectors rehab center soon.

Why buy another one? The 1850 is markedly different from the 1849. It includes a chapter on steam engines, not to mention a nicely done blind embossed cover. Plus it is very very very clean inside. Although this was printed during the period when acidic papers came into vogue, this edition was printed on some very nice quality rag paper. Hence, no browning. Hardly any foxing and no engraved imaging staining of opposing pages.

I'll bite the bullet and make myself sit down and compare the three editions. My interest extends to what other differences, if any, occur in each one. How accurate are the engravings from edition to edition and are there any text corrections or omissions? Sort of like trying to develop a type study of a Stanley tool.

All of which begs the question of which edition to reprint? An answer to that one will have to wait until I review and compare all three.

My name is Gary and I have a problem.

Till next, Gary