France Smyth, documentalist at the Madawaska Historical Museum, is looking for more information about the makers of antique bits marked "Sheffield".
Flather bits 500x375France would like to know whether the bits are by Brown & Flather, or were they made by David Flather and Sons? Any information, in particular the date they were made, would be appreciated.
 
Thank you!
 

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#1 Geoff Emms 2017-09-01 09:22
This made me look through my centre bits for any marked Flather. The majority I found to be made by Mathieson, Wm. Marples, Rob't Sorby, J. Howarth and one marked Brown and Flather. According to Kenneth D. Roberts' book Some 19th Century English Woodworking Tools, the Flather time line is as follows: Brown & Flather 1828 - 1850. David Flather 1850 - 1854. David Flather & Sons 1854 - 1900.
My one example is marked "Brown & Flather. Cast Steel" and has no other information on it. As I understand it these centre bits date from the late 18th Century to quite modern times. An Australian hardware and machinery merchant, McPhersons has them listed in their 1966 catalogue. Irrelevant to your query, but worth a mention perhaps, here in Australia as well as British manufacturers, Centre bits made by Henry Boker of Germany are relatively common. I hope this is of some use to you France.
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