Taths logoTools and Trades History Society

  • Workshop 4863393 1920 V2
  • Transvaal
  • Colin Sullivan Chest 3
  • Tools Hall 1 Hand Tools

Welcome to the TATHS Website


Interested in tools? This site is for you. Established in 1983 as a Charity, our aim is to advance the education of the general public in the history and development of hand tools and their use and of the people and trades that use them. But what does that actually mean?

This site is not just for collectors, or historians, but also the curious, with members worldwide. This covers any activity or craft where tools are used - book binding, leather work, sail making, boat building, cabinet making, printing, animal husbandry, metal working, wheelwrights, cider making, glove making, the list is endless, and how these implements have evolved over centuries.

This site is for researchers into social history but it is also for the young to explore something they picked up at the local car boot sale, or found in a skip, to encourage an interest and perhaps a craft.

This site is also for craftsmen and women to learn how different tools were used and to what effect, and for discussion, for mutual learning and exchange of information. There are social events and volunteering opportunities with like-minded and interested people and expert advice.

Explore further! If this is your first visit, the New Visitors page explains more about our activities. 

Joining TATHS makes sense, whatever your level of interest. You will be able find like minded enthusiasts and share your interests with them at local or national events and through our publications.

Ted Cole RIP

We bring the the sad news that Ted Cole passed away earlier this week. Ted had been suffering from cancer of the mouth for some time and spent periods in hospital. As the end approached he went home where he was taken care of by his circle of supporters.

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OAK FAIR 27th-28th August 2022

This year's Oak Fair at Stockton Gaylard in Dorset is coming up fast. Nick White needs volunteers to man the TATHS stall. See his message HERE

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Historic French Nails & Fixings


The latest TATHS publication, which is being issued free to all members, is now available for purchase in our shop section. This is the second and updated edition of a work by Dr Chris How on the history and development of nails and fixings across Europe from early times to the 1800s. The book has 187 well illustrated pages and covers iron working, slitting, nail making and screw cutting with details of machinery and methods used and the different types of nails and fixings produced.  An excellent guide to assist in dating nails and screws as well as a fascinating account of the Tools and Techniques used.

Historis French nails

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Newsletter 151 Spring 2022



Our latest Newsletter is now available online here and under the Newsletter section of the Resources  menu.

This edition is crammed with interesting articles, including an update on the background to the Warrington Chest; Margin Lights; Norfolk Glaziers' signatures; butchery saws; Norfolk clothing manufacturers; and drawing instruments. There is also a guest article by Mark Whitley on the Countryman magazine, which members will have received with their printed copy. 

Something for everyone!         

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 If you would like to make a donation to TATHS click on the donate button   DONATE   Thank you.