The Society of Genealogists h as started to produce its journal in digital format and is making it available to TATHS members for free.  

You can find the latest editions here

March 2020

June 2020

Copyright Society of Genealogists . For personal use only. This digital copy of  the Gnealogist's Magazine is provided on the basis that the information is made available only to members of TATHS. Permission is not granted for further distribution, in digital or printed format. Copyright of the entire journal, layout and content remains with the Society of Genealogists 



Exchange Journals

A commentary by Brian Read on the content of the various items received both on an exchange basis and as deposits from various sources. If you are interested in anything contact him. They are available in return for the cost of postage and packing (typically 50p to £1.50). Whether or not you can keep them permanently depends on if anyone else wants them and whether they are suitable for the TATHS library.

Tool Groups

Hand Tool Preservation Association
of Australia


Firstly two articles which have particular memories for me. The first, Some Mensuration Tools, looks at the history and use of the various types of Planimeters while Some Slide Rule History does the same for slide rules. I used both extensively in the first 25 years of my working life. I can’t help reprinting the following picture from the end of the second article.

Finally there are two further articles which are of less personal interest.

1) Design features of Stanley Hand Drills
2) The Joseph Bramah Challenge Lock - The story of the Hobbs’ Opening

Spanner & Wrench Collector No 27

Several communications from Ron Geesin both asking for and supplying information; Part 2 of Austin Seven Tools; short bit on Leytool Ratcheting Spanners from the Leytonstone Jig & Tool Co. of Leyton, London EC10.

The Traditional Tool Group of Australia

TTTG News :#

Hand Tool Preservation Association
of Western Australia

Vol 16 #1
Brace for Tough Research A detailed examination of minor variations on braces produced by the Australian firm of Tough Ltd . This information comes from Geoff Emms and was sent to Bob Wallis who was just about to complete his thesis on the history of the firm.
Vol 16 #2
Short item on The Stanley 113 Circular Plane.
Vol 16 #3
An item on the 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalogue. This catalogue is available on line and is apparently a worthwhile read with not merely contemporary adverts but also users comments and letters; Het Varken (pre 1740) is a short comment on a Dutch plane, the name of which translates as “The Pig”. It was a two man tool and apparently had a poor reputation with trade users, which may account for its name.

New Zealand Vintage Tool Collectors Club
The Collector : #114

Quite an interesting selection of articles.

1) Two on two very different Preston tools - a Preston #18 Fore or Jointer plane and Preston Corkscrews.
2) Secondly there is a bit about a Norfolk bench plane recently acquired by Neil Searle. This was reviewed in “Amateur Work” in 1885 alongside a Wingfield & Rowbotham plane ( mis-attributed as by Melhuish & Son, who had submitted it ). Both were dismissed as “examples of these novelty metal planes which would not last the test of time”.
3) Cordwainer is a fourpage article which looks at the statue in Watling Street, London and at the story behind the name, which applies to the area of London as well as the trade.
4) On the level looks at Spirit Levels in a members collection
5) Finally The Story of 7043 Barnes Scroll Saw deals with the restoration of a WF & J Barnes No.2 Velocipede Scroll saw which was treadle operated. Pictures are attached

Early American Industries Association

Chronicle, Vol 69 #4

This issue gets away from the standard “old woodworking tools” which at times seems to be the norm. Four articles, covering 37 pages, are as follows“A light, limp basket for carrying...” Five centuries of Construction, Presence and Use looks at the history of the humble tote basket. The Harrisburg Nail Factory, West Fairview. Pennsylvania is exactly what it says on the tin; The Hoe, a mini-study Part 2 deals with Early European Hoes while Witchers is a study of shoe lasting pliers. Even the perennial Stanley Tools is entitled Stanley Long Tapes -Part 1 The early “White Tape” Plane enthusiasts will have to be content with. Plane Chatter which looks at planes made by G Jamain of New York.

Finally there is a little item, based on an illustration in PUNCH Magazine from 1906 which is almost a comment on current life.

In the early twentieth century, the editors of Punch magazine compiled a series of forecasts of the future. This example ("IV.—Development of Wireless Telegraphy. Scene in Hyde Park.") was among the "Forecasts for 1907." The gentleman and lady are reading messages (text messages perhaps?) that are rolling out like ticker-tapes from the boxes on their laps.
The caption for the illustration deals not with the workings of this new technology (particularly its sartorial affect) but rather seems to lament the affect on society of this method of communicating. It reads "These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady receives an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results."
This illustration was found on the website the Public Domain Review (www.publicdomainreview. orgy. The site includes thousands of interesting and sometimes bizarre illustrations—all in the public domain.

Patty MacLeish

Tool Group of Canada

Yesterdays Tools Vol 34 #1

Antique Lighting looks at candles, how they were made, stored and used and goes on into the advantages of early oil lamps while More lighting History continues this into Charles Dicken’s Pickwick and Benjamin Franklin’s multi-wick lamps

Ambacht & Gereedschap (Dutch Tools Group)
NieuwsbriefApril 2017
I can’t read Dutch so I always have to rely on pictures and a very poor Dutch/ English dictionary. This issue had some very interesting illustrations of a Framesaw fitted with a blade that has both vertical and horizontal sections and thus can apparently cut either way without adjusting the blade. The title of the article is De Vondst van een “Zinkensäge” and the pictures are shown below. I have never seen such a blade - has anyone else? ( I tried to get a translation of the original text using a free internet translation service but it simply changed the original Dutch to double-Dutch)

Commercial Magazines

Good Woodworking
#315 :

News from the Bench looks at the Trend extreme double sided pocket stone (1000 grit and 180 grit diamond), the Star -M combination auger bit set and the Robert Sorby Hardwood Scraper's name change to Negative Rake Scraper. Kit & Tools includes Game Changing Chisels – a critique of Axminster’s Rider Chisel range.
#316 :
Kit & Tools includes the Collins Spring Mitre Clamps & Pliers starter set. All the rest is power tools and projects - nothing on hand tools
#317 :
Kit & Tools looks at the Expo pen knife and cutting mat kit. Tool Talk looks at the recent Totally DIY & Tools exhibition. Items mentioned includes
1)The Trigjig, a digital, hand held, device that measures internal and external angles and coving and also acts as a guide for hand sawing. Not certain if this counts as a “hand-tool”.
2) the new Boa Tri-level which is a spirit level with a inverted V base , thus allowing it to be used to check on scaffolding , reducing the risk of it being accidentally dropped.
3) The Finnish Leveraxe which relies on leverage force of its unique curved blade rather than wedging force to split timber
4) Lyte’s Louisville glass fibre stepladder which has cutouts in the top allowing it to be used against internal or external corners.
#318 :
This issue is very “power tools” and “how to make it” orientated but there is one article, under Kit & Tools, on the Asahi Free-Way Coping Saw which has a spiral blade and thus makes it much easier to cut convoluted shapes. A standard blade can be fitted, but cannot be twisted out of the straight “up & down” position. There is also an article on refurbishing an old Black & Decker Workmate

Furniture & Cabinet making

#255 :
A very good issue for tool buffs. It contains a five page profile of Konrad Sauer (master planemaker of Sauer & Steiner) ; An in depth review Straight Shooter- the Evenfall Studios shooting board ; Masons and Housework looks at the Mason's Mitre, a 15th century technique that revolutionised furniture making; The Pencil Gauge looks at making your own making gauge, to suit your personal requirements ; Little Gems examines the smallest of the Lie-Nielsen family of planes; a two page commentary on Veritas mortise chisels. Kit & Tools has short comments on Hultafors’ Scandinavian butt chisels and Veritas wooden bench plane hardware kits
#256 :
There is a detailed review of The Lie-Neilsen Honing guide ; Tight Mouths looks at plane mouths and asks whether mouth tightness is really as critical as is sometimes suggested ; The cabinet makers’ flexible friend deals with sharpening the humble scraper, including making a box to store them once you have done it; Perfect Countersinks looks at combination drills and countersinks and how to tweak them; Kit & Tools includes the Veritas quick release Wonder Dog for holding awkward shaped items such as carvings easily and safely and also Infinity Cutting Tools’ Precision Setup blocks
#257 :
The incomparable master of precision is a profile of square maker Chris Vesper; A tale of two ploughs compares the Veritas small plough and the Quangsheng 043; Stack Marking - part 2 looks at the use of precision blocks to make table sawing and accurate routing and drilling easier to set up. Kit & Tools includes a mini-test of Knew Concepts Lever Tension Saw, a comment on the Veritas Wile plane hammer. Finally there is a four page article, supposed to be the start of a new series, called VINTAGE TOOLS - gathering ideas for a collection. What sort of weirdos do that?
The Last Apprentice is an interview with Jim Broughton of Alexander George Antiques who was one of the last traditional apprentices in the craft of Cabinet Making; An afternoon with Dave Jeske is an interview with the man behind Blue Spruce Toolworks in America - lots of details about how he makes his tools; Edward Preston is an article on Preston Tools, complete with details of the founders genealogy; Kit & Tools includes a mini-test on the Pfeil straight gouge