This excellent saw, described in Messrs. Spear &
Jackson's price list as No. 1887 - a number which, perhaps, it
will be well to quote in giving orders – is in every respect a
nice tool to look at and a capital tool to handle and work with.
An old professional to whom I showed it, one of
the best handreilers in the United Kingdom, fairly smiled with
pleasure as he took the specimen saw sent to me into his hands,
and examined it from handle to point with the utmost interest.
"Yes, that's something like a saw," he said, as
he handed it back to me with a lingering touch, and then asked
the price, us though he would have liked to have made it his
I could not tell him then, as I can tell my
readers now, that this particular saw of silver-steel, full
polished, with apple-wood handle, fitted with registered brass
heel supporting and protecting plate, raised brass screws, and
highly-finished blade, costs 120s. per dozen 26 in. long, and
130s. per dozen 28 in. long. And his approval was in no way
diminished when, taking the saw in both hands, I brought point
and handle together in pretty close proximity, and, letting go
the point, allowing the blade to spring back smartly and sharply
to its original position.
The appearance of the blade is very good, being
well-nigh as bright as silver: all the dirt, if I may so call
it, being taken out of the metal - probably, by the Bessemer
process and hammering combined. This saw, all well as all other
best saws manufactured by Messrs. Spear and Jackson, Etna Works,
Sheffield, is tempered and ground by patented machinery, and is
accurately tapered from the tooth to the back, and from the heel
to the point, the teeth remaining the same thickness throughout,
so that the saw, work clean and sweet, with the least possible
The reinforce plate of polished brass, attached
to the outer edge of the handle at A in the accompanying
illustration, and extending on both sides of the blade the
entire width of the handle, not only supports and stiffens the
heel of the blade, but protects and strengthens the handle at
its weakest place.
The handle, moreover, being carried well forward
on the blade, as shown by the illustration, the weight of the
saw is brought nearer the wrist of the operator, who has thus
greater control over it, and the feeling of weight at the point
The blade is also materially stiffened by this
arrangement, and may therefore be thinner than is usual in saws
of the ordinary pattern, and still, at the same time, as rigid.
I do not think that any workman, whether professional or
amateur, would regret becoming the possessor of one of these
It may appear to be somewhat expensive when the
price is contrasted with the cost of other saws of the same
Its form is similar to that of the handsaws made
by Henry Disston, an American manufacturer; more especially in
the curved line of the back, which will only be regretted by
those who are in the habit of using the back of the saw
sometimes as a straightedge.
Illustrated Magazine of Practice and Theory, Vol. 1, May 11,
1889, (London: Cassell & Co., Ltd.)
This announcement from London-based
magazine deserves a comment.
The saw presented here is described
as a skew-back saw. Obviously, this designe was taken from well
known Disston patented design from 06/23/1874 with patent
No.: 152,347. For whatever reason the author of the article did
not mention that. It is also not clear if Spear & Jackson took
advantage of patent expiration (after 13 years) or in any way
coordinate this saw release with Henry Disston & Sons Co.
The second issue in a "reinforce
plate of polished brass". This was also patented design that
came from a patent awarded on 07/03/1883 under No.
280,612 to William H. Hankin, Jr. and Cornelius Tinney.
The patent document
doesn't show any exclusive assignment of this patent to Harvey
W. Peace & Co., however, saws with this reinforcing plate are
known to be produced in US only by Harvey W. Peace & Co. There
are also unconfirmed reports that James T. Pratt & Co., New
York, NY - a Fine Mechanics' Tools dealer used this plate on
It is possible that
William H. Hankin, Jr. and Cornelius Tinney retained ownership
of the patent and sold rights of use to several companies,
including Harvey W. Peace & Co., James T. Pratt & Co., New
York, NY, and Spear & Jackson, Sheffield, GB.
These issues require further