Millers Falls Publications — 1872-1899

1872

Millers Falls Company 1872 catalog

Title from cover. Item not seen. A combined catalog of the Millers Falls Mfg. Company and the Backus Vise Company. When read from one end, it features Millers Falls tools, from the other, those of Backus vise. The image at left is a black & white copy of the cover on the Millers Falls side of the catalog. A description and several images from the catalog can be located in Elton W. Hall's article “The Development of the Illustrated Tool Catalog.” Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association. v. 61, no. 1 (March 2008), p. 1-15.


1874

Millers Falls Company 1874 catalog

Title from cover. Printed by Tower, Gildersleeve & Co., New York. Date is an estimate. (The Millers Falls New York office address is 78 Beekman St. and fret saws—added to the line during 1874—have yet to appear in the catalog. Includes braces, vises, a breast drill, Stevens' patent hand vise, Wood's patent hollow adjustable auger, the Langdon miter box and Stratton Brothers levels. Scan of extremely worn, low-contrast cover courtesy of Edward Clarke.


1877

Millers Falls Company 1877 Lester saw pamphlet

Folded accordion style to create a pamphlet and shipped with the very earliest of the Lester saws. One side includes instructions for setup and for using the scroll saw and the lathe. The other side includes illustrations of the device as set up for scroll sawing and for circular saw and lathe work. One panel includes the specifications for the saw with regard to measurements and weight. The deluxe version of the saw sold for ten dollars and weighed thirty-two pounds—considerably less than the fifty pounds of its later incarnation.


1878

Millers Falls Company 1878 catalog, reprint

Reprint. Title from cover. Catalog includes braces, vises, hand and breast drills, Stevens' patent hand vise, Wood's patent hollow adjustable auger, Langdon miter boxes, Alexander adjustable jointer gauge, Stratton's levels, Johnson's automatic push drill, the Lester scroll saw and more.


Millers Falls Company 1879 saw pamphlet

Unfolds to form a four-page booklet of 24 x 28 cm. Features the Lester Saw and the short-lived Rogers Saw and includes a handful of the smaller tools sold by the company. The cover lists the address for the short-lived Boston office, this pamphlet was distributed between the printing of the 1878 catalog and introduction of New Rogers Saw in 1879. The back page advertises the availability of a wide variety of scroll saw patterns available from the company—including patterns by the Morton Company and I. B. Farrington.


Millers Falls Company 1878 Manual of fret sawing

Title from cover. Date from testimonial letters published on last page. A small pamphlet with basic instructions for sawing intricate patterns with a hand-held bracket saw. Contains an advertisement for the foot-powered Lester scroll saw. This pamphlet was included in inexpensive kits equipped with a saw, blades, an awl and paper patterns. Deluxe kits included additional tools and were packed in wooden boxes rather than pasteboard. Published by the Millers Falls Co., the pamphlet's copyright was held by Perry Mason & Company of Boston, the publishers of the popular magazine the Youth's companion.


1879

Millers Falls Company 1879 saw pamphlet

Folded accordion style to create a document with two covers—one side contains an illustration and information for the Lester Improved Saw; the other side does the same for the New Rogers Saw. Published between the time of the introduction of New Rogers Saw in 1879 and the demise of the Boston office in about 1880. Royal C. Graves, the manager of the Boston office, wrote to the office at the Millers Falls plant about having some scroll saw circulars printed during the summer of 1879. This publication may have been one of them. The illustration is scanned from a photocopy sent by Roger K. Smith.


1881

Millers Falls company 1881 catalog

Title from cover. The example seen here has had some water damage. The cover was virtually identical to the 1884 catalog save that it was a very dark brown rather than the red-brown of the 1884 publication. This is the catalog that introduced Wallace Lyon's patented brace drill to the public. It is also the catalog carrying an announcement that the firm would no longer be supplying customers with the original Barber Brace since it considered the Barber Improved Brace to be a superior tool. The move proved premature, for within a short time, the firm was once again offering Barber Braces.


Langdon MitreBox Company 1881 price list

Contents include directions for use, illustrations, part and price list, freight charges, etc. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also features the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


1884

Millers Falls Company 1885 catalog, photocopy

Title from cover. Printed by McBride & Fry, New York. The only catalog located to date that illustrates the company's "walking beam" scroll saw, a treadle tool featuring "a solid iron frame, rather than wooden arms, as the saw runs in guides." The illustration block used to produce the illustration of the Rogers miter planer on page 53 must have presented a puzzle for the printer. Tool is depicted upside down. Includes such unexpected items as Goddard's patented meat and vegetable chopper and Kohn's trace holder, a pin designed to be driven into a whiffletree.


Langdon Mitre Box Company 1884 price list, photocopy

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. The booklet was originally shipped with a miter box, in an envelope marked “Preserve This.” One of the inserts, on light-weight card stock, is a parts list. The other is a bi-fold sheet with directions for the use of the miter box. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers. The illustration seen here is a scanned photocopy.


Millers Falls Company ox shoe pamphlet

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. After the Greenfield Tool Company folded, the Millers Falls Company acquired the rights the Colburn and Parker patents for the dies used in forging ox shoes and it marketed its output as the Greenfield Forged Ox Shoe. The Parker patent had originally been awarded to Bowdoin S. Parker, the nephew of the company's treasurer, Levi J. Gunn. This brochure was apparently directed to the blacksmith trade. In addition to the ox-shoes, it features heavy-duty metallic vises and the sort of jack screws handy for making wagon repairs.


1885

Millers Falls Company 1885 catalog, photocopy

Title from cover. Printed by R. McBride, New York. Issued during a period when the company derived a significant part of its income from the sale of tools for the home hobbyist. In addition to the tools seen in the catalog, the customer could send away for lists of over 850 patterns for scroll saw projects. A photocopy of cover is shown here. The original cover is a low contrast combination of gold on green. Issue examined has an 1885 trade discount sheet inserted.


1886

Millers Falls Company 1886 catalog cover, copy

Title from cover. Printed by D. H. Gildersleeve, New York. This edition of the catalog was produced with a reduced page count. Notable omissions include several versions of the Langdon Miter box; a number of the hand held saws, several vises, and the Rogers miter planer. All of these tools were in production at the time of publication.


Russell's scroll saw designs, catalog

Title from cover. A tabloid containing illustrations of scroll saw patterns that could be ordered from the company. Includes designs for corner shelves, clock cases, picture frames, towel racks. etc. Published on newsprint.


1887

Millers Falls Company 1887 catalog, reprint

Reprint. Title from cover. The original was printed by David H. Gildersleeve, New York. In addition to reproducing the content of the original, eight pages of supplementary material have been added. Among the inclusions are a one page company history, a corporate genealogy, a photograph of the factory in 1891, a reproduction of two pages in the 1886 catalog not appearing in the 1887 catalog and reproductions of the 1886 catalog covers. A copy of the title page of the 1910 catalog is included.


Millers Falls Company 1887 catalog, reprint

Reprint. Title from cover. The original was printed by David H. Gildersleeve, New York. This item is actually a reprint of the reprint published by Kenneth Roberts in 1981. Some of the supplementary material found in the first reprint has been cut. Among the omissions are the 1891 photograph of the factory, reproductions of the 1886 catalog covers and the title page from the 1910 catalog.


Bowman's scroll saw designs, catalog

Title from cover. A tabloid containing illustrations of scroll saw patterns that could be ordered from the company. Includes a number of Eastlake designs copyrighted by Adams & Bishop in 1880. The back part of the list includes Bowman's new designs for 1887. Intended for a hobbyist audience, many of the patterns are elaborate beyond belief. Published on newsprint.


Langdon Mitre Box Company, 1887 price list

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. One of the inserts, on light-weight card stock, is a parts list. The other is a bi-fold sheet with directions for the use of the miter box. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


1890

Millers Falls Company catalog 23

Title from cover. Printed by Robert Mcbride, Frankfort, New York. Bound in a faux leather cover, this is the only Millers Falls catalog to picture and list the company's short-lived line of wooden levels. For most of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Millers Falls Company listed levels manufactured by Stratton Brothers.


Wild's scroll saw designs, catalog

Title from cover. A tabloid containing illustrations of scroll saw patterns that could be ordered from the company. Undated, but published when the company was at Reade Street. The date here is an estimate. One of the more unusual patterns that could be ordered from the catalog is for a 26-inch long clock patterned after a steam locomotive. Published on newsprint.


Langdon Mitre Box Company, 1890 price list

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. Includes two inserts. One of the inserts, on light-weight card stock, is a parts list. The other is a bi-fold sheet with directions for the use of the miter box. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


1892

Millers Falls Company Catalog No. 23

The image of the cover seen here is courtesy of the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield, Massachusetts. It is atypical of a nineteenth century catalog in that it is hardbound. The bit braces, hand drills and breast drills depicted in this issue often bear little resemblance to the actual products. The situation improved with the next catalog as this was the last issue to include illustrations of the firm's bit braces printed from blocks that were cut in the early 1870s.


Langdon Mitre Box Company, 1892 price list

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. The booklet was originally shipped with a miter box, in an envelope marked “Preserve This.” One of the inserts, on light-weight card stock, is a parts list. The other is a bi-fold sheet with directions for the use of the miter box. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


Langdon Mitre Box Company, 1893 price list1893

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


1894

Millers Falls Company Catalog No. 24

The introduction to the catalog makes much of "Star” brand saws and saw blades. This is the last catalog to depict the No. 2 hand drill without a side handle and the last to depict the No. 5 hand drill with a type one frame. It is the first to list the four-faced No. 2 spokeshave.


Millers Falls Company Catalog No. 24, reprint

Reprint. Published by the Special Publications Committee of the M-WTCA, this nicely done reprint features a black and gold cover rather than the dark green and gold of the original. Information inside the back cover indicates that the Committee considers the original to have been published about 1894.


1897

Millers Falls Company catalogue No. 25

The introduction to the catalog makes much of "Star” brand saws and saw blades. The company served as the sole sales agent for the Star brand blades, a relationship which lasted for decades. The introduction also stresses improvements to the Millers Falls Company's hand and breast drills (three-jaw chucks for the eggbeaters, new alligator jaws for the breast drills). The cover the original was extremely worn and low contrast.


1898

Langdon Mitre Box Company, 1898 price list

Folds in four parts to form a small booklet. Includes descriptions and illustrations for the Langdon, the New Langdon, the Langdon Improved and the New Langdon Improved miter boxes. Also included are the Rogers miter planer and the Alexander jointer gauge. The Langdon Mitre Box Company was affiliated with Millers Falls via the interlocking directorships of George E. Rogers.


Wild's latest scroll saw designs, catalog

Title from cover. A tabloid containing illustrations of scroll saw patterns that could be ordered from the company. Includes hundreds of fanciful and elaborate patterns ranging from picture frames, to samplers, to bookshelves, jewelry boxes and clock cases copyrighted by William Wild.


1899

Among the tool introduced in this catalog are the Nos. 222, 223, 322 and 323 bit braces. The No. 16 ratcheting breast drill makes its appearance, as does the foot-powered Star scroll saw. The No. 41 double spiral screwdriver, the company's most sophisticated screwdriver to date, appears for the first time.