Author Topic: L.H. Watts, New York  (Read 5168 times)

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Offline Branson

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L.H. Watts, New York
« on: July 12, 2011, 07:14:43 PM »
I'm looking for information about L.H. Watts, a maker of edged tools in New York.   I tried a general search on the web,
and only came up with a gouge by this maker on eBay -- Buy It Now for $150.  'Course, the one on eBay is a half
inch wider than mine. 

I'd like to find out  more about this maker.

Offline Lewill2

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Re: L.H. Watts, New York
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 07:34:46 PM »
From EAIA Directory of American Toolmakers. "Watts, Lewis H. Adzes, Axes, Chisels and wood planes Some marks are L. H. Watts 85 Av D New York, L. H. Watts 85 AV D N. York and also without the street address. 1843 - 1885, Watts was an edge tool maker and a tool dealer. He probably didn't make the planes he marked. He was part of Watts and Sheffield before working alone; although one source shows that partnership continuing until 1852 or beyond. 1843 and 1850 directories list Watts alone."

Offline Lewill2

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Re: L.H. Watts, New York
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 07:39:54 PM »
American Wooden Planes IV states L. H. Watts was and edge tool maker and became a tool dealer in the 1860's. Reported imprint on a boxed bead plane 'From L. H. Watts/ 85 AVE D/ N. Y.   H. H. Watt imprinted planes are also found with the same AVE D/ N. Y. address.

Offline rusty

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Re: L.H. Watts, New York
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 08:22:38 PM »

For a different perspective, "History of New York Shipyards mentions them:

The first manufacturer of edge tools in New York City, with ship carpenters' tools as a specialty, was John Conger. He opened a small blacksmith shop in 1814 in Suffolk street, but in 1818 he branched out in making edge tools while located in Grand street.' This was the period when prosperity was abroad in the country. He continued in the business at different places until 1845, when he closed up while located at 33 Attorney street. He was the pioneer edge tool manufacturer of New York City, i

William Horton, who had served his apprenticeship with John Conger, opened a shop in Fifth street near Lewis in 1837, and removed to Lewis street near Fifth street in 1840; was succeeded by Horton & Arnold in 1853, who remained on the old site until 1868: Samuel B. Arnold had been an employee of William Horton.

About 1841 Lewis Watts and James M. Sheffield, who had also been in the employ of William Horton, started in the same line of business in Avenue D, and these two manufacturers had the monopoly of their line of business- in New York City until about 1852, when W. S. Hawkins, who had a large blacksmith shop in Third street, near the shipyards, commenced the manufacture of edge tools in the same locality as the other manufacturers.
This was during the period when all trades allied to shipbuilding were driven to the top notch. These manufacturers all went out of business after the close of the War of the Rebellion, on account of the shipyards being unemployed, f

Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline Branson

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Re: L.H. Watts, New York
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 07:08:03 AM »
Thank you all for all this information!    Wonderful stuff.  Guess I'll have to treat this old gouge with more respect.  I ran across it yesterday in a bunch of chisels I had in storage.  I don't even remember when or where I bought it.   

Offline scottg

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Re: L.H. Watts, New York
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 12:28:52 PM »
Wow it makes me happy to hear the DAT being quoted as if it were just ordinary standard reliable reference!
  My friend Bob Nelson helped start the Dat and was deep into it and saw it through right up to the end of his life.
 I sure miss him. 

  But lookie here Bob!  The beat goes on.
Love ya Buddy.
   yours Scott