19th Century Saw Manufacturer Catalogs
A selection of trade publications related to sash sawmill blades and mill equipment from 19th century manufacturers and sellers. Many of these publications are available for viewing online. Others are reprints that can be found for purchase or at academic or historical research libraries. We are interested in expanding this section - please contact us at email@example.com if you have catalogs with information on sash sawmills to add to this list.
Henry Disston and Sons’ 1876 Price List.
From the well-known 19th (and 20th) century saw manufacturer. Includes plates and prices of muley, and pit saws (pp. 27-28). Also shows a plate of a “double-cut” mill saw – that is half the teeth are up and half down (p. 29). Would be interesting to know if this type of blade was used widely (or at all), or if there are any surviving blades of this type.
Permission to use images granted by Roger K. Smith
Joshua Oldham Catalogue and Price List. New York. 1887
Page 34 has the interesting notation that saws can be custom ordered regarding style of tooth, tooth spacing, and tooth depth. It is not clear if this was standard practice among manufacturers, but it is not specified in the majority of catalogs we have seen.Images used with permission of the Early American Industries Association and courtesy of Mystic Seaport.
National Saw Company 1895
Plates and prices for muley and mill saws (p. 16) and gang saws (p. 17). Also has prices for repairing “long saws”: hammering, gumming, sharpening, and setting (p. 11).
Reprinted in 2006 by the Mid-West Tool Collector’s Association. Images used with permission of Mid-West Tool Collector's Association.
See pages 11-15 for plates of “Saw Mill Irons” – cranks, stirrups, dogs, pitman, rag wheel teeth, etc. These were the iron items used in virtually all sash sawmills in the mid-1800s. Many of the items (such as log dogs) could be made by a local blacksmith, but all of the iron items needed for a sash sawmill were available from large manufacturers by 1855.
[The same images of sawmill irons also appear in another catalog with the notation that they are from Vail:
Images used with permission from the Hagley Museum and Library.
Has text on pages 9-10 on Sharpening and Setting Mill Saws with Plates III, IV, and V showing different shapes of mill saw teeth. The text and figures are the same as found in various other saw-related publications from 1855-1883 and sometimes specifically attributed to R. Hoe & Co. No attribution of these recommended tooth shapes in the Wheeler catalog. (See also comments on our page of 19th Century References on Sawmills. Look specifically at the discussion of Scientific American, 1857, Sept 19, vol 13(2), 16.)
Part of the discussion on pages 9-10 is the use of a "crotch-punch" (usually called a swage) to set the teeth showing two examples in Plates VI and VII. The crotch punches don't seem to be available in the catalog, so perhaps the sawyer was expected to make their own or obtain one locally from a blacksmith.
Has prices for mill and muley saws on page 23 including additional prices for sharpening and setting. It is not clear if a saw could be purchased with the recommended tooth shapes and swage-setting discussed on pages 9-10.
Images used with permission of Gary Roberts, Toolemera Press
Wheeler Madden & Bakewell’s Price List. Monhagen Saw Works. 1860.
Same text and plates related to sash saws as the 1859 price list. Additionally, plates of mill and muley blades with the price list on page 20.
Reprinted in 1976 by Early American Industries Association.
Images used with permission of the Early American Industries Association and courtesy of Mystic Seaport.