Commentary from Period Tool Catalogs

I enjoy reading tool catalogs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They provide insight into how these tools were marketed to the people who bought them and used them at the time. Aside from the information they convey, they can also be damned entertaining at times. I especially appreciate the acerbic wit of the Chas. Strelinger catalogs. Strelinger was a Detriot, MI tool merchant which offered a full line of tools of all sorts. Their 1897 catalog is full of little essays like this one, which describes the benefit of buying dedicated molding planes to tackle tasks that are repeated frequently rather than try to make do with a combination plane like a Stanley 45.

Gotta love it.

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