Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Friday, January 31, 2020

History of E. Tressing & Co.

A History of the Norwegians of Illinois, A. E. Strand, 1905, pg. 505
E. Tressing & Co. was a Chicago, IL,  manufacturer and dealer in locks and hardware specialties, including cement tools. The company was located at 179-181 Lake St. in 1904. The principal was Eric Tressing (1866-1937), who was born in Oslo, Norway and came to the US with his parents when he was a boy.

E. Tressing & Co. No. 1 groovers

Monday, January 27, 2020

History of Wonder Manufacturing Co.

Wonder Manufacturing Co. groover
Wonder Manufacturing Co., Washington Court House, Ohio, was a small manufacturer of ranges, heating stoves and a few other products, operating from the 1890s into the 1910s. The company took advantage of their iron foundry to make cast iron cement tools of a conventional design. Although no advertising has been found for the tools, a few of them have survived.

The company president and treasurer in 1906 was Richard S. Quinn, vice president J. W. Brown, secretary W. W. Hamilton. The president and treasurer in 1912 was George Suskeep (possibly misspelled), vice president A. M. Bush, secretary and plant manager Harvey C. Wilson. The company entered receivership that year, and was reorganized in 1913 by E. L. Bush and others as New Wonder Co.

Stoves and  Hardware Reporter, Vol. XXIX, No. 14, 30 Sep. 1897, Pg. 11

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

History of Adamite Wheel & Manufacturing Co.

Hardware and Metal, 11 July 1914
Adamite Wheel & Manufacturing Co. is the only known Canadian manufacturer of concrete tools, including indent roller. Their primary product, which gave the company its name, was grinding wheels made from the mineral adamite. Their address in 1920 was 44 Ferguson Ave., Hamilton, Ontario.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

History of C.A. Maynard

C.A. Maynard's Hoe and Shovel Works, of Northampton, Massachusetts, manufactured several styles of brick trowels in the late 1800s, along with agricultural tools. Their output was carried as far west as Simmons Hardware Co. in St. Louis, MO.

The works was on the banks of Mill River, below Paradise Pond. The business was originally Clement, Hawkes & Maynard, making cutlery and hoes. C. A. Maynard was Mr. Clement's son-in-law. Maynard died 1 May, 1922, age 80. His obituary stated that he had retired 3 years before, after 53 years in business.

The caption under the picture below reads:

The engravings on this page... represent what is now one of the picturesque objects in the city — the hoe and shovel works of C. A. Maynard, with a few of its products. This factory was badly injured by fire, in 1886, and will probably never again be built in its old form, but Mr. Maynard’s business is increasing so that enlargement must soon be had on the ground floor. The factory is always running full, turns out the highest priced goods in America, and gives the most value for their cost.

This photograph at Digital Commonwealth shows the back of the works before the 1886 fire.

Picturesque Hampshire by Charles Forbes Warner, 1890

 Clement, Hawkes & Maynard cutlery 1869

Thursday, November 15, 2018

History of Martin Maurer of St. Louis

Martin Maurer operated a hardware store and machine shop in St. Louis, Missouri from 1875 to at least 1895. He invented and patented a stamped steel concrete edger and a groover in 1891,  and St. Louis city directories in the early 1890s show that he specialized in masonry tools. Maurer developed and manufactured a line of concrete tools which were still being sold in the 1904 catalog of Walter A. Zelnicker Supply Co., a St. Louis hardware wholesaler.

I have been unable to find this Martin Maurer in US Census records to get his birth date, or to find a death record. There is a mention of  him in the Cassville, MO newspaper 3 Oct. 1895, stating that he was to move to Louisiana. This could mean the state or Louisiana, MO.

Beginning in 1903, a Martin Maurer of Pueblo, Colorado received at least 8 patents for scales and improvements to scales. The first one used one of the same patent attorneys as the concrete tool patents. It may be the same person, but I have no verification of that.

US Patent 460,644  Device for blocking off artificial-stone pavements
US Patent 460,645  Device for rounding and smoothing the edges of artificial-stone gutters

Cassville, MO newspaper, 3 Oct. 1895