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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Marshalltown Trowel's User Friendly Handle

For a short period, Marshalltown Trowel made a plastic composite they called a User Friendly Handle, or UFH. As told by the reader from Northern Ireland who submitted these photos, he saw a trowel with one of these handles around 1996, but they were no longer available new. He found one on eBay several years ago. The User Friendly Handle was a black soft PVC sleeve over hardwood, with an attached black polymer bumper. The User Friendly Handle was replaced by the red DuraSoft handle.

User Friendly Handle brochure

Marshalltown brick trowel with User Friendly Handle

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mutzig-Framont, Alsace

Mutzig-Framont was a hardware manufacturer in Mutzig, Alsace. Mutzig was in Germany from 1871 until 1918-19, and has been in France since then. According to one history, the firm was founded in 1873 and closed in 1932.

Mutzig-Framont's products lines were divided into hardware and coffee grinders, with separate factories and catalogs for each. While more coffee grinders than tools survived, some tools can be found on eBay in France and elsewhere.

Postage stamps with Mutzig-Framont tools
Mutzig-Framont patents
Études statistiques sur l'industrie de l'Alsace, Volume 1, 1879
French trowels on display at Maison de l’Outil

Mutzig-Framont factories
1879 article
Mutzig-Framont trowel 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cornelius Whitehouse and Sons, Ltd.

This link is to a scanned Cornelius Whitehouse and Sons, Ltd. catalogue, dated January 1952, of Cannock Edge Tool Works, Cannock, England. Cornelius Whitehouse made a full line of masonry tools, from brick hammers and bolsters to 10 styles of trowels.

Grace's Guide has a page on this firm.