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, April 22, 2016

History of J.W. Mixter Saw Tool Co.

Jason Woods Mixter
J.W. Mixter Saw Tool Co. of Plymouth, Massachusetts, made tools for maintaining large circular saws and a few other tools. These included the mill pick pictured in their 1893 catalog. Mill pick patents were common at this time, but I could not locate a patent for the Mixter pick. The highly tempered blade could be removed for sharpening, extended as it wore down, and replaced. It's not apparent from the picture how the blade was fastened in the head, but it may have been a wedging device. The Mixter No. 1 pick's blade was 1-1/8 inches wide and the No. 2 was 1-1/4 inches wide. Mixter picks were very expensive even with the 10 blades included, $8.00 and $10.00 in 1893.

According to the 1893 catalog, the business began in 1858 and was incorporated 1888. It was named for Jason Woods Mixter (1837-1924), born in Worcester County, MA. Nothing is yet known of his early life and training, but he married late, at age 28, to Lydia Edes, daughter of prominent Plymouth resident Oliver Edes. The marriage furthered Mixter's business interests. Mixter was a partner in zinc mines with his father-in-law and brother-in-law Edwin L. Edes, and Mixter also served on the board of directors of the Plymouth and Middleborough Railroad. Mixter's home was at 116 Court St.

Mixter Improved Mill-Stone Pick
It is unknown how long Mixter Saw Tool Co. operated, but their products were mentioned in print as late as 1912. The company appeared in business directories a decade later, although these may not be reliable. According to one source, they were at Town Square, Plymouth, city directories have the address as Market St. in 1890 and Church St. in 1905. The 1903 map below gives another location east of Sumner St., which is an apartment complex today. Mixter's was one of many industries in the 19th and early 20th century Plymouth, making rope, nails, rivets, textiles, as described in the 2008 book, A Guide to Historic Plymouth

Mixter himself appears to have been vigorous into old age. His wife died when he was 54, he remarried at age 73 in 1910, and he lived to age 87.

Here is the complete J.W. Mixter 1893 catalog.

Jason W. Mixter, Plymouth, MA 1903


  1. Thank you for your research and sharing this information, it means a lot to our family. Jason W Mixter is my 2nd Great Grandfather, as his father in law, Oliver Edes my 3rd Great Grandfather.

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  3. What used to be the house of Jason W Mixter my great great grandfather is still standing at 116 Court St Plymouth. Today the house looks a little bit more modern than the victorian house it used to be and serve as a Condo Medical Offices.

  4. By the way it was thank to your article that I found the house, it was a little be off on the address, but I found it. You can see the original and the current house On Pinterest, I have an álbum is call "Massachusetts Roots - Mixter & Edes - My Family History". Thank you for your help.