Timber Framers Guild

Photo of Carpenters and Kits

Posted By: Roger W Nair

Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 01:12 AM

I saw this photo on the Carpenters Fellowship Forum.
http://www.carpentersfellowship.co.uk/in...1&Itemid=28




I guess this dates from late 19th century to early 20th century.
Posted By: D Wagstaff

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 08:55 AM

Hello,
Being one of those who also rarely visits that website anymore since they put up the newer version, with it's striking similarities to the Timber Framers own up to date version, I did see this picture over there, thinking it was a damn good shot but wondering what it could mean - in the literal sense. Is it possible to narrow down the time frame?

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff
Posted By: Roger W Nair

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 04:30 PM

For better resolution click the Carpenters Fellowship link.

D-8 style (in the majority) saw handles put a limit on the years possible, the Disston D-8 was introduced mid 1870's, so when could D-8's takeover the majority of saws in the chests. At about 1875 the Millers Falls company started marketing cast iron miter boxes. Transitional wood planes again date from the 1870's onward.
Posted By: Will_T

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 10:11 PM

I'd been wondering if the relative youth of the crew told us much, but the tooling dating to a minimum of ten years after the war suggests a lost generation has little to do with the makeup of the group pictured.

It is a little outside of the norm in such photos, for no one to be holding a framing square - denoting themselves as Master Carpenter and Crew Boss.

Or did he in this case choose his prized possession? Is that a strait edge or a story pole, what is that thing?
Posted By: D Wagstaff

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 10:21 PM

Hello,

Having trouble logging in over there on the tor network so I'll just do it the normal way.

In fact I don't believe it is a picture of carpenters at all but rather the scene of a crime. What else could explain that pair of boots, sole up, there on the right hand side and the lack of any signs of actual construction?

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff
Posted By: Will_T

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 10:57 PM

Soles of boots are indicative of criminal activity?

It is not improbable that that House and outbuildings centered well behind the pictured toolchests and owners, (There appear to be seven of each to me) is the backdrop for this photo, and was chosen with purpose - Suggesting to me that it was probably of this crews construction - A from this we built this message and moment in time.
Posted By: Roger W Nair

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/26/12 11:34 PM

Young and old with equality of provision suggests, to me, a family crew with the patriarch with sons and sons in law, the family place in the background. This reminds me of so many old photos where no one ever smiles.
Posted By: D Wagstaff

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/27/12 09:17 AM

Hello,

Ok, tor network is functioning. I am on the web in full anonymity.
I'll just bring that picture along for the convenience.

The separation of the subject and the object is to wide to portray a specific linkage, they both exist in isolation from one another.

These people were generalists doing everything from framing to detailed profile work.

In my subjective view I see strong resemblances of facial characteristics between the men so think Roger's right about the family business. You rarely see smiles in these pictures because exposure times for the camera were to long to sustain the effort.

It's not only the soles of shoes we look at there but what supports them in that particular position and what is behind the tool box. It does suggest someone laying down on the job at least.

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff
Posted By: Will_T

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/27/12 12:50 PM

I guess I don't see a great range in age, Twenty years maybe, and this disparity having mostly to do with the oldest and youngest. The man with the whatzit on the left looks to me to be something under forty, the apprentice on the opposite end is in his early teens, those in between all appear to be in their twenties to me.

Could the shoes be representative of someone who was not there, some former member of the group recently passed?

It looks like the young apprentice is levitating them to me.
Posted By: Roger W Nair

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/28/12 02:50 PM

One more piece in the dating puzzle, there appears to be a small case on the ground with a combination plane set similar to the Stanley 45 or 55. The 45 was first produced in 1884 and the 55 was introduced in 1899.
Posted By: D Wagstaff

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 10/28/12 04:27 PM

Hello,

I was waiting for that one because I'm no Stanley expert, (I own a Clifton version, new though) Miller Falls also made one - don't know who was first. It looks like one of the basic combination planes. Would that be a 45 or 55 since one was more elaborate than the other? Since your focused down there you might as well know that the shoe question gets more puzzling with the discovery of yet another pair of loose shoes. Huh- with one pair I thought it odd but maybe a fluke, but two pair of shoes nobody is wearing? What does that mean?

Maybe Roger is wise to stick to the objective evidence but to me the two outer members of the crew clearly share DNA.

Could the type of fence help with location? Maybe not unrelated to a date in time either.

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff

Make that 3 pair of shoes if I'm not wrong, for a total of 6 shoes - and counting.
Posted By: Roger W Nair

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 11/02/12 11:46 PM

So where are these guys? The split rail fence indicates a district with native woodlands, almost anywhere in the Eastern States up to the Plains. The evident success of the crew suggests to me high growth industrial towns nearby. So I'm guessing in a very wide corridor somewhere between Philadelphia and Chicago. Can anyone focus on the location?

They are setup for a wide variety of work ie timber frame, full frame and balloon frame to finish. Two miter boxes and full kit for all indicates high production.
Posted By: Will_T

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 11/03/12 12:25 PM

Hey Roger -

I do like photographic mysteries like this related to the trade and its variations...

Though I don't know if we can expect to figure out where this was shot, we can as you suggest, narrow it down some.

It is not here in NNE, nor anywhere else where stone walls dominate.

They are well outfitted and tooled up, that does suggest an area doing well, or in a cyclic boom-time or period of rapid growth.

The slate ripper might well be a clue, slate roofs tend to occur in geographic pockets.

The lack of conifers says something. Does anybody recognize the species pictured?
Posted By: D Wagstaff

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 11/03/12 02:45 PM

Hello,

There are at least four species of tree to distinguish, me, I can't go further than to guess the prominent one near the house is oak and that there are three young apple trees there from 10 to 20 years old.

The chimney configuration would be an obvious regional clue here in Europe but I wouldn't know the significance over there, also those windows seem particularly long and narrow as if it were a school building.
Posted By: northern hewer

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 11/24/12 09:04 PM

Hello everyone tonight

Well I always like to look deeply at old photos, and in the background is what I belive to be a new church with the high windows

In my experiences I know that parishioners joined together to build church buildings, and I believe that this photo represents just that

food for thought
NH
Posted By: northern hewer

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 11/25/12 01:32 AM

hello again everyone tonight

The shoe puzzle--here is my slant--

the soles look like a special make. like metal coated edges--well I believe that they are for adzing and could be worn for protection--and just looking at the quantity of adzes in the foreground and the age of the younger man maybe protection was in order--I know that I was issued way back when-- metal boot coverings for adzing work, which by the way I never wore

I believe that the picture as we see it probably dates from the early 1900's--no hydro or telephone poles along the road allowance in the background, as well as the style of trousers on the extreme left hand man

One of the men seems to have a slightly larger tool box- the second man from the left, I take him to be the leader of the group

food for thought

NH
Posted By: timberwrestler

Re: Photo of Carpenters and Kits - 05/08/13 01:34 PM

The photo came up again. It looks like it may be later than we think.

http://blog.lostartpress.com/2013/05/08/the-magnificent-seven/
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