Thursday, February 14, 2013
Eagle Square Manufacturing Co. - a history
The University of Vermont holds in its collection the records for the Eagle Square Company of Shaftsbury, VT. It is now digitized and available to researchers.
Its first paragraph clearly states that Silas Hawes was not the inventor of carpenter squares. Good. We need to lay that myth to rest.
When I became curious about what tools were used for the layout of buildings in the British Colonies and the early United States, information about them seemed non-existent. It was hard even to find what library might be a place for me to go to research, if I had been free to go traveling for a week. I found a few cabinet maker's tool boxes: the Bennington Museum owns one. But it was not easy to find lists of tools a master carpenter would have owned. It still isn't.
Information about the history of carpenter squares was part of what I wanted to know about. I still do. They were widely manufactured here, and 40 early squares are stored in the vaults of the Bennington Museum. But there is no repository of information about their use or popularity, just local stories like the one that says Hawes invented the squares.
So I am posting what resources I find here.
7/6/17: update. I have been reading Joseph Moxon's 1683 book which includes descriptions of tools and how to use them, carpenter squares among them. For more information read: http://www.jgrarchitect.com/2017/06/joseph-moxon-mechanick-exercises-london.html