Like most collectors, when I first started collecting tools I was very unselective. I would go to the flea markets and buy any antique tool I could afford or that seemed worthy. Over the years I filled my shelves with many fine planes, both wood and metal. I enjoyed cleaning them and studying all their features and getting them back to working condition. It was interesting to study their history and I was lucky to have great reference books. Emil Pollak's book, The Wooden Plane was a wealth of information. Every time I got a wooden plane I would research the maker, hoping to find that I got a rare maker. Over the years I ran across many New Jersey maker planes and Alex Farnahm's books on New Jersey Tools and Their Makers game me more information where Pollak's book left off.
|above - Mockridge & Francis self-regulating plow plane. This Newark based company was one of the most productiveof the NJ planemakers. A rare plane.
||above - Andruss unhandled 3-arm plow plane. Many similarties can be seen between this plane and the Mockridge & Francis plane to the left. One of only 4 known.
As I became more knowledgeable about New Jersey plane makers I bid on planes that showed up in Auctions. The CRAFTS auction always has New Jersey planes and I was glad I could fill out my collection with some selective bidding. Of course, there were many other collectors who were interested in New Jersey planes and collectors like Wilma Sagurton kept the prices on some makers high. I was fortunate a few years ago while in Nashua, NH, to be talking to Bill Curtis who was in the process of organizing his large wood plane collection. He told me he had some very good New Jersey planes he was looking to find a new home for. Would I be interested? Well it was at that moment that I realized that I was a collector of New Jersey planes and I said boldly “YES”. He just happened to have a box load of these planes I could look thru. I was amazed at some of the rare makers and marks of Hardware dealers he had for me to see. We struck a deal and I came home the proud owner of a good dozen plus planes. It was time to hit Pollak’s and Farnahm’s books again and check out these planes. As I studied these planes I realized that I was starting to focus my wood plane collection on New Jersey makers. I sorted thru my shelves and put in boxes the good planes from my earlier collecting days that seemed disposable now. They were sold to allow me some room and spending power to acquire more New Jersey makers. In recent years I was lucky to find some great deals in the CRAFTS auction as some of the Wilma Sagurton and Greg Welsh collection became available. I recently displayed a selection of these New Jersey wooden planes at the CRAFTS picnic. Sine it happened to be one of the only times it has ever rained on a CRAFTS picnic there was limited tailgating and a lot of interest in the displays set up inside. Thus I enjoyed talking to many members about my plane display and all the different New Jersey makers. Many said I should write an article on the planes and I agreed that it might add some interest to these home-grown makers.
| Above - 3 unique planes by Andruss. Left is a 5 reed boxed cluster. Center is J. Andruss 3/8” T&G come & go plane. Right is a moving filletster with fence, brass depth stop and slitter.
Thus, following is a brief description of the many New Jersey planemakers and hardware dealers who sold wood planes in New Jersey. I focused on makers of all wood planes, as New Jersey also had makers of metal planes. Much of the information is gathered from the two great reference books by Alex Farnham; Early Tools of New Jersey and The men Who Made Them, and Search for Early New Jersey Toolmakers. Also, I have included information found in; American Wooden Planes, by Emil & Martyl Pollak 4th edition revised by Tom Elliott.
NJ Planemakers Locations
Andruss - 1821-1841. Jonathan Andruss was probably the first Newark plane maker. Sons David & George formed partnership – David died in 1832 & the father died in 1843. Early planes marked “J. ANDRUSS” for father before sons’ partnership are rare.
John Burkinshaw - 1857-58. Listed in 1858 directory as planemaker, 125 Academy St. Possibly a relation to W.Burkinshaw.
Thomas Burns - 1836-38. Listed in Newark directories as planemaker at 150 Washington St. - the same address as George Andruss. No imprint has been reported, thus he may have worked for Andruss.
L.H.Crane -1830-36. Cabinetmaker in Newark.
J. Doremus - 1830. Maker of regular and coach planes. A very rare plane to find.
Samuel E. Farrand - 1835-36. Worked in same address as Andruss in 1835. Later as part of Farrand & Gould, plane & machine makers. Many of his planes found are coach planes which fit one of his businesses as a carriage dealer. By 1860 he is listed as a farmer in Hanover, NJ at age 60.
Edward Francis - 1852-53. Documented plane maker, 138 Washington St.
Elias Francis - 1835-79. Partner with Mockridge, listed in 1837-38 as planemaker at 145 Washington St. In 1879 was listed as Superintendent of Newark Plane, Rule & Level Co.
J.L.Haynes - 1850. Found example has his imprint along with J. Parker with location of Newark, NJ. A very rare plane with no imprint recorded.
I. King - 1835-38 John King made planes at two different locations during this short time in Newark. One of the samples of his work is a three arm self regulating plow plane similar to plows manufactured by Mockridge & Francis.
John A. King - 1835-37. One of only, three known early black planemakers.
Ira Looker - 1858-59 &1858-63. Directory lists as plane maker, 14 Fair St.
Archibald McIntire -1854-55. Directory lists as plane maker, 226 Nesbit St.
Abrahm Mockridge - 1833-1873. Formed partnership with Elias Francis, & later with son.
Mockridge & Francis - 1835-1868. Later in 1879 Francis became superintendent of the Newark Plane, Rule & Level Co.
Mockridge & Son - 1868-1902. Oscar Mockridge continued to use the old imprint after his father’s death in 1873.
A.G.Moore - 1847-52. Listed in Newark directories as a planemaker these years. Moved to NY and is listed there in 1853 working at same address as J.W.Farr.
Timothy B. Noe - 1837. Listed as planemaker located at 162 Plane St in the Newark directory. The same address as David Willis, another Newark planemaker.
Joseph Parker - 1834. Listed in the 1850 census as a planemaker in Newark. A rare maker with one known example of a beech smoother plane with his mark.
Charles Parkhurst - 1835-36. Also partner with Joseph Coe as Parkhurst & Coe - planemakers the same year. In the 1837-38 directories Parkhurst is listed as a, “Turner and plane maker”, at 55 Court St. In the 1850 census he is listed as a turner.
Philip Quigley - 1849-50. Listed in Newark directory as manufacturer of levels & carpenter tools employing 12 workers. A rare plane to find with his mark.
John Scheler - 1860-61. Directory lists as Planemaker, 26 Broom St.
H. Schmitt - 1835. Imported tools & hardware dealer. Austria type horn plane.
W. Schmitt Co. - 1850’s. Hardware Dealer. Austria type horn plane.
James Searing -1821-1849. James and his son John worked together.
T.Shepard - 1850. Thomas Shepard worked and lived in Newark with P.Quigley.
John F. Teasman - 1835-37. Listed in Newark directory as planemaker, “colored” and in 1850 census as planemaker. No imprint reported.
Alexander Veres or Viris - 1854-59. Directory lists as Planemaker, 138 Washington St. (Veres & Viris) are most likely the same individual but with spelling variations. Both spellings do not appear in the directory at the same time.
Daniel Whittemore - 1854-59. Directories list as Planemaker, 2 East River St. & 11 Hamilton St.
David Willis - 1837. Listed as planemaker located at 162 Plane St in the Newark directory. The same address as Timothy B. Noe, another Newark planemaker.
|Above - 6 rare Newark plane makers. From left is wide complex molder by C.Parkhurst. Second is a J.A.King 7/8” tongue plane. Third is an I.King round plane. Fouth is a Newark Plane Rule & Level Co. skew rabbet plane. Fifth is a C.H.Crane hollow plane. Far right is a J.Searing double boxed complex molder.
New Brunswick, NJ
Samuel C. Cook - 1825-1845. Possibly apprenticed with Robert Eastburn. Possibly employed by Joseph Eastburn. Apprentice included Benjamin Norman. Succeeded by Ellsworth Danbury.
Ellsworth Danberry - 1850. Worked with and succeeded S.C.Cook.
Robert Eastburn - 1795-1826. NJ earliest planemaker. Planes marked EASTBURN with crowned initials are believed prior to 1810. Crowned stamp believed to be same as Thos. Grant, NY planemaker who also lived in New Brunswick and knew Eastburn.
Joseph Eastburn - 1850-1871. Son of Robert, probably used earlier Eastburn stamp.
R.M.Tilburn - 1820. Apprenticed in Newbury, MA before moving to NJ in 1820 as a journeyman planemaker. Later he worked in Philadelphia.
William H.H.White - 1830’s-1850. Was a planemaker and later a carpenter.
Other NJ Cities
Thomas Aikman - 1800-Burlington. Some planes marked “Phila”.
Andrine Bros. - 1879 - Jersey City. Hardware dealer located at 204 Grove St.
C. Bell - mid 1800’s - Jersey City. A hardware dealer.
Joseph Brumley - 1790’s -1800 - Mt. Holly & Trenton. A very rare maker who was a cabinetmaker and maker of planes. Moved to Wash. DC in 1800. Not marked NJ made.
W.B. Chamberlin - 1845 - Westfield. Probably a hardware dealer, known mark with Chapin/Union plane.
John Frace - 1860 - Newton. Listed in 1860 census as carpenter, evidence of work is rosewood plow plane.
John Gage - 1883-1919 - Vineland. Maker of Gage self-setting plane, Stanley bought business in 1919.
Laird - 1800 -NJ or NY. Overstruck Eastburn imprint.
H. Luttgen - 1870 - Jersey City. Hardware dealer.
Saml Norcross - ca. 1800. A very rare early NJ planemaker with limited information.
Benjamin Norman - 1840-56 - Trenton. Apprenticed with S.C.Cook. Opened store in Pennington, NJ.
Nathan F. Norton - 1850-56- Camden. Started working with Israel White & planemaking in Philadelphia area.
D.Parkhurst - ca.1800. UR maker with similar stamp to other Parkhurst makers.
John D. Parkhurst - 1850 - Springfield. In the 1850 census he is listed as a carpenter. He is an unrated maker with only 2 planes with his mark. A rare maker to find.
William Ward - 1868-80 - Saddle River. Born in Sheffield England & also worked in NY. Maker of many different woodworking tools. All his planes include a four pointed star mark.
Jacob White - 1844-45- Camden. Relative of well-known Philadelphia planemaker, Israel White, and later worked with Cousin Henry White in Philadelphia. A Rare plane to find with Camden, NJ mark.
|Above - Mockridge & Francis rosewood plow plane and double pistol coach router. Rosewood plow planes are rare by any maker and this one is in perfect condition.