Friday, July 13, 2007

For the Love of Tools

As some of you already know, I collect antique advertisements and my house is filled with many fine antique furnishings. What most of you don’t know is that I have an appreciation for antique tools. Tools are the parents of all other antiques and provide a glimpse into human development and cultural preferences though history. I appreciate the handcrafting that went into their manufacture, their rarity and I perceive most tools as works of art. For those folks who join me in the appreciation of hand tools to power tools we are sometimes called galoots.


Today I want to share with you one of the best examples of antique tools and chest that I have ever seen. This chest made by Henry Sutdley.


Studley Tool Chest
Photo by: Eric Long
Date: 7/10/1991

Massachusetts piano maker Henry Studley built his magnificent tool chest over the course of a 30-year career at the Poole Piano Company. The chest lived on the wall near his workbench, and he worked on it regularly, making changes and adding new tools as he acquired them. Using ebony, mother-of-pearl, ivory, rosewood, and mahogany -- all materials used in the manufacture of pianos -- he refined the chest to the point that now, some 75 years after his death, it remains in a class of its own. Considering how many tools it holds, the famous chest is really quite small; when closed, it is just 9 in. deep, 39 in. high, and just more than a foot and a half wide. Yet it houses so many tools -- some 300 -- so densely packed that three strong men strain to lift it. Studley was well into his 80s before he retired from the piano company. Before he died in 1925, Studley gave the tool chest to a friend. That man's grandson, Peter Hardwick, loaned the chest to the Smithsonian in the late 1980s and later sold it to a private collector in the Midwest. The current owner loans the chest to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. from time to time.


I received a letter from Rusty and he is a lot happier up in Chino. Rusty tells me that the food is much better in state prison. He gets fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis, and he actually has a ‘real’ mattress to sleep on. Rusty has a job in the prison kitchen; he says it makes the day go by faster for him. Rusty also told me that he has been out to the yard and he finally got some sun after almost a year! That makes this prison mamma very happy!


Have a wonderful weekend everyone....

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N Posted by Rain at 7/13/2007 11:05:00 AM

5 Comments

  • Blogger Brian posted at 10:22 PM  
    That tool chest is way cool.

    Have a great week dawling!
  • Anonymous Rav`N posted at 12:59 AM  
    thats an impressive tool chest. Glad Rusty's dealing ok with his sentence.
  • Blogger jules posted at 3:38 AM  
    Oh..yeah for Rusty. This prison mama stuff sucks though.
  • Anonymous tom posted at 12:36 PM  
    I wonder why my tool bags are never that organized!! Hope you have a good w/e as well...we are about to get a thunderstorm here!
  • Blogger blogsurfer posted at 3:33 AM  
    Very impressive. That was so cool. I had an updated list of most expensive antiques here. You might want to visit them.

    Most Expensive Antiques
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