WMC "Late Bakewell" Handsaw

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Blog entry by summerfi posted 01-07-2020 12:19 AM 963 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I bought this Wheeler, Madden & Clemson (WMC) handsaw for one reason: the maker’s name stamp on the plate is different from any I’ve seen on other American saws. I have other WMC saws, but none like this one. What makes this saw different is the inclusion of the phrase “Late Bakewell & Co.” in the stamp. The full stamp reads as shown below, with WHEELER MADDEN in an arc. Additionally, WHEELER MADDEN & CLEMSON is double struck, i.e. the die stamp was struck twice with slight movement between the strikes.

It can be difficult to get clear pictures of saw stamps and etches, and this particular stamp is pretty shallow. Nonetheless, here is an image of the stamp.

The word “Late” is not unheard of in saw stamps or etches. It occurs with some frequency in British saws, most notably those marked as “Hill Late Howel”, but in a few others as well. It simply means that one maker, in this case Joseph Vaughan Hill of London, foreman for saw and plane maker Joseph Howel, succeeded his boss in the business after the former’s death.

Josiah Bakewell was born in England in 1820, performed his saw-making apprenticeship there, and then moved to America in 1841. After one or two false starts, he settled in Middletown, NY and began making saws there under the name Bakewell & Co. In 1853 Bakewell joined Elisha Wheeler and Edward Madden to form Monhagan Saw Works in Middletown. Their saws carried the name Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell. Bakewell, however, fell ill and left the firm in 1860 and then died in 1863. After his departure, William Clemson joined the company that then became known as Wheeler, Madden & Clemson.

This WMC saw with the “Late Bakewell” stamp was apparently made in tribute to Josiah Bakewell. It was likely made shortly after Bakewell’s death in 1863. Here are pictures of the saw after I restored it.

If any reader knows of other American made saws stamped or etched with the “Late” designation, please post the information in the comments section below.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

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656 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 01-11-2020 11:19 PM

I love reading the information you share with us about the history of various saws and saw makers, Bob.

Great work on the restore (but what else should we expect?) :)

-- Billy

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