The medallions on Disston handsaws changed more over time than any other feature on the saw. By using the medallion, you can estimate the age of your saw. The Medallions and Timeline of Saw Manufacture The medallions on Disston saws give the most accurate indication of manufacturing dates for handsaws, panel saws, and backsaws.
The first complete timeline of Disston handsaws was written by Pete Taran and published in the Winter issue of the Fine Tool Journal. His article assigned manufacturing dates to Disston saws, based on the medallions, creating what is called a type study. Since the publication of Taran's ground-breaking research, the number of known medallions has increased significantly, and they have been featured on the Disstonian Institute website.
Medallions did not appear in the catalogs, only illustrated representations of the saws. So there is no printed original-source reference to put the medallions in order. Online auctions Disston saws dating simulator increased the number of saws available for research since the of Taran's article.
This has brought many saws to the eyes of collectors for the first time, but has also pointed out there are far too many saws with medallions that were thought to be made in the 's. Most medallions dated from the 's were more likely made in the 's. The number of Disston saws on E-bay that have been advertised as 's production, based on information from the Disstonian website, exceeds the first several years of Henry Disston's output.
This is an impossible feat. Because so many collectors and tool sellers are using the "Institute" to assign manufacturing dates to their saws, I have wondered how to assign more accurate dates to Disston saws that are widely thought to have been made in the 's. We can date pre-Hamilton Disston saws to a year period marked "H. Disston",post-Hamilton saws marked "and Son",and post-Albert saws marked "and Sons", after We can identify saws made after because they have domed cap screws instead of split nut fasteners.
One medallion has the Glover patent date on it. For a short time in the 's and 80's, some Disston saws had patent dates stamped into the handle.
Every other date must have been derived by a medallion's presence on a saw that was introduced or discontinued by a certain date, as evidenced by its appearance in or disappearance from the product line in a dated catalog. Working with this type of information, Taran claimed the dates in his timeline were accurate within five years. The manufacturing dates assigned to post-Civil War medallions are reliable because there are so many saws to compare a good amount of information about the Disston company's history after is available.
Of all the saws available to collectors today, perhaps 1 in was manufactured before This tiny sampling of information makes a timeline much more difficult to establish. The appearance of about ten pre-Civil War medallions that were not Disston saws dating simulator the original timeline indicates that there is more work to do, but it has not been easy.
For several years I have piled all the data that has come to light since the publication of the original type study on top of the foundation it created. The result is inaccurate. All of the other medallions both large and small have been stacked in an incorrect series of dates on the Disstonian Institute website.
I have tried to put every medallion that has come to light into the timeline. Some were found in online auction pictures and others were donated by visitors to the "Institute". What has resulted is probably a nearly-complete collection of all types of Disston medallions with the Disston saws dating simulator twenty-five years of production dated incorrectly. The new timeline in the Disstonian Institute will have two columns of photos.
Disston saws dating simulator saws and the other for panel saws and backsaws. Another change is in the order and dating of several of the pre-Civil War medallions.
Research is showing Disston backsaws had their design changed significantly over several years in the 's. This progression of design and the introduction of medallions sometime near the middle of that decade give evidence of which medallions were the earliest.
The oldest Disston saws seem to be the few that exist with no medallion. Collectors like Phil Baker have much more data than I, and Mr. Baker has written about the saws extensively. He believes the first Disston saw medallion is the one some refer to as the "Eagle in Flight.
As before, this is a work in progress and will be revised again when the need arises. Because I don't think all things on the internet should be disposable, the first edition of this page will be kept on this site just like an old book that has been updated, there for reference and comparison to this, the second edition of the Disstonian Institute medallion page.
Erik von Sneidern January Link to the old version of the medallion page. Backsaws often lived pampered lives inside toolboxes, taken out only to be used at a bench and put away. Handsaws were not so lucky, usually rode hard and put away wet, mostly used outdoors. There are not so many handsaws left to give evidence of how the design of the saws evolved and how they were labeled. Collector and researcher Phil Baker has a remarkable collection of early backsaws that demonstrate the evolution of Disston's saws, a few of which are shown here.
Henry Disston's backsaw design changed dramatically over a span of five to eight years during the 's. This handle from a 16" saw has typically English full cheeks and a hook at the top, front of the handle.
Baker estimates the date of this saw to Here is a similarly-sized saw from approximately featuring the hook and an "eagle in
Disston saws dating simulator medallion, which is described in the next section. This shorter backsaw has the hook, no medallion, and a finely detailed handle with lambs's tongue. Baker estimates its date to This similarly-designed handle has the medallion and may have been made Disston saws dating simulator The handle features a double nib, both top and bottom, which coincides with a brass back on these early backsaws.
The hook is still featured on this saw. It has a different medallion with an eagle, but it reads "Warranted Superior". It has the "optimistic" eagle medallion and the handle design is not as fussy, so was sturdier and less work to manufacture. The hook never reappeared on Disston saw handles. The other, more significant, design change taking place during this period was the deepening of the angle of the handle from 25 degrees to 35 degrees.
What follows is a progression of all medallions produced by Disston from the 's until The beak on the top front of a backsaw handle appears only on saws with either no medallion or the medallion on the right. This evidence is the basis for putting this medallion first on the list, a departure from other type studies. The larger medallion on the left includes the phrase Keystone Works, which appeared in the first-known Disston sales literature, published in The first two medallions in each column, left and right, are identical.
Two examples of each are shown for clarity. Collector and researcher Phil Baker has coined the term "eagle in flight" to describe this early medallion.
The design makes it hard to see the head of the eagle. Disston started out making only several hundred saws annually in the first years of production, increasing to perhaps 10 or 14 thousand saws per year in That figure is interpolation based on the statement in advertising that "dozens" of saws were made each day in the factory that Disston saws dating simulator. Disston's first employee, David Bickley, reported in an interview that Disston made no saws at all for the first two years of "Disston saws dating simulator" in three locations, Arch Street, Third St.
They made mason's trowels and cleavers. Disston is listed as a saw and tool maker at 21 Bread St. Directories from and list the address as 99 Mulberry St. Disston saws dating simulator Street was the older name for Arch Street. By Disston moved about Disston saws dating simulator mile north to a rented sq. Maiden Street was later renamed Laurel.
Disston purchased the lot next door and erected a new factory building within a very short time.
By the end ofthe factory employed 65 men. Many more saws were produced in the year alone than had been throughout the decade of the 's. The left medallion appears on a No. Note the eagle's head is pointed upward. The earliest medallions had optimistic-appearing eagles. A distinct possibility is that these medallions were not made in a progression like those after the Civil War. The variations seen in the 's and 50's may have been produced at the same time.
All of the medallions made before are cast in sand. The later ones were made by the Disston saws dating simulator patented process: The process used to form the early medallions was to make a line of impressions of the medallion in fine casting sand, connecting them with a channel. Molten brass was poured into the mold, and the resulting medallions were then cut apart.
There would have been an additional part put on top of the sand mold to form the bolt shaft,
Disston saws dating simulator was later threaded. There Disston saws dating simulator no documentation to show how this was accomplished.
This method must have had in a high rejection rate. Any voids, particularly in the shaft, would have resulted in scrap. The result was a brittle medallion of low density that makes a "thunk" noise when dropped.
Struck medallions, somewhat like coins, make a ringing sound when dropped. Late 's or early 50's medallions left and right with "H. Phila" in the stamp. Note the small size of the letter "A". This feature comes and goes for four decades, 's's. identifying and dating disston saws.
The D-8 was the first Disston saw to use the letter "D" in its designation. The D-8's handle (and that of the No.
ACME). DISSTON SAW, TOOL AND FILE MANUAL Compliments o bniii l 1 jffl j lDO HA The so that the saw can accommo¬ date the curves as they (ire envoLint □ cred.
irr- sim])iy made, yet efficient,; snd that they allow for easy re - rcjoval. re. identifying and dating disston saws. No. 7 rip saw, 28" or longer, beech handle, four nuts, rounded top for second hand, same as above, but with stout handle.
What needs to be done?identifying and dating disston saws. The D-8 was the first Disston saw to use the letter "D" in its designation. The D-8's handle (and that of the No. ACME) . One medallion has the Glover patent date on it. For a short time in the 's and 80's, some Disston saws had patent dates stamped into the handle..
Hamilton Disston's inside in the infrastructure of Florida spurred spread all the way through the position. His dependent efforts to thrown away the Everglades triggered the state's senior estate increase with numerous towns and cities established completely the yard. Disston's arrive grasp and investments were in a beeline answerable payment creating or fostering the towns of Kissimmee Peerless, St. Cloud Far between, Gulfport Routine, Tarpon Springs Unacceptable, and indirectly aided the fleet improvement of St.
He furthermore oversaw the famed cultivation of rice and sugarcane at hand the Kissimmee range. Although Disston's engineered canals aided be indefensible electrify and steamboat in Florida, he was at bottom fruitless in draining the Kissimmee River floodplain or lowering the boundary sea water approximately Lake Okeechobee and in the Everglades.
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