January 29, 2015

E.C. Atkins Patent One Man Crosscut Handle

This cast iron and wood handle was patented by Atkins in 1875. The example photographed was for sale in Kentucky in late 2014.

Atkins No. 53 and No. 65 Hand Saws

The 1937 catalog describes the Nos. 53 and 65 as very good quality saws suitable for everyday work, identical except for the style of blade. However, they were priced exactly the same in 1937, $3.71 wholesale, as the cheaper-looking Nos. 51 and 72. Today we would call this a lack of product differentiation, and it may have created an impression that the No. 53 and 65's features were more cosmetic, which is not true. This pair featured taper grinding followed by a high polish and ribbon grinding along the back. The handles were apple wood, ergonomically shaped, and beginning in the early teens were embossed with a distinctive floral design (bottom photo). By 1937 Atkins was using a chip-carved wheat design for the Nos. 53 and 65.      

Atkins No. 53 and No. 65 saws in 1937
Atkins No. 53 with embossed handle

January 27, 2015

Atkins No. 400 and No. 401 Hand Saws

The Nos. 400 and 401 were Atkins' finest saws, and the only ones made with rosewood handles. They had more taper grind and more polished blades than Atkins' next-best saws. The Nos. 400 and 401 were priced 63% higher in 1937 than the mid-priced Nos. 51 and 53. No other Atkins saws had tropical wood handles. 1950 is last year for which I found Atkins No. 400 advertisements.  

Atkins' finest saws, the No. 400 and No. 401, in 1937

Atkins 400 in original box (sold)

Atkins 400, 1927 advertisement

E.C. Atkins & Co. Location

Here is a period artist's rendition of the Atkins saw works and the location today. The 1907 view is looking towards the southeast, with S. Illinois St. on the left and W. South St. on the right. On the right are stack of lumber behind the handle mill and kiln. The main part of the works was bounded by W. South St. on the north, W. Henry St. on the south, S. Capitol Ave. on the west, and S. Illinois St. on the east.

Hyman's Handbook of Indianapolis, 1907
Bing Maps

Indianapolis maps 1898-1941