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Thread: FS - Wilder 8" drawknife

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Central KY
    Posts
    17,461

    FS - Wilder 8" drawknife

    When I looked at this knife I could tell it had a maker's mark, but it wasn't readable. But, by taking a pic and enlarging it WILDER becomes recognizable. This knife has great history!!

    George S. Wilder’s history begins with Pliny Merrill, who was born in Shelburne, MA, in 1800. Records are sketchy about the early career of Pliny Merrill, but it is recorded that Pliny and his older brother Pardon built the canal in the center of Hinsdale in 1828, and Pliny built a shop in 1832. In 1840, he established his edge tool business on Canal Street using power from the Ashuelot River. He manufactured drawknives, chisels and gouges.

    In 1848 Merrill’s nephew, George S. Wilder (1828-1900), started working with him. Wilder quickly became manager, and in 1858 he was made a partner. They used the imprint Merrill & Wilder. Apparently, Merrill sold the business to Wilder in 1866. In 1866 Wilder took on a partner and the firm became Wilder & Thompson. This partnership only lasted until 1868, but no tools are known stamped Wilder & Thompson.
    In 1870 Richard Henry Hopkins became a partner. Hopkins may have been a brother-in-law of Wilder. This partnership ended in either 1872 or 1873. No tools are known stamped Wilder & Hopkins.

    Subsequent to 1873, his edge tools were stamped G.S. WILDER CAST STEEL. He used larger and more distinct letters than in previously used stamps. Between 1866 and 1873, the marks of Merrill & Wilder and then simply WILDER were used. This puts the date of this knife no later than 1873 – 150 years ago or more!

    In 1883, Wilder sold the firm to C.E. Jennings, the widely known hardware firm of New Haven, CT, with offices in NYC. George Wilder became manager of the Jennings Edge Tool Works. By 1885 the edge tool firm became Jennings & Griffin. Wilder continued to serve as manager until 1891. I have owned, used and sharpened probably 3 dozen different vintage brands of drawknives. Most of the better known makers have excellent steel, but a some stand out as having exceptionally good steel and Jennings & Griffin knives are among the best in my opinion. I have retained and use several of them. In large part, I suspect Wilder's management was responsible.

    The back of the blade has a very nice lamination and it took a very fine edge. When it was acquired the handles were VERY rough, showing the years of heavy use as does the blade, which doesn’t have the width it began with. Both of these characteristics tell me the knife was valued to the user. I turned and fitted new walnut handles that are tight and secure. It comes with my “custom blade guard.”

    $65, plus actual shipping. The new walnut handles took some time, so my hourly rate on this one dropped to somewhere around $1.16!! Payment by personal check. I prefer to ship you the knife, and if you like it you send me a check. If you don't, then ship it back to me and pay me nothing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Central KY
    Posts
    17,461
    This one is sold! Thanks for looking.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

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