Until the 1990's they were still made by Record Tools in England, with solid beechwood frames.
|The Splendid Book for Boys. London & Glasgow: Collins, c. 1950's.|
This adds to my very small collection of tools from this firm--an awl, a scraper and a wood chisel:
I also have a rose bit with their name on it:
And a lovely hand-forged spatula which I use very frequently:
Their trademark was a shamrock, which appeared on some of their tools (like the badge on my awl, pictured earlier above).
In 1961, they had about 400 employees. In 1962, the Record Tool Company and William Ridgway acquired a 50 percent interest in the company and in 1972 the companies merged with several others to form Record Ridgway Tools Ltd. After 116 years at its Hibernia Works, the company was moved to Dronfield. A 1982 takeover by A.B. Bahco of Sweden was short-lived, and in 1985 Record returned to British ownership, first as Record Marples Woodworking Tools Ltd. in 1988 then as Record Holdings plc. In 1993. In 1998, the company accepted a bid from American Tool Corporation, subsequently trading as Record Irwin. Irwin itself was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid in 2002, and was renamed Irwin Industrial Tool Co. Both the Marples and Record names were rebranded “Irwin.” However, the name has since been resurrected as Irwin/Marples and applied to wood chisels and table saw blades reportedly now made at Irwin's new facility in Udine, Italy (although some claim that the chisels are made in China). I had a look at one of the saw blades in Lowes, and noticed that the package has a paragraph providing a very brief history of Marples. As the original Marples firm never made circular saw blades, and is long gone now and so had nothing to do with the production of these ones which are not even made in England, I guess the use of their name is sort of a tribute on the part of Newell Rubbermaid. "Hey, we bought your company and closed it down, but some people remember that you made good tools, so we'll stick your name on another tool made somewhere else by someone else." As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
As an aside, William Marples was the uncle of Robert Marples and Joseph Marples, both of whom established competing tool-making business in Sheffield. The Robert Maples firm disappeared early in the last century, but Joseph Marples Ltd. continues as one of the last old family-owned tool-making firms in Britain.
In fact the bow saw you show, was made by Joseph Marples, that apart the articles is fairly accurate, if a little sparse.
A perfect example of praising with faint damns. Thanks for the lesson.
All collectors start somewhere, I have a number of Marples items, I started collecting adjustable spanners around 6 years ago mainly from boot sales, auctions etc, I ended up buying box lots from auctions and now collect all manner of vintage tools.
I tend to find that they are all unique in there own way, and much better quality than modern tools.
Are you interested in a 1945 spoke shave tool made by Marples. It has what I assume is a serial number.I will visit site again soon.
Thank you for the information, To me it was just a rusty old chisel so i decided to clean it up and found the marples and sons stamp with the clover stamp as well so what started as making a tool useful again i got a history lesson too.
Hi I have just found a w marples & sons spirit level at my dads house can some one tell me its age its pat. no 423896. all wood not the torpedo shape.
I have many paring chisels and gouges which I purchased new in the 1970's as an apprentice. They were not as good as the ones the older tradesmen had.
i am in New Zealand and was trying to list for sale a Robert Marples hand tool. cannot find what it is or used for Nice condition. looks a bit like a Dexter 34 knife but better
can do a photo
Your best best bet is to examine some of their catalogues. The Internet Archives is an excellent source. Below, one starting point for William Marples, but you should be able to find something similar for Robert Marples.
Are you interested in a 17" W Marples & Sons block plane?
Nowadays, the Irwin and Marples brands are found on craptacular tools made in China.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
I am daughter of Jim Maples, son of Geoffrey Marples.
I meant Jim Marples!!
An annonymous commentor said, several years ago, that this saw was made by Joseph Marples rather than W. Marples & Sons. This comment was unchallenged. Does anyone have any information to back up this claim or is the commentator simply wrong?
Anyone with info please let us know!
HI - I have the exact same saw. It has the original blade, which I'd like to change, but it looks like one has to drive the pins out of each end of the blade to remove it from the brass holders. Is that correct? Then of course, the issue is finding new 10" blades. Gramercy make lovely 12" blades. That then leads to having to make a new longer middle support and altering the brass holders to accept a slide-in pin blade.
Any tips and advice? It is indeed a lovely old turning saw.
I have the same saw which I bought new from woodcraft supply corp woburn Mass in the 1970s.
I really wish that the Daughter of Jim Marples would contact me at www.williammarplesandsons.com
as I feel she could provide so much needed information for my site and posterity.
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