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Buck Bros


Buck Brothers, Riverlin Works - Millbury, MA

  Buck Brothers, of the Riverlin Works, Millbury, Mass. - The Manufacturer & Builder, Vol. 6, March 1874 (New York: Western and Company).  

Among the firms who have made carpenters' and turners' chisels and similar tools a specialty, are Buck Brothers, of the Riverlin Works, Millbury, Mass.

They commenced business in 1853, and having previously served a thorough apprenticeship with one of the best edge-tool firms in Sheffield, England, they began with the determination to use only the choicest materials, to employ only the most competent men, and so produce the best tools that could be made.

It is not surprising then that when once they obtained a foot hold in the market, they were able to maintain their position, while now they are foremost in producing as good tools as any, whether American or English.

Their chief trade is in the Eastern States, but they have many customers in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, which is remarkable, as this firm sell no goods on commission, selling only from their factory, where the largest assortment of chisels, gouges, etc., may be found on this continent; consequently all orders are filled at once, which is of the utmost importance for the trade, as hardware merchants who import their tools have to wait from three to six months before receiving their invoices.

Quite a number of Englishmen are employed, expressly imported for special kinds of work, while forty men, with two water-wheels of 54 horse-power, produce weekly 5,000 tools, of which there are actually 2,000 kinds, differing in size, length, more or less curved sweep of circle, beveled outside and inside, light or heavy, etc. The capital employed is $40,000, and the monthly sales amount to $6,000.

The works have from the beginning been under the personal supervision of Mr. R. T. Buck, who sees that the material and workmanship are of the best, and the important feature of the temper is carefully attended to, what all mechanics know how to appreciate. Also that the goods are properly shipped, by which precaution none have ever been lost, or complaints made.

One of the firm [member] was in England last summer, more on a vacation than for any business purposes, yet with his eyes open to see and learn what kind of tools were in the market. He took a few socket firmers as samples with him, and showed them to some of the most noted London hardware houses.

They admired the tools very much, but said they were too good for their customers, their socket chisels and gouges being very coarse, clumsy tools, such as their fathers' used 50 years ago.

Mr. John Wilson, who was sent by the Board of Trade of Sheffield to report on cutlery and tools at Vienna, saw the samples, and in his official report says, "I have seen American [Buck Bros.] edge tools equal to any in the world."

Mr. Buck visited several of the most famous edge tool factories in Sheffield, and found little, except to congratulate himself that he was not behind the best concerns in Sheffield, either for the material used or for the workmanship.

We give a representation of some of the tools made by this firm, which may be of interest to amateur carpenters and turners.

Fig. 1 is a turning chisel, and Fig. 2 a turning gouges; they are made in twelve different sizes, from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. Fig. 3 is a handled firmer-chisel, and Fig. 4 a handled paring chisel, each made in fifteen different sizes. Fig. 5 is a carpenter's slick, and Fig. 6 a corner chisel. Fig. 7 is a screw driver, after the best London pattern, and made in twelve sizes.

Their representation may serve to give an idea of the variety of tools made by this firm, who warrant all, and replace anything that may break from flaws; while the prices are put so low that they have been obliged to make the prices of the shank goods fluctuate with the prices of gold.

Wiktor A. Kuc
November, 2016


Buck Bros

Winsted Tools


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