The H & B Connection

 Several early planes have been observed with their cutters fitted in a green pasteboard boxes, on the top of one of these boxes is a label from the company of Humason & Beckley. Humason & Beckley Manufacturing produced Pocket Cutlery (knives) and Hardware starting in1853 and through 1912 (the year the company went out of business). Surprisingly H&B sales office was in New York operating at 80 Chambers Street, Stanley's Sales office was at 27 Chambers Street and later at 107 Chambers Street. H&B's manufacturing plant was in New Britain Conn., Stanley Rule & Level's manufacturing plant was in New Britain as well. In 1912 Stanley purchased the hammer manufacturing portion of Humason & Beckley. If you observe the early cutters shipped with the Miller's Patent Planes you will notice that they have a much higher quality of finish to them. This finish is of the same quality that you would typicaly find on the blades of pocket knives. All later cutters and the cutters found on planes such as the 45 do not have this degree of finish to them and most times still have the grind marks. It has been suggested that Stanley sub-contracted the manufacture of the cutters in the early years until which time it was more cost effective for them to produce the cutters themselves. The coincedences of their proximity to each other and that eventually a portion of H&B was purchased by Stanley lends credence to this supposition. Time and additional research will clear up this mystery.

This is an early engraved image of Humason & Beckley. The style of engraving very closely matches an image of the Stanley Rule and Level Co. found on a broadside circa 1860's.  

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