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.