Millers Falls Company - Millers Falls and Greenfield, MA

  Bit Braces  

The adventure with bit braces begun very early for Millers Falls Co., in fact, even before the name of Millers Falls Co. existed.  In 1864 Levi J. Gunn and Charles H. Amidon, founders of the Gunn, Amidon & Company, purchased patent rights from William H. Barber for his "Holder for Bits and Other Tools" patent No. 42,827-05/24/1864. This early investment propelled them into tool making business and establishment of the Millers Falls Company.

"We wish to call attention to the fact that all our Barber Braces are now made of Steel, both the Sweep and Jaws, and they are all heavily Nickel Plated.  Though these improvements have added largely to the cost, the price remains the same.  We believe these good will command the market wherever they are shown."

New York, April 15th, 1878.

It was a standard practice of Millers Falls Co. to create a specific brace model and assign a name to that model, then assign a model number and create variation of this model with consecutive numbers in that group. 

For example the group of braces called Barber Ratchet Braces listed in 1878 catalog was assigned model No. 3X and consisted of 3 braces: No. 31 - 12 inch sweep, No. 32 - 10 inch sweep, and No. 33 - 8 inch sweep.  In the next available catalog from 1986 this model was renamed to Barber's Improved Ratchet Brace and consisted of one additional brace, No. 30 - 14 inch sweep.  The catalog "B" - 1903 lists this series with one additional brace, No. 34 - 6 inch sweep.  This set of braces was manufactured into late 1950s under the same name and numbering convention.

The braces presented here are only partial sample of large array of these important tools produced by Millers Falls Company.  The accompanying description of each brace is taken from available catalogs. 




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