Charles E. Staples
Staples is recorded in the EAIA Directory of American Toolmakers as having made
(or sold), "braces, clamps, .....bookbinders presses, and shears" in
Worcester, Massachusetts in 1860. I own a very appealing brace that
is clearly marked, "C.E. Staples Worcester, Mass." This brace has a
sweep of 12" and is crowned by a very ornate lignum vitae handle that is turned
in the Scottish style. The wrist handle is just a swollen expansion of the
steel shaft. The chuck on this brace is marked, "20". Not marked
with a patent, and unlike any chuck patent that I've seen, this one has a
cylindrical outer shell, with four bands of knurling. When this shell is
turned it forces an enclosed lever to engage a notch in a bit tang. This
is unique in my experience, and although unpatented, it should have been.
It is a wonderful early brace.
An identical brace is depicted in an undated advertisement for
Charles E. Staples products. The ad touts his wrought iron bit braces
"with improved fastener." Also advertised are "Car Builder's Braces,
Malleable Iron Braces, a new invention". Further products included
"Presses of different sizes suitable for saw manufacturers....Book Binders
Shears....machinery for the manufacture of Paper Boxes...".
The firm was located in Merrifield's Building, Exchange St.,
Worcester. Charles Parker appears to have been a prominent member of
the Worcester community, and is recorded as belonging to and attending meetings
of the Worcester Antiquity Society as late as 1903, at least.
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