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1999/00 Catalog Cover   1999/00 Woodworking Customer Letter
 
Print Catalog Cover
 
Dear Customer,

In developing new products it is always useful to analyze what has gone before. In getting ready to produce a new line of planes (see facing page), we analyzed a wide range of planes made in the last 150 years. To analyze such a range, it is necessary to have samples to study so that you can take advantage of the lessons of the past by avoiding previous weaknesses. Considering the fact that we have developed hundreds of tools, you can imagine how many antique tools have been collected over the years. A tiny sampling of such items is shown on our cover.

Given this explanation, you might justifiably wonder why there are so many strange items shown in the photograph. The truth is that there is a tendency to collect interesting items as well as useful items. This is a weak explanation for the tiny, green, triangular glass bottle with the cork in it; it is a very early "3-in-1" oil sample bottle. Of course, once you get intrigued by oil containers, it leads to buying the sterling silver oilcan once sold by Tiffany's (center of bottom shelf). Similarly, it is very hard to resist buying the beautiful little Keyes oiler shown just above it, an oiler made for Meccano many decades ago. It is a fully functional pump oilcan with the mechanism fitted into a body that is only 1-1/2" long and less that 1'' high.

There are many other items in the photograph that are even less explicable, such as the U.S. Standard sieve or the cast bird that decorates a house number sign. Each has its own charm and interest; they lack only utility.

The cabinet photographed is in my office. It shows only the top of the cabinet and the first two shelves, but you can be sure that the rest of the shelves and, in fact, the whole office, are similarly littered. The only lesson that can be drawn from all of this is that this is the sort of thing that can happen when you are a compulsive collector and nobody has the authority to tell you to clean your office.

Yours sincerely,

Leonard G. Lee
President

 
 


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