Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 1
September 2008
 
What Is It?
 


Imitation: the Best Form of Flattery

Swedish copy of a late-model Stanley #7 with box

Dedicated tool hounds are familiar with the distinctive yellow pasteboard boxes adorned with green end labels that the Stanley Tool Company used for many years to package its products—most notably its entire line of hand planes. Upon discovery of this plane and box at auction, there was much jubilation until a closer inspection showed that, while it looked right for the part, it was actually an impostor…sort of.

Front viewBy 1900, the copyrights and patents issued for the original Stanley and Bailey planes had long expired, which allowed for many companies to replicate these plane types. In America, these companies became viable Stanley competitors by imitating the basic features of the original Bailey concept. In some cases, the Stanley Company responded to this competition by buying a company or by commencing legal action to stop possible patent infringements. Stanley's expansion program also included the creation of British and Canadian plants, as well as the takeover of plants in these countries that had previously been independent manufacturers. The maker of this plane, Jernbolaget, supplied hardware and other metal wares in Sweden. The company is still in existence.

 
 
         
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