Canedy-Otto Tool Catalog|
"Price list number eleven"
Perfect (heavy paper) binding
188 Pages, Reprint of early 20th Century original
7-7/16" x 5" (189 x 127mm)
By hammer and hand, the old saying goes, all the arts do stand. But, as we all know, there’s a bit more to it than that. There are a few other tools involved in getting a day’s work done in an old-time coal-burning blacksmith’s shop: such as a few tons of cast iron, in the form of forges, blowers, drills, punches, shears, shrinkers.
Some of the very best of these were built by an outfit name of Canedy-Otto in Chicago Heights, Illinois a century or so ago-- and built so incredibly well were they, that many of them are still in use to this very day.
Ironically, although these old beauties may be familiar to us-- I just used my Canedy-Otto “New No. 10” wall-mounted drill press again today, as I do most days, and the magnificent old 400 - pound monster chewed half-inch holes through 3/16" steel plate as easily as my grand kids go through peanut butter-- they nonetheless remain a mystery. Who was Canedy? And who was Otto? Why did they build their wares to such a high degree of quality? What happened to this company that made such fine equipment?
Those questions remain a mystery awaiting some future researcher. But, hark! Here to shed some long-awaited light on the Canedy-Otto enigma now come a trio of lovers of old tools: Bill Gichner, the grand old patriarch of American blacksmithing from Ocean View, Delaware, a tugboat skipper named Rob Whitehurst, and his friend Ed Lancaster, who is a Xerox sales rep and licensed auctioneer.
Whitehurst and Lancaster, working from an original they found in Bill’s vast library of smithing books, have produced a gorgeous replica of a 188-page Canedy-Otto catalog — "price list number eleven" — date uncertain, but from what appears to be around the dawn of the last century.
Poring over this book is almost as much fun as visiting Gichner’s treasure trove of a shop, Iron Age Antiques, in Ocean View. It is packed with detailed drawings-- and exploded parts schematics — of all of the tools mentioned above. Not just one or two pages of forges, but dozens of them, whole battalions of blowers, vast legions of drill presses, tire-shrinkers, punches, shears. The original catalog copy describes in minute detail the factory specs: the capabilities and dimensions of each tool, and states the prices, too. My "New No. 10" drill, for example, is not listed, but a near-duplicate went for $42.50 US in the hand-powered model and cost $150 if outfitted with an electric motor.
My Canedy-Otto Western Chief forge blower went for $28 in those days. The catalog answers one question that torments many of today’s Canedy-Otto users, too: which way should the blower be cranked? Turns out it doesn’t matter. Either way, says the catalog. Mine has grown accustomed to counter-clockwise since leaving the factory.
The book is available from Hotemper Publishing, list price: $19.95 -- but hurry, because Whitehurst and Lancaster only printed 200 copies! Says Ed Lancaster, "Since Rob is going to be spending a lot of time on the water" the best way to buy a book is from me via e-mail. S&H is $3.00. We are offering to sell the book direct for $15.95 plus the S&H, a $4.00 savings. We offer a wholesale price on a purchase of ten or more at say $12.95, shipped to one address, buyer to pay shipping."
Ed’s E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob is reachable when ashore at email@example.com.
There is yet more good news for us old tool nuts, too: Whitehurst and Lancaster plan to do more catalog repros. Up next-- maybe: Champion equipment from the 1920s.
Price $19.95, S&H $3.00
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