Edwin Hahn Planes & History

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Edwin Hahn is one of the Wilkes-Barre PA plane makers. John Rumpf wrote an excellent book on the subject titled Plane Makers of Wikes-Barre, Pennsylvania: Jacob Siegley, Edwin Hahn, Keystone Tool Works which includes Jacob Siegley, Edwin Hahn and the Keystone Tool Works, all seemingly working together.

Excerpt from the above book:

Edwin Hahn was born in 1848 in Bushkill, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. He moved to Wilkes-Barre in 1883 and was a carpenter and building contractor for many years.” Wilkes-Barre Directories list Hahn as a carpenter residing at 42 Brown Street through 1888. He moved to 125 Moyallen Street in 1889 and to 85 Moyallen Street in 1891. He was listed as living at 145 S. River Street from 1892 until 1898 and moved to 109 Moyallen Street in 1899 residing there until his death in 1924. Hahn was listed as a carpenter from 1886 through 1904. He is first listed as a plane maker in 1908 and the listing continues through 1919. Wilkes-Barre City Directory listings were apparently not always up to date as Hahn actually began manufacturing planes in 1902.” Listings for 1910 and 1917-19 designate his plane manufacturing business at the rear of 63 Parrish Street.

The business connection between Jacob Siegley and Edwin Hahn is not known but it is the author’s belief Mr. Hahn approached Mr. Siegley around the time the latter sold his business
to Stanley Rule & Level Co. It appears Hahn negotiated an agreement for parts, fixtures, jigs,
etc. used in the manufacture of Siegley’s bench planes. Hahn used some of Siegley’s actual parts
and ideas including Siegley’s unique design for lateral adjustment of the iron. The lateral
adjustment feature was not covered by Siegley’s patent for bench planes. Hahn’s planes, like Siegley planes have tapered sides that arc thicker at the base. This necessitates a tapered cap. Hahn used Siegley’s frog design on his earliest planes and used the Siegley lateral adjustment system on all of his planes. He also used Siegley’s idea of a single heavy iron utilizing the cap as a chip breaker. Hahn apparently never used Siegley’s patented adjustable cap. His earlier planes had no adjustment on the cap but models sometime subsequent to 1906 had an adjustment system at the bottom of the cap. Early Hahn planes are fairly crude and many have been observed with tote and/or knob screws made from nails. These planes were available in both corrugated and smooth bottom models but the smooth bottom planes are less common. All Hahn planes known to the author have a stained hardwood tote and knob with checkering on the tote. Hahn planes have the number cast on the bed behind the knob. 

Hahn bench planes are known in the following numbers: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 18. This numbering system was uniquely Hahn’s design and had nothing in common with Stanley, Siegley or any other plane manufacturer except that the smaller numbers were smooth planes and the larger numbers were jointers. An exception is the No.7 which is a plane similar in size to the Stanley Bailey No. 5 jack plane. Stanley introduced the number 5 junior jack plane in 1921; several years after Hahn began manufacturing this size plane. A Hahn Patternmakers’ Plane has been observed.

And some additional information came through an email from the Hahn family:

From: Joan McDonald <email removed>
Subject: Edwin Hahn

Message Body:
Edwin Hahn was my great great-grandfather. He was born 1/23/1848 and died 1/29/1924. He had 5 children: Thomas (my great-grandfather), Clinton, Robert, Alice (who married Hervey Pealer), and Lillian (who married Charles Reed). I saw your post saying his daughter may have married someone with the initials GAR, but I know that’s not the case. Also, GAR High School wasn’t built until 1925, the year after he died. Ironically, his granddaughter Minnie Hahn, great-granddaughter Carolyn Tippett Burke (my mother), and great great-granddaughter Carol Burke (my sister) all taught at GAR High School.

I’m guessing the initials were from the person who owned the plane or perhaps it was used at the high school. I have plane No. 2 if you would like me to send photos. I plan to donate to the larger Hahn family. They have reunions for all the descendants of Peter Phillip Hahn, who came over in 1774 (I think that’s the correct year).
I’ll look for a picture of Edwin. I may have one.

Edwin Hahn Planes

Thanks to  Mike Te Velde for passing along that the thread count for his Hahn no 14 is 12/24.

Mike also made a new tote bolt from a nail.

Tote Bolt from a Nail
Tote Bolt from a Nail

If you have any information outside of the book, I’d be interested in hearing it.

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