A Quest for Early American Plane Makers

Recently I’ve decided to embark on an educational journey for information on Early American plane makers, and of course, hunting down some of their work. As of this writing I haven’t paid much attention to the wooden planes, sticking with the metallic versions. This will be a new road of education. Feel free to follow me along. As always, conversation is welcome.

I will try to update this information as I dig in my Quest for Early American plane makers.

If the maker was born after 1755, and/or having started making planes after 1775, I have not included them here (at least for now).

In a some what chronological order.

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Francis Nicholson (believed to be the earliest documented plane maker) (b 1683 – d 1753)
Mark – F.Nicholson
Very early 1700’s in Wrentham MA.

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John Nicholson (Son of Francis)
Mark – I.Nicholson
Mid 1700’s

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Cesar Chelor 1728 to 1753
Mark – CE.Chelor
Mark – CESARCHELOR
Was Francis Nicholson’s slave.

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Jonathan Ballou (b1723-d1770) of Providence, RI (1744-70)
Mark – ION.Ballou

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Simeon Pomeroy (b.1725-d.1812) North Hampton MA

Mark – S+Pomeroy
Mark – S+Pomeroy
.    .      N+Hampton

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Jarvis Pike Sr. (active 1726-33)  Deedham MA.

Mark – Ix Pike
………Jarvis Pike jr. (b 1779 – d1872-33)
………..Mark – J.Pike

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Samuel Dean (b.1700-d.17750  Dedham or Norton Ma..

Mark – S*Dean
.           Dedham
Mark – S*Dean
Mark – SD
.         S.Dean
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Thomas Napier   (opened business in 1773)
Mark – Tho!Napier **
Mark – T.Napier ***

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Asa Hide  (1763->)
Mark – A:Hide
Mark – A:Hide
IN:NOrwich

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John Walton Jr. (b1710-d1785) of Reading, MA (1731-1735)
Mark – I*Walton
..       IN+Reading
Mark – I.W

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Henry Wetheral  (b1729 – d1797)
Mark – H.Wetheral

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Samuel Dogget (b1727 – d1794) of Dedham, MA
Probably started plane making around 1749
Mark – S:Dogget

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John Akers (d-1770)
Mark – Iohn Akers

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Elijah Puffer (b-1738-d-1816) (ref-DAT)
Mark – E.Puffer
Had ties to John and Francis Nicholson

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Daniel? Denison (b-1740)
Mark – D. Denison

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Asa Hide (b1741-d1797) of Norwich,CT (earliest CT planemaker)
Mark – A:Hide
Mark – A:Hide
……     IN:NOrwich

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Joseph Fuller (b1746-d1822) of Providence, RI
Mark – Jo:Fuller
Mark – Several others that include “Providence”

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William Sprat(s) (b.1747-d.1810) CT
Mark – W*Sprat
W.Sprats

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Jonathan Tower (b.1758-d.1846)  Rutland Vt.
Mark – Jn Towner (with a dot under the “n”)

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Benjamin Armitage Jr. 1760-1762 (d-1781)
Mark – B.Armitage

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Henry Wetherall III  (b-2-8-1764 – d-11-20-1840
Mark – HWetherall
..            Chatham
Mark – Henry Weitherall

Nicholos Taber (b1761-d1849) of New Bedford, MA

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Samuel Caruthers 1740
Mark – S.Caruthers

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Thomas Grant 1750-1800??
Mark – Tho.Grant

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James Stiles 1768-1775
Mark – J. Stiles

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William Harris Jr (b.1742-d.1802) New London CT
Mark – Wharris
Mark – W.harris

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John Sleeper (B.1754-d.1834) Newburyport Ma.
Mark – I.Sleeper   (these are frequently found)

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Moses Sleeper (B.1752-d.1792) Newburyport Ma.
Mark – M*Sleeper   (brother of John Sleeper)

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The Early (pre-1750) planes of New England were usually yellow birch instead of beech.

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My Resources (in no particular order)

       Wooden Planes in 19th Century America