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Looking for info on W. H. Mozley saw

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lapjoint

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Hi,

I recently picked up this saw marked as "W. H. Mozley, Hastings/Eastbourne" at the flea market here in Germany. I tried to find something about this maker (and about the age of the saw in particular) on the web, but to no avail. The guy I bought it from knew it's from England (no kidding...), but nothing more.

From the looks of it, I'd say the saw is old-ish, since it has the old-fashioned nib, a lambs tongue which must have involved at least some amount of hand carving, nice brass screws, etc. The handle is beech; it was covered in some kind of lacquer, which I removed; the darker dye is not original, I just like that look with the brass.

Has anyone here ever heard about this Mozley company by any chance?

Thanks and best regards
Christoph
 

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AndyT

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I've looked for this in Simon Barley's British Saws and Sawmakers but it's not listed. However, it is in the addenda, as discussed on this thread saw-etch-t116303-15.html

There's no detail, just a note that says he's seen a backsaw marked like yours sold online and estimated its date at c1980 - but I think that must be a typo for 1890.

So all we can say is that these two saws are the only evidence that there used to be a tool seller calling himself Mozley, in Sussex. The saws would have been made in Sheffield and marked to order with his name.

Rather than leave it there, I have had a quick look and this link should lead to mention of a firm of Buckley and Mozley, Cutlers, at 23 George Street Hastings in the 1915 Kelly's Directory for Sussex http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/digi ... /id/363527

Presumably your saw predates the merger with Buckley.
 

rob1713

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Hi Christoph,

I own a 14" brass back tenon saw with the same W H Mozley etch as your panel saw. Mozley was a tool dealer based in Hastings. When I was researching my saw I found a site on line that had a picture of his shop in Hastings but unfortunately I can't find it now.
My saw has characteristics that date it to the 1920/30's. I can confirm that Andy is correct (as usual) when he stated that his saws were made in Sheffield as mine has 'SHEFFIELD MADE' stamped on the spine.
Your saw looks to be in lovely condition and I'd say it's of a similar age to mine.
Nice find.
 

lapjoint

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Thanks! That's a lot more information than I was able to find.

Regards
Christoph
 

DonMc

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Christoph et al,
Having spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find more information concerning tool dealer William Henry Mozley, I think I can fill in some of the blanks. Though significant gaps remain. As a preface, though, I do want to say that the evidence, so far, tends to mostly align with Rob's observations.

As best I can tell, William Henry Mozley was born in Ecclesall Bierlow, West Ridings, Yorkshire, in early 1884. His father, Charles A. was a confectioner in Sheffield and W H appears to have grown up there. By the 1901 census, he was 17 (census says 19) and working as a "cutler, jobbing grinder." The next information I can find regarding him is 1911, when he marries Kate Russell in Hastings and appears in the Sussex/Hastings directory as a partner in the cutlery firm of Buckley & Mozley. (I tentatively believe the partner is Samuel Buckley, born in Sheffield in 1877 & working as a "cutlery warehouse boy" by 1891.) The next earlier directory I've found is 1905, and neither Buckley nor Mozley appear in it under the Hastings listings. So the partnership was formed some time after 1905 and had taken over the 35 George Street location which had previously been occupied by cutlers, Lindsley & Co. The firm continued to be at the 35 George St. location in 1915. By 1918, it had moved to 4 York Buildings, Hastings, an address associated with each iteration of the firm until, at least, 1981.

There is a gap in the information/sources until 1926, when William Henry is sole proprietor of the company, which is located at the 4 York Buildings address. By 1928, it has two locations: 4 York Buildings, Hastings & 47a Seaside, Eastbourne. So, the best I can say at the moment, is that sometime between 1918 and 1926, the partnership dissolved and the company began operating out of the two locations mentioned on Christoph's saw in 1927 or 1928. The firm may have continued with some cutlery manufacturing, but it is always clearly a dealer, only, when it came to tools.

William Henry passed away 8 January 1938 in Hastings, which is also the last date for which I've found evidence of the firm operating at the two locations already mentioned. However, there is, again, a gap in the information/sources, which means that it may possibly have continued using both locations as late as 1945. This, because, the next listing I've found, so far, is from 1946, when only the Hastings address is included. A 1939 registry indicates that his wife, Kate, took over the business after his death, to be succeeded by their son, William Henry Jr. by 1946.

As Indicated earlier, the last entry I've found, so far, for the company is 1981, which, possibly not coincidentally, was the year in which William Henry Mozley, Jr. passed away. Though the firm had added a new second location, The Moor, Hawkhurst, in their listings for 1979 - 1981 and had become a limited corporation around 1960/61.

Hope this has been of some interest, and I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with additional information or corrections to the foregoing.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR
 

AndyT

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Proper job!

Don, you've clearly put more effort into this than I did.

I did find some recent search results for an address at The Moor, Hawkehurst. They were on the sort of directory site which sets up a big directory from some existing list, then tries to sell adverts and links from it, to the firms listed. In the Mozley case, there was no phone number or website. This is common on such sites and suggests that the firm is no longer trading. I did look at Google Street view for The Moor and it looked wholly residential, so maybe by then there was just a "ghost" non-trading address where a director or accountant lived.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Just to add a note that Andy, Don and Rob will be familiar with, but Lapjoint may not.

It was common practice in the Sheffield tool making trades for makers to apply their own brand marks to their products, but also to apply other brand marks if a minimum order was placed. Thus, many larger ironmongers and tool dealers around the country (and the wider world) had tools made in Sheffield and marked with their own brand. Sometimes, both the maker and the dealer brands were applied.

Thus, in the case of the OP's saw, the 'tool specialist' firm of W H Mozley on the south coast were able to place a sufficiently large order with a Sheffield manufacturer to have their own etch applied. Unfortunately, in this case, there is no manufacturer's mark, just the dealer's, so we don't know who actually made the saw.
 
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