Researching Edward Preston spokeshaves and related tools

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Joe Stankus

6 Nov 2019
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I have been researching the firm of Edward Preston of Birmingham for approximately 15 years. My research is being used to write a treatise on iron spokeshaves and related tools made by Preston. I am looking for anyone that has any Preston catalogs that they would be willing to share scans, photos, copies,etc. I currently have the following catalogue info:

1895 catalogue - some photos of the spokeshave pages
1901 catalogue reprint by Ken Roberts
1909 catalogue reprint by Astragal press
circa 1912 booklet no. 23 original in good condition
1914 catalogue no. 26 original missing cover and multiple pages
1932 catalogue no. 43 scans of some pages, including all spokeshaves
1933 Rabone catalogue with addendum of Preston tools after Rabone acquired Preston

I also have catalogues from Richard Melhuish, Charles Nurse, Tyzack &Sons, George Adams, and several others.

Thank you in advance...


I can offer one little snippet to add, though I expect you know it already.
The revised, expanded edition of the popular book "Every Man his own Mechanic" had an appendix covering new developments in the tool market, which had brief descriptions of some of the Preston designs. You can read it online or download it from here ... /page/n832

You'll also be aware that the 1909 reprint was the work of the late Mark Rees, who had a special interest in Preston. He's no longer with us, but his widow, Jane is - she's the president of TATHS and has recently finished work on the new, 4th edition of British Planemakers, due out in early 2020.

She may well have other materials that Mark collected and be interested in your forthcoming work. I suggest you email her and ask.
Hello Andy,

Thank you for the link and the suggestion to contact Jane Rees. I have already seen the PDF version of this book. As no Preston catalogues from this time have been available for examination, I have used references like this and advertisements to place the first appearance of Preston spokeshaves circa 1879.


I should also like to add that any assistance in my research will be properly acknowledged in the my treatise.

Additionally, if anyone is willing to sell any original Preston catalogues, I would be interested in purchasing them.