Astragal Press books on antique tools and more






Tools Teach
An Iconography of American Hand Tools

H.G. Brack

Volume 13 in the Hand Tools in History series explores the iconography of early American hand tools as they evolve into the Industrial Revolution’s increased diversity of tool forms. The hand tools illustrated in this volume were selected from the Davistown Museum collection, most of which are cataloged in An Archaeology of Tools (Volume 9 in Hand Tools in History), and from those acquired and often sold by Liberty Tool Company and affiliated stores, collected during 40+ years of “tool picking.” Also included are important tools from the private collections of Liberty Tool Company customers and Davistown Museum supporters.


Beginning with tools as simple machines, reviews are provided of the metallurgy and tools used by the multitasking blacksmith, shipsmith, and other early American artisans of the Wooden Age. The development of machine-made tools and the wide variety of tool forms that characterize the American factory system of tool production are also explored. The text includes over 800 photographs and illustrations and an appendix of the tool forms depicted in Diderot’s Encyclopedia. This survey provides a guide to the hand tools and trades that played a key role in America’s industrial renaissance. The iconography of American hand tools narrates the story of a cascading series of Industrial Revolutions that culminate in the Age of Information Technology.
254 pages, Paperback, B&W, 8" x 10", 2013
Order Number: VAP369............$22.00