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A Brief History of Granford

THOMAS GRANFORD is considered to be the earliest recorded commercial planemaker in England. Dating from 1654, there were three generations of GRANFORD, all named Thomas. Unlike most moulders, the maker stamp is embossed on the side of the plane near the toe. It is in the form of an elipse, about 9/16″ by 5/8″, within which is the rather crudely embossed inscription “THIS IS GRAN FURDEVS MAKE”, with the letter N back to front. There has been much speculation over the origins of these words, but the most likely is thought to be a literal translation from Latin, meaning “This is of GRANFORD’S make”.

Most of the evidence available suggests that the planes so far found, were manufactured and marketed by the second generation of GRANFORDS (1687-1716) although some of the original stocks may have come unmarked from the first generation, and later stamped and sold. In 1692, the GRANFORDS took NAT GAMBLE as an apprentice. To our knowledge only one example of his work has ever been found. A better known apprentice was taken on in 1699, by the name of ROBERT WOODING, who in 1713 took over the business.

Appeared 1995 – Toolshop Auctions Catalogue

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