The Civil War brought great strides in manufacturing technology and innovation to the factories that were dedicated to the production of war munitions. When the war ended, advances in metal working and design were quickly applied to more peaceful purposes. The machinery and equipment developed to produce the weapons of war were repurposed to the design and manufacture of a wide variety of innovative and technologically advanced woodworking tools.The Providence Tool Company, of Providence, Rhode Island was one of the first companies to make the transition.
In 1867, Russell Phillips was granted a patent for a radical new design of a traditional woodworkers plough plane. Over the subsequent years, Phillips received a number of additional patents for improvements he made to his original design. Advances in mid 19th century metalwork allowed Phillips to to design a plane that was both a vast improvement over traditional wood planes while introducing an elegant design aesthetic. The result was beautiful as well as practical.
Yellow Garage dealer Super A Farms presents an early Phillips plough plane marked with a patent date of 1867. This plane is also over-stamped with the master carpenters name: C C Harlow Maker Bridgewater Mass, a clear indication how valuable this tool was to this craftsman. There are eight original cutters included but the plane is missing its fence. The plane is in very good condition considering its early vintage. The pictures provide the best description of condition and design aesthetics. This early Phillips plough plane would be a valuable addition to any collection focused on unique patented metal planes of the mid-19th century.