I cannot confirm the maker with
absolute certainty, but the saw features a Warranted Superior
medallion with the Disston keystone, so Iíd be surprised if it
was made by any other company.
What is certain is that this saw was sold by the Supplee
Hardware Co in Philadelphia. According to the etch this saw is
"The Genuine and Original no 255" The etch is rather typical to
American made Warranted saws. It features an eagle surrounded by
two star spangled banners as well as the additional words:
SPRING STEEL WARRANTED
Patent Temper Temper Ground
The saw also has a secondary etch with the text:
"This saw was made specially for use of the most skilled
For quality style and finish it cannot be surpassed.
William H. Supplee"
Staying wit the etch for a while I have some thoughts on these.
Is it possible that several saw makers used the same
subcontractor for their etches, or did the saw makers really
make their own etches?
Bear with me. The etch in my Supplee Hardware saw contains two
rows of text identical, both in content and design, to a
Woodrough McParlin hardware saw made for
Sickels & Nutting in
How is this possible? I can think of two reasons. Either all or
a part of the saw makers had agreed on shared etch templates and
designs for certain types of saws, or they shipped their saw
plates to one place for etching. Please do let me know if Iím
out of my depths here. All Iím saying is that those lines are
identical in design and typography. Did they just blatantly
steal from each other?
I know, Iím digressing. So back to the origin of my saw. I'm
quite sure this is a Disston made saw. It has the feel of a
Disston, it has Disston hardware, and I firmly believe the
hardware is original. But I have not been able to find a
matching model in Disston catalogues or on
The only official Disston model that comes close as far as the
handle design is concerned, is the
no 99, as designed from 1906 onwards.
I'm well aware of the fact that the no 99 was a straight back
and mine is a skew back. So I'm not saying this is a no 99 in
disguise. But the handles of the both saws are close matches.
The few Disston catalogues I have access to do not include this
saw in the "Special saws etched to order" section, so I can't
say if this saw was listed or not.
As far as age goes, I firmly believe this saw was made rather
early in the 20th century. Supplee Hardware merged with one Mr
Biddle and became Supplee-Bilddle Hardware Co in 1914.
Although my saw doesn't feature the hardware company name, but
only the signature of William H. Supplee, I think the saw could
well have been made before 1914. The saw nuts have the narrow
screw slots associated with earlier raised nuts. And the handle
design is clearly more elegant and well rounded, something which
also indicates an earlier design. Having compared it to my
Disston Jubilee saw (made for about one year according to
Erik von Sneidern) the handle on my W&S saw is much more rounded
All in all this saw is a wonderful example of fine saw making.
The spring steel is very hard and well tensioned. The handle has
one of the best palm grips I have come across and after some
jointing, reshaping and sharpening the saw has been hard at
work. It performs beautifully.