Going through the old catalogues, it would appear that MARPLES made or were made for them, Turning Saws and Frames and Saw pads as early as 1846, if not earlier.
But the earliest reference that we have is the 1846 ‘List of Prices’, an excerpt from which is shown here below.
The 1861 Catalogue shows us some more details:
The 1873 entries are shown below:
The 1897 Catalogue entries are shown here:
But it should be noted that ‘Saws’ were now included in almost all of the higher priced ‘Tool Chests’ offered by MARPLES going back to 1861.
1909 Catalogue entries:
Item #8320-Pocket Pruning Saw [above] had scales of Rosewood in the 1909 Catalogue, whereas previously they were of Boxwood. [Item #394H]
The 1921 entries:
The 1928 Catalogue entries:
The 1938 Catalogue entries:
The 1959 Catalogue entries:
The 1965 Catalogue entries:
Below is the culmination of much work analysing the catalogues in order to produce a composite table depicting the MARPLES saws as listed against time. As I worked I eventually decided that I would only make a starting point at the 1897 Catalogue, as the previous item # changes were just too horrendous to work through.
There were 3 different number changes with MARPLES Tools between 1873 and 1909 and these are very difficult to follow because Item descriptions also changed over time.
I carried the study through using just the hard copy Catalogues. [1897, 1909, 1928, 1938, 1959 and 1965.] On each line where there is a number, this denotes a number change at that time. Of necessity I have had to truncate the descriptions given in the catalogues to the saws and their individual components, otherwise I would never have space in the table to include all of the Catalogue details. Therefore below is a list of the short forms used:
Below is a table to show the Types of saws sold, with a description and dates that they were available.
Below here is a large table showing the Saws sold by Item number, with a description and dates they were manufactured. You will find that as the saws were re-numbered I have noted the new number as RN#, or as ‘from’ a number previously given. This chart shows the Saw Item # against the years of production. But it must be understood that I have started the chart at the 1897 catalogue and continued it as far as I can given the catalogues that I have [< 1971]. There are many small catalogues that obviously cannot give information on all the products that MARPLES produced at that time, but give some good minor input. Also remember that the production dates shown are but evidence based catalogue entries and therefore the product may have been introduced/discontinued before/after these dates.
There were a lot of saws that were re-numbered between initial introduction [before 1897] and the first re-numbering date of 1909. The second re-numbering occurs in 1938. This can all be very confusing which is why I have tried to give you the composite chart below.
Below is an excerpt from the M2 Catalogue of August 1973:
Below is from the M1 Catalogue Feb 1968. Pad Saw #2421 was carried through until at least November 1977.
Above is from the New Products leaflet of Sept 1968.
This shows that Coping Saw #2677 [absent from the 1965 Cat.] has had its’ number re-assigned in 1968 to the newly introduced Junior Hacksaw.
The Dovetail Saw #2641 was a totally new number and I doubt that any maker of saws could have fitted a more ugly, more uncomfortable handle that also showed a disgusting nod to design. How could they have ever allowed this to be marketed?? Such was this age of austerity, and hopefully very few survive, so if you have one, please burn it!!
At this stage I am sure that MARPLES did not manufacture the saws in their own factory as they were made outside at other saw maker facilities and given the MARPLES mark. [Simon Barley informs us that they were in fact manufactured either by ‘Garlick‘ or ‘Francis Wood‘]
Below is where you will find additional info on the saws and as many photos of the different types as I can muster.
The very best book that could have been written on British Saws & Makers is by Simon Barley, and I have been given his permission to quote here from his book:
British Saws & Saw Makers from c1660 SIMON BARLEY ISBN 978-1-909300-74-3 Published 2014
This information in his book represents a huge amount of time, effort and money and I am therefore much indebted to Simon for his allowing this publication.
” From his earliest days Marples sold saws, but it is not likely that the firm ever made their own. In 1825 the Beardshaw records show sales to him; the catalogues of 1878 show only Disston and Boynton makes (both American), and those of 1883 and 1892 only Disston’s. In the 1920’s Marples were one of the few firms to sell saws in the new stainless steel, although it is not known who they were made by. Later evidence is that their saws were made by Garlick and Francis Wood. “
I can only comment here that in 1825 Wm. Marples Jnr. was only 16 years old and was maybe merely purchasing saws for his own personal use.
The earliest MARPLES catalogue reference to Stainless Steel saws is in September 1931, so it is possible that MARPLES was selling these saws before they were catalogue introduced.
Below are some marks found on MARPLES‘ saws, as shown in Simon’s book.
A mark that has recently been found is not shown in Simon’s book, because it is so rare. It simply states on the brass back: WILLIAM MARPLES LONDON
This brass backed Tenon Saw was from an era when it was commercially productive to mark tools as having been produced in London, as Sheffield produced tools were still considered to be inferior. I suggest that this saw is c. 1865. Below is a photo of the brass back and a handle that may not be original [no blade as it was not recoverable] :