Having spent over 30 years in tool manufacture I can fully appreciate the amount of knowledge of tools and cutlery which has gone into producing this unique work. Derek Bateson and his collaborator, Ken Hawley, have distilled over 100 years of their own tool experience - Derek as a manufacturer and latterly distributor, Ken as a retailer. Ken is generally acknowledged as the country's leading authority on tools which is exemplified in the Hawley Collection. Being based in Sheffield Derek and Ken have had a profound insight into the history and development of the tool and cutlery industries and this is more than evident in this book. Each chapter is dedicated to a particular tool be it saws, chisels, measuring instruments or other hand tools which made Sheffield famous the world over. I particularly liked the explanations of the terminology which abounds in the tool industry. With tool manufacture in Sheffield in decline such explantions represent a unique record of our history. This study will be a source of detailed information for generations to come. The Hawley Collection of tools, catalogues and other ephermera can now be viewed at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield. Both the book and a visit to Kelham Island are highly recommended.
This is a treasure-house of information on a quintessentially seminal sphere of human activity - the production of tools, and more recently of tools and cutlery, particularly as they relate to the central industrial steel-making activities of centuries in Sheffield.
In the form both of pictures and highly informative text, the reader is introduced to the development of the craft of tool-making - particularly of cutting tools - the materials and the treatments needed to produce devices appropriate for the changing demands of technology.
The needs of different kinds of users are well illustrated - from surgeons with their scalpels and saws to razors, to wood-workers' saws, planes, chisels, and on to metal-working tools.
Truly a treasure- house, beautifully illustrated and annotated, with copious explanations of the often arcane terminology.
The text is concise enough to explain the items on display. The inclusion of a glossary is a great help and not overfacing. It could have helped to have words included in the glossary in bold print within the body of the text.
The photographs are excellent, giving clear views of each tool even the most complicated and esoteric. More importantly, perhaps, the reader,through the illustrations, is tempted in their mind's eye to handle these works of art , and thus enjoy their heft.
This book should encourage many visitors to visit the museum and to wonder at the skill and ingenuity of tradesmen past and present. The author and his production team are to be congratulated.
In my opinion this book is a gem. All too often information of this kind is hard to find or worse still lost forever. My congratulations to the author and thanks to Ken Hawley for sharing his very special knowledge.