COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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Wiring Machine

Origin: America, Connecticut, Berlin
OH: 19 1/2" OW: 12"
Iron, steel, brass and wood
Gift of Stephen Eisenhart
Acc. No. 2014-78
Hand-operated machine with two adjustable disk-shaped dies set one atop the other, on geared axels. Spring-loaded adjustable guard set at the convergence of the two discs. Frame with integrally cast mounting flanges, screwed to a tenoned wooden post for setting into a workbench top.
Label:At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Eli Parsons and Calvin Whiting received the first American patents for their machines invented to perform some of the functions of the tinsmith. By 1810, the duo had contracted with Seth Peck of Stonington, CT, who manufactured and continually improved the machines, and ultimately purchased Parsons and Whiting's patents.

Peck became very successful, and his machines were sold all over the United States. It is believed that by the mid-1830s, most American tinsmiths were using Peck's products, although this later machine was made by one of Peck's competitors. Called a "wiring machine," this handy device was used to firmly turn the edge of a piece of tin around a wire set in its edge, as on the top of a cup or coffeepot.
Provenance:From the Eisenhart collection of tinsmithing tools.
Mark(s):ROYS & WILCOX BERLIN- CT WARRANTED below a spread-winged eagle stamped into the brass top of the frame. A large "1" is stamped above the eagle's head.