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Taft, E / In Mendon

Enos Taft (1756-1843)

  • Id'd as Mendon housewright and joiner in period deeds 1785 through 1810

  • All other E Tafts in the area (20) were discounted as being the craftsman E Taft

  • RW records from his pension application

  • His house still stands on the Mendon / Northbridge Rd.

Taft, E / In Mendon

Enos Taft, Mendon

Based on the available historical records, E: Taft / In: Mendon, planemaker, can be reasonably identified as Enos Taft of Mendon (1756-1843): deed records; 1785 carpenter, 1786 joiner, 1794 -1810 housewright. No other E Tafts in the area had a woodworking trade based on period deed records. (Within this period of the mid to late 1700s, there were 20 individuals who could be considered candidates for E Taft, the planemaker, based on the census / genealogical / period records.) 

1786 deed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enos enlisted in the Revolutionary War for 1775/6 and 1778 based on the town records of the time. We are very fortunate that Enos applied for a pension as the pension records provide us with a significant amount of details relating to his service. Enos was fortunate in that his pension was granted in1833.

                                                                                         

                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                  Excerpt from his 1832 application with his signature

Enos was born in Mendon on 8-28-1756 to Seth and Ann (Read) Taft. Both parents had also been born in Mendon. 

Enos married Polly Staples 3-10-1782 in Mendon and their children were: Jared born 1782, Robert born 1784, Sally born 1787, Hanson born 1790 and Amy born 1794.

                                                                        His house at 25 Washington Street still stands on the road

                                                                        between Mendon and Northbridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1831 map of Mendon

 

The planes made by E Taft are very rare with only about 10 examples known. GAWP 5th ed. dates the planes to ca. 1780 which is quite close the date Enos started his joiner / housewright trade. 

The E Taft planes have heavy flat chamfers and are made of birch. The chamfers on the toe and heel end with a small step followed by a tapered turnout. The wedges on non-bench planes are rather defining for Taft with their large flat backed finials. The bench plane wedges have rounded tops. The highly offset, closed totes on the three known bench planes also stand out in their exceptional design and execution.

Link to Stephen Partridge (1752- ca. 1790) as the planemaker S: Partridge / In: Mendon.

See article on Enos Taft, The Chronicle, volume 73 no 3, September 2021 

 

Taft, E / In Mendon                                                                                 

 

E Taft plow, from a set of period planes with an owners' mark OW Bly. Found in a basement in No.            Smithfield, RI with Jo Fuller, D Salsbery and I x Ross planes.

Unmarked E Taft jointer from a set of three (one marked)

 

13.5" E Taft toted rabbet (see BARS article for a drawing of the open tote) 

 

10" E Taft molder, courtesy Martin J. Donnelly

Courtesy of Brown Tool Auctions, Bud Steere collection, 9 15/16".

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