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T Evans

possibly Solomon Perkins (1712-1743)

Bridgewater, Plymouth Co., MA


GAWP5, pg 289, presents Solomon Perkins as the possible craftsman behind the one plane known with the imprint S Perkins.

Further search through period records supports this assessment. In one 1734 and four 1739 deeds, Solomon is identified as a joyner. His father was Nathan Perkins, a blacksmith in Bridgewater. Solomon m Lydia Sprague in 1733 and they had five children. No other period candidate has been found in New England, although multiple individuals exist for whom a trade is not yet known. Eighteen period individuals have been found whose trades are not associated with woodworking.


One plane is known with the mark S Perkins, a molder 10 1/5" long that's made of birch. It follows the details found on the early English molding plane made by John Gilgrest. In particular the shoulder treatment and chamfer stop details are very similar and at the same time nearly unique. (Few other planes have been found with these construction details.) The S Perkins molder also shares similar details with four known N Potter molders. N Potter is thought to be Nathaniel Sr. of Lynn and Leicester, MA., 1693-1768, and possibly his son Nathaniel Jr., 1732-1792, both carpenters / housewrights. See the N Potter entry in the New Information section.


S Perkins photographs and specifics courtesy of Tom Whalen.

John Gigrest, 10 1/2" beech molder courtesy of Early Planemakers of London, Don and Anne Wing. John apprenticed in 1709.

N Potter, 10 7/16" birch bilection molder courtesy of Mike Humphrey.

S Perkins, 10 1/2" birch molder courtesy of Tom Whalen.

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