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GAWP5 entry for S Hills / Springfield / Mass.

S. Hills

Samuel Hills, Springfield, MA

  • (ca 1770-1842) Cabinetmaker and Planemaker

  • 1804 ad reported by GAWP5 selling land and cabinetmaker shop

  • 1835,1837, 1839 and 1841 ads making and selling bench planes. Looking for apprentices and joiners. 

  • 1842 probate inventory includes a significant section of bench planes with single and double irons.

  • His sons Samuel Jr. and Hervey, noted in his will, were also planemakers (see GAWP5).

Samuel Hills, Sr.

GAWP5 mentioned Samuel Sr. as a cabinetmaker ca 1804 under the entry for his son Samuel Hills Jr. (1805-1890). It was believed that the imprint S . Hills was used by Samuel Jr. working alone sometime after 1830. Samuel Jr. and Hervey Hills, sons of Samuel Sr., were planemakers in Springfield, MA using various imprints S & H Hills / Amherst and S & H Hills / Springfield.

A search through probate records yielded Samuel Sr.'s will and inventory from 1842. The inventory included a significant  section of fore, jointer and smooth planes with and without irons. In addition, planes with irons were further itemized as having either single or double irons. Interestingly, the inventory included only bench planes.

The inventory and the following ads from 1835, 1837, 1839 and 1841 point to Samuel Sr. as being a planemaker along with his sons Samuel Jr. and Hervey. It is not known whether Samuel Sr. or Samuel Jr. used the S Hills imprint, but it certainly could have been Samuel Sr.

While unfinished planes were not found in the inventory, it appears that Samuel Sr. was still relatively active in the making of bench planes shortly before his death.

Newspapers ads 1835, 1837, 1839 and 1841.

With the inventory in hand, period newspaper records were searched for material related to Samuel HIlls. Ads were found dating to 1835, 1837, 1839 and 1841. These ads mentioned that Samuel made and was selling bench planes, and that he was seeking apprentices and joiners who would carry on this trade. While the ads do not identify Samuel as being Jr. or Sr., the strong emphasis on Bench / Joiner Planes matches the inventory content of Samuel Sr.

1804 ad with Samuel Sr. selling his Granby farm with a cabinetmaker shop.

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