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S King

Strongest candidate: Samuel King, Sr. of Paris, ME

 b Raynham, MA 1771, d Paris, ME 1856.


2nd Tier: Samuel King, Templeton, MA housewright 1773.

MA deeds searched but CT, RI, VT, NH, ME records remain limited.

Also included, is information on Samuel H King Jr., the likely craftsman behind GAWP 5's imprint SHK (imprint B) reported along with the S King entry.

S King

GAWP 5 notes that 2 S King planes were found with JK King planes in Maine. Art Gaffar provided important information on the King family of Maine including Jairus K King, of Paris, ME, prominent joiner and builder, the probable maker of the JK King planes. (JK King was unidentified in GAWP 5 up to this point.) Several Maine histories provide linking information to Samuel King Sr., of Paris, ME. In these histories, Samuel King, Sr., house carpenter, was identified as the father of Jairus. The direct linkage between the planes found together in Maine along with Samuel and Jairus being father and son, makes a compelling argument for Samuel being the maker of the S King planes.


On the way to this "statement", the 1800 census records were searched for S King in the New England states. 15 S King's were found in MA while 23 were found in CT, VT, NH, ME and RI. MA deeds were searched for the S King trades and only one relevant craftsman was found; Samuel of Templeton, MA a housewright in 1773. With the strong evidence for Samuel King of Paris being the S King planemaker, Samuel of Templeton is at best considered a 2nd tier candidate.

Records in RI, ME, VT, CT and NH are relatively difficult to search with respect to finding trades, and so these 22 outstanding individuals represent at least a small degree of uncertainty in the identity of S King.

GAWP 5 reports a plane with an early initial stamp SHK (imprint B) with features matching the later styled S King planes. This is probably the work of Samuel H King, b 1799 Paris, ME, the brother to Jairus and son of Samuel Sr.

The King family was included in the History of Paris, Maine, from its settlement to 1880, by Lapham, 1884. Here is Samuel Sr's family unit and as mentioned in the text, the home that he built in Paris.

Note:   The Davistown Museum recorded that Samuel King's great great grandson, has in his possession an apple parer and a fine desk made by Samuel King.

One of the histories mentioned in the first paragraph was; Maine, A History, vol. 5 by Hatch, pg 176. Here's the information on George, the father of Samuel King Sr., Samuel King Sr. and one of his sons Samuel H King Jr.

As stated, Art Gaffar provided information on Samuel Sr's son Jairus K King, the craftsman responsible for the JK King planes. The information below (condensed from Jairus's obituary) rounds out this brief summary of the family's craftsmen.

Jairus Keith King, born 1821 Paris Me., Died May 6, 1895, age 79, 3 m. He was the ninth child of Samuel and Sally (Hall) King born in Paris, Me.


He was a housewright, learning his trade from his father, and was not only an ingenious mechanic, but an architect of good ability, making the plans of many of his buildings himself. He came to Portland in the fall of 1844 and was joined by his eldest brother, Samuel H, the following winter, forming a partnership to carry on the trade. The partnership was soon dissolved by mutual consent. Capt. King succeeding to the business of the firm.

Jairus K King

The Planes

At present, planes marked S King seem to fall into three basic camps (early, later and late) based on their features / details of manufacture (the authors' designations). The early examples exhibit classic 18th C style molding wedges with straight cutouts under the finial, flat body chamfers and end chamfers with a sloped step and flute, typical of third quarter MA makers. Later (ca 1800 .... 1820) styled planes have late 18th C styled molder wedge finials and heavy round chamfers with a simple turnout on the ends. They may or may not have flat chamfers on the ends. Note that two jointers shown below (one early and one later) exhibit many of these defining traits and serve as a valued point of contrast. A third style designated late, has long narrow gouge cuts as the chamfer stops (typical of 1820-1830) and 19th C swept back wedge finials. There is ongoing debate as to whether Samuel Jr. made some of these later styled planes. A panel raiser reported by Mike Humphrey in CAWP volume 15 (1995) has both the S King and SHK imprints, but unfortunately, the plane's construction details were not recorded. 


The reporting of additional plane examples is highly encouraged in order to help sort out these questions.

9.875 long early molder with "ca 1780 features", photo provided by a fellow collector

Later styled plow, courtesy Dan Linski and the Rhykenology Group on Facebook.

Early and later styled jointer planes. The early jointer's tote is damaged.  

Early Example

  • birch

  • flat body chamfers with flutes on ends (follows chamfer details found on early molding planes)

  • offset tote, front grip feature more pronounced. Smaller grip cutout size.

  • current tote height 2-31/32" with period damage and repair

  • round top wedge

  • wedge abutment cheek chamfers fairly straight and full length, edge of abutment is chamfered where it contacts the wedge 

  • layout scribe lines

  • mouth opening shorter

Later Example

  • beech body with birch tote and wedge

  • heavy round body chamfers, no flutes on ends

  • centered tote, undercut heel projection, front grip feature less pronounced. Taller grip cutout size.

  • current tote height 4-1/4" 

  • flat top wedge with angle cut at top corners

  • wedge abutment cheek chamfers more teardrop in shape and partial length of abutment 

  • layout scribe lines

  • mouth opening longer

Later, toted groove. Flat chamfers on ends and heavy rounded on top of body. (Flat chamfers on the ends may precede the round chamfers on the ends as was the case with Jo Fuller.) Beech with birch wedge and tote.

Later smoother. Heavy round chamfers, teardrop shaped chamfers on wedge abutment cheeks, beech with birch wedge. James Cam iron.

Late toted sash, beech. Courtesy Chris Bender.


Narrow gouge cut chamfer stops (greater in width than the chamfers) and 19th C swept back wedge finials are of a later date than the previous corresponding plane details that are designated "later" in style.

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