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Charles Nurse Catalogue 1902

The ebook this time is a brand new one, not previously available. It's a tool catalogue from my own library, newly scanned and made available for download from the TATHS website Charles Nurse Catalogue 1902. It's the 12th edition of the "Invicta" Illustrated Price List from Charles Nurse and Company, published in the autumn of 1902.

Nurse 1902


It's an impressive publication of over 350 pages. The first section (138 pages) shows tools for all sorts of woodworkers. The second section lists tools for:

  • Engineers
  • Smiths
  • Electricians
  • Linesmen
  • Plumbers
  • Painters
  • Bricklayers
  • Masons
  • Watch and clockmakers
  • Fretworkers

and also some machinery and cutlery.

The Nurse family business began in Maidstone where they were plane makers, moving to London in 1887. The catalogue shows the scale and grandeur of their retail premises in Walworth Road – I'm sure many readers would love to go back in time and find such a splendid shop. (There's no trace of it there now -– an ugly 1970s building houses a travel agent and an estate agent on the site.)

Nurse182 184W Road

One aspect of the catalogue that may be surprising to some is that there are so many ranges of imported American tools on offer. These were from well-known names such as Stanley, Goodell, Jennings, Irwin, Millers Falls, Disston, Starrett, Brown and Sharpe, Cushman, Bernard, Armstrong, Morse, Union, and Barnes.

For British tools beyond the standard patterns, the only notable British name (other than Nurse's own brand) was Preston, with several pages of their immediately distinctive planes, gauges, shaves and routers.

One special line gives a delightful glimpse into the world of the Edwardian schoolboy – this patented tool grinding appliance, as adopted by the London School Board.

Ilsley Patent grinder

I hope this catalogue will prove valuable to TATHS members and students of tools around the world. The pdf is around 95 Mb and the text is searchable.



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