Charles Buck (1829-1905) is often seen as the Buck brother more interested in making quality tools than making money. Here is a short biography of him written towards the end of his life. (For a more complete timeline, see the main Buck Brothers page)
"His first consideration was and is to produce an article of the very best possible quality, and he has conducted his business after such methods that he is personally cognizant of every process of manufacture, at times performing some of the work of forging and tempering with his own hands. The extent of his trade is a secondary consideration, coming after that of the mechanical work, his conservative disposition inclining him to preference for a comparatively small market and an appreciative class of customers, before the unfinished work and pecuniary uncertainty which so frequently attend the mammoth undertakings of great corporations of the present day. Until very recent years and until he was very near seventy years of age he made frequent business trips, going as far west as Chicago and St. Louis to place his goods. Much of his product is marketed through commission houses in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other cities. He has acquired a comfortable fortune, and in its acquisition has never committed an act not justified by honor.
Mr. Buck is a fine example of the really self-made man. His only capital at the beginning of his career was his mechanical skill, his industry, and his ambition. The latter trait was his first incentive not only to the effort which led to his success in material terms, but to his excellent development of character. Going to his trade in early youth, his education was necessarily imperfect, but he found compensation for this advantage through close and intelligent reading, dating from the time when he came to Millbury. He took up the works of the standard authors, and acquired an ample fund of general information which enable him to converse eloquently upon any subject which could engage the attention of the practical and self respecting citizen. For nearly fifty years he has been an exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in whose service he has been earnest and useful. He has served as class leader, and for fifteen years as Superintendent of its Sunday school. In politics he is a Republican, and he has ever been an earnest exponent of its principles, yet has never sought official preferment, performing his political duties out of a conscientious appreciation of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. He is held in sincere regard in the community, and his lovable character was well epitomized by one who knows him well: "He is a grand old man, self-made, willing to aid any one in distress; and surely is a model for young men to follow." He lives in unpretentious comfort in a pleasant residence situated upon a two-acre tract which also contains his shops, storage rooms and other buildings."
--from Ellery Bicknell Crane. Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity, vol. III. New York, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907.
The Charles Buck Edge Tool Company was in business
from 1872 to 1915.
Below are some ads and tools from my collection.
Three ads from Iron Age in 1900.
In the ad above, Charles Buck points out that "I MAKE A
SPECIALTY OF CARVING TOOLS"
Below is my collection of Charles Buck carving tools, which seem to be quite uncommon.
Note the set in the middle with the rosewood handles.
Some other gouges and a chisel from my collection. I do not
have any Charles Buck socket chisels or gouges.
The crank-neck flat sweep patternmaker's gouge (which deserves a better handle) is pretty uncommon.
A Charles Buck round nose scraper
A chisel box.
Sadly, no chisels.
A Charles Buck catalog (undated) from the Joshua Clark collection (Thanks Josh!)
Below is a rubbing of an overstruck logo on a plane iron. It
is clearly a Buck Brothers logo, overstruck with the Charles Buck logo,
so probably from the 1875 (when the buck head was added) to 1880 (when RT sued Charles) era.
(Thanks to Galoot Tom Conroy for sending this to me)
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Copyright © 2004 by Brian Welch.