1874 was a very busy year at
the Keystone Saw Works, the hub of Henry Disston and Sons
mammoth saw and tool making enterprise.
Among many patents granted that year and utilized on
new Disston saws was the ‘Improvement in handles for
saws’ feature granted to William J. Reagan on
December 8. The Reagan patent handle was found on
the Disston No. 9 improved backsaw, which featured a
decorative ogee shaped on the nose of the saw blade,
as well as the standard Disston #4 backsaw with a
Nowadays, saw lovers drool over the gorgeous,
sculpted lines of these saw handles. Some time ago I
found my first Reagan backsaw with a nice, thin, 14
inch blade. I’ll get around to cleaning and tuning
it someday. But more recently, I stumbled across a
variety of Reagan saw handle that I have never seen
or even heard of before.
All of the Reagan handles I had seen previous to
this, both in person and in pictures, where of the
three bolt variety shown on saws 12 inches and
larger. The saw I found–and subsequently snatched up
on sight–has a two-bolt handle on a 10 inch saw
plate. While I know that Reagan pattern saws were
available in sizes as small as 8 inches, I never
thought about what the handle might look like. You
can tell from the picture above that it is quite
different. I have included a 14 inch variety of the
same vintage for comparison.
Curious for info on another documented saw like
mine, I asked my friend Carl. He has been collecting
and researching saws longer than I’ve been alive.
Carl said he’d never heard of one before. Hmmmm…
So how rare are these little beauties? I’d love to
see other pictures of saws like this or even a
catalogue image if anyone has one.
In the meantime, I’m going to be sleeping with this
sexy little saw…I think I’m in love!