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Bruce Johnson 
Leather Tools LLC

Leather Tool Makers & History

This page is to give a little bit of the background and appreciation of the tools I commonly have on hand. Makers are listed in alphabetical order.

Blanchard and later Vergez-Blanchard are French tools. The original Blanchard company started in 1823. I don't know when the Vergez-Blanchard change came and if someone could enlighten me I would sure appreciate it.

Dixon tools - are made in England. They started in 1843 and are still producing leather tools. These tools have been marked with the names Joseph Dixon, T Dixon, and sons at various times.

William Dodd - purchased a tool business in 1856 from Joseph English. That business was begun in 1826. He sold the business to his brother-in-law CS Osborne in 1858. Dodd went to NY to make tools but I have not seen any Dodd tools with other than a Newark marking.

Henry Gomph - was a tool maker in Albany NY. The company was established in 1866 and went until approximately 1924. Gomph tools are generally very well made and good looking tools.

Harrington knives - go back to Henry Harrington in 1818. They were in family control for quite a while and Theodore and Dexter Harrington continued on. I don't have firm dates but have a couple Henry Harrington knives I use that are a very nice. I suspect mid to latter 1800s on mine.

CS Osborne - bought the tool business from Wm Dodd in 1858. Dodd had bought the business from Joseph English who started in 1826. CS Osborne used that 1826 date as the establishment of the company. The original business was in Newark NJ. In 1906 the business moved to Harrison NJ. One
report is that all the tools were then marked with the Harrison address except for round knives. The round knife was part of their logo and may have carried the Newark marking for a while after the Harrison move. One suspicion is maybe
until World War One.

HF Osborne - started in the tool business with his brother CS Osborne. In 1877 or so he left and established his own company. In 1905 he sold his business to CS Osborne.

William Rose - The only leather tools that are commonly thought to be made by Rose are round knives. Wm Rose started in 1798 as a blacksmith shop. It is reported that the company began to concentrate on mainly masonry tools and
leather knives in 1864. The knives were made up until the early 1900s, and possibly until World War One. The masonry trowels were very popular and still made.

Henry Sauerbier - started making tools in Newark, NJ in 1848. In 1855 he was making tools for the leather trade. I have seen them marked "HOS" and "H Sauerbier". Reported that in 1870 the marking was changed to "H Sauerbier & Sons" and in 1876 to "H Sauerbier Sons". I am particularly fond of the Sauerbier tools and draw gauges in particular. I have had contact with Civil War collectors who tell me he was one of the premier sword makers during the Civil War.

Do you have some maker info to share? If you have any information on these makers (or others), please send me an email with a link to articles, magazine clippings, etc. I'd love to add it to this page and share it with everyone.