I’m shamelessly hoping the Google overlords direct all would be searches for the unicorn Stanley Number 1 plane to this post. If you’d like to buy a Stanley Number 1 plane for $1.02 you’ll just need a time machine. Ebay wasn’t around but good old H&S had you covered. If you figure how to get that time machine working pick me up 24 or so. Its funny, I always heard that the much sought after Stanley No. 1 was only a lark, a salesman’s sample to carry around or a novelty. So the other day I’m reading a blog post that talks about the old ‘Hammacher, Schlemmer & Co. – Tools and Benches for Manual Training and Technical Schools‘ and I see the section for Stanley planes. As a Stanley plane nut, I had to look. Low and behold they were selling the Stanley No. 1 to schools, for Manual training. Go figure, after 100 years the collective wisdom goes far afield of common knowledge. For some details and other great Stanley plane lore, visit ‘Patrick’s Blood and Gore‘ internet encyclopedia and defacto source documents on all things Stanley.
All this harkens back to a time when Manual Training was an integral part of all education. Maybe someday it will be again. Another way to look at it is that a hundred years ago all 7th and 8th graders were better woodworkers than most of us folks today. And they only spent a buck O two on their Stanley Number 1’s.