Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool
Bodmann Mitre Box set model 348, comprising metal, adjustable mitre box on timber stand, and metal hand saw with Bakelite handle. The mitre box is labelled with the trademark of Bodmann, Germany, and stamped with the model number 348. The saw has Bodmann trademark badges on each side of the handle; the text on one of these badges is not quite aligned. The saw blade has remnants of a label under which the stamped logo of ULMIA Schutz OTT Marke is clearly visible. Saw is fitted with two metal guides that slide onto vertical posts on the mitre box. Metal measuring guide holds the wood job to the correct length. Saw has a protective brown paper wrapper. This mitre box set is part of a collection of tools and accessories once used by Jim Williams, maker of a series of ship models 1930-1955 including “HMS Sovereign of the Seas”.
This Bodmann mitre box set was used in the making of components for the ship model Sovereign of the Seas. It is part of a collection of objects used by Jim Williams, maker of fine ship models from about 1930-1955. Most of the components for the models, as well as many of the tools, were handmade by Jim Williams. Jim’s family has donated the ship model “Sovereign of the Seas” and many tools, accessories and documents used in the making of this and other ship models have been donated to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
ABOUT the BRAND NAME ON THE SAW - BODMANN and CO, Germany
In 1927 the Brisbane Courier Mail described Bodmann and Co of Reinscheid, Germany as "manufacturers of guaranteed tools and hardware. It appears that at least the saw has been re-badges and sold by Bodmann because (1) there are remnants of a label on the saw blade similar in shape to the Bodmann label on the mitre box (2) the removed label reveals the name and logo of "ULMIA Schutz OTT Marke" (3) one of the "Bodmann" labels on the saw handle has been applied in a crooked manner, almost leaving off the last "N".
ULMIA is a German manufacturer of high quality woodworking tools. A drawing of a very similar mitre box and saw can be seen on the ULMIA website. In 2002 the long established company ANKE of Swabian Alb, Germany (makers of cut timber, workbenches and countertops) bought out the name and trademark rights of ULMIA.
ABOUT JIM WILLIAMS, SHIP MODEL MAKER
James Bernard Williams was known as Jim Williams, born 1888 at The Forth and died 1959 in Warrnambool. He was a passionate ship model builder.
Jim left school at the age of 14 years to work at the Don Store in Ulverstone, Tasmania. He played piano at the silent pictures. He enlisted and fought in France along with his two brothers and was wounded there. On return to Tasmania he found it difficult to get employment. He moved to Warrnambool and worked in the menswear department at Cramond & Dickson clothing store, corner of Timor and Liebig streets, until the Depression, when he lost his job.
After some time unemployed and working part time until 1932, Jim was employed at Fletcher Jones Menswear in Warrnambool. In 1957 Fletcher Jones invited Jim to write out a list of the most interesting details of the ship model Sovereign of the Seas, with the view of displaying the model and the information for a short time in the factory and then move it to the display window of the Fletcher Jones shop in Warrnambool. Jim worked there for 27 years until just before he died in 1959. His Retirement Speech letter and a Staff Photo from Fletcher Jones are included with the donation.
ABOUT JIM’S MODEL MAKING
For many years Jim worked on his model ships, including The Endeavour and The Sovereign of the Seas. He had a table set up in a bay window and worked on them on and off using a jeweller's eye glass on the finer pieces. He was a real perfectionist and would re-carve pieces many times until he was happy with the results.
The Sovereign of the Seas ship was launched in 1637. It is significant to English maritime heritage.
This mitre box set is connected with the hobby and skill of ship model making that has been carried as a leisure activity out for generations. Ship model making was also a pastime for sailing crew, who often made a model of the ship in which they were sailing.
This mitre box set was used by Jim Williams, a local Warrnambool man, employed at Cramond and Dickson department store and at Fletcher Jones menswear for 27 years.
Inscriptions & Markings
On mitre box - 2x logos "REGISTERED / BODMANN / TRADE MARK" and embedded stamp “348”. On saw - Remnant of logo on blade “ULMIA Schutz OTT Marke” with image of a church-like tall building, and 2x , "BEST QUALITY / BODMANN / MADE IN GERMANY”