Historical information

Alexander Mathieson & Sons Ltd ('& Sons', after c. 1890), of the Saracen Tool Works, Glasgow, advertised as 'manufacturers of planes, mechanical, engineering and edge-tools'. They received 'prize medals' at the London, Melbourne and Edinburgh International Exhibitions of 1851, 1862, 1880 and 1886, in their 'quest for perfection in tools'. Mathieson's vast output included specialised craft implements for coopers, ship's carpenters, tinsmiths and wheelwrights.

The firm originated when master plane-maker John Manners opened premises in Saracen Lane, Glasgow, in 1792. 4 Alexander Mathieson (c. 1797–1852) took over his business in 1821, which he gave as the foundation date of his firm. He was later succeeded by his son, Thomas A. Mathieson (1822–1899), a prominent Glasgow magistrate and preceptor of Hutcheson's Hospital charitable institution. In 1854, Mathiesons moved to East Campbell Street, and had opened branches in Edinburgh, Dundee and Liverpool by 1876. The third generation comprised Thomas O. and James H. Mathieson (born 1867), the latter being a Glasgow bailie (councillor), whose estate totalled an enormous £150,939 in 1926.

Mathieson's hand- and small machine-tools (e.g. bandsaws and beading machines) were exported worldwide, especially their 'heavy duty auger bits used... for boring railway sleepers'.

Physical description

Wooden smoothing plane with handle. Adjustable via wedge. Borer holes in handle.

Inscriptions & markings

Ward blade. Plane made by Mathieson & Son Glasgow Best Guaranteed.