|In the summer of 2010 I wrote about taking a short vacation and seeing the absolutely gorgeous 1869 Franz Wertheim tool catalog that had been acquired by Princeton University. You can read about that trip and the catalog here.|
The real exciting news is that I just got an email from the library saying the catalog has been digitized and is now available for all to see here.
This Wertheim catalog is probably the nicest, most complete 19th century tool catalog available on-line. The source material is in great shape, scans are great and the software allows you to zoom in to see details.
In the catalog you will find lots of tools that aren't well know in the US or UK, partially because tool usage has changed and partially because European tools are different in some areas than English tools.
Thanks to emails from Wolfgang Jordan I found out that this wasn't the only version of this catalog to survive, German editions are known in several private collections. Wolfgang also mentioned to me that the actual exhibition with the tools, which was considered fabulous at the time, ended up in the South Kensington Science Museum. I made some inquiries and found that the display was split up and most of the parts deaccessioned and sold of in the 20th century. The museum still has some section of a few remaining panels which occasionally are on display.
The catalog is also one of the very few from the time with color plates and seeing it on line like this is a boon for tool collectors, historians, and users everywhere.
Here is the link again. There are two volumes. Volume 1 is the text in French, Volume 2 are the illustrations.
Thank you and a job Very Well Done Princeton University!!!!
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