The Cook/Cunningham Saw Set Confusion


Roswell F. Cook Patented a spring hammer type saw set in Dec. 23, 1873 # 145,724. This patent seemed to have spawned more interesting variations than most other patents.  Only the early patent, shown left, was claimed and is stamped on some of the different types.  I have found that Roswell F. Cook was living in Ilion, NY during a 1888-1889 town census.  His profession is listed as inventor.  Because he considered himself an inventor it is doubtful that he was the maker of any of these products, but lived off of the licensing fees.  This might also explain why there are so many variations, he couldn't stop tinkering with the basic design.

All of the variations seem to have been made by either E. E. Cunningham or A. E. Cunningham in Worcester, Mass.   Ashton E. Cunningham was Elliot Earle Cunningham's son.  Ashton took over the company sometime before the death of his Father in 1905.

The most common is the complex band saw set shown right.  The patent for this saw set is still the Cook patent for the saw set above.  Usually there is "patent" stamped on the brass under the arms and a number.  The number is assumed to be a serial or sequential number and is not the patent date.  These were very popular in their time and are some of the more common of this type of saw set.  Because of their construction material, cast iron, wood, and brass, they are also some of the nicer looking.  This saw set was listed in the Charles A. Strelinger Company Catalog of 1895 for $7.00.  Very expensive at the time when a 20" band saw cost $45.00!

Between the first simple set and the more complex set above lies the set to the left.  It has the Cook patent on it and uses the same lever type actuator as the original patent.  However it has an advance mechanism for setting band saw blades.  It has the same saw blade guide as the more complex and is made of brass.  There isn't any manufacturer's name stamped anywhere, but looks like it could have been made by Cunningham.  I only know of one other and it also does not have any manufacturer's name stamped on it.




Finally there is the saw set below and the picture from the Charles A. Strelinger Company Catalog of 1895.  It is listed as the improved design for heavier saws and is from around 1895.  The depth stop and angle adjustment are much more robust and complicated.




And yet another variation with a square mounting pad cast into the base.  As with the example directly above, the spring is missing.