The Davistown Museum
Center for the Study of Early Tools
Scattered throughout The Davistown Museum are tools by important manufacturers who are also the subject of
information files compiled by the museum. This is a listing of our holdings for:
Brown & Sharpe

Status Location
Historic Maritime IV (1840-1865): The Early Industrial Revolution
Machinists' Tools
71903T6 Rule bio DTM MH
Tool steel, 24", signed "D & B Bangor Me USA Stnd.".
One of the rarest of all marks, Darling & Bailey made machinist rules in Bangor, Maine, for only one year before becoming Darling & Sharpe
(1854), the precursors of the famous Brown & Sharpe Company. This rule is also marked "Shr" for shrunk on one side with increments in
tenths of inches.
Measuring Tools (Except Machinist Tools)
50402T7 Wire gauge bio DTM MH
Tool steel, 3 1/4" diameter, signed "J. R. Brown & Sharpe Providence R.I. standard wire gauge 0 - 30".
Joseph R. Brown and Lucian Sharpe worked together from 1853 to 1866, before the formation of Darling, Brown and Sharpe in 1866. This
mark, however, was used after this date (Nelson 1999, 120).
The Industrial Revolution (1865f.): Classic Period of American Machinists' Tools
Measuring Tools
41212T3 Center gauge bio DTM TT
Tool steel, 2 1/4" long, 3/4" wide, signed "Darling, Brown & Sharpe Providence, R.I." and "P.H. MAY" owner’s mark.
This machinists' tool bears a rare, early mark. Courtesy of Liberty Tool Co.
111900T7 Dividers bio DTM MH
Tempered alloy steel, 3 3/8" long, signed "B.S. Mfg Co Prov. R.I. USA".
This is made by Brown & Sharpe, a major competitor of Laroy Starrett in Athol, MA. The first mass-produced micrometer was designed by J.
R. Brown in 1856.
30101T1 Gear tooth vernier caliper bio photo LPC MHC
Tempered alloy steel in leather box, 4 1/15" long, 4 1/4" high, signed "Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. Providence RI USA 20.2DP".
This tool is representative of the florescence of the New England toolmaker and is made by L. S. Starrett's principal 20th century competitor.
The English measure caliper is an uncommon Brown & Sharpe product.
111900T6 Inside calipers bio DTM MH
Tempered alloy steel, 2 3/4" long, signed "B.S. Mfg Co Prov. R.I. USA".
Inside calipers are used to measure the diameter of a cylindrical hole. They have rounded tips that are bent away from each other.
111900T8 Outside calipers bio DTM MH
Tempered alloy steel, 2 3/4" long, signed "B.S. Mfg Co Prov. R.I. USA".
102100T18 Rule bio DTM MH
Steel, 6" long, signed "J. R. BROWN & SHARPE PROVIDENCE R. I. U,S, ST'D".
This signature precedes the later B S Mfg. Co. (Brown and Sharpe).
30311T10 Scale bio DTM TT
Tool steel, 10 1/2" long, 11/16" wide, 1/8" high, signed "Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co" "Providence, R.I. U.S.A." and with their trademark LBS.
6316T2 Vernier caliper and rule set bio LPC TT
Tool steel, wood box, 26 3/4" long, 6 1/2" wide, 1 1/2" thick, signed "MORSE TWIST DRILL & MACHINE CO. NEW BEDFORD, MASS."
This boxed set contains a vernier gauge by Morse and a steel ruler by Brown & Sharpe. This set was used in the Morse Twist Drill factory to
measure bits.
032203T7 Wire gauge bio photo DTM MH
Steel, 3 1/2" diameter, signed "J. R. BROWN & SHARPE" "PROVIDENCE R.I." "STANDARD WIRE GAUGE" with bird trademark and
The Directory of American Toolmakers (Nelson 1999) lists J. R. Brown, a predecessor of Brown & Sharpe, as working from 1853 - 1866, but
continuing to use this mark after that date on some tools. This is a typical tool in the increasingly complex tool kit of a c. 1880 shipyard worker.

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