Unveiling History: I&D Smallwood's Legacy of Precision Tools from Birmingham, 1912

Spirit Level I&D Smallwood Brass and Wood Military Marked Antique 1917

Spirit Level I&D Smallwood Brass and Wood Military Marked Antique 1917

See Item

Explore the fascinating legacy of I&D Smallwood, a Birmingham-based purveyor of precision tools, through a journey back to 1912. Uncover the craftsmanship, innovation, and historical significance behind their iconic catalog of rules, squares, spirit levels, and more.

Delve into a world where craftsmanship meets history. Join us as we unveil the untold stories of I&D Smallwood, illuminating their pivotal role in shaping the landscape of precision tools in 1912 Birmingham. From the elegance of brass and wood to the military markings that whisper tales of bygone eras, this journey promises to captivate and inspire.

1912: Title Page of I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog, Rules, Squares, Spirit Levels, Gauges, Tapes, &e.
Image: 1912: Title Page of I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog, Rules, Squares, Spirit Levels, Gauges, Tapes, &e.
Source: The Cooper’s Tool Museum - https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/i-d-smallwood-rulemakers

In 1858, I&D Smallwood established their niche at 66 Moseley Street, Birmingham, crafting precision tools like iron squares and metallic rules. By 1861, the company relocated to Ryland Street 45 (Darwin Street by 1861), expanding its repertoire to include boxwood, ivory, steel, metallic folding rules, countermeasures, timber gauges, cistern rods, and more.

Their diverse range solidified their presence in the industry. Spanning from 1875 to 1879, their listings showcased an extensive array of offerings. The legacy endured, marking the closure of the last I&D Smallwood factory in Leopold Street, Birmingham, in 1999, signifying the end of a longstanding era in precision tool manufacturing.

Timeless Craftsmanship: I&D Smallwood's 1912 Birmingham Catalog, Embellished in Golden Elegance on Rich Red Leather. A Treasury of Precision - Rules, Squares, Spirit Levels, Gauges, Tapes, & More.
Image: Timeless Craftsmanship: I&D Smallwood's 1912 Birmingham Catalog, Embellished in Golden Elegance on Rich Red Leather. A Treasury of Precision - Rules, Squares, Spirit Levels, Gauges, Tapes, & More.
Source: The Cooper’s Tool Museum - https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/i-d-smallwood-rulemakers
1912: I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog Featuring Boxwood Rules
Image: 1912: I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog Featuring Boxwood Rules.
Source: The Cooper’s Tool Museum - https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/i-d-smallwood-rulemakers
1912: I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog Displays Masons' and Steel Squares
Image: 1912: I&D Smallwood's Birmingham Catalog Displays Masons' and Steel Squares.
Source: The Cooper’s Tool Museum - https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/i-d-smallwood-rulemakers
1912: I&D Smallwood's Catalog Page Featuring Straight Steel Bench Rules
Image: 1912: I&D Smallwood's Catalog Page Featuring Straight Steel Bench Rules.
Source: The Cooper’s Tool Museum - https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/i-d-smallwood-rulemakers

Broad Arrow Mark

The broad arrow, a symbol adopted in England since the 14th century, marked items purchased with royal funds or designated as government property. Widely used from the 16th century onward, it notably signified ownership by the Office of Ordnance, responsible for supplying weaponry, ammunition, and naval provisions. This distinct mark served as a visible stamp denoting the crown's ownership and was integral in identifying assets allocated for military use, particularly within the King's Navy.

The Broad Arrow Mark
Image: The Broad Arrow Mark.
Source: By Asanagi - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27139195

Share this article

Be the first to know about recent acquisitions

You can opt-out at any time. By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.