The Society for the Preservation and Study of American Wooden Planes
Welcome to the premiere issue of The Family Baldwin Journal, newsletter of The Society For The Preservation And Study of American Wooden Planes.
First, about the name. Originally, we were The Family Baldwin Association. However, after I ended up hoarse at Harrisburg from explaining that we are not just about Baldwins, the board had little trouble in convincing me that it was time to give ourselves a name that would save time in explanations.
All of this being said, some of you may not have heard of us even yet and might wonder that you do not recall having subscribed.Donít worry, you are not suffering from ďCRSĒ (canít remember stuff). As a founding member, I may have felt that either you deserved us or we deserved you or both. As one of the founders, I can comp any one I want. By the end of this newsletter Iím sure youíll agree that this was a good idea.
Iím proud to tell you that this is my brainstorm. It was borne of a desire to focus my collecting, which, it seems, has traveled to wood of its own accord. Being a native New Yorker, it seemed natural to concentrate on a hometown boy. Thomas Grant is a bit lofty for my budget, as it is for many of us. After a while, I selected the Baldwins for several reasons. First, they are available. Next, they are affordable.
Another consideration was the fact that their product line was diverse. There are enough styles to make collecting all of them challenging. Additionally, the fact is that a Baldwin plane was and is a quality piece. They are both attractive and functional. There is a balance that appeals to both eye and hand.
Last but not least, there is a fair amount of information available about the Baldwins, making the connection almost personal, an enjoyable aspect for someone like myself who enjoys the small piece of history that come with each tool.
That brings us to what we are about. A founding premise of our group is the advancement and sharing of knowledge concerning newly discovered, undocumented and ill-documented American wooden planemakers. Therefore each quarterly issue of The Journal will do several things. In addition to informing, we hope to entertain and amuse. After all, if this hobby isnít fun anymore, we might as well go to work.
Each issue will have regular departments. These will change as we grow to understand the needs and desires of our membership. They will hopefully expand as more of you become involved. Here, however, is the starting line-up.
1) A small piece by the president regarding a bit of interest, an important event, club business, or an editorial.
2) THE ROUNDTABLE, a forum for all to present experts with a question regarding wooden planes or their makers. Look for this column in this issue. I think you will be impressed by the list of experts we have gathered .Thatís impressed, NOT INTIMIDATED. Novices are especially encouraged to send in questions. It is my experience that a well thought out question from a novice can often be more insightful than those of us who have a couple of opinions that get in the way.
3) THE TRADING POST, a free service to members who wish to advertise to buy or sell tools. However, as this is a free service, the editors reserve the right to limit the number and size of ads. We also reserve the right to not publish those pieces that we deem unsuitable, unfit or inappropriate
4) THE FORUM, like a trading post for information. The three founding members of this club met when I place ads for information and Baldwin planes in other newsletters. By the time we actually met face to face for the first time, in Harrisburg, the club had been formed for about six months!
In conclusion, I invited you to peruse this first issue, thinking how youíd do things differently. I invite you to send your articles and suggestions, your ads and your comments. Then I encourage you to pitch in and make you new club your favorite club.
Mark R. Thompson
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