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Barnes Foot Power Former

Before electric power tools there were human powered tools. This late 19th century wood working tool uses foot operated using pedals. They would have been an improvement over hand tools and used by carpenters working in and around Pennsylvania’s Lumber towns.

This bicycle like Wood Former/ Shaper was made by the W.F. & John Barnes Company  and was used for molding edges and scroll work. This particular machine was given to William Chastain while he was a carpenter’s apprentice to his Uncle, Theodore Grabe, in Coudersport in the 1890’s. Mr. Chastain was born in Roulette, PA in 1875. In addition to working as a carpenter’s apprentice, he worked in local logging camps, often as a teamster, using his father’s horses. He moved with his family to Rochester, NY in 1909, where he spent the next 50 years working as a carpenter.

Gift: Mr. and Mrs. A.W. deRoos (L71.11.3)
Image from a late 19th century W.F. & John Barnes Catalog
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Photographs of Masten, PA Mills

Masten is one of Pennsylvania’s lumber ghost towns. The town was founded in 1906 by the lumberman, Charles Sones. Sones build his first mill in Masten in 1906. In 1917 Sones sold the mills to the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company (CPL) who operated them until 1930. After CPL shutdown the mills, the town of Masten lost it’s population, the last family reportedly moving away in 1941.

The edger saw in the museum’s sawmill is from one of the Masten mills.

These photos and photo postcards were donated by Ann Haus Krout, whose Grandfather, William, lived in Masten and worked in the mills.
C.W. Sones Mills c1917 (LM2019.7.1)
Mill Employees, 1912 (LM2019.7.5A)
C.W. Sones Mill Employees c 1910. William Haus is the second from the right. (LM2019.7.3)