I chose the year 1875 for many reasons, but the main reason is tool evolution. A trade that had changed very little in thousands of years was suddenly hit, in post-Civil War America, with mass-produced metal-body planes and early versions of power tools.
You can see the entire evolution of planes, as well as other tools from this era, in our shop's collection.
One of the most frequently asked questions in the shop is "where did you get all of these working tools?" Collecting tools is a matter of patience and persistence. Saturday auctions in Iowa, dozens of antique stores in a five-state radius, garage sales, flea markets, and donations; a plane here, a saw there. After a decade of deals, I am blessed with a fair representation of era tools. The museum is very grateful for the donations we have and continue to receive.