J. Lester Osgood

J. Lester Osgood of Buffalo, New York, received at least two brace patents.  The first of these was for a distinctive ratchet selector mechanism which features two knife edges, beveled in opposite directions that slide vertically to engage the ratchet gears.  The patent for this mechanism was awarded on June 22, 1886 (No. 344,130)--Pearson "B".  I have a single brace that is unmarked, but clearly is completely faithful to the patent description.

Superficially the patent is similar to Pflegar's earlier patent, but the knife edge plate in the Pflegar mechanism rocks on a pin fulcrum.  Osgood's is not pinned and slides vertically.

Osgood's second patent was issued on April 19, 1887, and is for No. 361,368--Pearson "C".  This is for a set of very short brace jaws that held between the end of the frame by lips that fit in grooves on the edges of the jaws.  The jaws are free to rock and grasp the bit securely.  The single brace in my collection having Osgood's earlier patent ratchet also has these patent jaws.

Osgood assigned both of these patents to his company, Saxton & Osgood of Buffalo.  The EAIA Directory of American Toolmakers lists this company as having done business in the last five years of the 1880s, making braces.  The senior partner, Elijah .J. Saxton had earlier been in partnership (1877 through 1883) with Charles Amidon.  Saxton also even earlier had been a partner with Gunn & Amidon for the brief span of 18 months in the enterprise of Gunn, Amidon & Co. that was the forerunner of the Millers Falls. Co., and so provides another connection with the peripatetic Amidon.

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