2022 Dublin Seminar Program and Schedule

Tools and Toolmaking in New England, June 24–25, 2022

Thank you to everyone who presented at, helped to organize, and attended the 2022 Dublin Seminar on “Tools and Toolmaking”! Historic Deerfield has sent an email to all registrants with links to the recorded presentations.

The 2022 conference will be a hybrid event with both in-person and online access to the presentations. Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place at the Deerfield Community Center, 16 Memorial Street in Deerfield.

Register for the 2022 conference either in person or through online connection at this page. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, June 24

10am–12 noon in Hadley

Attendees have an opportunity to visit the Hadley Farm Museum. (Prior RSVP on your registration recommended for this option.) Opened in 1930 by collectors Henry and Clifton Johnson, the museum’s collections include tools of all kinds, from agricultural implements to woodworking tools, dairy and clothmaking tools and equipment, household equipment, carriages and other means of transportation, from across Massachusetts and Connecticut.

1pm at the Deerfield Community Center

Dublin Seminar registration opens

1:30pm Welcome

John Davis, President and CEO, Historic Deerfield

Marla Miller, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

1:30–3pmPanel 1: Plane Talk

Moderator: Rob Emlen, Brown University (retired)

David Scott Merrifield II, Colonial Williamsburg: “Cesar Chelor: The Products of His Hands, Enslaved & Free”

Ted Ingraham, Arnold Zlotoff Tool Museum: “The House Joiner’s Woodplanes”

Andrew Rowand, The Eric Sloane Museum: “Partial to Planes: Eric Sloane and a Museum of Early American Tools”

3–3:15pm — Break

3:15–4:15pmDemonstration and Talk: Bootmaking

Sarah Madeleine T. Guerin, Saboteuse: “Ten Footers-History and Living Traditions: From 19th-Century Craft to Contemporary Art Practice”

4:30–7pm — Break for museum visits and dinner of your choice

7–8pmKeynote Lecture

Steve D. Lubar, Brown University: “Tool Stories”

Moderator: Marla Miller

Saturday, June 25

8:30am at the Deerfield Community Center

Door opens, morning refreshments

9–10:30amPanel 2: Innovation and Adaptation: Exploring Changes in Form and Use

Moderator: Barbara Mathews, Historic Deerfield

Peter Thomas, University of Vermont Department of Anthropology (retired): “An Alternative Vision of Tool: Squakheag Material Culture in 1663 – Tradition, Adoption, Adaptation and Soul”

Michael P. Dyer, New Bedford Whaling Museum: “Energy & Enterprise: Industry and the City of New Bedford”

Dennis Picard, Independent Scholar: “‘Me to saw pit-fashion:’ The Invention of Ice Harvesting Tools in the 19th Century and the Tradesmen Who Made Them”

10:30–10:45am — Break

10:45am–12:15pmPanel 3: Powering Up: Tools and Mechanization

Moderator: Kate Viens, Independent Scholar

Emily Whitted, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst: “Knitting Sheaths and ‘Those Whizzing Things With Wheels:’ Hand-Knitting Tools in Industrializing New England”

Robert Forrant, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Lowell: “Amongst the Onions and Tobacco a 19th-Century Anomaly Grew: The Porter-McLeod Machine Works”

Jay Boeri, Battison Museum: “Birds of a Feather: Three Generations of Inventors and Their Protégé Edwin A. Battison”

12:15–1:45pm — Lunch for All Seminar Attendees at the Deerfield Inn

1:45–3:15pmPanel 4: In the Workshop: Tools in Constellatio

Moderator: Gigi Barnhill, American Antiquarian Society (retired)

Michael J. Emmons, Jr., Center for Historic Architecture and Design, University of Delaware: “Discovering the Sampson-White Joiner Shop: The Architecture of Woodworking in the Early Republic”

Rich Colton, National Park Service (retired): “The Tools They Left: An Early American Clock & Silver Shop in Northampton, Massachusetts, 1785-1994”

Bob Frishman, Bell-Time Clocks: “Tools for New England’s Clockmakers and Watchmakers”

3:30–5pmPanel 5: Ingenuity Illustrated: Tools in Representation and Symbol

Moderator: Lynne Bassett, Independent Scholar

Laura Wasowicz, American Antiquarian Society: “Thimbles, Bodkins, Workbaskets: The Tools of the ‘’Work Woman’ in Nineteenth-Century Children’s Books”

Mariah Gruner, Historic New England: “Third Hand, Constant Companion: The Pincushion and the Boundaries of the Self”

Hillary Anderson Stelling, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library: “Tool Marks: Cherished Tools on Masonic Mark Medals, 1800-1830”

5–5:15pmConcluding Remarks

Kate Viens, Independent Scholar


Attendees have an opportunity to visit the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield. (Prior RSVP on your registration recommended for this option.) Across Franklin County, “factories and mills produced cutlery, hand tools, machine tools, measuring instruments, taps and dies, paper, textiles and numerous other products.” The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage (in Greenfield, Mass, just north of Historic Deerfield) documents and celebrates this rich history “through preserving, collecting, and educating the public, with emphasis on our own neighborhood to tell a national story.”