This is the home page for PAST Tool Collectors (formerly Preserving Arts and Skills of the Trades).

We now provide password-protected login capability to allow members to update their address and contact information. You can also download current and some older issues of the ToolTalk newsletter in PDF (Portable Document Format) form. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER and you wish to obtain a user/login name, send a message to (note the "dot") at the domain requesting site access. Please specify what you want to use as your user name - do NOT provide a password. A temporary password is created by the system and sent to you via email. You can change it later.

We also have two mailing lists: General Announcements and Tool Experts. The first will allow us to send you information about tool shows, board elections, membership renewals, etc. This will help us keep postage costs under control. The Experts list will allow us to forward questions we receive about tools (this happens quite a bit) to a group of people who would like to answer "whatsit" questions. Both are completely voluntary, of course. You can change these preferences once you are logged in.

The purpose of PAST is to encourage the study and better understanding of the early American industries (at home, shop, farm, and sea); also to discover, identify, classify, preserve, and exhibit obsolete tools, implements, and mechanical devices for educational purposes and to share this knowledge with others. PAST was organized in June of 1968 in Los Angeles, CA. PAST is the successor to the Early American Industries Association-WEST which was under the abbreviation EAIA-WEST. In July of 1987, the name of the organization was changed to PAST. PAST is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization.

Any person or organization may become a PAST member upon completion of a membership application and payment of dues. Spouses, significant others, or partners are automatically covered without any additional dues required. If a spouse, significant other, or partner wishes to have his/her own membership, the payment of separate dues shall be necessary. There may be specific meeting fees, over and above dues. Members are entitled to attend all meetings, receive PAST publications, and vote for elected officers and directors. The primary meetings of PAST members occur in the Winter and Summer. Regional meetings are held in the Spring and the Fall.

Become a part of the PAST! Click here for membership information.

Thanks for visiting!

Ken Greenberg, webmaster


Upcoming PAST Events

(Please scroll down to the bottom for non-PAST events)

  • Please Note: You must be a member of PAST to attend PAST events.

Summer Tool Show

Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall
126 First Street West
Sonoma, CA
August 18, 2018

Contact: Bob Valich

Fall Tool Show

Sylvan Club House
2545 Sylvan Ave.
Modesto, CA
November 17, 2018

Contact: Bob Weaver

Non-PAST Tool Events

Date Organization Description Contact
March 23-24, 2018 Brown Tool Auctions 52nd Tool Sale & International Antique Tool Auction
Camp Hill, PA
Brown Tool Auctions
(800) 248-8114

PAST Officers & Directors

President: Bob Valich

Vice President: Bill Tennant

Treasurer: Bob Weaver

Secretary: Jim Claussen

Directors: Gerald King, Ken Greenberg, Tom Bacon, Tim Daniels, Steve Carlson


TOOLTALK editor: Ken Greenberg

Membership: Bob Valich

4329 Mayette Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
PAST Yearly Dues are $25
Make check payable to PAST

Webmaster: Ken Greenberg

This is the Official web site of the PAST Tool Collectors. PAST is an educational organization. Meetings and their attendant activities are an important part of the educational mission of the Association; it is critical that they be governed in a way that is consistent with our stated purpose and is in compliance with tax laws.

All rights reserved.

The PAST official publication is TOOLTALK. For information on advertising in TOOLTALK, please contact Bob Valich at the above-listed email address.

Some History of the PAST Organization

The club was originally formed as EAIA-West, the western branch of the Early American Industries Association  (see the Links page) in 1968. Arnold Gordon and Matt Matheson invited potential members from a list compiled by John Fryberg of Los Angeles, as well as from EAIA sources. The first meeting was held June 2nd, 1968, at Arnold Gordon's home. Others who could not attend either phoned or wrote in of their interest in forming a West Coast branch. eaiawest.bmp (131982 bytes)

Before the discussion began, Arnold showed the group his elaborate collection of old hand tools, which he displayed in his garage and den. He then opened the discussion by giving an account of how he became interested in the collection of old tools and how he felt that others with a similar interest could get together and enjoy this interest in common.

All in attendance agreed to the formation of just such a group to be called EAIA-West. Permission to form the organization was given over the phone by EAIA president Joe Link. Arnold Gordon was unanimously elected the first president of the newly-formed organization.

In 1987, EAIA-West declared its independence from the parent organization. Members were still encouraged to join EAIA but now it was an option rather than a requirement.

There are a number of other web pages that contain photographs from the early years of the organization. To view these, choose a year from the drop-down list below and click on the view button. A photo gallery for that year will open in a new tab or browser. You may close it when done.

This page contains links to on-line versions of articles published in ToolTalk or by members of PAST in other places.

This is an ongoing project to make tool-related articles available to PAST members. To view any article, click on the icon in the last column in the table below. The type of icon used indicates what kind of document it is.

  • The document icon indicates that it is a web page on the PAST web site. These were scanned in using optical character recognition for the text, then corrected by hand to match the original article.
  • The external icon - a page with a right arrow - indicates it is a web page on some other web site.
  • The scanner icon indicates it is a web page that consists of images of the article, not text. Think of this as taking a picture of the page, which is easier if an article contains many pictures.

This third group of articles has been scanned in from printed copies of ToolTalk. These are presented as JPEG format images on web pages, which may be viewed in your browser. Click on the picture of a scanner in the table below to open these. If you wish, you may also save these images to your hard drive and print them or view them with other software. The exact method for saving images varies depending on your computer type and which browser you are using. For the most common combination (Internet Explorer on Windows), you would right click in the image and choose "Save Picture As...", then use the dialog box to specify a location to which you would like the image saved. (In Firefox, this is "Save Image As...".) You may also choose "Print Picture..." to direct the image of the page to your printer. For those with dial-up connections, please be aware that a scanned page is about 500 Kilobytes, and might take a few minutes to download.

The documents indicated as HTML format are much faster to load, and are viewed in your web browser like any other web page.

Please also note that contact information (phone number, email, the URL of a web site) may no longer be up to date in a scan of an article that is several years old.

Title Author Where Published Format Web
American Machinist's Tools Martin J. Donnelly ToolTalk (1996) HTML
As Tough as Nails Stan Hutchinson ToolTalk (2003) HTML
Authentic Scrimshaw Materials Rod Cardoza ToolTalk (2000) HTML
Basmaison Ever-Sharp Plane Bit Larry Brundage ToolTalk (1997) HTML

Boardman Combination Tool Onie Sims ToolTalk (1997) HTML
California Inventors and Their Patents Larry Brundage ToolTalk (1995) HTML
California Level Patents Don Rosebrook ToolTalk (1997) HTML
California Tool Works Larry Brundage ToolTalk (1995) HTML
Christopher Gabriel Jerold L. Billings ToolTalk (1994) HTML
Collecting Levels Don Rosebrook ToolTalk (1994) HTML
Combination Tools Onie Sims ToolTalk (1997) HTML
The Curta Calculator Al Bennett ToolTalk (1997) HTML
Deering Pattern Wrench Onie Sims ToolTalk (1998) HTML
Differences Between the Stanley 23 and 23S Levels Don Rosebrook ToolTalk (1994) HTML
Grinders Tom Thornton ToolTalk (1998) HTML
A Handy Needlework Tool Carole Meeker ToolTalk (1999) HTML
Leonard Bailey's 1877 Patent Model Philip Whitby ToolTalk (1998) HTML
Looking for Clues in All the Right Places Kurt Lautenschlager ToolTalk (1999) JPEG
The Lufkin Numbering System of Boxwood Rules Lee Sell ToolTalk (2000) HTML
The Mechanical Pencil Sharpener Howard Levin ToolTalk (1997) HTML
The Mechanical Pencil Sharpener, Part 2 Howard Levin ToolTalk (1997) HTML
Newly Identified Stanley Levels Don Rosebrook ToolTalk (1994) HTML
Notes on Tool Restoration Rick Rubin ToolTalk (1984) HTML
Pacific Saw Company Larry Brundage ToolTalk (1996) HTML
The Rare & Early Planes of the Bailey Tool Company Harold Unruh ToolTalk (1995) HTML
Restoration of Tools Al Bennett ToolTalk (1987) HTML
Sizing Hollows and Rounds Ken Greenberg ToolTalk HTML
Small Into Large (Paul Hamler) Bill LaHay ToolTalk (1995) HTML
Some Thoughts of a Rule Collector Henry Aldinger ToolTalk (1986) HTML
The Stanley #1 Fake unknown ToolTalk (1988) HTML
Stanley Bed Rock Planes Alvin Sellens ToolTalk (1986) HTML
The Stanley No. 239 1/2 John Wells ToolTalk (1997) HTML
Tool Cleaning notes Dick Nevins ToolTalk (1969) HTML
Wooden Clamps Milt Boyd ToolTalk (1999) HTML
Working Ivory unknown ToolTalk (1992) HTML

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