Alex Mathieson and his son
Thomas built a successful business over a long period. The
foundation of that success was a company started by Alex
Mathieson. Over time their expansion was supported by the
acquisition of other Scottish planemakers.
One of these businesses, headed by
David Malloch and acquired by Mathieson in 1913 has an
interesting thread connecting to the first business acquired by
Mathieson in 1849 - the James and William Stewart Company.
I mentioned briefly at the end of
last week's article that the Stewarts employed David Malloch in
their planemaking shop. It appears that Malloch left the
Stewarts in 1849 and took over the business of John
McGlashan, another Scottish planemaker.
John McGlashan started his business in Perth, Scotland, in 1827.
Perth is a city in central Scotland, approximately 67 km north
McGlashan was listed as a “Wright’s Toolmaker,” similar to David
Arthur, whom we also discussed in last week’s article. Between
1837 and 1848 he was also described as a “toolmaker,”
“planemaker,” and “tool manufacturer.” Between years of 1827 and
1849, he was listed at four different locations in
Perth. In 1849, at the age of 55, John McGlashan passed away.
the bridle plough (plow) plane
made by John
1827 and 1849.
The bridle plow plane is a remarkable design. We do not know who
invented or first made the bridle style plow plane. Keeping the
fence of the plow plane straight and parallel to the skate and
the cutting iron is a task not always easily achieved on plow
planes with wedged or screw style arms.
With either style, the fence can end up skewed to the skate,
resulting in an inaccurate cut. It often requires the use of a
ruler or a setup block to set it accurately. The bridle plow
plane takes this error out of the equation.
With the bridle, named after a horse bridle, the fence is
controlled to be parallel to the plane. In this particular model
made by McGlashan, the arms of the plane have a V-shaped bottom
in which the fence, with V-shaped grooves, is guided.