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Catalog Data

Creator:
Cesar Chelor  Search this
Medium:
wood, metal
Dimensions:
6 1/8 × 9 15/16 × 1 7/16 in. (15.6 × 25.2 × 3.6 cm)
Type:
hand plane
Date:
Between 1752 and 1784
Caption:
This tongue plane can cut interlocking wood joints, also known as tongue and groove, for making flooring and furniture. In the eighteenth century, skilled artisans crafted homes and furnishings using a variety of planes—the power tools of their time—created by talented, trained toolmakers. This plane’s maker stands out for his expertise in designing planes used to shape specialized wood surfaces, such as architectural molding, but also for his status as the earliest identified African American toolmaker. Born around 1720, Cesar Chelor learned his trade while enslaved to prominent New England toolmaker Francis Nicolson. Freed upon Nicolson’s death in 1752, Chelor built a thriving business making and selling his own planes to carpenters and joiners in Wrentham, Massachusetts. He eventually purchased land and paid property taxes. Chelor died in 1784; however, many of his planes survive. Like this one, most carry his maker’s mark on the end or “toe” of the plane: “CE Chelor, Living in Wrentham.”
Cite As:
Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Accession Number:
2001.5001.0001
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dl862cc238a-d6f6-4685-85aa-9bb2af469d96
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:acm_2001.5001.0001