As wel as displays presented by the HTPAA as a group, a number of members take the opportunity to display tools from their personal collections as a way of giving the public an opportunity to see a range of hand tools and gain a better understanding of those who used them and how they were used. Treveor Semmens, an HTPAAA member from Tasmania is a very good example of the individuals who take the time to present a personal display drawn from thier collection. In Trevor's case, this is particularly valuable because it allows members of the public who generally aren't able to visit a regular HTPSS display event, to see a sellection of traditional tools.
Trevor Semmens is a self-described Rhykenologist - one who collects and studies woodworking planes and has an excellent collection. As part of his collecting Trevor likes to share small amounts of his collection with the public from time to time. So, since 1990 he has had a number of small displays. All have been for free as the venues he has used have been only too happy to have someone use their spaces.
The first display was in the foyer of the main Hobart Library in 1990.
This was followed by displays at Forestry Tasmania's headquarters in 1998 and 2003.
Since then he has been mainly using his local library where he has had displays in 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 and currently in 2018. He finds they are really good venues for the display and the tools are held safely in locked viewing areas.
In Tasmania now the local libraries are much more than libraries. They are the venues for a number of other groups of people using the centres. For example, School for Seniors, U3A, Aging Group, young family activities and various meeting rooms used by various other 'hirers'. As a result, a lot of traffic goes thru these libraries. At times Trevor sits near the display so that he has the opportunity to talk to people and he usually have a few extra items with him to show up close and tell people about them. It then becomes an interesting and sharing time, with many comments of amazement at the range of tools, their history and craftsmen used these tools.
This article appeared in the May 2007 (#84) issue of the Tool Chest
Re-published here with permission.
Ken Hawley was a remarkable tool collector who assembled an impressive tool collection, the Hawley Collection. As stated on the web site created for the Hawley Tool Collection, http://www.hawleytoolcollection.com/, Ken Hawley "collected the tools, the 'tools that made the tools', catalogues, photographs and information connected with the Sheffield tool, cutlery and silversmithing industries". The Hawley Collection comprises over 100,000 items and is now presented in a manner that showcases not only the tools themselves but also how they were made.
During his working life, including thirty years selling tools in his own shop in Sheffield, he acquired an unrivalled knowledge about Sheffield's industrial heritage. It was Ken Hawley's wish that the Hawley Collection stay in Sheffield to provide exhibitions, displays and information for the people of Sheffield and visitors to the city. He saw the Collection as a tribute to the craftsmanship, skills and excellence displayed over the centuries by Sheffield firms and workpeople. The Collection is now housed at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, England.
Fortunately, before his death in 2010, Ken Hawley featured in a series on videos explaining aspects of both tools and his own life. The various videos capture the passion Ken Hawley had for tools , their manufacture and use so take the time to watch. We have incorparated the videos here for your convenience but we recommend you visit the Hawley Tool Collection web site for more information, particularly if you have the opportunity to visit.