Inside many of the Millers Falls packaging boxes is a hand applied stamp that identifies the month/year and a three to four digit numerical code. This date stamp tells when the plane left the factory at either Millers Falls or Greenfield. I have eight examples in my possession and have noted three more examples on eBay.
I recently purchased a #900 plane with the box on eBay. The stamp on the inside of the box read “4 45 432” which is April 1945 with a code of 432. This is important because it fine tunes when Millers Falls crossed over from the Mohawk Shelburne # 900 to the Millers Falls #900. In February 1944 Millers Falls published a price listing of current and discontinued tools. The next publication was the Millers Falls Tools Catalog in 1949. The Mohawk Shelburne tools were no longer being sold in this #49 catalog. So sometime between 1944 and 1949 the switch was made. Based on the #900 I purchased, Millers Falls made the switch sometime between February 1944 and April 1945.
Other examples in my collection are:
· #900 6 55 430 Millers Falls Tools sticker – No. 900 on tote
· #90 9 59 432 Red frog, Nickel cap, STS iron, stained tote/knob
· #14 1 55 ?80 Type 4
· #85 9 56 ?430 1868 iron (should a STS iron)
· #85 1 66 3625 STS iron
· #700 11 55 430 Millers Falls Tools sticker
· #9C 8 05 432 (type 2 second release) Hardware stamp “Sep 20, 1950”
· #1455 10 59 432 split red/black cap – No id label on front of box
· #900 6 56 430 (V Line)
· #87 12 59 432 External screw in knob
From the Millers Falls Plane web site
· #900 43258 1 1 (V Line)
You may have noticed two of the examples don’t conform to the other formats. The #9C was made in 1905????? This plane had a date stamp on the outside of the box when the hardware store received it. It reads September 20, 1950. Remember the stamps on the inside of the box were applied by hand at the factory. Reverse the 05 for 50 and this plane was in the hardware store one month after it left the factory.
The second example is the plane from the Millers Falls Plane web site. Instead of putting the month first, they put the code first (432) followed by the year (58) with no space then the month with a very large gap (11). Remember, by hand.
I verified the planes/dates for these twelve examples with the information on Randy Roeder’s web site.
I would welcome any additional examples and will at some point identify what the three to four digit codes means.