The Wappat Web Site is pleased to produce this page on behalf of our American branch of the family, who have been very helpful at providing photos and information for the site. We would like to thank in particular Brad, his daughter Carri, his brother Bob and his brother and sister-in-law Dick and Terri.
Last updated:
 22nd May 2003
Wappat Home:

Wappat Drill by Fred W Wappat
This drill appeared on eBay recently, sold by 1sttoolsupermarket.
Many thanks for their permission for the photographs to appear here, and particularly to Rich for taking some extra ones of the name plates.
If you are interested in buying antique US tools, try them on eBay, using this link 1sttoolsupermarket.



Serial Plate reads:
TYPE 304
DC 115
CAP 3/8
4.5 AMP
505 RPM

Wappat Drill Tag Plate

Cummins Maxaw Saw - Engineered by Fred W Wappat

I need to gain permission before photos of this Saw can be displayed.

The Fred W Wappat Saw Company - Manuals and Lubricant Can

The advertisement and manual shown here refer to the A-8" and A-9" Saws produced while Fred was based at Valley Street, Mayville, New York.

The distinctive signature was still being used as a trademark of sorts, together with some bold advertising statements!

"Profit-minded builders use versatile
Fred W.Wappat Electric Hand Saws"

"Multi-purpose Fred W.Wappat Saws
Cut costs by cutting building materials
Fast, Accurately..with Minimum Maintenance"

These do suggest the Saws weren't just used for cutting timber.

Advert for A-8" and a-9" Fred W Wappat Saws

Manual for A-8" and A-9" Wappat Saws

Both the A-8" and A-9" models shown on this page have a lubricant plate stating "Use WAPPAT Lubricant".

Well, here is a 1/2 lb tin of "Wappat Special." The lubricant has the trademark "LUBRIPLATE" which is still used today. It appears the lubricant was manufactured for Fred by Fiske Brothers Refining Co, of Newark NJ and Toledo, Ohio. The company is still based there today.

Also shown, the carrying case for the A-8"

An instructions sheet was glued to the underside of the lid.

Many thanks to Gus Miller of Avon, NY for the photographs shown here.

If anyone else has pictures of Fred W Wappat membrobilia, please email them to

Wappat Special Lubriplate

Carrying Case and Instructions for A-8"

The Fred W Wappat Saw Company - A-8" Photographs, August 2003

14th August 2003
The following photographs were taken by John Edinger of Brainerd, Maine, USA and show a Fred W Wappat Model A-8" Circular Saw, of the same design as the Model A-9" Circular Saw photographed by David Pitkin lower down on the homepage.

It is a worm-driven model, and thus is very powerful.

The 110V electric saw draws a current of 8 amps and runs at 3600rpm.

It has a capacity of  2 and a 1/2", and the serial number 3W745, suggesting it was produced in larger numbers than the A-9"

There is another plate riveted on, naming "M.W.Thackaberry, Los Angeles", apparently a retailer and implying the sale of Wappat saws went across the US.

Many thanks to John for the details.

Posted by Andrew

Fred W Wappat Model A8" Circular Saw

Detail showing handle and manufacturers plate

Reverse side of A8" Worm Driven Saw

A8" Fred W Wappat Saw with Original Case

The Fred W Wappat Saw Company - Maxaw 6" Photographs, August 2003

Many thanks to Frank Marquart of Westbury, New York, for the following excellent photographs of the 6" Maxaw Saw.
The manufacturers plate and cast handle clearly show this model was manufactured when the company was known as "Fred W. Wappat, Inc".
This model was later than the previous "Red Streak", as Fred had moved to Mayville, NY from Pittsburg, PA.
The Old Woodworking Machines website at (see article below) suggests this move was around 1944.
This saw appears to be made when Fred was an independent manufacturer in Mayville.
The earlier "Red Streak" model below, was made by 'Wappat Incorporated, Pittsburg PA', a division of 'Simonds Saw and Steel Co'
The same website suggests he sold the company in the 1950's, possibly to John Oster Manufacturing Co., as they have produced a model with the "Maxaw" trademark.
Posted by Andrew Wappat

 Manufacturers plate for Maxaw 6" Wappat Saw

Overhead view of Maxaw 6" Saw

Detail on handle of 6" Wappat Saw

Manufacturers plate of Maxaw 6" Saw

The saw runs at 5400rpm at 110V, drawing 8A

Detail on handle

Detail showing angle adjustment of 6" Wappat Saw

6" Maxaw Saw 8 Amp, 110 V, 5400rpm.

Fred W Wappat 6" Saw, Manufactured in Mayville

Detail showing angle adjustment

Detail showing height adjustment

Original cable and spanner intact!

US Invention Patents for Fred W Wappat, July 2003

These drawings come from the Directory of American Tool and Machinery Parts (DATAMP)
An index of patents for Fred W Wappat are at the DATAMP website at
These drawings of these inventions, and others, with the original explanations supporting the patent applications, are available for purchase from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website at The easiest way is to buy them online as PDF files for download, at 3$ for each invention.

FW Wappat Washing Machine - Oct 1926

FW Wappat Gear Cutting Device - Dec 1923

FW Wappat Mortising Machine - Jun 1929

Washing Machine US Patent 1602138, applied for on 26th July 1925 and granted on 5th Oct 1926 by Fred W Wappat of Pittsburg, PA.

Gear Cutting US Patent 1477562, applied for on 24th Jan 1922 and granted on 18th Dec1923 by Fred W Wappat and Robert L Hibbard of Pittsburg, PA.

Washing Machine US Patent 1718324, applied for on 18th Apr1928 and granted on 25th June 1929 by Fred W Wappat of Pittsburg, PA.

FW Wappat Electric Handsaw - Nov 1931

FW Wappat Electric Handsaw - Nov 1931

FW Wappat Portable Saw - Apr 1927

Portable Saw US Patent 1623290, applied for on 26th July 1926 and granted on 5th Apr 1927 by Fred W Wappat of Pittsburg, PA.

Portable Saw US Patent 1623290 Manufactured by Fred W Wappat Pittsburg PA, Mayville NY and Wappat Gear Works Pittsburg PA

Improvements to Electric Handsaw US Patent 1830579, applied for on 30th Jan 1930 and granted on 3rd Nov 1931
Assigned to Wappat Inc. Pittsburg

Innovations to the above hand saws are the improved retractable guard, a cutout in the guard so the operator can see the cut line, and a means of clearing sawdust from the cut line. Notice the worm drive  (Fig 2, part 10) referred to in the article by David Pitkin below; it  efficiently provides great torque for cutting large timbers and stone. Much more detail is available in the patent copies from USPTO.

If you search for 'Wappat' on the USPTO site, you will obtain a list of 47 patents, right up to present day, that list one of Fred's inventions within their own. It seems his designs are robust enough to be incorporated in power tools today!

Posted by Andrew Wappat

Blanche King Smith Wappat - Research, July 2003

I originally found a reference to a 'Blanche King Smith Wappat' back in 2000, when searching our name on the Internet. The web page was fairly vague, just mentioning that Blanche was listed in "Who Was Who Among North American Authors, 1921-1939, Volume 2, K-Z" and in "Who's Who in American History Volume I, 1897-1942"

It was some time later that I found a reference to 'Blanche Wappat' in a document from the Pittsburg Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) listing her as their second President from 1923-1926. I emailed the librarian via the current SLA website and was lucky enough to be contacted 5 months later by the archivist for the Pittsburg Chapter, Sheila Rosenthal, Librarian at the Software Institute Library, Carnegie Mellon University.

Sheila kindly searched the archives, including minutes of meetings and official chapter business correspondance, and finds her listed as Mrs Blanche K S Wappat, but on the official printed letterheads, with the SLA logo, Blanche is listed as Mrs F W Wappat, Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Those initials immediately made me think of Fred W Wappat, born in Pittsburg, and also know for his technological inventions!

Sheila was also prepared to visit the Carnegie Public Library, and found the entry I had been waiting for, in "Who Was Who Among North American Authors" .It confirms that Blanche was the wife of Fred W Wappat, and thus officially a connected New York Wappat. I have edited the entry to remove abbreviations, and the adpated version is below:

Born Pittsburgh, Pa., September 1889, the daugther of James Alexander Smith & Sue Luella Smith (nee Thompson)
Blanche was educated at Pittsburgh and Baltimore public schools, followed by private instruction at the Carnegie Library School, where she obtained a diploma. She married Fred William Wappat.
She wrote articles for the American Library Association Proceedings in 1926, and Special Libraries.
She was librarian at the School of Applied Design and College of Fine Arts, Pittsburgh, from 1913-1919; librarian of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, from 1920-1929; and special lecturer at Carnegie Library School from 1930-1931.
She was a member of the American Library Association, the Special Libraries Association and the Library Club.
Her religion is listed as Episcopalian, and her home as Cleeve Hill Cottage, Macon Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Being the second President of the Pittsburg Chapter of the recently formed Special Libraries Association, it appears to she had some influence in the access to information during the era of scientific and industrial developments. For more information on the history behind the formation of the Special Libraries Association, visit the Historical Highlights page of the SLA. For more information about the role of the president, visit the President page of the SLA.

At the moment, I am awaiting the entry for Blanche in the "Who's Who in American History" volume to see if there are more records of her life. We are currently unsure how long she lived for.

Posted by Andrew

Many thanks to Sheila Rosenthal of Carnegie Mellon University for much of the research above, and to Barbara Folb of Pittsburg University for passing on my original email.

The Fred W Wappat Saw Company - 2A Photographs, July 2003

Many thanks to the Old Woodworking Machines website at  for the information listed below and to Carman Esposito for the photos of the Wappat saw above. At the time Fred's business was known as Wappat Incorporated of Pittsburg, PA, apparently a division of Simonds Saw and Steel Co.
The trademark "Red Streak" is still held by Simonds today, although the design at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) differs slightly.

The saw, as usual, runs at the US 110V, and draws a current of 10 amps. The serial number is #164, which also appears on the A-9" model below.

Carman says that he has the original carrying case, and has owned the saw for about 40 years, buying it at least second hand.

Posted by Andrew

"Manufacturers Index
Fred W Wappat, Pittsburgh PA; Mayville, NY

Wappat was a very early maker of handheld circular saws. Handheld power tools are normally not included here, but we make an exception in this case because we have a catalog and manual, and there is virtually no other source of online information on this maker.

Wappat appears to have used the name Wappat Saw Co. at some point, but our 1944 catalog uses only Fred W. Wappat. Wappat began in Pittsburgh before the depression. He made electric washing machines at first, but then after the depression began making handheld circular saws, 8", 9", and 10" in size. The earlier models were mainly intended for stone and concrete, and were popular for cutting roadways for resurfacing. Apparently, Wappat saws were used during a renovation of the Washington monument.

One correspondent reports a Wappat A-8" saw manufactured in Pittsburgh, and labeled, "Portable Electric Tools / Fred W. Wappat".

Around 1944, Wappat moved to Mayville, on Chautauqua Lake. An exploded parts diagram is labeled "Fred W. Wappat / Mayville, New York / December 1, 1944". A price list in the same 1944 manual includes cutters for "Wappat and Alta door look mortisers" and for "Wappat and Alta [door] planes". The saw blades offered included metal-cutting, wood-cutting, and abrasive blades. Dado sets were also offered, which is not something seen in these more litigious times. Wappat also introduced a 6" saw at some point, probably after 1944.

Around 1952, Wappat sold his operations to another maker, tentatively reported as Porter-Cable. However, we have a report of a saw labelled, "MAXAW 7800" from John Oster Manufacturing Co. of Milwaukee, WI.


6", 8", 9", 10" handheld circular saws; handheld door planers, in straight-cutter and spiral-cutter models; door lock mortiser.

A 6" saw is reported with the "Maxaw" model name."

Taken from

The Fred W Wappat Saw Company - A-9" Photographs, April 2002
Photographs courtesy of David Pitkin.

This A-9" electric hand saw has the orange-painted lower blade guard - David suggests this must have been a Wappat trademark, as it appears on all the saws he has seen.

The saw draws a 10 amp current from110V ac/dc and runs at 3600rpm.

The capacity is 3 and 7/16", and this actual saw has an unusual 1 of 64 serial number.

David says "The saw is incredibly well built, and appears to date from the 1940's. I was fortunate enough to find a 9" worm drive -- I'm guessing the largest size Wappat built for the consumer market, and very likely in high demand by timber framers in its day. My eyes bugged out when I read the serial number: "1 of 164." I don't know whether mine was the first one built, or if all 164 saws had the same serial number, meaning that it was one saw of 164 saws built. At any rate, it must be quite rare, because I'd be surprised if more than a dozen of these saws are still in existence. It is truly a work of art (if you're weird about nice old saws as I am) and works perfectly."

Fred W Wappat 9" Saw

Serial Number of 9" Wappat Saw

Correspondance on the History of the Fred W Wappat 9" Saw, February 2002

I was thinking about what has been said regarding Fred Wappat saws being used to build the Washington Monument, and realized the unusual serial # (1 of 164) would be consistent with a limited production for a specific project. If that's the case, I would also assume that all 164 saws had the same serial number.

It seems, though, that the saws must have been built for a federal project different from the Washington Monument. The monument was "built at intervals between 1848 and 1885" according to information I've seen on the web Since Fred wasn't completed until 1886, the Washington Monument predates him.

The Lincoln Memorial was built at invervals between 1915 and 1922
That would make Fred about 38 years old when it was completed, so I guess it's a possibility. I'd be surprised if the saw I have dates to the 1920's, though. The design of the saw seems to be consistent with the late 1930's or early 1940's.

Construction of the Jefferson memorial seems to fall into the right time period. According to this website, "The final memorial design was chosen in 1938 and groundbreaking took place on December 15 1938. President Roosevelt turned the first shovel of dirt. The structure's cornerstone was laid on November 15 1939. The memorial was opened to the public with a dedication by President Roosevelt in 1943. It was the anniversary of Jefferson’s birth."

There are lots of memorials in D.C., so of course there are lots of possibilities.

Further down this site it states that "The top may be reached by elevator or by an iron stairway. The first elevator was a steam hoist, used until 1901 when the first electric elevator was installed. The present elevator, installed in 1959, makes the ascent in 70 seconds. The iron stairway consists of 50 landings and 897 steps."

Looking more closely at the saw I have, it could have easily been produced in the late 1950's -- maybe the Fred Wappat Saw Co. was contracted to produce saws for the installation of the new elevator in 1959, which would have been a tremendous job, considering the monument is over 500 feet tall. The primary construction of the three memorials I mentioned earlier is marble and/or granite. An elevator project would probably require the construction of a tremendous wooden framework of large timbers, which the saw I have was definitely designed to cut. Who knows?

The worm drives are great for handling large timbers, but they are also ideal for cutting stone, provided the correct masonry blade is used. The worm gear design produces tremendous torque with little effort; hence, they never seem to wear out. The saw I have is 40+ years old and probably remains as strong as the day it was built.

This is all very interesting to me. The saw could have been used for stone or timber. The Stanley tool company made a 9" worm drive in the 1950's, now highly prized by timber framers, which used a 9 amp motor. The 9" Wappat saw has an 11 amp motor. I have an old catalog that lists the Stanley worm drive saws, and I seem to recall that the 9" model sold for around $190, a staggering sum in the 1950's. I'm wondering if the U.S. government projects required saws that were beefier than the Stanley saws.

If the Wappat saws were procured for the 1959 elevator installation, there may have been a bunch of marble cutting work that went along with the project, especially if they had to enlarge an area to accept the new elevator shaft.

Many thanks for the research, courtesy of David Pitkin.

Family Photographs of Richard and Terri Wappat and children, November 2000.
Photographs courtesy of Terri; many thanks...please keep them coming!

Dick, Terri and Family, Playville, New York 2000

Jenavin Haleigh Wappat aged 5.

Dick, Terri and Family

Jenavin Haleigh Wappat

Braydyn Kyler Wappat aged 4.

Corinne Nicole Wappat aged 1.

Braydyn Kyler Wappat

Corinne Nicole Wappat

Graduation of Carri Wappat from college in Boston, on the 12th May 2000.
Photographs courtesy of Brad. Congratulations on behalf of Wappats around the World!

Carri Leigh and father Bradley David Wappat

Carri and brother Timothy David

Carri and brother Thomas Ryan

Thom and aunt Carolynn Kaye

Tim and mother Mindi

Carri and Nate

Some History about the New York State Wappats.

The New York State Wappats' closest relatives are the Teesside and Tyneside Wappats from North-East England. All three branches are descended from the children of William Wappat (1793) a husbandman from Whorlton, Durham. William's second child Robert Wappat (1815) was a iron works labourer and coal miner. He had one son William Wappat (1847) who was originally a boot maker. He emigrated to Pennsylvania, USA in 1880.
William had five children, including his fourth child Frederick William Wappat (1886), who went on to create the Fred.W.Wappat Saw Company, famous for making the tools used to renovate the Washington Monument.
William's third child Robert David (1883) had a son Robert David (1924) whose children make up the New York State Wappats of today.

It is hoped to add more details soon.

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