Some say the ditty bag got its name from from the word “dittis” (a derivation of the Saxon word “dite” meaning “tidy”), others say that because a sailor would spend great lengths at sea he needed two of each item (hence it derived from “the ditto bag”).
We are proud to announce the opening of our headquarters, and shop at 36 White Street, New York. Hold our products, meet the Best Made team, talk shop, get expert advice, try on a cruiser, behold just how sharp our blades are…
Open every Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 7PM
This week marks the opening of our new Headquarters, Shop, and Workshop Space on White Street in New York City (more on that very soon) and we are kicking it off in true Best Made fashion with two workshops to celebrate the new space:
Workshops at White Street: Axe Restoration
Workshops at White Street: Field Medicine
Wrights Station, 100 year comparison
Nestled amid the Santa Cruz Mountains, a stones throw from Silicon Valley but well-hidden by the redwood forests, you can find the remains of a historic rail corridor, built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1880s. I set out to see what remained of these historic towns and the forgotten infrastructure that once connected them.
Tales from the Cabin Fever Expo by Mike Piersa
Every spring, model engineers across America emerge from their basement workshops and show off their latest creations at the Cabin Fever Expo in York, PA. Home machinists, backyard foundrymen, and industrial artisans display miniature engines and machinery that often required hundreds of hours to create. The most enthralling models are those that recreate the long lost and legendary machines of the Victorian era. Jerry Pontius, of Deadwood, South Dakota, exhibited his operating model of the steam powered Ransome Tree Feller. In the 1870s, half a century before the modern chainsaw, this British built reciprocating saw was used around the world.
The machine and a crew of four men did the work of thirty axe wielding lumberjacks. It could fell a tree three feet in diameter in less than five minutes, cutting it almost at ground level and thus preserving large chunks of tree that otherwise “would be cut into chips if felled by the axe.” The saw ran off of steam supplied by a three horsepower boiler which must have burned scrap wood from the timbering operation. If not for this model, which could almost fit on the head of an axe, this once remarkable machine would have been forgotten, lost in time beyond the living memory of both the lumberman and engineer.
Project & Photos by Mike Piersa, Historian, National Museum of Industrial History, Bethlehem, PA.
Bio: Mike Piersa is an industrial historian whose vast knowledge base and hands-on philosophy has enabled him and his volunteer crews to preserve over 250 tons of steam-era machinery from mining, transportation, and manufacturing facilities across the northeast. Mike looks forward to every day, which could find him researching papers discovered in dusty attics, interviewing retired engineers, restoring century old machines, or being immersed in a cloud of steam from one of the many stationary engines he works with.