Tool Collection

Various Donors

Tools and equipment are essential components of the work done by architects, engineers and builders. The Museum’s collections include a variety of tools from all different fields and time periods, from a sheet metal bending break used to create entire facades of buildings to tiny stamps and stencils used by draftsmen to create intricate architectural drawings. Highlights from the collection include a complete set of woodworking tools, including planes, hand drills and a custom made tool chest used by a finishing carpenter in the 1940s; a complete set of tools used and made by a sheet metal worker in the 1950s; early power tools and saws from the beginning of the Do-It-Yourself movement in America; and drafting tools and supplies used by local architect Daniel Feil.

The Museum’s archives and research library also contain early textbooks used by architecture students at the turn of the century, pamphlets and brochures on home building and products in the 1950s, and material samples from the past 100 years.

The Tool Collection is in storage and not on view. Please check current exhibitions for a list of what is publicly accessible.