Barnes #7 Large Improved Scroll Saw
The #7 and its predecessors was the first product of the Barnes company. Because of this, the #7 went through more type variations than any other Barnes product:
Type 1 was manufactured from about 1870 to 1872. It used the patented ratcheting mechanism and round belt, although minor variations in the ratcheting mechanism may have occurred between 1871 and 1874. It used a large treadle that apparently was connected directly to the drive pulley by a round leather belt. Prototype production of this type started about 1868. No known examples exist, but an 1886 newspaper interview with W. F. Barnes describes their first saw as a "crude looking foot-powered scroll saw, having little resemblance to the perfect apparatus now turned out, but running on the same principal." This saw was called the "old saw" in an June 13, 1873 day book (a Barnes company financial journal), where it was being heavily discounted to clear out inventory.
Type 2 was manufactured from 1873-1876. This machine had a wooden spring stick in the back to provide return motion, which either the artist left out in the earlier catalog illustrations, or perhaps the saw used a metal coil spring instead. This type was called the "large saw" because they also introduced an amateur's "small saw" in 1874.
Type 3, from 1876-1885, added a patent date to the spreader block casting and the saw tables changed from ash to maple. This type still used the wooden spring. Somewhere in this period Barnes assigned this saw the #7.
Type 4 began production in 1885, when a lower wooden arm replaced the cast iron second pulley and wooden spring used on earlier types. This machine started to use the round leather drive belt, and was produced until 1889.
Type 5 adopted the flat perforated belt. Sold from 1889 through 1935, when the records indicate the last machine was sold. This type is known as the "Improved #7 Saw." THIS IS THE MODEL FOR SALE HERE.
This saw was advertised as swinging 24 inches, with a 7 inch blade, and 800 to 1200 stroked per minute. Weight was 55 pounds (70 pounds boxed), and the table was 38 inches above the floor. There was no boring attachment sold for this machine. The first and second type of machine sold for $30.00, but later types were reduced in price to $20.00 each, probably as a result of the elimination of the second cast iron pulley and economies of scale. Figure 7 shows a type 1, a type 2 with and without the spring stick, a type 4, and a type 5. The type 3 looks very similar to the type 2 with the spring stick.