04.30.09

*Need to Know Something Really Fast? The Phone is Better than Email!*

Posted in JTS News at 6:38 am by jtsblog

Question: How many emails do the customer service personnel at Jas Townsend & Son receive EACH DAY?

1.    Beth and Cyndi are still sitting at their desks playing Solitaire,
eagerly awaiting the first one.
2.    25; 15 of which promote a well-known pharmaceutical product, four
are from the family of an exiled Nigerian government official,
three include the incredible news that Mars will soon be as big in
the sky as the moon (and you should pass this news along), two are
written in what appears to be Chinese characters, and one is from
a person asking if Thomas Jefferson ever wore red.
3.    100; that makes two emails for each of our 50 customer service
representatives.
4.     Between 300 and 400 emails EACH DAY.

Answer: D. Jas Townsend & Son receives between 300 and 400 emails a day. These emails are processed and prioritized as quickly as possible, but it remains to be a big job for Beth and Cyndi in between phone calls.

That’s why it’s really important that you call us if you have an urgent inquiry. Have a tight deadline? We can’t guarantee anything with this article, but you really should call us to see what can be done. Need to change your order before it’s shipped? It’s best to call.

While email is very convenient, due to the amount we receive each and every day, it’s not always the safest bet for an immediate response if you really must know something in a hurry.  800-338-1665. Of course, if you’re not in a big hurry, please feel free to go to our web site and email us. We’ll respond as quickly as we can.

New Bone Handled Brush Video

Posted in Links at 6:34 am by jtsblog

You can see it on the product page for JT-791 or on youtube here:

04.23.09

April 23rd Webletter

Posted in JTS News at 11:41 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Nickel Plated Pocket Watch   PW-751
Nickel Plated Pocket Watch PW-751

$29.50
Wood Sword and Shield   SW-75
Wood Sword and Shield SW-75

$12.00

Heart Trade Ring HR-745
Heart Trade Ring HR-745

$12.00
Silk Clocked Stockings - Off White - S-3304
Silk Clocked Stockings - Off White - S-3304

$20.00
Wall Basket  S-3404
Wall Basket S-3404

$25.00

Don’t Forget Mothers Day

Men! Do not forget the mother in your life. If you don’t get something from us, get something somewhere. Don’t delay.

New Videos

There is a new video up on the website that discusses our wood Dough Bowls.
I have also added a cute video that shows the Wood Sword and Shields in use.
Of course, all our videos can be seen on our youtube channel HERE.

Our Dough Bowls

I really love these bowls but some people are confused about them. So I thought I would take some time and explain them. These bowls are rough made by an indigenous tribe in Northern Mexico. The bowls are hand-made using centuries old techniques. They are made from downed timber and not live cut trees so deforestation is not an issue. Many of the bowls have characteristics that may be considered flaws, but only add to the obvious rustic charm. A typical bowl may have the gray staining of the heart wood known as “blue pine”, other bowls may have small worm holes and they may also have knots. None of these features keep this product from being used as intended. Another item to note is the rounded bottom. The rounded bottom is typical of a early more primitive bowl that would be used around a campfire or primitive hearth were there may not be a flat service to lay it upon. Usually a small depression was made in the earth where it was to be used or several small stones were used to prop it in place. To be used on a table or other flat surface a cloth or something similar needs to be used to keep it from rocking.

Use:

Our dough bowls are meant to be used for dough and other none liquid products. It seem common that a dough bowl used for dough was not necessarily well cleaned out and some of the dough from the last batch would stay in the bowl and help to get the next batch started. That is beyond my expertise so I will let you read up on that somewhere else.

Care:

The dough bowl does need to be cared for like any wood product. If the bowl needs to be washed you can expect the grain on the wood to rise the first couple of times you get it wet. A quick sanding and touch up with steel wool will knock the grain back down and then the bowl needs to be treated with mineral oil or vegetable oil to keep it looking good. Mineral oil is better than vegetable oil for this kind of use as mineral oil will not go rancid over time and possibly give an unwelcome taste to items made in the bowl.

04.16.09

Oops - Missing April 8th Webletter

Posted in JTS News at 10:02 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

18th Century Reproduction Glasses   GL-791
18th Century Reproduction Glasses GL-791

$30.00
19th Century Repro Frames   GL-790
19th Century Repro Frames GL-790

$25.00
Deluxe Marbles   MB-74
Deluxe Marbles MB-74

$9.00
Early 19th Century Glasses   GL-781
Early 19th Century Glasses GL-781

$30.00
Early 19th Century Glasses WIDE   GL-782
Early 19th Century Glasses WIDE GL-782

$30.00
1740-1800 Reproduction Glasses Frames  GL-784
1740-1800 Reproduction Glasses Frames GL-784

$30.00

New Videos

We have a new video that features our marbles that can be seen on the clay marble page.
We have also produced a companion video that explains the different reproduction eye glasses we offer, that can be seen on the GL-791 page. Both of these videos and all the other informative or just funny videos can be seen here on our youtube page.

Reproduction Eye Glasses

Period eye-wear is very important if you are trying to convey a historic look, whether you are a first person interpreter at a historical site, or a soldier at a reenactment, or even an actor on a stage. When a member of the public gets closeup, the first thing they look at is your face, and nothing ruins a perfectly good outfit like a modern pair of glasses.

We offer several styles of eye-wear here at Jas Townsend and Son.

We offer in order of time period:

The 1740-1800 Reproduction Temple Glasses - good for 1730’s to 1820’s

The Late 18th Century Hinged Glasses - good for 1760’s to 1830’s

The Early 19th Century Glasses - good for 1820’s to 1860’s

The later 19th Century Glasses - good for 1860’s to 1920

Also for protecting your eye-wear investment we have our Tin Eyeglasses Case

All of the frames we offer are quite inexpensive when compared to designer frames at your optometrist. They are all made with screws so you may have your prescription installed. In order to save money, some people have even been able to have the lenses removed from their old modern frames and cut down, then installed in our reproduction frames. All of our frames include trial lenses for show and as a pattern for lens makers. They are not reading lenses or safety glass. One thing to remember about 18th-century eyeglasses is that they were not typically worn constantly like most glasses today, but they were used as reading glasses or for close work. They were not designed for comfort.

Let’s look more closely at the Temple frames,
These frames represent the earliest type of eye glasses that had temples (previous to this, all glasses were held up to the eyes with your hand or balanced on the nose.) This style was invented in the early 1700’s, probably around 1725. They became common around 1740 and were still used as late as 1820. We have stretched the bridge on these a little to widen the frames and spread the distance between the pupils. The frames are supposed to fit tight on the sides of the wearers head as the shorted temple pieces are supposed to grip the sides of the face instead of going over the ears as with most other eye glasses. Most of the people who used these frames wore wigs, and the idea behind the short temple pieces was that they would not mess up the person’s wig. If you purchase these reproductions to wear, you will probably need to adjust the frames to fit the side of your face, or tie a string onto the loops to keep them on your head.

The next style frames are for the later parts of the 18th century. The hinged temple pieces, round frames, and the bridge style all date from the 1760’s, but the tear drop ends on these frames are just a little later, 1780’s or later. They are easily adjusted and fairly comfortable. They do have a tendency to float above the bridge of the nose on some folks, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. This style fits a wide time period. They are sturdy and easy to fit with lenses.

narrow style is directly taken from an original pair in our For the early 19th century, we offer frames with sliding temples and rectangular lenses that date to the 1830’s and ’40’s. They should be good for periods up to 1900 depending on the class of person. We offer these in gold-plated finish. The collection.We have a wide version of this style for more modern heads, as we have stretched the eye opening for a more comfortable fit.

The last frames in our line up are our later 19th-century frames. The big differences here are the oval lenses, the scroll type nose bridge, and the cable temples. While most components of this frame are good for the 1850’s and Civil War time frame, the cable temples are a later time period: 1880’s or even 1900. But as most people are not looking behind your ear, these temple pieces seem to work for most people. In fact, these frames are popular even with earlier period reenactors, because they still look much better than any modern frames and are more comfortable to wear. They are the most ergonomic pair we offer with a nose piece that is shaped for comfort.

To compliment any of these reproduction frames, we offer a simple tin case to keep them form being damaged while you are not wearing them. I’ve also personally discovered that this tin case makes my glasses much easier to find.

If you are looking for more information about how to date period eye-wear I would recommend: http://www.antiquespectacles.com/

April 16th Webletter

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:13 am by jtsblog

Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Round Handled Trade Knife   KN-163
Round Handled Trade Knife KN-163

$32.00
Folding Pocket Knife   KN-169
Folding Pocket Knife KN-169

$10.00
Knife and Fork Set   KF-160
Knife and Fork Set KF-160

$25.00

New Videos

This week we have added a sneak-peek video so you can see some of the new items and pictures in the up coming Catalog #29. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Also we have a new instructional video on Taking Care of your Knives.
You can see all our videos by checking out our YouTube Page.

New Catalog #29

Work on the new catalog is almost complete. Yes, every year we say we are going to get it out earlier and every year it goes out at the same time because we want it to be better than the year before. The final proofing stage is nearly done and the catalog really looks great. This spring has been very busy this year. When you get your new catalog in early May you will get to see the many new products we have been working on. We have added extensively to our children’s clothing line and we have been adding other places as well. The new products showcase in the front of the catalog was not big enough to picture all the new stuff. You will have to keep a good close look in your mail boxes because the format has changed again…. Last year we went with a larger taller format and this year it is back down in size but with more pages. Why do we keep changing the format? Lower Prices - we want you to have the best catalog at a lower cost so we don’t have to raise prices. Changing the format to meet new postal regulations means lower mailing costs and lower prices. I still don’t know the exact printing schedule but we hope it will be in your mailbox sometime in the first two weeks of May.

04.03.09

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:55 pm by jtsblog

April 1st, 2009  Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

Brewer's Pitch   BP-293
Brewer’s Pitch BP-293

$12.00
Tin Whistle   TW-394
Tin Whistle TW-394

$6.00

Two New Youtube Videos

We have two new videos available. Josh is in trouble yet again in a new Tin Whistle video. Also we have a very informative video on putting a new pitch lining in a canteen available on our Youtube Page or you can see it on the Pitch page on our website.

WHO BUYS THIS STUFF?

Some people might thing we only sell to reenactors. We do serve a thriving reenacting community and not just those who live here in the US. We have shipped orders to Malta, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, Canada, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and back again. We’ve yet to figure out why someone in Japan would reenact the Boston Tea Party but we have overnighted tricorns to Japan. The orders shipped to APO/AE addresses are a testimony that we serve our men and women in the armed forces too.We also have other kinds of customers. Many of you have written or called to ask if a particular item in a specific movie or television episode was a “Jas.” product. You’ll find our “stuff” in everything from the movie “Enchanted” to “John Adams” and in a number of television shows over the years. One of our costumes was stiffened and painted to look like a town square statue in an episode of “Ed” a few years back. We often get requests for Mel Gibson’s hatchet from “The Patriot” or Johnny Depp’s leather tricorn in “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. While we didn’t do the leather tricorn, we have sold items to both of these movies as well as others like “The Mask of Zorro”, “The Alamo”, “Master and Commander”….. I could go on and on. Usually our products are just used in the background. Sometimes we know when our products are going to a movie and sometimes we don’t. Often by the time the props and costume people on a set get through with our things they are hardly recognizable even to us.

We serve costume and prop departments from the Shakespeare Theatre in DC to the Seattle Children’s Theatre in Washington state and many college and university theater arts departments in between. US Ambassadors to foreign countries who are called upon to appear in period dress sometimes come calling, too. Our customer service representatives, Cyndi and Beth, like the mystery of never knowing when the phone rings whether they will be talking to the White House Visitor’s Center, the Boys Scouts, The Smithsonian, or the Metropolitan Opera. They are still flipping coins to decide which of them should learn to speak French to better serve some of our neighbors to the north. You all have kept them busy enough that they don’t seem to have time to learn.

I would not want to leave out the large number of historic sites all around the country that order, places like Fort Western Maine, Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, Colonial Williamsburg, Old Fort Niagra, Henry Ford Museum, Fort Michilimackinac, St. Augustine, Audubon SHS LA, Valley Forge, Stony Point Battlefield, and of course Mount Vernon. If I listed them all I would probably break the server.

All told, We really enjoy serving our customers. You are amazing bunch.