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Doerfler Sticks Dec 1908 The American Blacksmith
John Doerfler Sticks I
  John Doerfler Sticks II.JPG - PHOTO OF THREE ORNAMENTAL CANDLESTICKS MADE BY JOHN C DOERFLER ON DISPLAY AT THE KECK MUSEUM, MACKAY SCHOOL OF MINES, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA RENO - As a general practice I do not include reproduction candlesticks or any reproduction mining artifact in my website albums.  However, in this case I have made an exemption to introduce the Doerfler fancy candlesticks.  A contemporary reproduction of the Doerfler stick is shown previously in the photos.  The repro stick is made of heavy brass, is 11 1/2 in. long and reproduces the miner with hammer hook assembly of one of the Doerfler sticks.  It’s constructed in four parts – handle, shaft, hook and thimble – and is screwed together. A company named Montan Images of Marianna, PA included the repro stick in its 1997 catalog but it is unknown who actually made the reproduction.  Three original Doerfler fancy candlesticks reside in the Keck Museum, Mackay School of Mines, at the University of Nevada Reno.  All three are unique and are a testament to Doerfler and the other artistic craftsmen and elite blacksmiths across the west who fashioned fancy ornamental candlesticks.  What we know of these candlesticks has been derived in large part from an article written by the maker John C. Doerfler in a December 1908 issue of The American Blacksmith.  In that article two of the “ornamental goldminer’s candlesticks” are shown along with two fancy hammers.  As described by Doerfler, the candlesticks are made of 2J-inch automobile spring steel, the double-clawed shoeing hammer is made of common pick steel and the machinist’s hammer is made of hexagonal drill steel.  He notes that all were made by him during the winter of 1907 during his “idle moments.”  The candlesticks took a month to finish and all of the items are hand forged, drilled, filed and polished.  Doerfler was born at Dodge, WI in 1857, the son of German immigrant parents Eberhard and Magdalena Doerfler.  By 1880 he was living in Clayton Iowa working on a farm.  Doerfler learned his trade as a wagon and carriage maker at Volga City, Iowa before moving to Eagle Grove, Iowa in the mid-1880’s where he operated a general blacksmith and wagon shop for 14 years.  He then moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado around 1899 and opened a blacksmithing shop.  He spent 8 years there before moving to Goldfield, Nevada in 1907.  In the spring of 1908 he opened a blacksmithing shop in Goldfield.  The US Census for 1910 describes his occupation as “shoeing horses.” By 1930, he had moved to Reno, NV where he died on June 26, 1935.  Doerfler was awarded a patent for an automobile jack as patent No. 1,304,460 on May 20, 1919 while still living in Goldfield.  It’s unknown if other Doerfler candlesticks exist outside the three at the Keck Museum.  Of the three, two of the sticks, one with a hand thumb tab and the other with a gal leg thumb tab, were made during the winter of 1907 and pictured in Doerfler’s American Blacksmith article.  The third stick with an ornamental eagle hook was made sometime after 1907.  Whether he made others is still a mystery.  However it is quite clear that the opportunity for a private collector to acquire any of these three sticks is likely between zero and none.  
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John Doerfler Sticks II | PHOTO OF THREE ORNAMENTAL CANDLESTICKS MADE BY JOHN C DOERFLER ON DISPLAY AT THE KECK MUSEUM, MACKAY SCHOOL OF MINES, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA RENO - As a general practice I do not include reproduction candlesticks or any reproduction mining artifact in my website albums. However, in this case I have made an exemption to introduce the Doerfler fancy candlesticks. A contemporary reproduction of the Doerfler stick is shown previously in the photos. The repro stick is made of heavy brass, is 11 1/2 in. long and reproduces the miner with hammer hook assembly of one of the Doerfler sticks. It’s constructed in four parts – handle, shaft, hook and thimble – and is screwed together. A company named Montan Images of Marianna, PA included the repro stick in its 1997 catalog but it is unknown who actually made the reproduction. Three original Doerfler fancy candlesticks reside in the Keck Museum, Mackay School of Mines, at the University of Nevada Reno. All three are unique and are a testament to Doerfler and the other artistic craftsmen and elite blacksmiths across the west who fashioned fancy ornamental candlesticks. What we know of these candlesticks has been derived in large part from an article written by the maker John C. Doerfler in a December 1908 issue of The American Blacksmith. In that article two of the “ornamental goldminer’s candlesticks” are shown along with two fancy hammers. As described by Doerfler, the candlesticks are made of 2J-inch automobile spring steel, the double-clawed shoeing hammer is made of common pick steel and the machinist’s hammer is made of hexagonal drill steel. He notes that all were made by him during the winter of 1907 during his “idle moments.” The candlesticks took a month to finish and all of the items are hand forged, drilled, filed and polished. Doerfler was born at Dodge, WI in 1857, the son of German immigrant parents Eberhard and Magdalena Doerfler. By 1880 he was living in Clayton Iowa working on a farm. Doerfler learned his trade as a wagon and carriage maker at Volga City, Iowa before moving to Eagle Grove, Iowa in the mid-1880’s where he operated a general blacksmith and wagon shop for 14 years. He then moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado around 1899 and opened a blacksmithing shop. He spent 8 years there before moving to Goldfield, Nevada in 1907. In the spring of 1908 he opened a blacksmithing shop in Goldfield. The US Census for 1910 describes his occupation as “shoeing horses.” By 1930, he had moved to Reno, NV where he died on June 26, 1935. Doerfler was awarded a patent for an automobile jack as patent No. 1,304,460 on May 20, 1919 while still living in Goldfield. It’s unknown if other Doerfler candlesticks exist outside the three at the Keck Museum. Of the three, two of the sticks, one with a hand thumb tab and the other with a gal leg thumb tab, were made during the winter of 1907 and pictured in Doerfler’s American Blacksmith article. The third stick with an ornamental eagle hook was made sometime after 1907. Whether he made others is still a mystery. However it is quite clear that the opportunity for a private collector to acquire any of these three sticks is likely between zero and none. Download Original Image
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