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Born: 1751, Died: 1819

Thomas Savery, son of the cabinetmaker William Savery, Sr., entered Thomas Nevell's school for persons "anxious to improve themselves in the art of architecture" in December of 1771. Just as Nevell had been groomed for The Carpenters' Company by Edmund Woolley, students of Nevell's school tended promptly to enter The Company. In Savery's case, however, he joined the rival Friendship Carpenters' Company about 1775.

In structure the Friendship Company differed little from The Carpenters' Company, except for the cost of admission. Where The Company charged a substantial four pound initiation fee, the Friendship Company demanded only five shillings. At each meeting the members paid six pence to defray costs where The Company paid one shilling. Expectedly, members of the Friendship Company tended to be younger and relatively less successful artisans. When the two companies of masters united in 1786, however, most of the Friendship members paid the four pound Carpenters' Company fee and joined The Company. Savery was one of these.

Savery was also a subscriber to fellow Carpenters' Company member Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant; or, a system of architecture adapted to the style of building in the United States (Philadelphia, 1805), one of the earliest American books of architecture.

Written by Roger W. Moss.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia
  • Friendship Company

Links to Other Resources


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