Alloy Artifacts  

Bergman Tool Manufacturing Company

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Bergman Tool Manufacturing Company was founded in Buffalo, New York during the early part of the 20th century. The company was a maker of adjustable wrenches, pliers, and possibly other tools, and their products were sold under the Bergman, "Queen City", and "Blue Bird" brands.


Company History

The company was initially founded in 1904 as the Bergman Hardware and Tool Manufacturing Company.

[1904 Notice for Bergman Hardware and Tool Mfg.]
Fig. 1. 1904 Notice for Bergman Hardware and Tool Mfg.

The brief notice in Fig. 1 was published on page 25 of the November 5, 1904 issue of Iron and Machinery World and notes the founding of the company with $2,000 of capital.

[1908 Notice for Bergman Saw Set]
Fig. 2. 1908 Notice for Bergman Saw Set.

The directors were listed as Solomon Bergman, Linn Bergman, and Aaron Fybush.

Another early reference to the company was found in a 1905 Annual Report of the State Treasurer, which noted taxes for the corporation.

One of the company's early products was a saw set, a plier-like tool for adjusting the teeth of a hand saw.

The notice in Fig. 2 illustrates and describes the company's "B. B. Improved Saw Set", as published on page 48 of the September 25, 1908 issue of Hardware. The company's address is given as 19-21 Douglas Street in Buffalo.

By late 1908 Bergman Hardware and Tool was apparently doing well enough to plan a new factory building.

[1908 Notice for Bergman Hardware and Tool Mfg.]
Fig. 3. 1908 Notice for Bergman Hardware and Tool Manufacturing.

The notice in Fig. 3 reports the purchase of a site for a new factory, as published on page 763 of the November 19, 1908 issue of American Machinist. The company's products are listed as pliers, tap wrenches, and saw sets.

By April of 1909 the company had apparently shortened its name to just the Bergman Tool Manufacturing Company, and had moved into its new factory at 1573-1575 Niagara Street in Buffalo.

[1909 Notice for Bergman Tool Mfg.]
Fig. 4. 1909 Notice for Bergman Tool Manufacturing.

The notice in Fig. 4 reports the recent move, as published on page 332 of the April 3, 1909 edition of Domestic Engineering. The text also notes the company's business as pliers and hand tools.


Queen City Adjustable Wrenches

By 1915 the company was offering Crescent-style adjustable wrenches under the "Queen City" brand, and by 1920 the wrenches were being made with a distinctive curved handle. Another unusual feature of the wrenches was the square hole in the handle, which was intended for tightening set screws.

[1920 Ad for Bergman Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 5. 1920 Ad for Bergman Adjustable Wrench.

The ad in Fig. 5 was published on page 1317 of the December, 1920 issue of Hardware Dealers' Magazine.


The Blue Bird Brand

By the late 1920s Bergman was using the "Blue Bird" brand for its tools, and the company registered "Blue Bird Tools" as a trademark in 1927.

By the 1930s the company was making battery service tools such as battery pliers and battery terminal pullers.


Patents

Bergman Tool Mfg.: Issued Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
1,775,270 J.E. Bergman08/17/192809/09/1930 Bluebird No. 11 Battery Terminal Pliers
1,893,353 J.E. Bergman12/12/193101/03/1933 Bluebird No. 21 Battery Terminal Puller

Trademarks

In 1927 Bergman Tool filed a trademark application for "Blue Bird Tools" in a design showing a bird in the center. The application listed the company address as 1573-1576 Niagara Street in Buffalo, and their products were listed as tinner's snips and hand shears. The trademark was issued as #230,677 on August 2, 1927. The members of the firm at this time were Caroline E. Bergman, Jerome E. Bergman, and Ray W. Kempner.

In 1956 the company filed a trademark for "BLUE BIRD" as block text (no design), with the company's products listed as tinner's snips, battery service tools, and pliers. The trademark was issued as #629,907 on July 3, 1956. This trademark was renewed as recently as 1996, and the company's address is given as 8400 Lakeview Parkway in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Bergman Tool Mfg.: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
Blue Bird Tools 230,677  1927 08/02/1927 Tinner's snips and hand shears.
Company directors Caroline E. Bergman, Jerome E. Bergman, Ray W. Kempner.
BLUE BIRD 629,907  1956 07/03/1956 Tinner's snips, battery service tools, pliers.
Renewed in 1996.

References and Resources

Photographs and observations of particular tools are based on items in the Alloy Artifacts Collection.


Selected Tools


Bergman No. 708 8 Inch Combination Pliers

[Bergman No. 708 8 Inch Combination Pliers]
Fig. 6. Bergman No. 708 8 Inch Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 6 shows a pair of Bergman No. 708 combination pliers in the 8 inch size, stamped "Guaranteed" and "Buffalo U.S.A." near the pivot (see lower inset).

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Bergman No. 117 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

[Bergman No. 117 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 7. Bergman No. 117 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 7 shows a pair of Bergman No. 117 7 inch bent thin-nose combination pliers, stamped "Bergman" and "Buffalo U.S.A." near the pivot.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of nickel plating.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the bent thin-nose construction and the checkered gripping surface.


Bergman "Queen City" 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Bergman Queen City 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 8A. Bergman "Queen City" 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 8A shows a Bergman "Queen City" 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Bergman Tool Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo N.Y. U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Queen City" and "Drop Forged Steel" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.8 inches.

The finish is plain steel.


Bergman "Queen City" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Bergman Queen City 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 8B. Bergman "Queen City" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 8B shows a Bergman "Queen City" 8 inch adjustable wrench with a curved handle, marked with "Bergman Tool Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo New York, U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Queen City" and "Warranted Forged Steel" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.9 inches. The square hanging hole has a 5/16 opening.

The finish is plain steel.


Blue Bird No. 11 Battery Pliers

[Blue Bird No. 11 Battery Terminal Pliers]
Fig. 9. Blue Bird No. 11 Battery Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 9 shows a pair of Blue Bird No. 11 battery terminal pliers, marked with "Blue Bird" and "U.S.A." forged into the handle, with "Forged Alloy" and "No. 11" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with a patent notice, these pliers resemble the design described in patent 1,775,270, filed by J.E. Bergman in 1928 and issued in 1930.


Blue Bird No. 21 Battery Terminal Puller

[Blue Bird No. 21 Battery Terminal Puller]
Fig. 10. Blue Bird No. 21 Battery Terminal Puller, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 10 shows a Blue Bird No. 21 battery terminal puller, stamped "U.S.A." and "Patented" on the yoke.

The overall length of the screw is 4.9 inches. The finish is plain steel, with a few traces of blue paint remaining.

The patent notice refers to patent 1,893,353, filed by J.E. Bergman in 1931 and issued in 1933.


Alloy Artifacts Home Text and Photographs Copyright © 2005-2021 Alloy Artifacts Site Index