Alloy Artifacts  

Bonney Forge & Tool Works

Bonney CV Decal Logo
CV Decal Design from 1925 Trademark.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Bonney Forge & Tool was an early tool company most notable for its 1922 introduction of a full line of alloy steel wrenches.

Company History

The Bonney Vise & Tool Works was founded in 1877 by Charles S. Bonney, a noted inventor. Their first location was in Philadelphia, and the company's early products included vises (as expected), pipe wrenches, monkey wrenches, and other tools.

The company remained in Philadelphia until 1906 or so, then moved to Allentown Pennsylvania, where it remained for many years. In 1921 the company changed its name to Bonney Forge & Tool Works, to better reflect its growing tool business.

In the early 1920s Bonney was a pioneer in the use of alloy steels for hand tools. To quote from a later catalog,

In July, 1923, Bonney startled the tool world by announcing a new kind of wrench "guaranteed to strip the thread or break the bolt without damage to the wrench." It was the Bonney 'CV' Engineers' Wrench ... the original alloy steel wrench.

Although the claim of first use of alloy steels could be debated -- Cornwell, Herbrand and Plomb may have a claim here -- Bonney was clearly very influential in this area. The Bonney CV wrench line was hugely successful, and by the end of the 1920s most major tool companies were using alloy steels for their products.

By the 1930s Bonney was offering a full line of mechanics tools in their catalogs, including sockets and drive tools, wrenches, pliers, and many specialty tools. Their selection rivaled that of other leading companies such as Herbrand, Snap-On, and Plomb Tool. Bonney developed a super-tough alloy steel named "Zenel" to use for their top-of-the-line tools, and in 1939 coined the name "Bonaloy" for their alloy steel tools. (Both Zenel and Bonaloy were registered as trademarks.)

Acquisition by Miller Manufacturing

At some point in the early to mid 1950s, Bonney was acquired by Miller Manufacturing of Detroit, a maker of specialty tools and equipment for the automotive industry. With Miller's backing, Bonney built a new factory in Alliance Ohio and was in operation there by 1957; the new factory was used for production of both Bonney and Miller branded tools. Bonney also modernized their old factory in Allentown, and the older site continued to be used for some forging products.

Acquisition by Utica Tools

In 1964 Bonney was purchased by Utica Tools, the tool division of the Kelsey-Hayes Corporation. Kelsey-Hayes had previously acquired Utica in 1956 and Herbrand in 1961, so with the acquisition of Bonney, all three major tool companies were under one roof. The three companies shared a huge factory in Orangeburg, South Carolina, which claimed at the time to be one of the world's largest tool-making facilities.

In 1967 the Utica, Herbrand, and Bonney combined holdings were acquired by the Triangle Corporation, and operated for a number of years as the Utica Tools division of that company. Triangle Tool was later acquired by the Cooper Tools conglomerate, and the Bonney operations were discontinued sometime in the early 1990s.


Patents

Bonney Forge & Tool Works: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
105,896 C.S. Bonney08/02/187008/02/1870Improved Hollow Auger
357,306 C.S. Bonney04/26/188602/08/1887Pipe Vise
721,660 C.S. Bonney06/23/190203/03/1903Pipe Wrench and Cutter
726,794 C.S. Bonney08/12/190204/28/1903 Pliers with Cutter
Bonney Early Universal Pliers
728,842 C.S. Bonney10/11/190205/26/1903Adjustable Alligator Wrench
767,199 J.G. Baker11/30/190208/09/1904Adjustable Pipe Wrench and Cutter
1,141,602 J.G. Baker08/05/191306/01/1915Adjustable Wrench Lost Motion Take-Up
D54,516 J.E. Durham02/25/191902/24/1920 Battery Terminal Pliers
Bonney Battery Terminal Pliers
1,356,830 G.C. Rohrbach08/28/191910/26/1920 Safety Locking Device for Hooks
2,264,391 J.M. MacLeod08/24/193912/02/1941 Brake Spring Pliers
Bonney 2680 Brake Spring Pliers
2,957,377 T.G. Hare09/13/195710/25/1960 Ratchet Wrench
Bon-E-Con ZA707 Ratchet

Trademarks

The table below shows the trademarks registered by Bonney that have been found to date.

Bonney Forge & Tool Works: Trademarks Issued
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
Bonney 68,202 1876 11/27/1907 03/17/1908 For wrenches and vises.
Bonney name on a curved arc.
Renewed December 1, 1953.
[Shield Logo] 95,737 07/01/1913 11/07/1913 03/10/1914 For cement-working tools.
[Shield with "Lehigh"] 126,250 12/15/1915 01/16/1917 08/19/1919 For vises, wrenches, cement-working tools.
'CV' 171,873 11/04/1922 12/30/1923 08/14/1923 For wrenches.
Renewed August 14, 1943.
Bonney CV Decal Logo 198,784 11/15/1922 12/28/1923 05/26/1925 Design used on wrench decals.
Renewed May 26, 1945.
Chrome-Vanadium 202,077 11/15/1922 06/02/1925 08/11/1925 For wrenches of various kinds.
[Bonney CV Wrenches Triangle Logo] 246,827 11/01/1924 03/03/1928 09/18/1928 For wrenches and socket wrench sets.
Renewed September 18, 1948.
Zenel 306,876 08/31/1932 06/07/1933 10/03/1933 For wrenches.
Bonaloy 370,527 03/06/1939 03/30/1939 08/29/1939 For wrenches.
Republished December 15, 1953.
Bonney Tools [Oval Logo] 414,465 1935 11/02/1944 06/12/1945 For wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.
Bon-E-Con Tools 597,597 01/12/1953 09/10/1953 11/02/1954 For sockets and wrenches.

Manufacturing Dates for Tools

Bonney is one of the manufacturers with a well-established date code system, although the date codes were not published to our knowledge. This section will discuss the analysis and decoding of the date codes.

Forged-In Codes: The Bonney Date Code System

Many Bonney tools have a small forged-in (i.e. raised letter) code consisting of two alphabetic characters, often with one or more raised dots nearby. We have been noting these codes in the descriptions of those tools bearing such marks for some time now, but since the Bonney catalogs do not document the use of the codes, the meaning has been unclear.

Recently though one of our readers has suggested that the two-letter codes are actually a coded date, with the first letter representing the month and the second letter indicating the year. The reader cites examples of this type of coded date being used on forgings for bicycle parts, and even offers a web page of proposed dates for Bonney tools, using examples drawn from the Alloy Artifacts pages, personal tools, and Ebay listings. (The web page with the proposed dates can be viewed at www.vintage-trek.com/bonney_tool_date_codes.htm.)

The reader's suggestion seems reasonable enough, and we are now in the process of reviewing our numerous examples of tools (mostly wrenches) with forged-in codes. The preliminary results indicate that the forged-in codes do appear to represent a date coding system, although in a slightly different form than the original suggestion. The main difference is that Bonney appears to have used only the 14 letters M-Z to indicate the year, rather than all 26 letters, with the 12 letters A-L reserved for use only as the month codes. With the use of this restricted set of letters for the year code, the system would cycle through the codes every 14 years.

Some of the strongest evidence in favor of the date code intepretation comes from a series of early wrenches marked with the Chrome-Vanadium or CV-Circle logo plus a forged-in B-Shield logo. Based on this combination of markings, these wrenches would be expected to have been manufactured in 1923 or the following few years, and in the available examples the year codes are clustered together as "O", "P", and "Q". Thus if the baseline of the system is selected as 1921 for the first "M" code, the {O,P,Q} codes would correspond to 1923-1925, fitting nicely with our prior expectations.

With the baseline year and preliminary confirmation provided by the early CV and B-Shield wrenches, we then looked for additional examples to help support (or refute) the proposed date code system. This required finding tools for which a credible independent estimate of the manufacturing date could be made, using information such as markings, finish, catalog descriptions, and so on. The list below summarizes the examples identified thus far.


Table of Bonney Date Codes

The table below illustrates how the date code system would play out with 1921 as the baseline year. The example tools in the table were selected based on having an independent estimate of the manufacturing date.

Bonney Year Codes for 1921 Baseline Year
Cycle Year Code Year Examples
First M 1921  
  N 1922  
  O 1923 Bonney CV 1027-C Open-End Wrench
Bonney CV 1731-A Open-End Wrench
Bonney SE-125 Nash Wrench
  P 1924 Bonney CV 1507A Wrench
Bonney CV 403 Tappet Wrench
Bonney CV 1027 Wrench
  Q 1925 Bonney CV 1033-C Open-End Wrench
Bonney CV 1035 Open-End Wrench
Bonney CV 402 Tappet Wrench
  R 1926 Bonney CV 2027C Obstruction Wrench
Bonney CV 2731-A Obstruction Wrench
  S 1927 Bonney CV 2727 Obstruction Wrench
Bonney CV 2031 Obstruction Wrench
  T 1928 Bonney CV 2542 Obstruction Wrench
  U 1929  
  V 1930  
  W 1931  
  X 1932  
  Y 1933 Zenel 3114 Combination Wrench
Zenel 3118 Combination Wrench
Zenel 3120 Combination Wrench
  Z 1934 Bonney Zenel 2894 Box Wrench
Second M 1935  
  N 1936  
  O 1937  
  P 1938  
  Q 1939  
  R 1940  
  S 1941 Bonaloy 2885 Short Box Wrench
  T 1942 Bonaloy 2894C Box Wrench
Bonaloy 1164 Combination Wrench
  U 1943 Bonaloy 2805B Box Wrench
Bonaloy 2807A Box Wrench
Bonney 4093 1/2-Drive Ratchet
  V 1944 Bonaloy 2893B Box Wrench,
Bonaloy 1160 Combination Wrench,
Bonaloy 1170 Combination Wrench
Bonaloy 1174 Combination Wrench,
Bonney T35 3/8-Drive Ratchet
  W 1945 Bonaloy 2891C Box Wrench,
Bonaloy 1731-A Open-End Wrench,
Bonaloy 1035 Open-End Wrench
Bonaloy 424 Tappet Wrench
  X 1946 Bonaloy 1723 Open-End Wrench
Bonaloy 1725B Open-End Wrench
Bonaloy 1027C Open-End Wrench
Bonaloy 1028S Open-End Wrench
  Y 1947  
  Z 1948  
Third M 1949 Bonney 1116H Combination Wrench
  N 1950  
  O 1951  
  P 1952  
  Q 1953  
  R 1954  
  S 1955  
  T 1956 Bonney 2803 Box Wrench
  U 1957  
  V 1958  
  W 1959  

Details and Disclaimers

The above discussion of the date code system has omitted a few details, so we'll attempt to cover them here.

The forged-in codes frequently include one or more raised dots and sometimes a "v", and although the meaning is not yet known, these might represent the age or cumulative usage of the forging die. If Bonney used a master die to make working dies, the dots might represent generations of the working dies.

Another possibility is that the dots might be counters for the number of impressions struck from the die, e.g. a dot for every 10,000 impressions. Or similarly, the dots could indicate a successful (passed) periodic inspection, if Bonney's quality control protocol called for inspections of the forging dies at regular intervals of time or usage.

If the various dots and "v" markings do indicate usage of the die, this would imply that tools having forged-in codes with extra markings would be somewhat older than examples with just the plain code. Currently we don't know whether this "extra age" factor is insignificant (e.g. months) or might extend into years. Usage of a forging die could depend on many factors, including whether the particular wrench model was popular or not. It might be possible to actually estimate the age value of each dot or mark, if enough examples of a particular wrench model could be examined, but this is probably unlikely for the tools being considered here.

Another point to mention (though implicit in the discussion) is that the described date codes apply to the forging dies themselves, not to the tools struck from the dies. If a die was used infrequently, the actual manufacturing date of some tools could be substantially later than the die code would imply. A true date code for tools would used a stamped date applied individually to each tool, and could be changed even daily if needed.

What about the month code, the first letter of the forged-in code? Currently we don't have sufficiently precise date estimates to test whether the first letter actually indicates the month when the die was made, although it seems to be a reasonable assumption. We'll add more on this later if new information becomes available.


Applications for the Date Code System

Now that the date code system has been reasonably well validated, we can use the system to derive some useful secondary results, beyond the obvious usage for estimating the production date of individual tools. We have several applications in mind, all of them related to estimating the date of certain marking changes. The specific changes of interest are:

  1. Discontinuation of the B-Shield Forge Mark on Wrench Shanks.
  2. Discontinuation of U.S.S. and S.A.E. Sizes for Wrench Openings.
  3. Discontinuation of Bonney Name with Embedded Shield.
  4. Change from "Made in U.S.A." to "U.S.A." Marking.

For all of these cases we know the approximate date of the change, but there are good reasons for attempting to get a more precise date. For some tools the date code may be missing or unreadable, and these secondary marking features may provide the only means of estimating the production date. In addition, some of the marking changes may apply to other classes of tools (e.g. sockets) that don't have date codes at all.


Estimated Date for Change from "Made in U.S.A." to "U.S.A." Marking

We'll begin by looking at the date of the change from the "Made in U.S.A." marking to the simpler "U.S.A." form, both of which were used as stamped markings on wrench faces and shanks. This change had previously been estimated as occurring in the late 1940s, but we should be able to be more precise using the date codes.

Selected Examples for Transition to "U.S.A." Marking
Marking Date Code Mfg. Date Examples
"Made in U.S.A." BX. 2/46 Bonaloy 1165 Combination Wrench
  DX.. 4/46 Bonaloy 1723 Open-End Wrench
  DX.. 4/46 Zenel 3729 Open-End Wrench
  FX.. 6/46 Bonaloy 1167 Combination Wrench
  HX. 8/46 Bonaloy 1163 Combination Wrench
  JX.. 10/46 Bonaloy 1027C Open-End Wrench
  AY. 1/47 Bonaloy 2887 Box Wrench
  AY. 1/47 Bonaloy 1170 Combination Wrench
"U.S.A." BY... 2/47 Bonaloy 1232 Waterpump Wrench
  CY. 3/47 Zenel 3723A Open-End Wrench
  CY. 3/47 Zenel 3729 Open-End Wrench
  IY. 9/47 Bonaloy 1163 Combination Wrench
  JY. 10/47 Bonaloy 1721 Open-End Wrench
  LY. 12/47 Bonaloy 1031 Open-End Wrench

Our approach will be to list examples of the older marking ("Made in U.S.A.") with the latest date codes, then list examples of the new marking ("U.S.A.") with the earliest date codes, but still later than the last older marking. The reason for this last constraint is that we might expect to see some examples with the new marking but an older date code, if the code includes dots to suggest later production. Once the examples are listed in chronological order, the dividing line should be a reasonable estimate of the date for the marking change.

The preliminary results in the table at the left indicate that the marking change probably occurred between January and February of 1947. This is right around the time previously estimated for the change, but using the date codes has allowed a much more precise estimate.

While selecting the examples for the table, we found a few wrenches with newer ("U.S.A.") face markings but an older date code, suggesting that the actual production was somewhat later than the date code would indicate. In all of these cases the older date codes included extra dots, and we can look at these as an opportunity to make a (crude) estimate of the "age value" of the dots.

The following exceptions were noted:


Estimated Date for Discontinuation of B-Shield Forge Mark

Our next application will be to examine the B-Shield forge mark, an older marking that continued briefly into the CV era. As with the previous case, the approach will be to list the relevent examples in (presumed) chronological order, and then observe the dividing line.

Selected Examples for B-Shield Forge Mark
Marking Date Code Mfg. Date Examples
B-Shield JO 10/23 Bonney CV 1731-A Open-End Wrench
  JO 10/23 Bonney CV SE-125 Waterpump Wrench
  DP 4/24 Bonney CV 1507A Tappet Wrench
  FP. 6/24 Bonney CV 1272 Waterpump Wrench
  HP 8/24 Bonney CV 1027 Open-End Wrench
  AQ 1/25 Bonney CV 1033-C Open-End Wrench
  AQ 1/25 Bonney CV 1035 Open-End Wrench
  DQ 4/25 Bonney CV 402 Tappet Wrench
No B-Shield HQ. 7/25 Bonney CV 1723 Open-End Wrench
  KQ. 11/25 Bonney CV 1232 Waterpump Wrench
  CR.... 3/26 Bonney CV 1242 Waterpump Wrench
  ER.. 5/26 Bonney CV 1027-C Open-End Wrench
  IR 9/26 Bonney CV 2027-C Obstruction Wrench
  LR 12/26 Bonney CV 2731-A Obstruction Wrench
  LR... 12/26 Bonney CV 404 Tappet Wrench
  BS 2/27 Bonney CV 2031 Obstruction Wrench

Estimated Date for Discontinuation of U.S.S. and S.A.E. Size Markings

Selected Examples for Transition from U.S.S./S.A.E. to Fractional Sizes
Marking Date Code Mfg. Date Examples
U.S.S./S.A.E. AQ 1/25 Bonney CV 1035 Open-End Wrench
  ER.. 5/26 Bonney CV 1027C Open-End Wrench
  LR 12/26 Bonney CV 2731-A Obstruction Wrench
  AS. 1/27 Bonney CV 2727 Obstruction Wrench
  BS 2/27 Bonney CV 2031 Obstruction Wrench
  DS 4/27 Bonney CV 1723 Open-End Wrench
Fractional IS 9/27 Bonney CV 1723-A Open-End Wrench
  LS 12/27 Bonney CV 1723 Open-End Wrench
  BT... 2/28 Bonney CV 1731-A Open-End Wrench
  FT 6/28 Bonney CV 2725B Obstruction Wrench
  JT. 10/28 Bonney CV 1729 Open-End Wrench

Estimated Date for Change from Embedded Shield to Plain Bonney Name

The final application will be to estimate the date of the change from the embedded shield face marking to the plain Bonney name.

Selected Examples for Transition from Embedded Shield to Plain Bonney
Marking Date Code Mfg. Date Examples
Embedded Shield AU 1/29 Bonney 1028-S Open-End Wrench
  CV 3/30 Bonney CV 1033-C Open-End Wrench
  EV.... 5/30 Bonney CV 426 Tappet Wrench
Plain Bonney CV.... 03/30 Bonney CV 1033-C Open-End Wrench
  JY 10/33 Bonney Zenel 3420 Tappet Wrench
  CM..v.. 3/35 Bonney Zenel 3028S Open-End Wrench
  IM 9/35 Bonney Zenel 3725B Open-End Wrench
  IN...v 9/36 Bonney CV 1037 Open-End Wrench
  BO... 2/37 Bonney CV 1727 Open-End Wrench
  JO..v 10/37 Bonney CV 1725B Open-End Wrench

The initial results for this exercise are less helpful than in the previous cases, as we don't have enough early examples to narrow the gap between the two marking styles. In addition, the earliest "Plain Bonney" example is somewhat confusing, as it bears an early year code but is followed by four dots.

At this point we can be reasonably certain that the change from embedded shield to plain Bonney had occurred by 1933, but it may have occurred somewhat earlier, possibly by 1931. Hopefully some additional examples will be found to fill in the missing years.


Other Dates and Events

Not all Bonney tools are marked with a forged-in code, either because the tool was made before the code system was adopted, or because of the nature of the tool (e.g. a machined socket). In these cases the manuacturing date must be estimated based on other factors, such as the design and construction, markings, patents, registered trademarks, or catalog illustrations.

The following list of observations and events may be helpful in estimating the manufacturing date for some tools.


References and Resources

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


Catalog Coverage

Product information was obtained from a number of Bonney catalogs, as summarized in the table below.

Bonney Forge & Tool Works Catalog Resources
Catalog No. Year Format Notes
25 1925 Half Shows CV line of wrenches. No sockets or drive tools.
First listing of CV fixed-socket wrenches.
26 1926 Booklet Shows CV line of wrenches. No sockets or drive tools.
N/A 1927? Full First listing of CV right-angle (obstruction) wrenches.
First listing of sockets and drive tools, 1/2-drive 4000 series only.
630 1930 Brochure Offers new No. 18 CV Ignition Set.
Includes No. H set of heavy-duty sockets and drive tools.
33 1933 Full Full line of sockets. First listing of Zenel tools.
Supplement for May 1933 lists Zenel combination wrenches.
134 1934 Half  
136 1936 Half Zenel box-end wrenches listed.
138 1938 Half  
139 1939 Half Bonaloy tools listed.
39R 1939 Full Refrigeration specialty catalog. Bonaloy tools listed.
140 1940 Half  
43 1943-1945 Full Many items temporarily discontinued due to wartime restrictions.
C-1 1947 Half Copyright 1947. Single-offset wrenches listed with Bonaloy steel.
C-1 1949? Half Later printing.
Supplement with "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
C-3 1950 Half Copyright 1950.
Listings show "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
M-2 1954 Full Copyright 1950, but most pages updated to 1954.
Loose-leaf binder.
57 1957 Full Factory in Alliance, Ohio.
No reference to Bonaloy, CV, or Zenel alloy brands.
60-S 1960 Half  
63 1963 Full  

Industrial Distributors

Bonney tools were sold through a number of industrial and automotive suppliers, and the catalogs of these companies may provide helpful product information.


Early Tools

Carbon steel was the dominant material for tool making before the introduction of alloy steels in the 1920s. Bonney continued to produce carbon steel wrenches well after their alloy counterparts had become popular, as for some applications carbon steel was still preferred.

Early Bonney tools were typically marked with the Bonney name in a curved oval outline.


Early Universal Pliers with Wire-Cutting Slots

[Bonney Early Universal Pliers]
Fig. 1. Bonney Early Universal Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1903-1910.

Fig. 1 shows an early pair of universal pliers with wire-cutting slots, marked with "C.S. Bonney" forged into the handles, and with a "Pat'd Apr. 28 '03" patent date on the lower jaw.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent #726,794, filed by Charles S. Bonney in 1902 and issued the following year.


Early Vixen "Alligator" Wrench

[Bonney Vixen Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 2. Bonney Vixen "Alligator" Wrench, ca. 1906-1920.

Early 501 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 501 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 3. Bonney 501 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Before 1920.

Early 130 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench with Stamped Construction

[Bonney 130 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 4. Bonney 130 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Before 1920.

Fig. 4 shows a Bonney 130 1/2x9/16 wrench of stamped construction, marked with the Bonney name and embedded shield.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


6 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench

[Bonney 6 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 5. Bonney 6 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 5 shows an early Bonney 6 inch adjustable wrench with a curved or S-shaped handle, marked with "Bonney" forged into the handle, with "6 In" on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Bonney's adjustable wrenches of this style were generally marked with a June 1, 1915 patent date, although the marking (if present) is no longer legible on this example. The date refers to patent 1,141,602, filed by J.G. Baker in 1913.


10 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Pipe Wrench

[Bonney 10 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 6. Bonney 10 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 6 shows an early Bonney 10 inch adjustable pipe wrench with a curved or S-shaped handle, marked with the B-Shield logo forged into the head, with "10 Inch" forged into the handle. The reverse is marked with "Bonney" forged into the handle, with "Patented June 1, 1915" stamped below the jaws.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent #1,141,602, filed by J.G. Baker in 1913.


Early 6 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Bonney 6 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 7. Bonney 6 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. Pre-1920.

Fig. 7 shows an early Bonney 6 inch Stillson-pattern pipe wrench with a turned wooden handle, stamped "Stillson Pattern Wrench" with "Bonney Vise & Tool Wks. Inc." and "Allentown, PA. U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.8 inches closed and 6.8 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.


Early "Automobile" 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Bonney Automobile 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 8. Bonney "Automobile" 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. Pre-1920.

Fig. 8 shows an early Bonney 8 inch "Automobile" pipe wrench, stamped "Stillson Pattern Wrench" with "Bonney Vise & Tool Wks. Inc." and "Allentown, PA. U.S.A." on the shank, and with "Automobile" forged into the handle panel.

The overall length is 6.9 inches closed and 8.1 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.


8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Bonney 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 9. Bonney 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1926.

Fig. 9 shows a somewhat later Bonney 8 inch Stillson-pattern pipe wrench, marked with "Bonney" and the B-Shield logo forged into the shank, with "Allentown, PA." and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The jaw is also marked with the B-Shield logo (not shown) and has a forged-in code "GR" visible in the depressed panel, shown as a close-up in the middle inset.

The overall length is 7.0 inches closed and 8.0 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.

The "R" year code indicates production in 1926.


Early 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench

[Bonney 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 10. Bonney 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, 1921.

Fig. 10 shows a Bonney 10 inch Stillson pipe wrench, with forged markings "Bonney Stillson" and the B-Shield logo on the front shank, and with "Allentown, PA" and "Made in USA" forged into the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in code "CM" below the fixed jaw, shown as a close-up in the lower left inset.

The overall length is 9.2 inches closed and 10.3 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.

The "M" year code indicates production in 1921, in the first year of Bonney's date code system.


Early Battery Terminal and Grease Cup Pliers

[Bonney Battery Terminal and Grease Cup Pliers]
Fig. 11. Bonney Battery Terminal and Grease Cup Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1921.

Fig. 11 shows a pair of Bonney battery terminal specialty pliers, stamped "Battery Terminal and Grease Cup Pliers" with the Bonney B-Shield logo, and with a "Pat. Feb. 24, 1920" patent notice. Both handles are also marked with a forged-in code "EM" below the pivot (see lower inset).

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to design patent D54,516, filed by J.E. Durham, Jr. in 1919.

The "M" year code indicates production in 1921, in the first year of Bonney's date code system.


Open-End Wrenches


Early 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 12. Bonney 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 12 shows an early Bonney 21 5/16x13/32 open-end wrench, marked with the B-Shield logo forged into the shank, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face.

The overall length is 3.2 inches. The finish is plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust, making the markings a bit difficult to read.

The reverse faces are stamped "1/8" and "3/16" as implicit references to the U.S.S. size convention, corresponding to the 5/16 and 13/32 across-flats openings.

This wrench is not marked with a forged-in code, suggesting a production date before 1921.


Early 550AS 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 550AS 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 13. Bonney 550AS 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 13 shows an early Bonney 550AS 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with the B-Shield logo forged into the shank, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Early No. 29 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney No. 29 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 14. Bonney No. 29 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 14 shows an early Bonney No. 29 11/16x25/32 open-end wrench, marked with the B-Shield logo forged into the shank, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The reverse faces are stamped "3/8" and "7/16" as implicit references to the U.S.S. size convention, corresponding to the 11/16 and 25/32 across-flats openings.

This wrench is not marked with a forged-in code, suggesting a production date before 1921.


Early 5/8x11/16 "Reverse Gear" Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 5/8x11/16 Reverse Gear Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 15. Bonney 5/8x11/16 "Reverse Gear" Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 15 shows an early Bonney 5/8x11/16 "Reverse Gear" open-end wrench, marked with "Reverse Gear Wrench" and the B-Shield logo forged into the shank.

The overall length is 8.9 inches. The finish is plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust.

This wrench was designed for adjusting the reverse and brake bands on the Model T Ford, and the shank is offset at the 11/16 end to provide better access.


725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 16. Bonney 725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench, 1923.

Fig. 16 shows a Bonney 725 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." in raised letters with the B-Shield logo, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face. The reverse shank has a forged-in code "FO" (not shown).

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The reverse faces are stamped "1/4 [HEX]C" and "1/4 U.S.S. 5/16 [HEX]C", references to the older size conventions.

The "O" year code and B-Shield forge mark indicate production in 1923.


727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Bonney 727 wrench.

[Bonney Early 727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 17. Bonney Early 727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, 1923.

Fig. 17 at the left shows an early Bonney 727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." in raised letters with the B-Shield logo, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face. The reverse shank has a forged-in code "EO" (not shown), and the reverse faces are stamped "3/8 S.A.E." and "7/16 S.A.E.", references to the older size convention.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "O" year code and B-Shield forge mark indicate production in 1923.


[Bonney 727 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 18. Bonney 727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, 1925.

Fig. 18 shows a somewhat later Bonney 727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, with the face stamped "Made in U.S.A." and with the shield logo in the Bonney name. The reverse shank has a forged-in code "HQ" (not shown).

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is black paint with polished end faces.

The reverse faces are stamped "3/8 S.A.E. 3/8 [HEX]C" and "7/16 S.A.E. 7/16 [HEX]C", references to the older size conventions.

The "Q" year code and embedded shield marking indicate production in 1925.


33F 7/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 33F 7/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 19. Bonney 33F 7/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 19 shows a Bonney 33F 7/8x15/16 open-end wrench, marked with the model number and B-Shield logo forged into the shank, with the fractional sizes forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is black paint with polished faces.


33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 20. Bonney 33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench, 1922.

Fig. 20 shows a Bonney 7/8x31/32 open-end wrench with the industry-standard number 33. The wrench is marked "Made in U.S.A." in raised letters with the B-Shield logo, and the Bonney name (with embedded shield) is stamped on the face. The reverse shank has a forged-in code "LN" (not shown), and the reverse faces are stamped "1/2 USS 5/8 CAP" and "9/16 USS", references to the older size conventions.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel with a few traces of black paint remaining.

The "N" year code and B-Shield forge mark indicate production in 1922. This wrench is one of our earliest examples marked with a Bonney date code.


37 1-1/14x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 21. Bonney 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail, 1922.

Fig. 21 shows a larger example with the raised logo, a Bonney No. 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 open-end wrench, stamped on the face with the Bonney name and embedded shield. The shank has forged-in markings "Made in U.S.A." with the B-Shield logo, with a forged-in code "HN" on the reverse (see lower inset).

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The upper insets show the reverse face markings "5/8 U.S.S." and "3/4 U.S.S. 1 [HEX]C", references to the older U.S.S. and Hex Capscrew size conventions. The "N" year code and B-Shield forge mark indicate production in 1922. This tool is currently our earliest example marked with a Bonney date code.


725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 22. Bonney 725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, 1928.

Fig. 22 at the left shows a Bonney 725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, with the face stamped "Made in U.S.A." with an embedded shield logo in the Bonney name. The shank has a small forged-in "PT" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "T" year code and embedded shield marking indicate production in 1928.


S-Shaped Wrenches


Early 501A 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 501A 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 23. Bonney 501A 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 23 shows a Bonney 1/2x9/16 S-shaped wrench, stamped with an unusual form of the B-Shield logo displaying the Bonney name across the top (see upper right inset), and with the model number stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


504 15/16x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 504 15/16x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 24. Bonney 504 15/16x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 24 shows a Bonney 504 15/16x1 S-shaped wrench with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face, and with a shield emblem forged into the shank.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The markings on this wrench appear to indicate a transitional form, as the shield emblem on the shank hasn't yet become the B-Shield logo.


500A (75-B) 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 500A (75-B) 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 25. Bonney 500A (75-B) 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 25 shows a Bonney 500A 3/8x7/16 S-shaped wrench also marked as a model 75-B, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the Bonney name and embedded shield on the face. The shank has a forged-in code "EO" visible at the left.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


502D 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 502D 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 26. Bonney 502D 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, 1924.

Fig. 26 shows a Bonney 502D 9/16x5/8 S-shaped wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." in raised letters with the B-Shield logo, and with the Bonney name and embedded shield stamped on the face. The shank has a forged-in code "JP" visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "P" year code and B-Shield forge mark indicate production in 1924.


502G 19/32x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 502G 12/32x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 27. Bonney 502G 19/32x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, 1925.

Fig. 27 shows a Bonney 502G 19/32x11/16 S-shaped wrench, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the Bonney name and embedded shield on the face. The reverse shank has a forged-in code "GQ" visible at the left (see middle inset), and the reverse faces are stamped "5/16 U.S.S." and "3/8 U.S.S.", references to the older U.S.S. Size Convention.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "Q" year code and embedded shield marking indicate production in 1925.


664S 9/16x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench for Textile Machine Works

[Bonney 664S Textile Machine Works 9/16x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 28. Bonney 664S "Textile Machine Works" 9/16x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, 1925.

Fig. 28 shows a Bonney 664S 9/16x11/16 S-shaped wrench made for the Textile Machine Works company, a major manufacturer of textile machinery. The wrench is stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the Bonney name and embedded shield on the face, with "Textile Machine Works" on the shank. The shank also has a forged-in code "GQ" visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The left and right insets show the reverse face markings "3/8 S.A.E. 3/8 CAP" and "7/16 S.A.E. 7/16 CAP", references to the older S.A.E. and Hex Capscrew size conventions.

The "Q" year code and embedded shield marking indicate production in 1925.


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