Alloy Artifacts  

Bonney Forge & Tool

Bonney CV Decal Logo
CV Decal Design from 1925 Trademark.

Table of Contents

Introduction

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

Company History

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

One of the company's early tools was a combination pipe and monkey wrench, a notice for which was published on page 54 of the June 28, 1902 issue of The Metal Worker. The tool was later referred to as "The Masterpiece".

[1906 Ad for Bonney Masterpiece Pipe and Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 1. 1906 Ad for Bonney "Masterpiece" Pipe and Monkey Wrench. [External Link]

Fig. 1 shows an ad for a Bonney "Masterpiece" pipe and monkey wrench, as published on page 762 of the April, 1906 edition of Hardware Dealers' Magazine. The text lists the company's address as 3011-3015 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

[1908 Ad for Bonney Champion Vise]
Fig. 2. 1908 Advertisement for Bonney "Champion" Vise. [External Link]

Fig. 2 shows an ad for a Bonney "Champion" vise, as published on page 359 of the May 1, 1908 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal.


The Move to Allentown

By January 1, 1909 Bonney had moved its factory and main office to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

[1909 Notice for Bonney Vise & Tool]
Fig. 3. 1909 Notice for Bonney Vise & Tool. [External Link]

Fig. 3 shows a notice of the move to Allentown, as published on page 159 of the February, 1909 edition of Southern Machinery.

The text provides some details for the move and notes that the new factory would provide four times the capacity.


The "Big Nine"

By 1918 Bonney had become one of the "Big Nine" of the forging industry: nine companies who together accounted for nearly all of the drop-forged wrench production. These companies jointly signed a Conservation Agreement to reduce manpower and materials, as requested by the War Industries Board.

Bonney Forge & Tool Works

In 1921 Bonney Vise & Tool Works changed its name to Bonney Forge & Tool Works, which better reflected the increasing role of drop-forging in its tool production.


The Development of Alloy Steel

In the early 1920s Bonney was a pioneer in the use of alloy steel 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.

Bonney's "C.V." wrenches were actually announced as early as November of 1922.

[1924 Ad for Bonney C.V. Wrenches]
Fig. 4. 1924 Advertisement for Bonney C.V. Wrenches. [External Link]

Although the claim of first use of alloy steel could be debated — Armstrong 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.

Fig. 4 shows an ad for a Bonney "C.V." open-end wrenches, as published on page 91 of the July, 1924 issue of Popular Science Monthly.


Obstruction Wrenches and Socket Tools

In late 1926 Bonney expanded their 'CV' line to include angle-head obstruction wrenches, and shortly afterwards announced a line of detachable sockets and drive tools.

[1927 Ad for Bonney CV Socket Sets]
Fig. 5A. 1927 Advertisement for Bonney 'CV' Socket Sets.

A full-page ad at the front [External Link] of the December 15, 1926 issue of Industry Illustrated shows a set of five C.V. "right angle" wrenches in a leatherette roll. This is currently our earliest published reference for Bonney's obstruction wrenches.

An early notice for Bonney socket tools can be found on page page 88 [External Link] of the January 1, 1927 issue of the Automobile Trade Journal, which illustrates the tools and notes the use of chrome vanadium steel.

The scan in Fig. 5A shows a somewhat later ad for Bonney socket sets, as published at the front [External Link] of the June 15, 1927 issue of Industry Illustrated.

The strikingly clear illustration shows the Bonney No. "R" set in a metal box, consisting of 10 hexagon sockets with an assortment of drive tools.


12-Point Box-End Wrenches

By 1928 Bonney was producing 12-point box-end wrenches, initially as a specialty tool. Box wrenches with thin-wall 12-point openings were a new style of wrench made possible by the use of alloy steel.

[1928 Notice for Bonney No. 2540 Main Bearing Wrench]
Fig. 5B. 1928 Notice for Bonney No. 2540 Main Bearing Wrench.

The scan in Fig. 5B shows a notice for several tools in the Bonney 'CV' line, as published on page 39 of the October 25, 1928 issue of Motor Age.

The text describes the Bonney No. "R" socket set in a metal box, and also announces the No. 2540 chrome-vanadium Chevrolet main bearing wrench.

As can be seen in the lower illustration, the No. 2540 wrench was an offset box-end wrench with 12-point openings. This tool is notable as Bonney's first 12-point box-end wrench, and an example made in 1928 can be seen as the Bonney 2540 Main Bearing Wrench. This notice is the earliest known published reference to the No. 2540 wrench.

Also mentioned is the Bonney No. 18 Ignition Set, which consisted of 10 chrome-vanadium wrenches designed to service the popular ignition systems. This notice is also the earliest known published reference to the No. 18 set.

[1929 Notice for Bonney Box-End Wrenches]
Fig. 5C. 1929 Notice for Bonney Box-End Wrenches.

The development of 12-point box-end wrenches had been pioneered in the mid to late 1920s by P&C, Plomb, Blue Point, Milwaukee Tool & Forge, and Truth Tool, but Bonney is believed to have been the first major manufacturer to offer box-end wrenches.

Bonney's earliest box wrenches appear to have been influenced by P&C, as they incorporate a quirky tapered box end characteristic of P&C's production.

By 1929 the Bonney 'CV' line included sets of general-purpose 12-point (double-hexagon) box-end wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 5C shows a notice for Bonney box-end wrenches, as published on page 46 [External Link] of the December, 1929 issue of Motor Boating.

The text notes that the wrenches were available in a No. 29 set of three short box-end wrenches and the No. 31 set of six standard length box-end wrenches. The left-hand illustration shows the wrench sets in leatherette rolls. Although not noted in the text, the standard length wrenches were in the single-offset style.

Observed date codes indicate that the production of standard box wrenches began in 1929. However, prior to 1929 Bonney was already producing a No. 2540 specialty box wrench for Chevrolet main bearing service, as noted above.

This notice also announces the availability of chrome-vanadium alloy sockets with double-hexagon broachings, as seen in the right-hand illustration.



The 1930s

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, Plomb Tool, and J.H. Williams.

In 1932 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.)

"TuType" Combination Wrenches

Shortly after the introduction of Zenel tools, Bonney announced a new style of Zenel "TuType" wrenches with open and box ends of equal size, the design now known universally as combination wrenches.

[May, 1933 Catalog Listing for Bonney Zenel TuType Wrenches]
Fig. 6. May, 1933 Catalog Listing for Bonney Zenel "TuType" Wrenches.

Bonney's announcement came in a catalog supplement dated May of 1933, which places it just one month after the Plomb newsletter announcing their combination wrench.

The scan in Fig. 6 shows the listing for Zenel "TuType" wrenches, as published on page 41 of a 1933 catalog supplement.

To add to the intrigue, a number of examples of Bonney combination wrenches have been found with a "CY" date code for March of 1933, meaning that the forging dies were prepared in March. If we presume that initial production would have commenced shortly, this means that Bonney was likely producing combination wrenches before Plomb announced them.

Examples of Bonney's early combination wrenches can be found in the section on Zenel "TuType" Combination Wrenches.


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.

Later Operations

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.

The Triangle Corporation was later acquired by the Cooper Tools conglomerate, and the Bonney operations were discontinued sometime in the early 1990s.


Patents

Bonney Forge & Tool: 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: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
Bonney 68,202 1876 11/27/1907 03/17/1908 Bonney name on a curved arc.
For wrenches and vises.
Renewed December 1, 1953.
Bonney Shield Logo 95,737 07/01/1913 11/07/1913 03/10/1914 Shield logo.
For wrenches, vises, pliers, cement-working tools.
Serial 73,856. Published January 6, 1914.
HERCULES 104,592 1904 05/13/1914 06/08/1915 For screw-wrenches and vises.
Tomahawk 105,781 04/01/1908 03/22/1915 07/27/1915 "Tomahawk" in a semi-circle.
For combination tools.
Crocodile 105,781 05/08/1909 04/28/1915 08/17/1915 For wrenches.
Shield with Lehigh 126,250 12/15/1915 01/16/1917 08/19/1919 Shield logo with "Lehigh".
For vises, wrenches, cement-working tools.
'CV' 171,873 11/04/1922 12/30/1922 08/14/1923 Tappet wrenches.
Serial 173,993. Published 05/15/1923.
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 Triangle 246,827 11/01/1924 03/03/1928 09/18/1928 CV Triangle logo.
For wrenches and socket wrench sets.
Renewed September 18, 1948.
HERCULES 252,434 08/25/1928 09/26/1928 02/05/1929 For socket wrenches.
Serial 272,974. Published November 20, 1928.
ZENEL 306,876 08/31/1932 06/07/1933 10/03/1933 For wrenches.
Serial 338,597. Published July 25, 1933.
Renewed October 3, 1953.
TuHex   09/20/1932 07/26/1933   For wrenches.
Serial 340,108. Published September 5, 1933.
Registration number (if issued) not known.
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.

Tool Identification

Most Bonney tools are easy to identify, with clear markings for the company name either stamped or forged into the tool.


B-Shield Logo

[Bonney B-Shield Logo]
Fig. 7. Bonney B-Shield Logo.

Fig. 7 shows the Bonney B-Shield logo forged into the shank of a tool.

The B-Shield logo was frequently forged into tools made as contract production and serves to identify Bonney as the maker.


CV-Circle Logo

[CV-Circle Logo]
Fig. 8. Bonney CV-Circle Logo.

Fig. 8 shows the Bonney CV-Circle logo forged into the shank of a tool.


B-Hex Logo

[Bonney B-Hex Logo]
Fig. 9. Bonney B-Hex Logo.

Fig. 9 shows the Bonney B-Hex logo stamped on a tool.

The B-Hex logo was used for the Bon-E-Con line of economy tools.


B-Circle Logo

[Bonney B-circle Logo]
Fig. 10. Bonney B-circle Logo.

In later years Bonney used a "B" in a circle as a stamped logo for contract production. This marking has been observed on single-open aircraft wrenches from the 1950s or 1960s.

Fig. 10 shows the Bonney B-Circle logo stamped on a tool.

An example of the B-Circle marking on a tool can be seen on the Bonney 1968 2-1/8 Straight Aircraft Wrench.


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

[Editor's note: The following section was written around May of 2008 and documents the rediscovery of the Bonney date code system. Although the section is now rather old, we've left it written mostly in the present tense, to help convey the sense of excitement as this important finding unfolded.]

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 vintage-trek.com as bonney_tool_date_codes.htm [External Link].)

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 use 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 relevant 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 manufacturing 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: Catalog Resources
Catalog Year Format Notes
      No. 18 (1914, Half):
No. 18 1914 Half Copyright 1914. 72 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
      No. 23 (1923, Half):
No. 23 1923 Half Copyright 1922. Sticker on front notes price change effective 08/15/23.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Earliest catalog for CV line of wrenches.
Lists Tappet Wrenches in 40x series 402-407A.
No CV specialty tools. No sockets or drive tools.
      No. 25 (1925, Half):
No. 25 1925 Half Prices effective November 15, 1925. Prices are suggested retail.
Display Board shows specialty tools, not available from stock.
First listing of CV waterpump wrenches.
First listing of CV fixed-socket wrenches.
No sockets or drive tools.
Carbon-steel tools finished only in black enamel with polished faces.
      No. 26 (1926, Booklet):
No. 26 1926 Booklet No copyright, undated. Published late 1925 for 1926 year. 40 pages.
Suggested retail prices effective November 15, 1925.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists 'CV' tappet wrenches in 15 sizes from 401 (3/8) to 409 (1 inch).
No sockets or drive tools.
No box-end wrenches.
      N/A (1927?, Full):
N/A circa 1927 Full No copyright, undated. Catalog insert pages 531 to 542.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
First listing of CV angle-head obstruction wrenches.
First listing of sockets and drive tools, 1/2-drive 4000 series only.
No box-end wrenches.
      No. 630 (1930, Brochure):
No. 630 1930 Brochure No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. Fold-out brochure.
Catalog number indicates 1930 date, but contents more like 1929.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists new No. 18 CV Ignition Set.
Lists 1/2-drive Nos. "R" and "W" socket sets.
Lists 3/4-drive No. "H" "Hercules" socket set.
Lists No. 2540 main-bearing box-end wrench.
No 12-point sockets, announced late 1929.
No sets of box-end wrenches, announced late 1929.
      No. 32 (1932, Full):
No. 32 1932 Full No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. Dealer net prices. 32 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Full line of socket tools in 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4-drive.
Sockets in all drive sizes available in double-hexagon broaching.
Sockets in 1/2-drive available in Axx-series with straight walls.
Lists Zenel open-end and tappet wrenches, first catalog reference for Zenel.
Lists box-end wrenches in double-offset short/long and single-offset styles.
      No. 33 (1933, Full):
No. 33 1933 Full No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 36 pages.
Included supplements dated January and May of 1933.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Full line of sockets.
Lists Zenel open-end and tappet wrenches.
January 1933 supplement lists Zenel Electrical Wrenches.
May 1933 supplement lists Zenel Combination Wrenches.
      No. 134 (1934, Half):
No. 134 1934 Half No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. Mechanic's net prices. 52 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
H10 to H18 miniature open-end wrenches listed.
      No. 36 (1936, Full):
No. 36 1936 Full Zenel box-end wrenches listed.
E40 to E46 miniature box-end wrenches listed.
      No. 136 (1936, Half):
No. 136 1936 Half Zenel box-end wrenches listed.
      No. 137 (1937, Half):
No. 137 1937 Half No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 64 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
"Tu Hex" and "NOB" economy tools listed.
      No. 138 (1938, Half):
No. 138 1938 Half No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. List prices. 98 pages.
Includes price list dated February 1, 1938.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
"Tu Hex" and "NOB" economy tools listed.
      No. 139 (1939, Half):
No. 139 1939 Half No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. List prices. 88 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Bonaloy tools listed, first catalog reference.
"Tu Hex" and "NOB" economy tools listed.
      No. 39R (1939, Full):
No. 39R 1939 Full Refrigeration specialty catalog. Bonaloy tools listed.
      No. 140 (1940, Half):
No. 140 1940 Half No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. List prices. 100 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
      No. 43 (1943, Full):
No. 43 1943-1945 Full Many items temporarily discontinued due to wartime restrictions.
      No. C-1 (1947, Half):
No. C-1 1947 Half Copyright 1947.
Single-offset wrenches listed with Bonaloy steel.
      No. C-1 (1949?, Half):
No. C-1 1949? Half Later printing.
Supplement with "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
      No. C-3 (1950, Half):
No. C-3 1950 Half Copyright 1950.
Listings show "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
      No. M-2 (1954, Full):
No. M-2 1954 Full Copyright 1950, but most pages updated to 1954.
Loose-leaf binder.
      No. 57 (1957, Full):
No. 57 1957 Full Factory in Alliance, Ohio.
No reference to Bonaloy, CV, or Zenel alloy brands.
      No. 57-S (1957, Half):
No. 57-S 1957 Half Copyright 1957. 132 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Factory in Alliance, Ohio.
No reference to Bonaloy, CV, or Zenel alloy brands.
No Bon-E-Con tools.
      No. 60-S (1960, Half):
No. 60-S 1960 Half  
      No. 63 (1963, Full):
No. 63 1963 Full No copyright, dated 4-4-63 on back.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.

Industrial Distributors

Bonney listings in early distributor catalogs (prior to the mid 1910s) appear to have been limited to hollow augers and vises. From the 1920s onward, 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. 11. Bonney Early Universal Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1903-1910.

Fig. 11 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 "Always Ready" No. 1 Alligator Wrench

[1886 Catalog Listing for Always Ready Wrenches]
Fig. 12. 1886 Catalog Listing for "Always Ready" Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 12 shows a catalog listing for Bonney "Always Ready" alligator wrenches, as published on page 19 of the 1886 Bonney catalog.

Although we know this today as an "alligator" wrench, Bonney couldn't call it that in their catalog, since "Alligator" was a trademark of the American Saw Company.

[Bonney Always Ready No. 1 Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 13. Bonney "Always Ready" No. 1 Alligator Wrench, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 13 shows a Bonney "Always Ready" No. 1 alligator wrench, stamped "Bonney" and "Trade Mark" in the center.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel with extensive pitting, and with traces of its original nickel plating.


Early No. 1-1/2 "Crocodile" Wrench

[Bonney No. 1-1/2 Crocodile Wrench]
Fig. 14. Bonney No. 1-1/2 "Crocodile" Wrench, ca. 1900s-1910s.

Fig. 14 shows a Bonney No. 1-1/2 "Crocodile" wrench, marked with "Bonney" and "U.S.A." forged into the body.

The overall length is 5.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.


Early "Vixen" 8 Inch Alligator Wrench

[Bonney Vixen Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 15. Bonney "Vixen" Alligator Wrench, ca. 1906-1920.

Fig. 15 shows a Bonney "Vixen" 8 inch alligator wrench, stamped "Vixen" on the left jaw, with "B.V.&T.Wks, Inc." and "Allentown, PA" on the right jaw.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "Allentown" marking indicates production after 1906.


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

[Bonney 501 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 16. 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. 17. Bonney 130 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Before 1920.

Fig. 17 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. 18. Bonney 6 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 18 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 back side.

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. 19. Bonney 10 Inch Curved-Handle Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 19 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 back side 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. 20. Bonney 6 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1906 to 1910s.

Fig. 20 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.

The "Allentown" marking indicates production in 1906 or later.


Early "Automobile" 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Bonney Automobile 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 21. Bonney "Automobile" 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. Pre-1920.

Fig. 21 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. 22. Bonney 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1926.

Fig. 22 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 back side.

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-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Bonney 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 23. Bonney 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, 1921.

Fig. 23 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 back side.

The back side 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. 24. Bonney Battery Terminal and Grease Cup Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1921.

Fig. 24 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. 25. Bonney 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 25 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 back side 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. 26. Bonney 550AS 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 26 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 back side 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. 27. Bonney No. 29 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 27 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 back side 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.


725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 28. Bonney 725 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench, 1923.

Fig. 28 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 back side shank has a forged-in code "FO" (not shown).

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

The back side faces are stamped "1/4 ⬡C" and "1/4 U.S.S. 5/16 ⬡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. 29. Bonney Early 727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, 1923.

Fig. 29 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 back side shank has a forged-in code "EO" (not shown), and the back side 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. 30. Bonney 727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, 1925.

Fig. 30 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 back side 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 back side faces are stamped "3/8 S.A.E. 3/8 ⬡C" and "7/16 S.A.E. 7/16 ⬡C", references to the older size conventions.

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


33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench

[Bonney 33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 31. Bonney 33 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench, 1922.

Fig. 31 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 back side shank has a forged-in code "LN" (not shown), and the back side 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. 32. Bonney 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side Detail, 1922.

Fig. 32 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 back side (see lower inset).

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

The upper insets show the back side face markings "5/8 U.S.S." and "3/4 U.S.S. 1 ⬡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. 33. Bonney 725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, 1928.

Fig. 33 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.


Bonney Special Ford Wrench Set

[Bonney Special Ford Wrench Set]
Fig. 34. 1919 Notice for Bonney Special Ford Wrench Set.

The scan in Fig. 34 shows a notice for a Bonney "Ford Owner's Wrench Kit", as published on page 348 [External Link] of the January 1, 1919 issue of the Automobile Trade Journal.

The set consisted of six wrenches, with five standard open-end wrenches and one special reverse gear wrench. The latter wrench was designed for making adjustments to the Ford transmission.

The text notes the reinforced openings of the wrenches.

The set was available for $2.75 in a canvas roll, or $2.50 in a cardboard box.

Note that the illustration shows the fractional sizes of the wrench openings, rather than the U.S.S. or other size conventions. In order to maximize the utility of the set, Bonney chose the sizes that would be most useful for Ford Model T applications, even if it meant a non-standard size combination.


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

This next wrench is an example of the tools provided in Bonney's special Ford wrench kit.

[Bonney 33F 7/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 35. Bonney 33F 7/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1919-early 1920s.

Fig. 35 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 back side.

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

The "33F" marking on this tool was not an Industry-Standard Number, and the "F" was intended to indicate a wrench selected for Ford Model T applications. This model was the largest wrench in the "Ford Owner's Wrench Kit" illustrated in the previous figure.


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

[Bonney 5/8x11/16 Reverse Gear Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 36. Bonney 5/8x11/16 "Reverse Gear" Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1915-early 1920s.

Fig. 36 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.


S-Shaped Wrenches


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

[Bonney 501A 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 37. Bonney 501A 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 37 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 back side.

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. 38. Bonney 504 15/16x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 38 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. 39. Bonney 500A (75-B) 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 39 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. 40. Bonney 502D 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, 1924.

Fig. 40 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. 41. Bonney 502G 19/32x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Marking Detail, 1925.

Fig. 41 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 back side shank has a forged-in code "GQ" visible at the left (see middle inset), and the back side 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. 42. Bonney 664S "Textile Machine Works" 9/16x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, 1925.

Fig. 42 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 back side 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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