Alloy Artifacts  

C.M.B. Wrench Company

Table of Contents


Syracuse, New York was an unlikely hotspot for early automotive tool companies, but it became ground zero for the socket revolution in America. Beginning in 1906, the companies Miller Combination Tool, Syracuse Wrench, the present C.M.B. Wrench, and the Charles Miller Company all developed sockets and drive tools for automotive applications.

The common element in all of these ventures was Charles Miller, an inventor and entrepreneur who provided patents or direct participation in these companies.

Company History

The C.M.B. Wrench Company was an early maker of socket sets operating initially in Syracuse, New York. The company was founded in 1909 by W. Barton Coe, Charles Miller, and James J. Boyd, with these three principals providing the "C.M.B." initials for the company's name.

[1909 Notice of Incorporation for C.M.B. Wrench]
Fig. 1. 1909 Notice of Incorporation for C.M.B. Wrench Company.

Fig. 1 shows a notice of incorporation for the C.M.B. Wrench Company, as published on page 1133 [External Link] of the June 17, 1909 issue of The Iron Trade Review.

The text provides the details of the company's incorporation and lists the founders, with the initial capital noted as $15,000. One of the founders, Charles Miller, was an inventor with several patents for ratchets and socket-related tools.

Charles Miller was also associated with other tool-related ventures in the Syracuse area, and the interested reader can find further information in the articles on the Miller Combination Tool Company and the Charles Miller Company.

The advertisement in Fig. 2 appeared on page 272 of the June 1, 1909 issue of the Automobile Trade Journal, probably only shortly after the company had been organized.

[1909 Advertisement for C.M.B. Socket Set]
Fig. 2. 1909 Advertisement for C.M.B. Socket Set. [External Link]

The illustration shows one of the company's socket wrench sets, and the text notes the company address as the Industrial Building in Syracuse.

[1910 Advertisement for Silver King Socket Set]
Fig. 3. 1910 Advertisement for "Silver King" Socket Set.

The scan in Fig. 3 shows a full-page advertisement published on page 290 [External Link] of the January, 1910 issue of The Canis Index, a cooperative catalog.

The illustration shows the company's No. 1 "Silver King" large socket set, which was available in either a canvas roll or an oak box.

The ad also describes the company's smaller No. 2 socket set, and gives prices for the individual tools in the set.

[1910 Ad for Silver King Socket Set]
Fig. 4. 1910 Ad for "Silver King" Socket Set. [External Link]

Fig. 4 shows another ad for the "Silver King" set, as published on page 149 of the September 8, 1910 issue of Motor Age.

The illustration shows the company's "Silver King" socket set, with the company's name faintly visible on the lid of the box.

Relocation to New Jersey

By 1913 C.M.B. Wrench had relocated to Garwood, New Jersey, where it remained in operation until at least the early 1920s.

A 1915 Industrial Directory of New Jersey noted C.M.B. Wrench with four employees. A 1918 Industrial Directory of New Jersey listed the company with 6 employees on page 212, and a 1921 Directory of Directors listed Williard S. Tuttle as the president of C.M.B. Wrench.

A listing for C.M.B. Wrench appeared in the April, 1921 edition of the Automobile Trade Directory, where it was noted as the maker of "Silver King" and "Auto Queen" products. This is currently the latest known notice for the company.


C.M.B. Wrench: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
845,716 C. Miller10/13/190502/26/1907 Ratchet Wrench
845,717 C. Miller12/07/190502/26/1907 Socket Wrench
952,435 C. Miller03/20/190903/15/1910 Socket Wrench
Assigned to C.M.B Wrench Company.
952,436 C. Miller03/20/190903/15/1910 Ratchet Wrench
Assigned to C.M.B Wrench Company.


No trademarks are known to have been registered by C.M.B. Wrench. The company used the brands "Silver King" and "Auto Queen" for its products.

References and Resources

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

Catalog Resources

Currently we don't have any catalog references for C.M.B. Wrench products.

Socket Sets

C.M.B. Wrench produced socket sets made of "silver metal", an alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel sometimes called German Silver. The sockets and tools were similar in design and construction to those made by the earlier Miller Combination Tool Company, and C.M.B. Wrench can probably be considered as a "reboot" of the earlier company.

Currently we have several examples of these sets being prepared for display.

"Silver King" Socket Set

We have a C.M.B. Wrench "Silver King" socket set and hope to display it in the near future.

Fig. 5. C.M.B. "Silver King" Socket Set To Be Added.

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