Alloy Artifacts  

Indestro Alloy-Steel Tools

By 1931 Indestro had begun producing tools using chrome-vanadium steel or other alloys. Indestro's alloy steel production initially was sold under its own name, or by using "Chromium-Vanadium" as a brand. In later years though Indestro used a number of different brands, including Indestro Polygon, Indestro-Chicago, Chrome Vanadium Steel (with a slanted font), Super-Quality, and finally Indestro Super.

In this section we'll explore the development of Indestro's alloy steel tools, beginning with sockets and drive tools.

Sockets and Drive Tools

Socket sets are believed to have been Indestro's earliest alloy-steel tools, as we have a documented example from 1931. Initially sets were produced only in 1/2-drive, but by the mid 1930s Indestro offered sets in additional sizes of 1/4, 3/8, and 3/4-drive.

The examples here have been ordered by 1/2-Drive, 3/8-Drive, 1/4-Drive, and 3/4-Drive.


1/2-Drive Socket Tools


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium Socket Set]
Fig. 148. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Socket Set, 1931.

Fig. 148 shows an Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive 17-piece socket set from 1931, dated by means of the sales receipt from Western Auto Supply. The set consists of a speeder, sliding Tee handle, ratchet adapter, three extensions, universal, and ten double-hex sockets from 7/16 to 15/16.

All of the sockets and tools are marked "Chromium Vanadium", except for the universal, double-male extension, and one socket.

This socket set is exceptionally well documented thanks to the inclusion of the original sales receipt with the set. The sales receipt shows that the set was purchased on August 8, 1931 from a Western Auto store in Texas, for a price of $5.35. As additional verification, the 1931 and 1932 Western Auto catalogs both offer a "Chromium Vanadium" 17-piece socket set matching the above description, and for the same $5.35 price.

The Western Auto catalog listing for this set can be seen with the Chromium Vanadium 17-Piece Socket Set in our article on Western Auto Supply.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder from 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder]
Fig. 149. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder, with Insets for Marking Detail, 1931.

Fig. 149 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive 13 inch speeder from the 17-piece socket set, stamped "Indestro Mfg. Co." and Chicago, U.S.A." on the shank with "Chromium Vanadium" on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle from 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 150. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, 1931.

Fig. 150 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive sliding Tee handle from the 17-piece socket set, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" on the sliding head.

The overall length is 10.0 inches.

Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal from 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal]
Fig. 151. Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal, 1931.

Fig. 151 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive double-male extension and double-female universal from the 17-piece socket set.

The overall length of the extension is 6.0 inches, and the length of the universal is 2.6 inches. The finish is nickel plating.

The double-male extension was required when using the double-female universal supplied with the set.

In addition to the double-male extension, the set included two standard 1/2-drive extensions, with lengths 4.5 inches and 9.5 inches. Both of these are stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and are nickel plated.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter from 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter]
Fig. 152. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter, 1931.

Fig. 152 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive ratchet adapter from the 17-piece socket set, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "1-2" with stars on either side.

The overall length (extended) is 3.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The 1932 Western Auto catalog called this tool simply a ratchet rather than a ratchet adapter. By 1933 the Western Auto socket sets included a true ratchet instead of the adapter, a model based on Duro's patent #1,902,878.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets from 17-Piece Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 153. Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium 12-Point Sockets, with Inset for Detail, 1931.

Fig. 153 shows nine of the ten Indestro sockets from the 17-piece socket set. (The 7/16 socket didn't match the others and appears to be a replacement.)

The sizes are, from the front left, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 21/32, and 11/16, and in the back row, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, and 15/16.

All of the sockets are stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and have a star symbol on each side of the size, a characteristic marking for Indestro sockets. The inset at the top shows a typical "Chromium Vanadium" marking.

The sockets have a coarse knurled band around the base, probably intended to help with turning a loose nut by hand.

The socket construction is cold-broached with a bored recess at the base. If you look carefully at the full-sized photograph, you can see chatter marks typically left by cold broaching.


Indestro [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Socket Set

Indestro No. 3111B Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 154. Indestro [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 154 shows an Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive socket set in a tapered metal box, consisting of a forged-body ratchet, drive plug, extension, and nine double-hex sockets.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, 1214 (7/16), 1216 (1/2), 1218 (9/16), 1220 (5/8), 1221 (21/32), 1222 (11/16), 1224 (3/4), 1226 (13/16), and 1228 (7/8). The sockets are all stamped on the base with "Chromium Vanadium" plus the model number and fractional size.

The drive tools in the set are unmarked.

Top Cover of Indestro No. 3111B Chromium Vanadium Socket Set]
Fig. 155. Top Cover of Indestro [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" Socket Set, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 155 shows the sliding top cover of the Indestro [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" socket set. The decal is printed with the Indestro logo at the top, followed by "Chromium Vanadium Socket Set" and "Tools for Service", with "Indestro Mfg. Corp." and "Chicago, U.S.A." at the bottom.

The tapered metal box has a bronze-colored crackle finish, and the approximate dimensions are 12.1 inches long by 3.1 inches deep by 1.6 inches high.

Currently we don't have an exact catalog reference for this set, but the 1935 Indestro catalog lists a very similar No. 3111B 11-piece socket set, which includes the same components except for the 21/32 socket. The set is listed as the "11 Piece Chrome Vanadium Steel Ratchet Wrench Set" under a "Super Quality" heading, but it's uncertain whether the sets were being marked with "Super Quality" decals at that time. Given the close match of the components, it's likely that this is a No. 3111B set with a 21/32 socket added by the former owner.


1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet from [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" Set

1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet from Chromium Vanadium Set]
Fig. 156. 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet from [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" Set, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 156 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive pressed-flange ratchet from the [No. 3111B] "Chromium Vanadium" socket set.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This unmarked ratchet is a generic version of the Indestro No. 3202 Ratchet or Duro No. 678D Ratchet, a familiar and rugged tool included in many socket sets from the 1930s through 1950s (or beyond). The ratchet was permanently assembled by compressing flanges integral to the forged body, a construction technique described in patent #1,902,878, issued in 1933.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12xx Sockets from 12-Piece Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive 12xx Sockets]
Fig. 157. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12xx Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Drive End, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 157 shows a group of three Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive 12xx Sockets from the 12-piece socket set. The models and sizes are, from the left, 1224 (3/4), 1226 (13/16), and 1228 (7/8). The sockets are marked "Chromium Vanadium" with the model number and fractional size.

The sockets are constructed with tapered walls, with the taper beginning at the base of the socket. The base has a narrow band of cross-hatched knurling just above the bottom, with a plain groove above the markings.

These sockets were made using Duro's patented hot-broaching process, as described by the 1936 McNaught patent #2,027,922. The lower inset shows the broached interior of the sockets, with a scalloped ring of displaced metal visible at the base of the broached area.

Another feature of Duro's hot-broaching process can be seen in the top inset. Note that the drive openings of the sockets have a tapered edge on all four sides, which helps to depress the detent ball when inserting a drive stud. Machining such a tapered edge would be a time-consuming process, but the tapered edge is "free" when made by a suitable mandrel during the hot-broaching process.


Chromium Vanadium 12xx and 28xx Sockets

The 1938 Duro catalog shows a 12xx series of 1/2 drive 12-point (and 8-point) sockets that it refers to as "Chrome Vanadium sockets". These are the model numbers that would later become the Indestro Super line, but in the late 1930s they were marked as "Chromium Vanadium", as shown in the examples below.

[Chromium Vanadium Sockets]
Fig. 158. Chromium Vanadium Sockets, Left to Right: 2812, 1220S, 1234.

Fig. 158 shows a group of three "Chromium Vanadium" sockets. The 1/2-drive model 1234 1-1/16 socket on the right is believed to date to the mid 1930s, as it shows the cross-hatched knurling in use at this time. Later on these models changed to the simpler straight knurling shown on the middle and left sockets.

The middle socket is a 1/2-drive model 1220S 5/8 double-square socket, with the "S" suffix on the model indicating an 8-point broaching.

The leftmost example is a 1/4-drive model 2812 3/8 socket. Although this model is not shown in the 1938 catalog, a later Indestro catalog lists 2812 as part of the Indestro Super 1/4-drive line.

These examples again confirm the continuity of the "Chromium Vanadium" mark with the later Indestro Super line, with a likely "Super-Quality" intermediate.


Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet

[Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 159. Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 159 shows an early 1/2-drive Indestro 3202 female drive ratchet, stamped "Chicago, U.S.A." and "Licensed Under Pat. No. 1902878" on the front cover plate, with "No. 3202" on the reverse cover plate.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,902,878, filed by McNaught and Peterson in 1932 and issued in 1933.

The forged body of this ratchet is very similar to the Duro-Chrome 678D Ratchet, but the forged-in brand name has been omitted. The generic body forging of this model made it easy to customize for contract production, with only a stamped cover plate needed to mark the customer's brand.

The ratchet mechanism uses a relatively coarse 16-tooth gear, an indication of the early manufacture of this tool.


Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Reversible Pressed-Flange Ratchet

In later years Duro/Indestro added a reversing mechanism to the pressed-flange ratchets, and then offered them in both male and female drive. The next figure shows an example of a female drive reversible ratchet.

[Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 160. Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 160 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3202R reversible ratchet with a female drive gear, stamped "Pat. No. 1,902,878" under the shift lever, with "Indestro-Super" and the model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses an 18-tooth drive gear, slightly finer than the previous example but still relatively coarse.


Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 161. Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 161 shows an Indestro Super 3201 1/2-drive reversible ratchet, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the model number on the front cover plate, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 1902878" on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

This ratchet mechanism has a 36-tooth gear, a much finer action than the Early Duro-Chrome 678D Ratchet displayed in another section.

This ratchet is an example of later versions of Duro's pressed-flange construction. The 1941 Indestro catalog offered pressed-flange ratchets in three versions, a model 3201R with reversible male/female drive, model 3202R with reversible female drive, and model 3202 with non-reversible female drive. These were part of the Super Quality Chrome Vanadium line and probably would have been marked "Super-Quality".

Ratchet models 3201R and 3202R were still available in the 1956 Indestro catalog No. 20, and the model 3201R had assumed its present male-drive-only form. By the early 1960s the only remaining pressed-flange ratchet was the model 3202R.


Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 162. Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 162 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3275 ratchet, marked with the brand and model on the shank, with "Keep Clean and Oil" stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

This ratchet is the Indestro equivalent of the Duro-Chrome 675 Ratchet shown in another figure, and is virtually identical in design and construction.

The ratchet mechanism is a variant of the classic S-K design and uses a 52-tooth gear in the drive handle. The ratchet assembly is marked "Mfd. U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 2686582", with the latter notice referring to patent #2,686,582, issued to Odlum and Hosford in 1954.


Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet]
Fig. 163. Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 163 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3239 long-handled ratchet, marked "U.S.A." with the brand and model at the end of the handle.

The overall length is 14.8 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.


Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder

[Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 164. Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 164 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3208 speeder, marked "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 17.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Indestro CV 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 165. Indestro CV 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 165 shows an early 1/2-drive Indestro 3221 11 inch flex-head handle, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" on the shank.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a Tee-handle and extension.


Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex Handle

[Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex Handle]
Fig. 166. Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 166 shows a later Indestro Super 3221 1/2-drive 11 inch flex handle, stamped "Super" and "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension

[Indestro Chromium Vanadium 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 167. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 167 shows an early Indestro 3216 1/2-drive 6 inch extension, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is chrome (or possibly nickel) plating.


3/8-Drive Tools


Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet

[Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 168. Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 168 shows a 3/8-drive Indestro Super 2775 ratchet, marked with the brand and model on the shank, with "Keep Clean and Oil" on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.

This ratchet is the 3/8-drive equivalent of the Indestro model 3275 shown above, and is virtually identical in design and construction.


1/4-Drive Tools


Indestro 1/4-Drive "Chromium-Vanadium" 11-Piece Socket Set

[Indestro 1/4-Drive Chromium Vanadium Socket Set]
Fig. 169. Indestro "Chromium-Vanadium" 1/4-Drive 11-Piece Socket Set, ca. 1935-1936.

Fig. 169 shows an early Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/4-drive socket set, marked with a colorful decal on the inside of the lid, with the Indestro logo and "Chromium-Vanadium" prominently displayed.

In this set the individual tools are not marked except for sizes on the sockets.


Super-Quality 1/4-Drive Socket Set

Somewhat after the use of the "Chromium Vanadium" mark, Indestro started using the phrase "Super-Quality" as a brand for its Chrome alloy tools. This use of "Super-Quality" is the obvious forerunner for the eventual Indestro "Super" line of chrome-alloy tools.

[Super-Quality Socket Set]
Fig. 170. Super-Quality 1/4-Drive Socket Set.

Fig. 170 shows a Super-Quality 1/4-drive socket set, consisting of a flex handle, six hex (or double-hex) sockets, and two double-square sockets.

The decal on the inside cover reads "Super-Quality Socket Set" and "Chrome Vanadium Steel", with the Indestro logo at the bottom.

The tools in this set are marked "Chromium Vanadium", and some have part numbers that in later catalogs would be identified as part of the Indestro "Super" line.


3/4-Drive Tools

By the mid 1930s Duro/Indestro was offering heavy-duty 3/4-drive socket tools. We have a substantial selection of these tools and will expand this section as time permits.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 2364 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 2364 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension]
Fig. 171. [Indestro] "Chromium Vanadium" 2364 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 171 shows an [Indestro] 2364 3/4-drive 8 inch extension, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "Made in U.S.A." with the model number on the shank.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish appears to be nickel plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

This extension was identified as Indestro production by the model number. The "Chromium Vanadium" marking indicates likely production for Western Auto Supply.


Open-End Wrenches

Duro/Indestro produced a full range of (double) open-end wrenches in industry-standard sizes, sometimes referred to as engineer's wrenches. These wrenches were assigned model numbers by adding 1000 to the corresponding industry-standard number, so for example a 19/32x11/16 No. 27 wrench became model 1027. (See our table of Industry-Standard Numbers for Open-End Wrenches for an explanation of this numbering system.)

The standard finish (from the early 1930s on) was chrome plating with polished faces, except that cadmium or plain finishes were typically used during the years 1942-1945.


[Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench

The next two figures show examples of the Indestro 1721 wrench, first under the generic "Chrome Vanadium Steel" brand, then under the "Super-Quality" brand.

[Indestro Chrome Vanadium Steel 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 172. [Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 172 shows an Indestro "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1721 5/16x3/8 open-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on one face, with the model number on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Super-Quality 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 173. Super-Quality 1721 5/16x3/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 173 shows a Super-Quality 1721 5/16x3/8 open-end wrench, stamped with "SuperQuality" and the model number on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


[Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Indestro Chrome Vanadium Steel 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 174. [Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 174 shows an Indestro "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on one face, with the model number on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Super-Quality 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 175. Super-Quality 1727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 175 shows a Super-Quality 1727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, stamped with "Super-Quality" and the model number on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The shank of this example is stamped with "Indestro Mfg. Corp." and "Chicago", a less common marking for tools with the Super-Quality brand.

The overall length is 7.2 inches. The finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear and rust.


Super-Quality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 176. Super-Quality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 176 shows a Super-Quality 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Super-Quality" and the model number on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Super-Quality 1731-A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 1731-A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 177. Super-Quality 1731-A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 177 shows a Super-Quality 1731-A 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped with "Super-Quality" and the model number on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear.


[Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1033 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench

[Indestro Chrome Vanadium Steel 1033 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 178. [Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1033 7/8x31/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 178 shows an early [Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" 1033 7/8x31/32 open-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the one face, with the model number on the other end. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the right face.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear.


Tappet Wrenches


Indestro Super T-1A 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench

[Indestro Super T-1A 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 179. Indestro Super T-1A 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 179 shows an Indestro Super T-1A 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the model number on the front faces. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro Super [T-]1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench

[Indestro Super T-1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 180. Indestro Super T-1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 180 shows an Indestro Super [T-]1 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the model number on the front faces. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro Super [T-]2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

This next figure shows a wrench believed to be our earliest example of the "Indestro Super" brand.

[Indestro Super T-2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 181. Indestro Super [T-]2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrenches, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1945-1946.

Fig. 181 shows an Indestro [T-]2 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Indestro Super" on the face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on a curved arc on the reverse face.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of the cadmium plating.

The traces of cadmium on this tool provide a helpful clue to the manufacturing date. Indestro and Duro-Chrome wrenches were generally given chrome plated finishes after the early 1930s, except for the period of wartime shortages from 1942-1945. Tools made at that time generally substituted cadmium (or plain) finishes for chrome, so it's likely that this wrench was made in late wartime or early post-war period.


Indestro "Chrome Vanadium Steel" [T-]3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Indestro Chrome Vanadium Steel No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 182. Indestro "Chrome Vanadium Steel" [T-]3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 182 shows an [Indestro] "Chrome Vanadium Steel" [T-]3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on one face, with the model number on the other face. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish and "Chrome Vanadium" marking suggest production during the early wartime years.


Combination Wrenches

Duro's unusual design for thin combination wrenches is discussed in the section on Duro Combination Wrenches.

Indestro also produced a comparable 77x series of thin combination wrenches, as seen in the next figure.


Indestro Super 775 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench

[Indestro Super 775 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 183. Indestro Super 775 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 183 shows an Indestro Super 775 5/8 thin combination wrench, stamped "Super" on the face.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The top inset shows the very thin profile of this wrench, similar to that of a tappet wrench.


Box-End Wrenches

Indestro's first box-end wrenches were probably the Indestro "Polygon" series, which were very similar to the "Perfection" box wrenches developed by Duro around 1932. The wrench design is a virtual copy of the Herbrand "Multihex" offset box wrenches, which were being sold by Western Auto beginning in 1931. In 1932 Western Auto offered a competing brand of "Perfection" box wrenches at a substantially lower price, and these are believed to be Duro's first box-end wrench contract production for Western Auto.

After the Duro-Indestro merger in 1933, the "Perfection" wrenches were rebranded as the Indestro "Polygon" series. In keeping with the standard markings used by Western Auto Supply in the early 1930s, the Indestro Polygon wrenches were marked "Chromium-Vanadium", using the full names of the metallic elements.

After the initial Indestro "Polygon" series, Indestro rapidly expanded its (double) box-end wrenches into four basic styles with a wide range of sizes. These were offered under the Super-Quality brand, which was optionally marked with the company name as well.

In addition, some chrome-vanadium steel box-end wrenches were marked "Indestro - Chicago U.S.A.", similar to the markings used for the early Indestro "Select Steel" line of tools. We're not sure exactly where these Indestro "Chicago" box wrenches fit time-wise, but it's possible that they were produced as the initial offset box wrench complement to the "Select Steel" open-end and open+box wrenches. (Just to add some confusion, the early "Select Steel" wrenches, being made of carbon-manganese steel, were actually marked "Drop Forged Alloy Steel" for the first two years.)

In the post-war years Indestro's Super-Quality brand was simplified to just Indestro Super, with the company name consistently marked. Although we don't have precise catalog coverage for this period, it's likely that the Indestro Super brand began around 1945.

Unlike the case with open-end wrenches, box wrenches were not given model numbers derived from industry-standard numbers. The box wrenches instead received ad hoc model numbers (some of which actually clashed with the open-end industry-standard numbers), and with different numbers for the Indestro and Duro brands.


Offset Box-End Wrenches

We'll begin with (long pattern) offset box-end wrenches, as these were likely the first models to be produced.

The 1935 Indestro catalog offered "Super Quality" long-pattern offset box wrenches in six sizes, Nos. 730 (3/8x7/16), 731 (1/2x9/16), 732 (5/8x11/16), 733 (3/4x25/32), 734 (13/16x7/8), and 735 (15/16x1). These "Super Quality" models were produced with triple-plated finishes. Some time later additional models 730A (7/16x1/2) and 731A (9/16x5/8) size were also available.

In 1935 the same models were also available in a cadmium plated version, designated by a leading "0" in the model number, e.g. "0730".


Indestro Super 730A 7/16x1/2 Offset Box-End Wrenches

[Indestro Super 730A 7/16x1/2 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 184. Indestro Super 730A 7/16x1/2 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 184 shows an Indestro Super 730A 7/16x1/2 offset box wrench, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the fractional sizes on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Polygon" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next six figures show the evolution of Indestro's 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench through several generations of production and branding, beginning with two examples of the "Polygon" brand. This size was later designated as Indestro model 731.

[Indestro Polygon 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 185A. Indestro "Polygon" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 185A shows an early Indestro "Polygon" 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped with "Indestro Polygon" on the shank, with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The Indestro Polygon wrenches were produced with both nickel plated and plain finishes. Another example of this size with a plain finish can be seen in the next figure.

[Indestro Polygon 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 185B. Indestro "Polygon" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 185B shows another early Indestro "Polygon" 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped with "Indestro Polygon" on the shank, with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench to illustrate the construction details. The shank is roughly oval in cross-section, with a smoothly rounded top and bottom and clipped sides.

Indestro "Chicago" 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

Some of Indestro's early alloy-steel production was marked with "Indestro-Chicago" rather than the Polygon or Chromium-Vanadium brands.

[Indestro Chicago 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 185C. Indestro "Chicago" 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 185C shows an early Indestro "Chicago" 731 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Indestro-Chicago, U.S.A." on the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium-Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Note that this early wrench does not employ the slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking, a characteristic found on later Indestro production.

Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

[Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 186. Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1937.

Fig. 186 shows a Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Super-Quality" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear.

This wrench has a hexagonal shank without the streamlined panels used on later Indestro production, suggesting a manufacturing date prior to 1937.

[Indestro Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 187. Indestro Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 187 shows a somewhat later Indestro Super-Quality 731 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the front panel, with "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to rust and pitting.

The streamlined panels indicate production in 1937 or later, and the nickel finish suggests pre-war production.

Indestro Super 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 188. Indestro Super 731 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1946 to 1960s.

Fig. 188 shows a later Indestro Super 731 1/2x9/16 offset box-end wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Indestro Super" and the model number on the reverse (lower inset).

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

This wrench retains the hexagonal shank found on earlier production under the "Super-Quality" and "Indestro Chicago" brands.


Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 189. Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1946 to 1960s.

Fig. 189 shows an Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 offset box-end wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the model number on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

This wrench retains the hexagonal shank found on earlier production under the "Super-Quality" and "Indestro Chicago" brands.


Indestro "Polygon" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next several figures show two generations of the Indestro 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, with different brand markings and construction details. This size was later designated as model 732.

[Indestro Polygon 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 190A. Indestro "Polygon" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 190A shows an early Indestro "Polygon" 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, stamped with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the shank, with "Indestro Polygon" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The Indestro Polygon wrenches were produced with both nickel plated and plain finishes, with the plain finish more common in our experience. The next figure shows an example of this size with a plain but polished finish.

[Indestro Polygon 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 190B. Indestro "Polygon" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Early 1930s.

Fig. 190B shows another Indestro "Polygon" 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Indestro Polygon" on the shank, with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

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


Indestro Super-Quality 732 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 732 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 190C. Super-Quality 732 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 190C shows a somewhat later Indestro Super-Quality 732 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the streamlined raised panel, with "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Polygon" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next several figures show four generations of the Indestro 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, with different brand markings and construction details. This size was later designated as model 733.

[Indestro Polygon 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 191A. Indestro "Polygon" 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 191A shows an early Indestro Polygon 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, stamped "Indestro Polygon" on the shank, with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Indestro "Chicago" 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

After the early "Polygon" example, later generations of this size were designated as Indestro model 733.

[Indestro Chicago 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 191B. Indestro Chicago 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 191B shows an early Indestro "Chicago" 733 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, marked "Indestro-Chicago, U.S.A." with "Chrome-Vanadium-Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.1 inches. The finish is nickel plating with polished ends. Note that the left end of the wrench is extensively pitted, apparently from contact with battery acid or some other corrosive substance.

Super-Quality 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 192A. Super-Quality 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1937.

Fig. 192A shows a slightly later [Indestro] Super-Quality 733 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, stamped "Super-Quality" and "Made in USA" with the model number on the shank, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of chrome or nickel plating.

The absence of the streamlined panels used on later Indestro wrenches suggests production in 1937 or earlier.

Super-Quality (X-Circle) [733] 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality (X-Circle) 733 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 192B. Super-Quality (X-Circle) [733] 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 192B shows a later Super-Quality [733] 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Super-Quality" and the X-Circle logo on the reverse panel. Although not marked with a model number, this would be model 733 in the standard Super-Quality line.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Indestro "Polygon" 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, later designated as model 734.

[Indestro Polygon 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 193A. Indestro "Polygon" 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 193A shows an early Indestro Polygon 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, stamped "Indestro Polygon" on the shank, with "Chromium-Vanadium" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Indestro Super-Quality 734 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 734 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 193B. Indestro Super-Quality 734 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 193B shows a later Indestro Super-Quality 734 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the streamlined raised panel, with "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 12.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Super-Quality 758A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench

Our next figure shows one of the larger examples of the Super-Quality brand, and in an unusual size as well.

[Super-Quality 758A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 193C. Super-Quality 758A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 193C shows a Super-Quality 758A 1-3/16x1-1/4 offset box wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." on the streamlined raised panel, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 18.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Short Offset Box-End Wrenches

The 1935 Indestro catalog offered "Super Quality" short offset box wrenches in three sizes, Nos. 741 (3/8x7/16), 742 (1/2x9/16), and 743 (5/8x11/16).


Indestro Super-Quality 741 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 741 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 194. Indestro Super-Quality 741 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 194 shows an Indestro Super-Quality 741 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench with streamlined panels, stamped "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the front panel, and with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Angled Box-End Wrenches

The 1935 Indestro catalog offered "Super Quality" long angled (10 degree offset) box wrenches in five sizes, Nos. 711 (3/8x7/16), 712 (1/2x9/16), 713 (9/16x5/8), 714 (11/16x25/32), and 715 (3/4x7/8).


Super-Quality [711] 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 711 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 195A. Super-Quality [711] 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 195A shows a Super-Quality [711] 3/8x7/16 box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Super-Quality" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with the fractional sizes and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with a model number, the Indestro catalog identifies this as a model 711 wrench. The lack of a "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Indestro Super-Quality 713 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 713 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 195B. Super-Quality 713 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 195B shows an Indestro Super-Quality 713 9/16x5/8 box wrench with streamlined panels, stamped with "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the front panel, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The Duro-Chrome equivalent of this model can be seen as the Duro-Chrome 2013 Box Wrench.


Indestro Super-Quality 714 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 714 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 195C. Super-Quality 714 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1937.

Fig. 195C shows an early Indestro Super-Quality 714 11/16x25/32 box wrench with a hexagonal shank, stamped with "Indestro U.S.A." and "Super-Quality" on the front, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of nickel or chrome plating.

The Duro-Chrome equivalent of this model can be seen as the Duro-Chrome 2014 Box Wrench.


Super-Quality [715] 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 715 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 195D. Super-Quality [715] 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 195D shows a Super-Quality [715] 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped "Super-Quality" with the X-Circle logo on the front panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of cadmium plating.

Although not marked with a model number, the Indestro catalog identifies this as a model 715 wrench. The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.

This wrench is very similar to the corresponding Duro-Chrome 2015 Box Wrench.


Short Angled Box-End Wrenches

The 1935 Indestro catalog offered "Super Quality" short angled (10 degree offset) box wrenches in three sizes, Nos. 751 (3/8x7/16), 752 (1/2x9/16), and 753 (5/8x11/16).


Super-Quality [752] 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 752 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 196A. Super-Quality [752] 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 196A shows a Super-Quality [752] 1/2x9/16 short box-end wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped "Super-Quality" with the X-Circle logo on the front panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces and ends.

The plain finish and lack of an alloy steel marking suggest production during the mid to late wartime years.


Super-Quality 753 5/8x11/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Super-Quality 753 5/8x11/16 Short Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 196B. Super-Quality 753 5/8x11/16 Short Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1943.

Fig. 196B shows a Super-Quality 753 5/8x11/16 short box-end wrench with streamlined panels, stamped with the model and brand on the front panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces and ends.

The plain finish and lack of an alloy steel marking suggest production during the wartime years, and the use of the standard model number without the X-Circle marking suggests the earlier 1942-1943 period.


Indestro Specialty Tools


Indestro Chicago No. 739 Main Bearing and Cylinder Head Wrench

[Indestro Chicago 739 5/8x3/4 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 197. Indestro Chicago 739 5/8x3/4 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 197 shows an Indestro 739 5/8x3/4 offset box wrench, stamped "Indestro-Chicago, U.S.A." with the model number on one side, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The Indestro catalogs list this wrench for main bearing and cylinder head service in the Chevrolet 6 up through 1932, plus the Pontiac 6 models from 1928 through 1932.


Super-Quality 767 Ford Main Bearing Socket Wrench

[Super-Quality 767 9/16(square)x3/4 Main Bearing Socket Wrench]
Fig. 198. Super-Quality 767 9/16(square)x3/4 Main Bearing Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View, Broaching, and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 198 shows a Super-Quality 767 socket wrench with 9/16 double-square and 3/4 double-hex broachings, designed for servicing Ford main bearings. The wrench is marked "Super-Quality Made in U.S.A." with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 15.4 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The 1938 Indestro catalog lists this wrench for main bearing service on Ford "A", "AA", "B", "BB", and V8 engines. The catalog illustration shows the distinctive hexagonal shank used at that time for this and other socket and box-end wrench models.

The model 767 wrench was still listed in the 1939 Indestro catalog, but had been discontinued by 1941, with a model 183 wrench in "Select Steel" replacing the chrome alloy model.


Indestro "Super-Quality" 763 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 763 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Box_End Wrench]
Fig. 199. Indestro "Super-Quality" 763 9/16x5/8 S-Shaped Box-End Wrenches, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 199 shows an Indestro "Super-Quality" 763 9/16x5/8 S-shaped box-end wrench, stamped with "Super-Quality" and "U.S.A." on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished box ends.


Indestro Super-Quality 769 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench

[Indestro Super-Quality 769 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Wrench]
Fig. 200. Indestro Super-Quality 769 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 200 shows an Indestro Super-Quality 769 9/16x5/8 half-moon box wrench, stamped "Indestro U.S.A." with "Super-Quality" and the model number on the front side, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in the slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.2 inches.


Indestro 3415 Battery Pliers

[Indestro 3415 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 201. Indestro 3415 Battery Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 201 shows a pair of Indestro 3415 battery pliers, stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and "Forged in U.S.A." around the pivot.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The 1937 Indestro catalog lists the model 3415 pliers under the Super-Quality brand and notes the triple-plated finish. The plain finish on this tool suggests earlier production.


Indestro Super 2161 Brake Spoon

[Indestro Super 2161 Brake Adjusting Spoon]
Fig. 202. Indestro Super 2161 Brake Adjusting Spoon, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 202 shows an Indestro 2161 brake adjusting spoon, stamped "Indestro Super U.S.A." with "Brake Adjusting Tool" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro Alloy-Steel Tools

Duro's first alloy steel tools were probably the chrome-nickel socket sets introduced in 1931. However, it's possible that forged alloy steel wrenches could have been in production before the socket sets — Duro is believed to have had in-house drop forging capabilities by the early 1930s, and thus might have started producing open-end wrenches, as competitors such as Hinsdale Manufacturing had done.

Sockets and Drive Tools

By 1931 Duro was offering socket sets with chrome-nickel alloy sockets. The confirmation comes from the 1931 Sears catalog, which lists several socket sets under Duro's "DuroBilt" brand, including a "Super DuroBilt" 40-piece set featuring chrome-nickel sockets. At this time 6-point sockets were still standard, but 12-point sockets were available at a slightly higher price.

[1932 Catalog Listing for Duro 42-Piece Chrome-Nickel Socket Set]
Fig. 203A. 1932 Catalog Listing for Duro 42-Piece Chrome-Nickel Socket Set.

Fig. 203A shows a catalog listing for another early Duro chrome-nickel socket set, found on page 73 of the 1932 J&R Motor Supply catalog.

The illustration shows a forged-body ratchet with the Duro name visible, which one of our readers reports is a Duro 675 ratchet. This female-drive model was constructed with a forged handle and two cover plates securing the mechanism.

Shortly after this time Duro developed their well-known Pressed-Flange Ratchet, the patent for which was filed in mid 1932.


Duro-Chrome 678D 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet

One of the more notable Duro inventions described a novel way for constructing ratchets. Instead of a conventional ratchet assembly held together with screws or rivets, the Duro design secured the parts with a pressed flange integral to the forging. This allowed Duro to produce a high-quality forged ratchet at a reasonably low cost, and the resulting products were sold widely into high-volume markets. Duro applied for a patent on the design in 1932 and was issued patent #1,902,878 in 1933.

[Duro-Chrome 678D 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 203B. Duro-Chrome 678D 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1933 to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 203B shows an example of the pressed-flange design, a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome model 678D reversible ratchet, marked with a bold "Duro-Chrome" on a raised panel in the center of the forged handle. The reverse shows a similar panel with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 1902878".

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel with a dark oxide coating.

This ratchet has a fairly coarse 18-tooth gear, but later versions of this model had a 36-tooth mechanism for a much finer action. The combination of the coarse action and plain finish suggests that this may be a very early model, possibly dating to the early 1930s.

One interesting feature is the provision of both male and female drive, as can be seen in the photograph. Male drive ratchets were becoming more popular in the 1930s and were gradually replacing the older female models. By providing both drive genders, Duro allowed the ratchet to work with older sets having double-male extensions and drive plugs.

The 1935 Duro catalog also offered a similar model 677D non-reversible ratchet, fitted with a female-only drive gear. The pressed-flange ratchet design remained in production at least until the early 1960s, with catalog 37-M offering a model 676 female drive ratchet with a 36-tooth action.

Probably the first market for these ratchets, and perhaps the impetus for their development, was as part of the "Chrome-Vanadium Socket Wrench Set" offered in the 1933 Western Auto Catalog. This set sold for a mere $5.68 and included the ratchet, a speeder, a sliding Tee handle, two extensions, a universal, and ten 12-point sockets, truly a stunning value for a set of alloy steel tools. (This set was very similar to the Indestro Chromium Vanadium 17-Piece Socket Set mentioned earlier, with the ratchet adapter replaced by the pressed-flange ratchet.)


Duro-Chrome 4487 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Duro-Chrome 4487 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 204. Duro-Chrome 4487 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 204 shows a Duro-Chrome model 4487 1/4-drive reversible ratchet, marked with "Duro-Chrome" forged into a raised panel on the handle, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 1902878" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The ratchet mechanism has a 20-tooth gear and is fitted with a reversing lever, as with the previous example. This ratchet also offers both male and female drive.


The Development of Hot-Broached Sockets

In May of 1935 Duro filed for an important patent on their new hot-broaching method for making sockets, and the patent was issued as #2,027,922 in January, 1936. The patent document has an excellent discussion of the prior art (cold-broaching) and the advantages of hot-broaching, and is highly recommended for anyone interested in the how and why of such things. Among the advantages cited are the increased strength of the sockets, the smooth broach free of chatter marks, and the relieved lip at the drive end that allows for easier connection to a drive tool. (The patent even mentions the attractive "scalloped" appearance of the metal pushed ahead of the broach.)


Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet

During the 1930s and 40s much effort was devoted to improving ratchet mechanisms, especially for the "round-head" designs with fine-tooth actions. While others looked for ways to make finer teeth, the engineers at Duro Metal Products came up with a novel idea. Instead of adding more teeth to the gear, they added a second pawl to the mechanism, with the teeth of one pawl offset from the other by half a pitch. Then as the ratchet turned to get a new "bite", the pawls would alternately drop into position, thereby effectively doubling the number of teeth. The inventor W.H. Odlum and collaborators were awarded patent #2,395,681 in 1946.

[Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet]
Fig. 205. Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1944-1946

Fig. 205 shows an early example of the Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-drive dual-pawl ratchet, marked with "U.S.A." and "Pat. Pend." on the cover plate.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The "Pat. Pend." notation indicates that this is an early production model; based on the patent filing and issue dates, the likely manufacturing date is in the range 1944-1946.

The dual-pawl action can be heard clearly when the ratchet is turned slowly, with the two pawls making slightly different clicking sounds as they fall into place. The Duro catalogs advertised this as having "80 tooth action" without describing its 40-tooth gear and dual pawls.

One interesting aspect of the construction is that the ratchet has been permanently assembled by compressing flanges in the head. This technique was invented by Duro in the early 1930s (as patent #1,902,878) and used for a series of ratchet models. (The patent also appears to have been used by Hinsdale; see for example the H-12-R Ratchet.)

Although the dual-pawl mechanism was a great idea, this ratchet model was apparently not very successful as a product. Two factors probably contributed to its limited success: first, the patent design required two different pawls, one with the teeth offset, and having to make two precision parts would have increased the manufacturing cost.

Secondly, the permanent assembly negated one of the potential advantages of the round-head ratchet design, the simple replacement of the ratchet mechanism as a unit. This could have been significant when the manufacturer offered a lifetime warranty for its tools, as it would mean replacing the entire unit instead of offering (selling!) an inexpensive renewal kit. As a result of these issues (or others), by 1955 Duro-Chrome had already discontinued this model. (The 1955 catalog still illustrates this ratchet model, but the price list substitutes a more conventional Duro-Chrome 675 Ratchet with a 52-tooth design.)

Although not a big success for Duro-Chrome, the dual-pawl patent did pave the way for great products from other companies. In the early 1950s, W.J. Johnson at J.H. Williams & Co made a brilliantly simple (or simply brilliant) improvement to the design. Johnson's ratchet is described by patent #2,772,763 and uses symmetrical dual pawls, but with an odd number of teeth in the drive gear, thereby gaining the same benefit with a simpler mechanism. This resulted in the Williams S-52 (and related) ratchets, arguably one of the best ratchet designs of all time.

Some years later, H.J. Haznar at Moore Drop Forging updated the dual-pawl design with an improved shift mechanism and a quick-release button, for which he received patent #3,467,231. These features were used for the excellent Craftsman "V" Dual-Pawl Ratchets, a very popular and highly successful series introduced in the late 1960s.


Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 206. Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 206 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 675 ratchet, marked "Duro-Chrome U.S.A." at the end of the handle.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.

The ratchet mechanism is a variant of the classic S-K design and uses a 52-tooth gear in the drive handle. The shift mechanism incorporates a detent ball to guard against accidental shifting, and is described by Duro patent #2,686,582, issued in 1954.

This ratchet model was first listed in a supplement (35S) to the 1955 Duro catalog No. 35, and was intended as a replacement for the discontinued Duro-Chrome 699 Dual-Pawl Ratchet. The 1961 Duro catalog listed both the model 675 and a similar model 689 with a longer handle.

The equivalent tool in the Indestro Super line is the Indestro 3275 Ratchet. Other examples of similar models include the Wizard H2833 Ratchet.


Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 207. Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle.

Fig. 207 shows a Duro-Chrome 666D flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and has a 1/2-drive stud on the end. The latter feature was popular on earlier breaker bars, when female-drive ratchets were the norm, as it allowed the breaker bar to operate as an extension.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a Tee-handle and extension.


Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 208. Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 208 shows a Duro-Chrome 657DK flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 15.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a Tee-handle and extension.


Duro-Chrome 669D 1/2-Drive 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 669D 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 209. Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 669D 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1960s.

Fig. 209 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 669D 18 inch flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 17.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle, but the end is not broached for square drive. Earlier versions of this model did include a 1/2-drive broached end, allowing use as an extension.


Duro-Chrome 663D 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 663D Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 210. Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 663D Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 210 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 663D sliding Tee handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Duro-Chrome 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension

[Duro 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 211. Duro-Chrome 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 211 shows an early 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 582 3 inch extension, stamped "Duro Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 3.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The extension is equipped with a 3/8 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle.


Duro-Chrome 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension

[Duro 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 212. Duro-Chrome 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 212 shows a later 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 662D 3 inch extension, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the drive head.

The overall length is 3.1 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The extension is equipped with a 3/8 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle.


Modern Sockets

Duro and Indestro must have been very busy during the late 1930s, as their socket lineup developed very rapidly in these years. By the time of the 1938 Duro-Chrome catalog (38M), almost all of the modern series of sockets had been developed, and the sockets had been assigned part numbers. These included the 1/2-drive 11xx, 16xxx, 12xx, and 14xx (deep) series sockets, the 3/8-drive 44xx series, and the 1/4-drive 45xx series.


Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 11xx and 16xx Sockets

[Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive Sockets]
Fig. 213. Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive Sockets, Left to Right: 1118, 1618V8XY, 1625, 1622S.

Fig. 213 at the left shows the top-of-the-line for Duro-Chrome's 1/2-drive sockets, the 11xx series with thin straight walls and 16xx series for thin tapered walls. These included selected 8-point sizes (marked by appending an "S" to the model number) and the specialty 1618V8XY socket, the latter made with ultra-thin walls for certain connecting-rod bolts.

The models and sizes are, from the left, 1118 (9/16), 1618V8XY (9/16), 1625 (25/32), and 1622S (11/16, 8-Point).


Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Connecting Rod Socket

Duro-chrome's 16xx series of 1/2-drive sockets included a special 9/16 socket, made with extra-thin walls for Ford connecting-rod applications. Although the 16xx sockets were otherwise all double-hex, this special socket was available in both hex and double-hex broachings, with model numbers 1618V8X and 1618V8XX respectively.

[Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Hex Socket]
Fig. 214. Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 214 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 9/16 hex socket, stamped "U.S.A." on the base.

The lower-right inset shows the hot-broached construction of the socket.

This socket was intended for Ford connecting-rod applications, which required very thin walls for clearance.

Post-Modern Sockets

Sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s Duro began making changes to their socket designs, with the result that some of the finer features of the earlier sockets were lost. These changes may have been driven by the need to reduce costs under competitive pressures.


Duro 1/2-Drive Sockets Showing Progressive Changes

[Duro Sockets Showing Progressive Changes]
Fig. 215. Duro Sockets Showing Progressive Changes, from Left: 1619, 1618, 1626, 1634/1234.

Fig. 215 shows a progression of socket design changes, starting from the reference socket on the left, a Duro-Chrome 1619 with tapered walls and a finely cross-hatched knurled band.

The second socket is a Duro-Chrome 1618 and still has tapered walls, but the fine cross-hatching has been replaced with a simpler straight knurled band. The illustrations in Catalog 37-M from around 1961 show that this change had been made by this time.

The third socket from the left is marked as a Duro-Chrome 1626. Note that this socket now has straight instead of tapered walls, thereby losing what had long been touted as an important feature for working in tight places.

The final change is shown in the rightmost socket, which similarly has straight walls, but is now dual-marked as both a Duro-Chrome 1634 and a Duro-Indestro 1234.


3/8-Drive Tools


Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 216. Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex Handle, with Insets for Construction Detail, ca. 1942-1945

Fig. 216 shows a 3/8-drive Duro-Chrome 4479 flex handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish suggests a 1942-1945 manufacturing date.

The knurled handle is broached for a 3/8-drive connection, as shown in the right inset. This feature allows the breaker bar to be used as an extension as well.


Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 217. Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 217 shows a 3/8-drive Duro-Chrome 4481 flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." near the end of the knurled handle.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.


44xx 3/8-Drive Sockets

The 1938 Duro catalog lists the 44xx series of Duro-Chrome 3/8-drive sockets, but for some reason this drive size was not yet available in the tapered thin-wall format offered in 1/2- and 1/4-drive. Instead, the catalog illustration shows these sockets as having narrowed bases and straight walls. An example of this can be seen in the leftmost socket of Fig. 218, marked as Duro-Chrome 4420 with size 5/8.

[Duro-Chrome 3/8-Drive Sockets]
Fig. 218. Duro-Chrome 3/8 Drive Sockets, Left to Right: 4420, 4414, 4422.

The tapered-wall format was made available later, as the middle and righthand sockets in the figure show. These sockets, marked 4414 7/16 and 4422 11/16 respectively, both show the same fine cross-hatching that was used for the 1/2-drive 11xx and 16xx series (see the Duro 1/2-Drive Sockets above.)

The middle socket shows two other interesting details: the socket is in unfinished steel rather than polished chrome, and it has a small "G" next to the model number. I have one or two other Duro pieces that also show a "G" marking paired with unfinished steel, and this certainly suggests that the "G" may indicate a 1945 production date when government wartime rationing was in effect, as with the "G" date code for Snap-On tools.

Duro-Chrome also offered 1/4-drive sockets in the 45xx series, with tapered walls and a cross-hatched band, but these are not illustrated at this time.


1/4-Drive Tools


Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 219. Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 219 shows a 1/4-drive Duro-Chrome 4535 sliding Tee Handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the top of the sliding head.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 220. Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 220 shows a 1/4-drive Duro-Chrome 4575A ratchet, marked "U.S.A." on the shift knob.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.


Duro-Chrome 4571 1/4-Drive Flexible-Shaft Drive Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4571 1/4-Drive Flexible-Shaft Drive Handle]
Fig. 220B. Duro-Chrome 4571 1/4-Drive Flexible-Shaft Drive Handle.

Fig. 220B shows a Duro-Chrome 4571 1/4-drive flexible-shaft drive handle, marked "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the plastic handle.

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

In the mid 1930s Duro registered the "Spin-Flex" tradmark for a line of handles and nut drivers with flexible shafts made with a stiff spring. Although not marked with the trademark, this tool is an example of the "Spin-Flex" line.


Open-End Wrenches

Duro probably started offering open-end wrenches in the early 1930s. By the time of the 1935 Duro catalog, Duro-Chrome open-end wrenches were available in industry-standard sizes ranging from No. 1721 (5/16x3/8) up to No. 1737 (1-1/8x1-1/4).

The wrench markings at this time already included the familiar "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc, as can be seen in the Duro-Chrome Wrench Markings in our section on tool identifcation.


Duro-Chrome 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 221. Duro-Chrome 1723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 221 shows a Duro-Chrome 1723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the reverse face.

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome "G" 1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 221B. Duro-Chrome 1025 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, 1945.

Fig. 221B shows a Duro-Chrome 1025 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on one face, with a "G" code and the model number on the other face.

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

The plain finish and stamped "G" code indicate a manufacturing date in 1945.


Duro-Chrome 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 222. Duro-Chrome 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 222 shows a Duro-Chrome 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on one face, with the model number stamped on the other end.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 223A. Duro-Chrome 1729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 223A shows a Duro-Chrome 1729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on one face, with the model number stamped on the other end.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1028-S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1028-S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 223B. Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1028-S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 223B shows a Duro-Chrome 1028-S 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench, stamped with the X-Circle logo on the face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse face.

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


Duro-Chrome 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 224A. Duro-Chrome 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 224A shows a Duro-Chrome 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on one face, with the model number stamped on the other face, and with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 10.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1034-A 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1034-A 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 224B. Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 1034-A 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 224B shows a Duro-Chrome 1034-A 15/16x1-1/16 open-end wrench, stamped with the X-Circle logo on the face, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse face.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


Tappet Wrenches

The 1935 Duro catalog offered tappet wrenches in six sizes, D1 (7/16x17/32), D1A (7/16x1/2), D2 (1/2x9/16), D3 (5/8x11/16), D4(3/4x7/8), and D4A (3/4x13/16).


Duro-Chrome D-1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench

[Duro-Chrome D-1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 225. Duro-Chrome D-1 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 225 shows a Duro-Chrome D-1 7/16x17/32 tappet wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome D-2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Duro-Chrome D-2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 226. Duro-Chrome D-2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 226 shows a Duro-Chrome D-2 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome D-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Duro-Chrome D-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 227. Duro-Chrome D-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 227 shows a Duro-Chrome D-3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the left face, with the model number on the right face, and with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 9.0 inches. The original finish was chrome plating, but most has been lost due to extensive rust.


Duro-Chrome LDT-22 11/16 Long Tappet Wrench

Duro also offered an LDT series of long single-ended tappet wrenches, as illustrated in the next figure.

[Duro-Chrome LDT-22 11/16 Long Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 228. Duro-Chrome LDT-22 11/16 Long Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 228 shows a Duro-Chrome LDT-22 11/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the face, with the model number and fractional size on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.3 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Angle-Head Obstruction Wrenches

By 1933 Duro was offering angle-head obstruction wrenches with an interesting design, using equal openings with one 90 degree offset and one 45 degree offset. This design is believed to have originated with Herbrand, and by 1932 Herbrand was supplying "Obstructo" wrenches of this style to Western Auto Supply. Duro's obstruction wrenches are almost identical copies of the Herbrand counterparts — even down to the model number — suggesting that Duro was trying to win more business with Western Auto. (Duro and Indestro were fiercely competitive in the high-volume low-cost market.)

Duro probably started selling angle-head obstruction wrenches through Western Auto Supply in 1933, as by this time the catalogs were no longer showing the Herbrand name with the wrenches. In this same time frame Duro also supplied obstruction wrenches to Sears Roebuck for their "Cross Country" brand, and an example can be seen as the Cross Country 1831 Obstruction Wrench.

Our earliest catalog reference for these wrenches is the 1935 Duro Metal Products catalog. It lists obstruction wrenches in seven models, 1821 (3/8), 1823 (7/16), 1825 (1/2), 1827 (9/16), 1829 (5/8), 1830 (11/16), and 1831 (3/4). A set of the seven wrenches in a leatherette roll was available as the No. 18007 set with a $7.30 list price.

Indestro also offered angle-head obstruction wrenches and (somewhat unusually) used the same model numbers as Duro. However, for some reason we don't have many examples to show, so we've lumped the Indestro models together here with Duro.


Duro-Chrome 1821 3/8x3/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1821 3/8x3/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 229. Duro-Chrome 1821 3/8x3/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 229 shows a Duro-Chrome 1821 3/8x3/8 obstruction wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

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


Duro-Chrome 1823 7/16x7/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1823 7/16x7/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 230. Duro-Chrome 1823 7/16x7/16 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 230 shows a Duro-Chrome 1823 7/16x7/16 obstruction wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 5.5 inches. The finish on this wrench is appears to be polished nickel on the faces with a satin finish on the shank.


Duro-Chrome 1825 1/2x1/2 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1825 1/2x1/2 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 231. Duro-Chrome 1825 1/2x1/2 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 231 shows a Duro-Chrome 1825 1/2x1/2 obstruction wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Duro-Chrome 1827 9/16x9/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 232. Duro-Chrome 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 232 shows a Duro-Chrome 1827 9/16x9/16 obstruction wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A" on the face.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to wear.


Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrenches

The next figures show two examples of the Super-Quality 1827 obstruction wrench, including one with an uncommon "Indestro" marking.

[Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 233. Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 233 shows a Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 obstruction wrench, stamped "Indestro Mfg. Corp. Chicago" on the shank. One face is stamped with "Super Quality" and the model number, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other end, and with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with polished faces.

[Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 234. Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 234 shows a similar Super-Quality 1827 9/16x9/16 obstruction wrench, but without the Indestro marking. One face is stamped with "Super Quality" and the model number, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the other end, and with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 1830 11/16x11/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1830 11/16x11/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 235. Duro-Chrome 1830 11/16x11/16 Obstruction Wrench.

Fig. 235 shows a Duro-Chrome 1830 11/16x11/16 obstruction wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 1831 3/4x3/4 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 236. Duro-Chrome 1831 3/4x3/4 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 236 shows a Duro-Chrome 1831 3/4x3/4 obstruction wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Ignition Wrenches

Ignition wrenches are a specialized subset of open-end wrenches designed with small openings and thin heads. Duro offered ignition wrenches in two styles: an E6x series with different openings and different offset angles, and an 8x series with equal-sized openings but different offset angles. Wrenches in the E6x series were made in model number pairs, with the same sizes but opposite offset angles.

A review of the Duro catalogs shows that the E6x series wrenches were first offered sometime after 1935, with our first reference being the 1938 catalog. (The 1935 catalog listed wrenches of this design, but in a 176x model number series.) The 1938 catalog doesn't specify the finish of the wrenches, suggesting that the wrenches may have had a plain steel finish in the beginning.

The 8x series ignition wrenches were first offered in the mid 1940s, and the 1946 Duro catalog is our earliest reference.


Duro-Chrome E61 13/64x15/64 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome E61 13/64x15/64 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 237. Duro-Chrome E61 13/64x15/64 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 237 shows a Duro-Chrome E61 13/64x15/64 ignition wrench, stamped with "USA" (clipped) and "Duro-Chrome" along a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 3.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

In this model the smaller opening is at the less offset end.


Duro-Chrome E65 9/32x5/16 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome E65 9/32x5/16 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 238. Duro-Chrome E65 9/32x5/16 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 238 shows a Duro-Chrome E65 9/32x5/16 ignition wrench, stamped "USA" with "Duro Chrome" along a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 3.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

In this model the smaller opening is at the less offset end.


Duro-Chrome E67 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench

The next two figures show a matched pair of E67/E68 wrenches in the 11/32x3/8 size.

[Duro-Chrome E67 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 239. Duro-Chrome E67 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 239 shows a Duro-Chrome E67 11/32x3/8 ignition wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with "Duro-Chrome" in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 4.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

In this model the smaller opening is at the less offset end.


Duro-Chrome E68 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome E68 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 240. Duro-Chrome E68 11/32x3/8 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 240 shows a Duro-Chrome E68 11/32x3/8 ignition wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with "Duro-Chrome" in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 4.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

In this model the larger opening is at the less offset end.


Duro-Chrome E69 7/16x1/2 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome E69 7/16x1/2 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 241. Duro-Chrome E69 7/16x1/2 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 241 shows a Duro-Chrome E69 7/16x1/2 ignition wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with "Duro-Chrome" in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

In this model the smaller opening is at the less offset end. The E69 model was the largest of the E6x series, and for some reason Duro didn't make the matching wrench (i.e. with different offset angles) for this size.


Duro-Chrome 86 11/32x11/32 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 86 11/32x11/32 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 242. Duro-Chrome 86 11/32x11/32 Ignition Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, Mid 1940s+.

Fig. 242 shows a Duro-Chrome 86 11/32x11/32 ignition wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with "Duro-Chrome" in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 3.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Duro-Chrome 88 7/16x7/16 Ignition Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 88 7/16x7/16 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 243. Duro-Chrome 88 7/16x7/16 Ignition Wrench, Mid 1940s+.

Fig. 243 shows a Duro-Chrome 88 7/16x7/16 ignition wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with "Duro-Chrome" in a curved arc on the face.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Combination Wrenches

By 1935 Duro had introduced the Duro-Chrome 020xx series of combination wrenches, and the initial design had a thin open end with a flat shank and a small round box end. This design was rather different from what other companies called "combination" wrenches, and was in effect a combination tappet wrench. This thin style is illustrated in the 1935, 1938, and 1939 Duro-Chrome catalogs.

[1935 Catalog Listing for 020xx Series Combination Wrenches]
1935 Catalog Listing for 020xx Series Combination Wrenches.

The scan at the left from page 7 of the 1935 Duro catalog shows an early (possibly the first) listing for the wrenches. Note that there is no mention of the very thin design, other than a cryptic mention of "work in difficult places".

For Duro a leading "0" in a model number is usually associated with tools marked for the Handy-Hex brand, and the page with the combination wrenches has a heading "Handy-Twin-Hex". However, our examples with a leading "0" model number are marked for Duro-Chrome.

By 1941 Duro had redesigned its combination wrenches to include a panelled shank with rounded edges, plus a distinctive "dart" design at the open end. This new design took over the 20xx model series and remained in production at least until the 1960s.

With the introduction of the "Dart" style, Duro began a second 22xx series of combination wrench models with the same extra-thin heads and flat shanks as the original 20xx models. But this time at least they labeled the wrenches as "Thin Style" and said they were intended as a light-duty alternative for work in cramped spaces.

By later in the 1960s the 22xx line had bulked up to become Duro's standard-duty combination wrenches, and the 20xx "Dart" series was eventually phased out. These later 22xx series wrenches are competently made but fairly generic in appearance, and lack the stylish touches that made earlier Duro/Indestro tools stand out.

By this time we trust that our readers are as confused as we are by the saga of the Duro combination wrench, and important questions such as "Why did they make the extra thin combination wrenchs in the first place?" or "Why couldn't the dart style get the 22xx model numbers?" will go forever unanswered.

We have examples of all of the various model lines and will display them as time permits.


Early Duro-Chrome 02032 7/16 Thin Combination Wrench

We'll begin with some early examples of the Duro-Chrome combination wrench series.

[Duro-Chrome 02032 7/16 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 244. Duro-Chrome 02032 7/16 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1939.

Fig. 244 shows an early Duro-Chrome 02033 1/2 combination wrench with a flat shank, stamped with the Duro-Chrome trademark and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face, with the fractional size and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches. The wrench has a triple-plated finish with polished chrome on the faces and box end and a satin finish on the shank.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the very thin profile of this early model.


Early Duro-Chrome 02033 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 02033 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 245. Duro-Chrome 02033 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1939.

Fig. 245 shows an early Duro-Chrome 02033 1/2 combination wrench with a flat shank, stamped with the Duro-Chrome trademark and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face, with the fractional size and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches. The wrench has a triple-plated finish with polished chrome on the faces and box end and a satin finish on the shank.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the very thin profile of this early model.


Early Duro-Chrome 02035 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 02035 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 246. Duro-Chrome 02035 5/8 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1939.

Fig. 246 shows an early Duro-Chrome 02035 5/8 combination wrench with a flat shank, stamped with the Duro-Chrome trademark and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face, with the fractional size and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.4 inches. The wrench has a triple-plated finish with polished chrome on the faces and box end and a satin finish on the shank.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the very thin profile of this early model.


Early Duro-Chrome 02036 11/16 Thin Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 02036 11/16 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 247. Duro-Chrome 02036 11/16 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1939.

Fig. 247 shows an early Duro-Chrome 02036 11/16 combination wrench with a flat shank, stamped with the Duro-Chrome trademark and "Forged in U.S.A." on the face, with the fractional size and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.6 inches. The wrench has a triple-plated finish with polished chrome on the faces and box end and a satin finish on the shank.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the very thin profile of this early model.


Duro-Chrome 2031 3/8 Combination Wrench, Dart Style

[Duro-Chrome 2031 3/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 248. Duro-Chrome 2031 3/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 248 shows a Duro-Chrome 2031 3/8 combination wrench, marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the face, with a distinctive streamlined dart emanating from the head.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Duro-Chrome 2035 5/8 Combination Wrench, Dart Style

[Duro-Chrome 2035 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 249. Duro-Chrome 2035 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 249 shows another example of the streamlined dart design, a Duro-Chrome 2035 5/8 combination wrench marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 8.9 inches. and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 2037 3/4 Combination Wrench, Dart Style

[Duro-Chrome 2037 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 250. Duro-Chrome 2037 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 250 shows a Duro-Chrome 2037 3/4 combination wrench, marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

This wrench is a good example of the curved "Forged in U.S.A." marking used on Duro and Indestro tools.


Duro-Chrome 2233 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench

The next several figures show examples of Duro's 22xx series of thin combination wrenches.

[Duro-Chrome 2233 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 251. Duro-Chrome 2233 1/2 Thin Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

We'll begin with Fig. 251, a Duro-Chrome 2233 1/2 combination wrench marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is black oxide augmented with natural rust. The black oxide finish indicates production during the period 1942-1945.

This wrench isn't marked with a brand name, but can be identified by the model number and construction, and by the "Forged in U.S.A." marking along a curved arc.


Duro-Chrome 2234 9/16 Thin Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2234 9/16 Thin Combination Wrench]
Fig. 252. Duro-Chrome 2234 9/16 Thin Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 252 shows another example of Duro's early thin series combination wrenches, a Duro-Chrome 2234 9/16 combination wrench marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench to illustrate the thin profile of the earlier production of this series.

Box-End Wrenches

Duro's earliest box-end wrench production is believed to have been the "Perfection" brand wrenches sold through Western Auto Supply beginning in 1932. These wrenches were developed as copies of the Herbrand "Multihex" wrenches first offered by Western Auto in 1931.

Duro's own production initially used the Handy-Hex brand. Our first catalog reference for box-end wrenches is the 1935 Duro catalog, which lists box wrenches in four basic styles under a "Handy-Twin-Hex" heading. All of the wrenches have a five-digit model number with a leading "0", which match the model numbers of the known Handy-Hex wrenches. This strongly suggests that all of the box wrenches were being marked with the Handy-Hex brand at this time.

Our next catalog reference is the 1938 Duro catalog, and by this time the box wrenches are listed under a Duro-Chrome heading and are illustrated with streamlined panels. In addition, the wrenches now have the Duro standard four-digit model numbers without the leading zero.

Since the catalogs suggest a change to the Duro-Chrome brand around the advent of the streamlined panel design, we checked our substantial inventory of Duro-Chrome wrenches for confirmation. Based on our inventory, we found that the Duro-Chrome marking occurs only on wrenches with the streamlined panel design, except for a few specialty wrenches that were never produced with the streamlined design. Conversely, no wrenches in the streamlined panel design have been found marked for Handy-Hex, except when also marked for Duro-Chrome.

Based on the catalog information and empirical evidence, we believe that Duro used the Handy-Hex brand exclusively for box wrenches up until about 1937, and then switched to the Duro-Chrome brand for the subsequent production with streamlined panels. (The occasional Duro-Chrome and Handy-Hex dual markings were probably done to provide continuity with the older brand.) With this information we can estimate the production dates for Handy-Hex tools as the early 1930s to 1936.

As with the Indestro box wrenches, the Duro wrenches were available in four basic styles with a wide range of sizes. And once again, the box wrenches received ad hoc model numbers, not derived from industry-standard numbers, and not matching the Indestro models.


Offset Box-End Wrenches

In 1935 Duro's offset box-end wrenches were available in nine sizes, with models 02051 (3/8x7/16), 02052 (1/2x9/16), 02053 (5/8x11/16), 02054 (3/4x25/32), 02055 (13/16x7/8), 02056 (15/16x 1 inch), 02057 (1-1/16x1-1/8), 02058A (1-3/16x1-1/4), and 02058B (1-1/8x1-1/4).

The model numbers with a leading "0" correspond to the Handy-Hex brand, and the later Duro-Chrome tools used the same numbers without the leading "0".

In later years some additional sizes were available.


Handy-Hex 02051 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Handy-Hex 02051 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 253. Handy-Hex 02051 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 253 shows a Handy-Hex 02051 3/8x7/16 offset box-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the shank, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish appears to be nickel plating.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.


Handy-Hex 02052 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Handy-Hex 02052 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 254. Handy-Hex 02052 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 254 shows a Handy-Hex 02052 1/2x9/16 offset box-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the shank, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.8 inches. The finish is plain steel, with possible traces of a plated finish.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.


Duro-Chrome 2052A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2052A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 255. Duro-Chrome 2052A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1946 to 1960s.

Fig. 255 shows a later Duro-Chrome 2052A 9/16x5/8 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the model number on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The lack of an alloy steel specification indicates a post-war production date for this example.


Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

The next several figures show two generations of the 02053/2053 5/8x11/16 wrench model, with differences in the brand marking and finish.

[Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 256A. Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 256A shows an earlier Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 offset box-end wrench, stamped with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on one side, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished ends, with some losses due to wear and corrosion.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.

[Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 256B. Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 256B shows another Handy-Hex 02053 5/8x11/16 offset box-end wrench, stamped with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on one side, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

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

Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 256C. Duro-Chrome 2053 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 256C shows a later Duro-Chrome 2053 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is black oxide augmented by rust.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the 02054/2054 3/4x25/32 wrench model, with differences in the brand marking and finish.

[Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 257. Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 257 shows an earlier Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 offset box-end wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.

[Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 258. Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 258 shows another Handy-Hex 02054 3/4x25/32 offset box-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the shank, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished box ends.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.

Duro-Chrome 2054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 259. Duro-Chrome 2054 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 259 shows a later Duro-Chrome 2054 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

An earlier version of this model can be seen as the Handy-Hex 02054 Offset Box Wrench.


Handy-Hex 02055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the 02055/2055 13/16x7/8 wrench model, with differences in the brand marking and finish.

[Handy-Hex 02055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 260A. Handy-Hex 02055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 260A shows an earlier Handy-Hex 02055 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, stamped with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

The markings on this wrench are upside-down when the wrench is turned over, unlike most of the other Handy-Hex examples.

Duro-Chrome 2055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 260B. Duro-Chrome 2055 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1946+.

Fig. 260B shows a later Duro-Chrome 2055 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The lack of an alloy steel marking on this example suggests production in the post-war period.


Handy-Hex 02056 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Handy-Hex 02056 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench
Fig. 261A. Handy-Hex 02056 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 261A shows a Handy-Hex 02056 15/16x1 offset box-end wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the shank, with "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the deep offset profile of this design.

Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2056 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2056 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 261B. Duro-Chrome 2056 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 261B shows a Duro-Chrome 2056 15/16x1 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 14.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Duro-Chrome 2057 1-1/16x1-1/8 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2057 1-1/16x1-1/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 261C. Duro-Chrome 2057 1-1/16x1-1/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 261C shows a Duro-Chrome 2057 1-1/16x1-1/8 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 16.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating steel.

The streamlined panels, chrome finish, and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking indicate production from 1937 to the early 1940s.


Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2058A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2058A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 262A. Duro-Chrome 2058A 1-3/16x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 262A shows a Duro-Chrome 2058A 1-3/16x1-1/4 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 18.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years. Note also the somewhat poorly trimmed edges visible in the top inset, another indication of wartime production.


Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2058B 1-1/8x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2058B 1-1/8x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 262B. Duro-Chrome 2058B 1-1/8x1-1/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 262B shows a Duro-Chrome 2058B 1-1/8x1-1/4 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 18.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Duro-Chrome "Handy-Hex" 2059A 1-5/16x1-3/8 Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome Handy-Hex 2059A 1-5/16x1-3/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 262C. Duro-Chrome "Handy-Hex" 2059A 1-5/16x1-3/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 262C shows one of the larger Duro-Chrome box wrenches, a Duro-Chrome 2059A 1-5/16x1-3/8 offset box wrench with streamlined raised panels. The wrench is dual-marked with "Duro-Chrome" and "Handy-Hex" stamped on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 20.3 inches. The original finish was chrome plating, but most has been lost due to rust.


Short Offset Box-End Wrenches

Duro offered short offset box wrenches in four sizes in a 204x model series. The models and sizes were 2041 (3/8x7/16), 2042 (1/2x9/16), 2043 (5/8x11/16), and 2044 (3/4x25/32).

Although these wrenches were available during the Handy-Hex era, they appear to be uncommon, and we don't have any examples to show.


Duro-Chrome 2041 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2041 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 263. Duro-Chrome 2041 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, 1945.

Fig. 263 shows a Duro-Chrome 2041 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the model number on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel. Note also the stamped "G" and "A" codes in front of the model number.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel or black oxide.

The plain steel or black oxide finish would suggest a manufacturing date during 1942-1945, but the "G" code stamped on the panel indicates a more precise 1945 date. The "G" code indicates manufacture in 1945 under restrictive government regulations, and can be found occasionally on tools of this era. (The use of the "G" date code by Snap-on is well documented.) The meaning of the "A" code is not known.


Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the 2042 short offset box wrench.

[Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 264A. Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 264A shows an earlier Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 short offset box wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the streamlined raised panel. The reverse panel is stamped with the "2042" model number between "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A.", but is difficult to read due to pitting.

The overall length is 5.6 inches. The finish is plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust, possibly with traces of a prior plated finish.

[Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 264B. Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, 1945.

Fig. 264B shows a later Duro-Chrome 2042 1/2x9/16 short offset box wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with the model number on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse. Note also the stamped "G" code in front of the model number.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The black oxide finish would suggest a manufacturing date during 1942-1945, but the "G" code stamped on the panel indicates a more precise 1945 date. The "G" code indicates manufacture in 1945 under restrictive government regulations, and can be found occasionally on tools of this era. (The use of the "G" date code by Snap-on is well documented.)


Duro-Chrome 2043 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2043 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 265. Duro-Chrome 2043 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960s?.

Fig. 265 shows a later Duro-Chrome 2043 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped with "Duro Chrome" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The markings on this wrench differ from earlier examples in that the fractional sizes are placed on the panel with the Duro-Chrome brand, with the model number on the reverse.


Duro-Chrome 2044 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2044 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 266. Duro-Chrome 2044 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 266 shows a Duro-Chrome 2044 3/4x25/32 short offset box wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Duro Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to rust.


Angled Box-End Wrenches

In 1935 angled box-end wrenches were available in five sizes, with models 02011 (3/8x7/6), 02012 (1/2x9/16), 02013 (9/16x5/8), 02014 (11/16x25/32), and 02015 (3/4x7/8).


Duro-Chrome "G" 2011 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome G 2011 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 267A. Duro-Chrome "G" 2011 3/8x7/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, 1945.

Fig. 267A shows a Duro-Chrome 2011 3/8x7/16 box-end wrench, stamped with the Duro-Chrome trademark and a "G" code on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The stamped "G" code and plain finish indicate a wartime production date in 1945.


Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Duro-Chrome 2013 box wrench.

[Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 267B. Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 267B shows an earlier Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 box-end wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

[Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 267C. Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 267C shows a later Duro-Chrome 2013 9/16x5/8 box-end wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The Indestro equivalent of this model can be seen as the Super-Quality 713 Box Wrench.


Duro-Chrome "G" 2014A 11/16x3/4 Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome G 2014A 11/16x3/4 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 268A. Duro-Chrome "G" 2014A 11/16x3/4 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, 1945.

Fig. 268A shows a Duro-Chrome 2014A 11/16x3/4 box-end wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and a "G" code on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel or black oxide.

The stamped "G" code and plain finish indicate a wartime production date in 1945.


Duro-Chrome 2014 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2014 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 268B. Duro-Chrome 2014 11/16x25/32 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 268B shows a Duro-Chrome 2014 11/16x25/32 box-end wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.


Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Duro-Chrome 2015 wrench, both from wartime production but with interesting differences in construction and marking.

[Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 269A. Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 269A shows a Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench with raised streamlined panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish suggests production during the wartime years, and the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking suggests the earlier 1941-1942 period.

Except for the plain finish, this wrench would be typical of Duro's production in the late 1930s to early 1940s.

[Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 269B. Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1943.

Fig. 269B shows a Duro-Chrome 2015 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish and the use of parallelogram panels on a Duro-marked tool suggest production during the wartime years, and the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking suggests the earlier 1941-1942 period.


Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2015A 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2015A 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 270A. Duro-Chrome 2015A 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 270A shows a Duro-Chrome 2015A 13/16x7/8 box-end wrench with streamlined panels, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The lack of the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Duro-Chrome 2017 1-1/16x1-1/8 Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2017 1-1/16x1-1/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 270B. Duro-Chrome 2017 1-1/16x1-1/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 270B shows a Duro-Chrome 2017 1-1/16x1-1/8 box-end wrench with streamlined panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the raised panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 17.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish suggests production in the early wartime years.


Short Angled Box-End Wrenches

Duro-Chrome offered short angled (15 degree) box wrenches in a 206x model series. The models and sizes were 2061 (3/8x7/16), 2062 (1/2x9/16), 2063 (5/8x11/16), and 2064 (3/4x25/32).


Duro-Chrome 2061 3/8x7/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2061 3/8x7/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 271. Duro-Chrome 2061 3/8x7/16 Short Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1946+.

Fig. 271 shows a Duro-Chrome 2061 3/8x7/16 box wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The plated finish and lack of an alloy specification indicate production in the post-war era.


Duro-Chrome "Handy-Hex" 2062 1/2x9/16 Short Box-End Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2062 1/2x7/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 272. Duro-Chrome 2062 1/2x9/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 272 shows a Duro-Chrome 2062 1/2x9/16 box wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Handy-Hex" on the streamlined raised panel, with the fractional sizes and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 4.6 inches. The finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of a plated finish.


Specialty Tools

Duro/Indestro also offered a number of specialty tools for various service applications.


Handy-Hex 273 11/16x11/16 Head and Manifold Wrench

[Handy-Hex 273 11/16x11/16 Head and Manifold Wrench]
Fig. 273. Handy-hex 273 11/16x11/16 Head and Manifold Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 273 shows a Handy-Hex 273 11/16x11/16 Ell-shaped socket and box-end wrench, stamped "Handy-Hex" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 14.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.

The socket end also has a very faint "Chromium Vanadium" marking (not shown), possibly indicating that this wrench was made as contract production.

The 1935 Duro catalog lists this wrench for head bolts and manifold nuts on Ford Models "A", "AA", "B", "BB", "V8-18", and "V8-40".


Duro-Chrome 268 "Handy-Hex" 7/16x1/2 8-Point Brake Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 268 7/16x1/2 8-Point Brake Wrench]
Fig. 274. Duro-Chrome 268 7/16x1/2 8-Point Brake Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 274 shows a Duro-Chrome 268 7/16x1/2 8-point brake wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" with the model number on the shank, with "Ford Brakes" and "Handy-Hex" and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.0 inches.

The Duro-Chrome marking and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" specification suggest production from 1937 to the early 1940s.


Duro-Chrome 2071 "Handy-Hex" 11/16x25/32 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench

The next two figures show examples of an unusual S-Shaped box-end wrench type, or "double crescent" wrenches as the Duro catalogs called them.

[Duro-Chrome 2071 11/16x25/32 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench
Fig. 276. Duro-Chrome 2071 11/16x25/32 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 276 shows a Duro-Chrome 2071 11/16x25/32 S-shaped box-end wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "Handy-Hex" with the model number on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches.

This wrench bears the modern catalog number 2071, but retains the "Handy-Hex" marking to show continuity with the older brand. The Duro-Chrome marking and "Chrome Vanadium Steel" specification suggest production from 1937 to the early 1940s.


Handy-Hex 02072 3/4x7/8 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench

[Handy-Hex 02072 3/4x7/8 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench
Fig. 275. Handy-Hex 02072 3/4x7/8 S-Shaped Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 275 shows an earlier Handy-Hex model 02072 3/4x7/8 S-shaped box-end wrench, stamped "Handy-Hex and "Made in U.S.A." with the model number on the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.7 inches.

The Handy-Hex brand with the leading "0" in the model number indicates that this is an early Duro box wrench, made from the early 1930s to 1936.


Handy-Hex 02081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the 02081/2081 half-moon wrench.

[Handy-Hex 02081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench
Fig. 277. Handy-Hex 02081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1936.

Fig. 277 shows an early Handy-Hex 02081 9/16x5/8 half-moon box wrench, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and "Handy-Hex" on one side, with "Manifold & Starter" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear.

The Duro catalogs refer to this style as an "elbow wrench". An example of the Duro-Chrome version of this model can be seen as the Duro-Chrome 2081 Half-Moon Box Wrench.

Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench]
Fig. 277B. Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2081 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 277B shows a later Duro-Chrome (X-Circle) 2081 9/16x5/8 half-moon box wrench, stamped "Manifold & Starter" with the X-Circle logo and fractional sizes on one side, with "Duro-Chrome" and the model number plus "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

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

The lack of an alloy marking and use of the X-Circle logo suggest production in the later 1943-1945 wartime years.


Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool

[Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool]
Fig. 278. Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 278 shows a Duro-Chrome 276AB piston pin tool, designed to remove and install the piston pins in Ford "A" and "B" models. The tool is marked "U.S.A." with the model and Duro-Chrome trademark, as shown in the insets.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

Similar tools were offered by other companies, for example the Plomb 6505 Piston Tool.


DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver

In the 1930s Duro introduced the DuroLite brand for a line of screwdrivers, and the next figure shows an example.

[DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver]
Fig. 279. DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 279 shows a DuroLite 16S6 screwdriver, marked with the DuroLite brand molded into the plastic handle, and with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Duro-Chrome No. 2100 Waterpump Pliers

[Duro-Chrome No. 2100 Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 280. Duro-Chrome No. 2100 Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 280 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome No. 2100 waterpump pliers, stamped with the X-Circle logo and "Forged in U.S.A." on the handle.

The overall length (fully extended) is 10.1 inches. The finish is plain steel, indicating a likely manufacturing date of 1942-1945.

The handles of the pliers incorporate a bold raised panels with Duro's "streamlined" motif at one end.


Duro-Chrome No. 2114 Battery Pliers with Box-End Handles

The next figure shows a pair of battery pliers with unusual box-end wrench handles, marked with a design patent.

[Duro-Chrome No. 2114 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 281. Duro-Chrome No. 2114 Battery Pliers.

Fig. 281 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome 2114 battery pliers, marked "Forged in U.S.A." with "Des. 119,441" for the design patent.

The design patent #D119,441 was issued on Mar. 12, 1940 to W.A. Sandy and assigned to Duro Metal Products.


Duro-Chrome No. 2115 Battery Pliers

[1935 Catalog Listing for Duro-Chrome No. 2115 Battery Pliers]
1935 Catalog Listing for Duro-Chrome No. 2115 Battery Pliers.

By 1935 Duro was offering several models of pliers forged from chrome-vanadium steel. The scan at the left from page 18 of the 1935 Duro catalog shows the No. 2115 battery pliers. Note that the design at that time already included the dart-like motif extending into the handle.

[Duro-Chrome No. 2115 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 282. Duro-Chrome No. 2115 Battery Pliers, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 282 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome No. 2115 battery pliers, marked "Forged in U.S.A." near the pivot. Note that the handle incorporates a raised panel with one end of Duro's "streamlined" motif.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating. The cadmium finish indicates a likely manufacturing date of 1942-1945.

The Indestro equivalent of this model can be seen as the Indestro 3415 Battery Pliers.

Pliers of this type were popular for servicing battery cables, as the clamp bolt nuts were frequently too rounded by corrosion to be gripped by a wrench. Battery pliers were produced by several other companies as well, and examples include the Herbrand 179 Pliers and Utica 524 Pliers.


Duro-Chrome No. 2120 "Steeldraulic" Pliers

In the late 1920s and early 1930s several makes of automobiles (e.g. Hupmobile, Auburn) were equipped with Steeldraulic brakes, a brand of mechanical brakes with an odd adjusting mechanism. Special pliers were required for making adjustments to these brakes, and not surprisingly the pliers came to be known as Steeldraulic pliers.

[Duro-Chrome No. 2120 Steeldraulic Pliers]
Fig. 283. Duro-Chrome No. 2120 Steeldraulic Pliers.

Fig. 283 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome No. 2120 specialty pliers for Steeldraulic brake adjustments, stamped "Duro Chrome U.S.A." on a raised panel.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

Steeldraulic pliers were produced by several other companies as well, and examples include the Blackhawk 2581 Pliers, Bonney 2581 Pliers, Herbrand 272 Pliers, Utica 516 Pliers, and Vacuum Grip No. 14 Pliers.


Duro-Chrome No. 2126 Brake Spring Pliers

[1935 Catalog Listing for Duro-Chrome No. 2126 Brake Spring Pliers]
1935 Catalog Listing for Duro-Chrome No. 2126 Brake Spring Pliers.

The scan at the left shows a listing for Duro-Chrome brake spring pliers from page 18 of the 1935 Duro catalog. Two models were available, No. 2125 at 5.5 inches and No. 2126 at 13.5 inches.

Note that these pliers already incorporate a dart-like raised panel that would later become Indestro's "Streamlined" trademark.

[Duro-Chrome No. 2126 Brake Spring Pliers]
Fig. 284. Duro-Chrome No. 2126 Brake Spring Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 284 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome No. 2126 brake spring pliers, stamped "Duro Chrome U.S.A." on the upper arm.

The overall length is 13.3 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Tool

[Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Cable Lifter]
Fig. 285. Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Cable Lifter, with Inset for Detail, ca. Late 1940s to 1950s.

Fig. 285 shows a Duro-Chrome 648 battery cable lifter, a tool designed to remove and service battery cable clamps. The handle is forged with streamlined raised panels, marked "648 Duro-Chrome" on one side and "Forged in U.S.A." on the other, and the end is equipped with a 9/16 12-point opening.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The tool is also marked with a notice for patent #2,363,350, issued to W.P. Nail in 1944.


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