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Contract Production

The previous sections have looked at Duro and Indestro tools marked with their own trademarks or informal brands. Duro was also very active as a contract manufacturer for other companies, and these contract tools were generally marked with the other companies' trademarks. In this page we'll look at some examples of Duro production marked for other companies.

The examples below are representative of the contract production, but there are likely many more examples that have yet to be identified.


Perfection

The 1933 Western Auto catalog offered a series of six offset box wrenches under the heading "Perfection Quality", listed right under the section for their top-quality Van-Chrome Multi-Hex offset box wrenches. The catalog noted that the Perfection wrenches were of identical shape and size as the Multi-Hex line, but were available at a significant discount, $2.98 for the set of six, compared with $4.85 for the Multi-Hex. A later check found the same "Perfection" wrenches also available in the 1932 Western Auto catalog.

We've found a few wrenches marked "Perfection" and believe that these are the items sold by Western Auto. The wrenches are very similar to the Indestro Polygon examples, and also closely resemble the Herbrand Multi-Hex wrenches. These observations suggest that the "Perfection" wrenches were made by Duro as intentional copies of the Herbrand models, probably in an attempt to win more business from Western Auto.

The "Perfection" marking appears to have been used only briefly, as it wasn't mentioned in the 1934 Western Auto catalog. But chrome-vanadium offset box wrenches were still offered, which presumably would have been marked with "Chromium Vanadium".

More information on "Perfection" wrenches can be found in our article on Western Auto Supply at Western Auto CV Box Wrenches.


Perfection P-27 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Perfection P-27 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 327. Perfection P-27 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1932-1933.

Fig. 327 shows a Perfection P-27 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Perfection" with the fractional sizes on the front, with "Chromium-Vanadium" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to rust.


Chromium Vanadium 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench

This next figure shows a box wrench very similar to the "Perfection" example, but marked with just "Chromium Vanadium".

[Chromium Vanadium 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 328. Chromium Vanadium 15/16x1 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 328 shows a Chromium Vanadium 15/16x1 offset box wrench, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" with the fractional sizes on the shank, seen as a close-up in the lower inset.

The overall length is 14.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of nickel plating on the ends.


ChromeXQuality

"ChromeXQuality" was until recently a mystery brand, as a number sockets and drive tools of apparent Duro production had been found, but no information on the mark could be located. This mark has now been identified as an brand used by Western Auto during the late 1930s. A 1937 Western Auto catalog shows many examples of the ChromeXQuality brand, sometimes written as "Chrome-X Quality" or just "Chrome-X". This brand was their top-of-the-line at the time, and the catalog notes that these tools were made of chrome-molybdenum or chrome-vanadium steels. Western Auto offered a lifetime free replacement guarantee for ChromeXQuality tools.

Based on Western Auto historical sources, the ChromeXQuality mark first appeared in 1936. The line of tools proved successful, but in 1940 Western Auto switched to the "Wizard" brand name for their top-tier tools. The relatively short usage interval for ChromeXQuality is actually fortunate for us, as it allows the manufacturing date to be estimated as 1936-1939 for tools with this mark.

Most of the known examples of ChromeXQuality tools can be readily identified as Duro/Indestro or Vlchek production, and recently Herbrand was identified as a third producer. Other producers may have been used as well, particularly for certain specialty tools.

Additional information can be found in the section on ChromeXQuality in our article on Western Auto Supply.


ChromeXQuality N693 1/2-Drive Socket Set

[ChromeXQuality N693 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 329. ChromeXQuality N693 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1936-1937.

Fig. 329 shows an early ChromeXQuality N693 1/2-drive socket set, consisting of a flex-head handle and eight double-hex sockets. The set is marked with a decal on the inside cover, displaying the ChromeXQuality brand with "Deluxe Vanadium Steel Tools", and with "Western Auto Supply Co." at the bottom.

The socket sizes are, from right to left, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, 11/16, 3/4, and 13/16. Each socket is marked with "ChromeXQuality" and "Vanadium Steel", but without a model number.

The flex handle is marked with "Chromium Vanadium" on the shank.

The set is contained in a sturdy metal case with a divider to keep the sockets in place. The dimensions are 12.4 inches long by 2.8 inches deep by 2.1 inches high.

The set as acquired was missing the 7/16, 1/2, 11/16, and 3/4 sockets, and also included an extra 1-1/16 socket of the same style. The missing sizes have been replaced from inventory with sockets of the same style and markings.

The set is not marked with a model number, but the N693 model and standard contents were identified by reference to the Western Auto Supply catalogs for 1936 and 1937. The 1936 catalog referred to this model as the "Beginner's Socket Set", but by 1937 it was being called the "Auto Owner's Set".


ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets

[ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets]
Fig. 330. ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1936-1937.

Fig. 330 shows the three largest 1/2-drive double-hex sockets from the ChromeXQuality N693 socket set. The sizes are, from right to left, 11/16, 3/4, and 13/16.

The sockets are stamped with "Chrome X Quality" and "Vanadium Steel" plus the fractional size, but without a model number. The finish is chrome plating.

The sockets have a distinctive and functional design, with a raised band of cross-hatched knurling at the bottom to assist with hand turning. The markings are placed in a polished band at the base bracketed by narrow troughs, which contrasts nicely with the matte finish of the tapered upper walls.

The upper inset shows the interiors of the sockets. Note the ring of material at the base of the broaching, a characteristic of Duro's hot-broaching process.

The distinctive socket design and lack of model numbers indicate earlier production, likely 1936-1937. Later ChromeXQuality sockets had the same design and model numbers as the standard Indestro production of the time.


ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handles

The next two figures show examples of 1/2-drive flex handles supplied with ChromeXQuality sets, beginning with the tool from the N693 set.

[Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle from N693 Set]
Fig. 331. Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle from N693 Set, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1936-1937.

Fig. 331 shows the 1/2-drive flex-head handle from the ChromeXQuality N693 set, marked with "Chromium Vanadium" stamped on the shank.

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

The flex handle is equipped with a fixed male drive stud on the handle end, allowing it to be used as an extension with a female-drive ratchet. (Female drive ratchets were still quite common in the mid to late 1930s, but were being replaced by male drive tools.) In addition to the male drive stud, the handle has a cross-bar hole to allow use as a Tee-handle.

This flex handle closely resembles the illustration in a 1937 Western Auto catalog, and is basically identical to the standard Indestro 3221 flex handle of that period. An example of the Indestro model can be seen as the Indestro "Chromium-Vanadium" 3221 Flex Handle.


[ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 332. ChromeXQuality 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 332 shows another example of a 1/2-drive ChromeXQuality flex-head handle, stamped "ChromeXQuality" and "Vanadium Steel" on the shank.

The overall length is 11.6 inches. The finish was originally chrome plating, though much has now worn off; a close look at the photograph shows that this tool has led a hard life.

As with the previous example, the handle of this tool is equipped with both a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud. These features allow use as a Tee-handle (with a cross-bar) and as an extension with a female-drive ratchet. (Female drive ratchets were still quite common in the mid to late 1930s.)


ChromeXQuality N694 1/2-Drive Socket Set

This next figure shows a ChromeXQuality N694 socket set, similar to the N693 set but with several more drive tools.

[ChromeXQuality N694 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 333. ChromeXQuality N694 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 333 shows a ChromeXQuality N694 1/2-drive socket set, consisting of a ratchet, a screwdriver bit/drive plug, a 10 inch extension, and eight double-hex sockets ranging from 7/16 to 13/16.

The set is marked with a decal on the inside cover, displaying the ChromeXQuality brand with "Deluxe Vanadium Steel Tools", and with "Western Auto Supply Co." at the bottom.

The socket models and sizes are, from the right, 1214 (7/16), 1216 (1/2), 1218 (9/16), 19/32, 1220 (5/8), 21/32, 1222 (11/16), 1224 (3/4), and 1226 (13/16).

All except two of the sockets are marked with "Chromium Vanadium" plus a 12xx model number and fractional size. The two exceptions, 19/32 and 21/32, are in the older style without model numbers and are marked "ChromeXQuality" and "Vanadium Steel".

The ratchet is unmarked except for a patent number, but is the standard Indestro No. 3202 Ratchet as supplied for contract production. The No. 3211 10 inch extension is stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "Made in U.S.A." around the shank.

The set as acquired was complete except for the 19/32 socket, which we replaced from inventory to match the style of the 21/32 socket. In addition, the set came with an extra tool, a No. 3206 Sliding Tee Handle marked "Chromium Vanadium".

The set is contained in a sturdy metal box with a spot-welded divider to secure the sockets. The dimensions are 11.1 inches long by 4.5 inches deep by 1.8 inches high.


Indestro [No. 3202] 1/2-Drive Ratchet from N694 Set

[Indestro No. 3202 1/2-Drive Ratchet from N694 Set]
Fig. 334. Indestro [No. 3202] 1/2-Drive Ratchet from N694 Set, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 334 shows the Indestro [No. 3202] 1/2-drive ratchet and drive plug from the ChromeXQuality N694 set, marked with "Pat. No. 1,902,878" on the cover plate.

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

The forged body, pressed-flange construction, and patent marking identify this as a standard Indestro No. 3202 Ratchet, which was typically unmarked (except for the patent notice) when supplied as contract production.

The patent marking refers to patent #1,902,878, filed by McNaught and Peterson in 1932 and issued in 1933. The patent describes a method of assembling a ratchet by crimping the flanges of the forged body, avoiding the need for screws to secure the cover plates.

This ratchet has a relatively coarse 16-tooth drive gear, which was typical for early production.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" No. 3211 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension

[Indestro Chromium Vanadium No. 3211 1/2-Drive Extension]
Fig. 335. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" No. 3211 1/2-Drive Extension, with Inset for marking Detail, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 335 shows the Indestro No. 3211 1/2-drive 10 inch extension from the ChromeXQuality N694 set, stamped with "Chromium Vanadium" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, as seen in the composite inset.

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

Although not marked with the company name, the No. 3211 extension was listed in the 1937 Indestro catalog as part of Indestro's "Super Quality" line of chrome-vanadium tools.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" No. 3206 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Indestro Chromium Vanadium No. 3206 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 336. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" No. 3206 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s.

Fig. 336 shows the Indestro No. 3206 1/2-drive sliding Tee handle acquired with (but not a standard part of) the ChromeXQuality N694 set. The shank is stamped with the model number and "Made in U.S.A.", with "Chromium Vanadium" on the sliding head.

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

Although not marked with the company name, the No. 3206 sliding Tee handle was listed in the 1937 Indestro catalog as part of Indestro's "Super Quality" line of chrome-vanadium tools.


ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-Drive Socket Set

[ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 337. ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 337 shows a ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-drive socket set with most of its original sockets, but missing several drive tools. The decal on the inside cover reads "Deluxe ChromeXQuality Vanadium Steel Tools" with "Western Auto Supply Co." at the bottom.

The original contents included a ratchet, a flex handle, an extension, a screwdriver bit, seven double-hex sockets, and three double-square sockets. The set as acquired had all of the sockets except for the 9/16 double-hex size, but included only the ratchet as a drive tool.

The hex socket models and sizes are, from the left, 2712 (3/8), 2714 (7/16), 2716 (1/2), 2718 (9/16, missing), 2720 (5/8), 2722 (11/16), and 2724 (3/4).

The model number for the set was identified by reference to the 1938 Western Auto catalog. The tools in the set are not marked with the ChromeXQuality brand, but carry the standard markings for the Indestro "Super Quality" line of the late 1930s. This is believed to indicate a later production date for the set; in order to keep costs down, socket sets for Western Auto were filled from standard Indestro production, leaving only the decal to indicate the specific brand.

The dimensions of the box (in inches) are 9.5 long by 3.2 wide by 1.3 high.


Chromium Vanadium 27xx 3/8-Drive Double-Hex Sockets

[Chromium Vanadium 27xx Sockets from ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 338. Chromium Vanadium 27xx Sockets from ChromeXQuality N705 3/8-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 338 at the left shows the double-hex sockets from the ChromeXQuality N705 set, all marked "Chromium Vanadium" with model numbers and the fractional sizes.

The model numbers and sizes are, from the left, 2712 (3/8), 2714 (7/16), 2716 (1/2), 2720 (5/8), 2722 (11/16), and 2724 (3/4). One socket is missing from the set, the model 2718 9/16 size.

Based on the model numbers and markings on the sockets, these are the standard 3/8-drive sockets offered by Indestro as part of its "Super Quality" product line in the late 1930s.


[Chromium Vanadium 2724 3/8-Drive 3/4 Socket]
Fig. 339. Chromium Vanadium 2724 3/8-Drive 3/4 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 339 at the left shows more detail for the 2724 3/4 socket in the above figure. The interior of the socket (see right inset) illustrates the typical hot-broached construction used by Duro/Indestro from 1935 onward.


Indestro No. 2888 3/8-Drive Ratchet

[Indestro No. 2888 3/8-Drive Ratchet from ChromeXQuality N705 Set]
Fig. 340. Indestro No. 2888 3/8-Drive Ratchet from ChromeXQuality N705 Set, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 340 at the left shows the Indestro No. 2888 3/8-drive ratchet from the N705 set, marked "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 1,902,878" on the cover plate, with "No. 2888" on the reverse (see lower inset).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

As was often the case for contract production, the ratchet is not marked with a company name or brand, but can be readily identified as Indestro production by the pressed-flange construction and #1,902,878 patent notice. In addition, the model No. 2888 is listed as a 3/8-drive ratchet in the Indestro Super Quality (later Indestro Super) product line.

Other examples of ratchets made with the pressed-flange construction method include the Duro No. 678D Ratchet and Indestro No. 3202 Ratchet.


ChromeXQuality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 341. ChromeXQuality 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 341 shows a ChromeXQuality 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped with "Vanadium Steel" and the model number on the front faces, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the reverse.

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

The use of the "Forged in U.S.A." marking along a curved arc identifies this wrench as Duro production.


ChromeXQuality 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

The 1937 Western Auto catalog listed a group of six deep offset box-end wrenches in their ChromeXQuality brand, with sizes ranging from 3/8x7/16 up to 15/16x1. The text noted that they were chrome-molybdenum or chrome-vanadium steel, and were offered with a lifetime free replacement guarantee. We have acquired several examples of these wrenches, all of Duro/Indestro production, as the following figures will show.

[ChromeXQuality 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 342. ChromeXQuality 3/8x7/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 342 shows a ChromeXQuality 3/8x7/16 offset box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and panels.

The wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the design of the box-end forgings and general construction, the raised parallelogram panels, and the use of a slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 343. ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 343 shows a ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 offset box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and panels.

The wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the design of the box-end forgings and general construction, as well as the use of the slanted script for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" mark.


ChromeXQuality 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 344. ChromeXQuality 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 344 shows a ChromeXQuality 5/8x11/16 offset box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and panels.

The wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the design of the box-end forgings and general construction, as well as the use of the slanted script for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" mark.

Western Auto offered these wrenches at extremely attractive prices, ranging from $0.42 for the 3/8x7/16 size to $0.69 for the 15/16x1. By comparison, the 1938 Duro-Chrome catalog listed prices of $0.90 and $1.95 for their "Handy-Twin-Hex" equivalent wrenches (models 2051 and 2056 respectively.)


ChromeXQuality 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 345. ChromeXQuality 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 345 shows a similar ChromeXQuality 3/4x25/32 offset wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plate with polished ends and panels.

The wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the design of the box-end forgings and general construction, as well as the use of the slanted script for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" mark.

ChromeXQuality 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 346. ChromeXQuality 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

In Fig. 346 we see the largest of the group of wrenches, a ChromeXQuality 15/16x1 offset box wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and panels, with some finish loss and pitting due to rust.

The wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the design of the box-end forgings and general construction, as well as the use of the slanted script for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" mark.


ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench

The ChromeXQuality line also included straight box wrenches, as the next figure illustrates.

[ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 347. ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 347 shows a ChromeXQuality 1/2x9/16 box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and faces.

The wrench can be identified as Duro production by the design and construction, and the use of a slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


ChromeXQuality 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[ChromeXQuality 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 348. ChromeXQuality 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1936-1939.

Fig. 348 shows a ChromeXQuality 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "ChromeXQuality" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends and faces.

The wrench can be identified as Duro production by the design and construction, and the use of a slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


Wizard and Westcraft

Wizard and Westcraft were registered trademarks of the Western Auto Supply Company, and both marks were used for a line of hand tools. Duro/Indestro was a major supplier for these lines, as was Vlchek Tool of Cleveland and possibly other companies. (See our article on Vlchek contract production for more information.) The Duro tools known to be sourced for Western Auto include ratchets, sockets, drive tools, tappet wrenches, and some double-box wrenches.

The Wizard brand was the immediate successor of the ChromeXQuality mark shown previously, and was generally (or exclusively) used for their top-quality tools.


Wizard H2833 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Wizard H2833 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 349. Wizard H2833 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 349 shows a Wizard H2833 1/2-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped with a small "D" and "Wizard" on the handle in the top image, with "Forged in U.S.A." in the bottom image.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating

The ratchet mechanism is marked with patent #2,686,582, issued in 1954 to Odlum and Hosford of Duro Metal Products. (This patent will be seen on most of the Duro and Indestro fine-tooth ratchets.)

A check of the Indestro catalog for 1961 shows that this closely resembles the model 3277 ratchet. A similar model 3275 ratchet was available with a knurled handle.


Wizard H2178 Tappet Wrench

[Wizard H2178 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 350. Wizard H2178 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse.

Fig. 350 shows a Wizard model H2178 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench. The reverse is marked "Alloy Steel" and "Forged in U.S.A.", and the overall length is 8.4 inches. The wrench is finished in a bright chrome plate.

The particular identifying marks for Duro/Indestro include the small "D" next to the Wizard brand, and the "Forged in U.S.A." notation on a curved arc, as seen in the inset.


Wizard HR2192 Box-End Wrench

[Wizard HR2192 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 351. Wizard HR2192 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 351 shows a Wizard model HR2192 1/2x9/16 offset double-box wrench, marked with a small "D" code. The reverse is marked "Alloy Steel" and "Forged in U.S.A.", and the overall length is 5.1 inches.

The wrench is finished in a matte chrome plate and polished ends. The identification as Duro/Indestro production relies on the "D" code and the construction details, as the modern Duro/Indestro wrench designs no longer include the distinctive "streamline" motif.


Westcraft 19/32x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Westcraft 19/32x11/16 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 352. Westcraft 19/32x11/16 Deep Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 352 shows a Westcraft 19/32x11/16 deep offset box wrench, marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The overall length is 9.4 inches.

Although not marked with the small "D" notation, this wrench can be clearly identified as Duro/Indestro production by the streamlined raised panel, a motif previously seen on many examples.


Westcraft HR2820 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Westcraft HR2820 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 353. Westcraft HR2820 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 353 shows a 1/2-drive Westcraft HR2820 flex-head handle. The knurled handle has a cross-bar hole, and the end is broached for 1/2-drive.

The overall length is 12.0 inches. The finish is plain steel, indicating that this tool was likely manufactured in 1943-1945.

The distinctive head shape marks this as Duro/Indestro production, and the closest models are the Duro-chrome 666D and Indestro 3221. However, these models were made with male drive studs on the end at least until 1941; the Westcraft female broach may have been a special order, or possibly the models had been changed by then. (The mid 1950s catalogs show the Duro-chrome 666D flex handle with a female broach.)


Westline 0725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

Western Auto also sold tools under the "Westline" brand, typically used for lower priced "economy" tools.

[Westline 0725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 354. Westline 0725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 354 shows a Westline 0725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Westline" and a "D" code forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Riverside

Riverside was a trademark of Montgomery Ward and was used for a variety of automobile-related supplies and products, beginning in 1912. At some point automobile tools were offered as well, and some of the collected examples of Riverside tools are clearly of Duro/Indestro production. It's not known which other companies may have sourced tools as well.

A 1935 Montgomery Ward catalog shows a number of tools of likely Duro production. The illustration for a 35-piece Chrome-Vanadium socket set shows a Duro-style ratchet, with sockets matching the Ward's Riverside example. The catalog also shows box-end wrenches that closely resemble the example below.


Riverside 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Riverside 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 355. Riverside 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 355 shows a Riverside 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Riverside" between two decorative triangles on the front panel, and with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" and the fractional sizes on the reverse panel.

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

Production by Duro/Indestro is indicated by the use of a slanted font for "Chrome Vanadium Steel", as well as the hexagonal shank and general construction of the wrench.


Riverside 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrenches

[Riverside 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 356. Riverside 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 356 shows a Riverside 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, marked with decorative triangles (meaning unknown) on a raised panel, and with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is a heavy cadmium plating.

Production by Duro/Indestro is indicated by the use of a slanted font for "Chrome Vanadium Steel", as well as the hexagonal shank and general construction of the wrench.

[Riverside 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 357. Riverside 3/4x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 357 shows another Riverside 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, similar to the previous example but without raised panels on the shank. The wrench is stamped with decorative triangles on the front with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.2 inches. The finish is a chrome or possibly nickel plate with a yellowish tint, now worn through in places.

As with the previous example, production by Duro/Indestro is indicated by the general construction and the use of a slanted font for "Chrome Vanadium Steel".


Riverside 1/2-Drive 5/8 Double-Hex Socket

[Riverside 1/2-Drive 5/8 12-Point Socket]
Fig. 358. Riverside 1/2-Drive 5/8 12-Point Socket, ca. 1935-1936.

Fig. 358 shows a 1/2-drive Riverside 5/8 double-hex socket, marked "Ward's Riverside" and "Chromium Vanadium".

The socket is clearly of Duro production based on the hot-broached construction (with a scalloped ring) and the "Chromium Vanadium" marking used by Duro at this time. The manufacturing date is probably around 1935-1936.


Ward's Master Quality

Montgomery Ward used the "Master Quality" brand for its top grade of tools, and Duro/Indestro have been identified as one of the suppliers of Master Quality tools.


Ward's Master Quality 84-4783 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Wards Master Quality 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 359. Ward's Master Quality 84-4783 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 359 shows a Ward's Master Quality 84-4783 1/2-drive reversible ratchet, stamped with the Ward's "M|W" logo and model number on the cover plate, with "Wards Master Quality" forged into the handle. The reverse cover plate is stamped "Pat. No. 1,902,878", with "Wards Master Quality" forged into the reverse handle.

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

The patent notice refers to patent #1,902,878, issued in 1933 to McNaught and Peterson with assignment to Duro Metal Products.


Powr-Kraft

In the 1930s Montgomery Ward offered a broad line of power tools under the "Powr-Kraft" trademark, and in later years the brand was extended to include hand tools. Duro was one of the manufacturers selected to supply sockets and drive tools for the Powr-Kraft line, as the next figure illustrates.


Powr-Kraft 1/2-Drive Sockets

[Powr-Kraft 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 360. Powr-Kraft 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 360 shows a group of 1/2-drive Powr-Kraft 12-point sockets, each marked "Powr-Kraft 100" and "84-4865" with a small "D" code.

The sizes are, from the left, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, and 15/16.


Cross Country

Another name occasionally seen on older tools is the "Cross Country" (or "Cross-Country") brand. Currently most (or perhaps all) of the known examples appear to have been made by Duro or Indestro, and the general time frame appears to be the 1930s or early 1940s.

Based on our research, the Cross Country tools are believed to have been made for Sears Roebuck. The Sears catalogs used the Cross Country brand extensively for various automotive supplies and accessories, including such items as oil, grease, polishing wax, batteries, and tire pressure gauges. Catalog listings for the brand are known from 1919 (or earlier) through at least the 1940s.

Our suspicions regarding the origin of Cross Country tools were finally confirmed by the discovery of tool listings for this brand in the 1933 Sears Fall and Winter catalog. This catalog lists Cross Country socket sets and several types of wrenches on page 496 of the automotive supplies section. Since other Sears catalogs from slightly earlier or later didn't offer tools in the Cross Country brand, we can presume that the Cross Country tools were made only for a brief time in 1933 and 1934.


Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 361. Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 361 shows a Cross Country 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench, stamped with "Cross Country" between two geometric symbols, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of chrome plating.

This wrench can be identified as Indestro production by the use of the slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 362. Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 362 shows a Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 angle-head open-end wrench, often called an obstruction wrench. The wrench is marked "Chrome Vanadium Steel" with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse, as shown in the inset.

The overall length is 7.5 inches.

This wrench is readily identified as Duro production by the model number 1831, listed as a 3/4x3/4 obstruction wrench in the Duro-Chrome catalogs. In addition, the curved-arc "Forged in U.S.A." marking is a reliable indicator of Duro production.

An example of this model branded for Duro-Chrome can be seen as the Duro-Chrome 1831 Obstruction Wrench.


Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 363. Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 363 shows a Cross Country No. 3 tappet wrench with size 5/8x11/16, marked "Chrome Vanadium Steel" with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.6 inches.

This wrench can identified as Duro production by the curved-arc "Forged in U.S.A." marking and other construction features. The model number also follows the Duro/Indestro numbering for tappet wrenches; the Duro-Chrome 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench was a D-3, and the corresponding Indestro Super-Quality model was a T-3.


The "Select Steel" Brand

In an earlier section we explored the early Indestro "Chicago" Era of the "Select Steel" line of economy tools. Indestro continued to offer this line in the post-war years, using the same distinctive "Streamlined" design which had been trademarked in 1937. By this time the line of tools had evolved into a "Select Steel" brand, with the Indestro name no longer marked, but implicit via the streamlined design trademark.

These tools were widely sold through hardware stores and other channels and were apparently highly successful products, based on the large numbers of tools to be found.


Late Production


Impact Sockets

Duro didn't offer impact sockets until sometime in the 1950s.


Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket

[Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket]
Fig. 364. Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1950s

Fig. 364 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 1174 3/4 impact socket, stamped "U.S.A." on the base.

The finish is chrome plating.

This early impact socket shows the surprising use of a chrome plated finish with a cross-hatched band, similar to the Duro-Chrome standard sockets.


Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 365. Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 365 shows a Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the shank, with "8 In." and "Forged Alloy Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

One construction detail to note is the square-shouldered keyway for the sliding jaw, visible in the top inset. The square shoulder was a patented feature of the J.H. Williams adjustable wrenches, and this detail plus the general construction identify Williams as the maker of this wrench. A similar example can be seen as the Williams AP-8 Adjustable Wrench.


Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 Short Box Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 Short Box Wrench]
Fig. 366. Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 Short Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1970s+?

Fig. 366 shows a Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 box wrench, marked "Duro-Chrome" on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench is rather crudely forged and finished, and the model and size were not offered during the company's earlier years.


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