Alloy Artifacts  

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 consistently marked, but implicit via the streamlined design trademark.

By the early 1950s even the "Select Steel" moniker was no longer being marked on the box-end wrenches, although it remained in use in the catalogs. So far it appears that the tools without "Select Steel" markings are at least marked with the standard model numbers for the line, which provide positive identification for the tools.

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.

The tools displayed in this section were made over a relatively long period of time, from the mid 1940s through the 1970s (or beyond), and therefore not surprisingly exhibit a range of marking styles and production features. Unfortunately the catalog illustrations for the "Select Steel" line tended to be rather generic, so that in general we don't have the information needed to make fine-grained estimates of production dates from changes in markings or production features.

Our approach here will be to select tools with a wide range of marking and production styles, and where possible make comments on factors suggesting production dates.


Catalog Coverage

Currently our catalog coverage for the "Select Steel" tools in the post-war era is rather limited, as our first Indestro catalog during this period is not until 1956. We have some coverage from the Duro catalogs, but Duro only offered a subset of the "Select Steel" line.

A review of the Indestro (and Duro) catalogs found that the "Select Steel" tools were no longer listed after about 1964, the approximate date of Indestro's catalog No. 22A. In addition, our catalogs do not show any listings for the Indestro Select socket tools, even though we have strong evidence that these tools were in production by the early 1960s. However, we have found newspaper advertisements for Indestro Select socket tools into at least the early 1970s.

These observations suggest that Indestro removed the "Select Steel" line from their regular catalogs but continued to offer the tools through some alternate channel, possibly a wholesale catalog directed at hardware stores or other consumer retail outlets. In an earlier edition of this article we wrote "Finding such a catalog would be very helpful in filling in the later history of the tools, and we hope that one will turn up at some point", and that hope has recently (2021) come to fruition — the Indestro "Select Steel Tools" catalog No. 2 has been added to our catalog resources.

As expected, the Select Steel Tools catalog pulls together the entire Select Steel line in one place — socket tools in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive, the older hex-drive socket sets in metal clips and plastic pouches, wrenches in open-end, box-end, and combination styles, and a modest selection of chisels and punches. The catalog also offers various display racks and "merchandisers" to assist retail outlets in selling the tools.

The Select Steel Tools catalog No. 2 has the same "almost 50 years" length of service statement as Indestro catalog No. 22A, providing an estimated publication date of 1964.


Open-End Wrenches

In this section we'll explore the "Select Steel" open-end wrenches in the post-war era. Earlier examples of the line can be in the section on Indestro "Chicago" Open-End wrenches.

Construction and Marking Styles

In reviewing the collected examples of open-end wrenches we have attempted to classify the tools into groups based on construction and marking details. Thus far we have identified four major groups as follows.

The four style groups have been listed in plausible chronological order, although there may have been some overlap.

The one constant through all these changes is that the wrenches retain the streamlined depressed panels forged into both sides.

Finish Options

One of the changes for the post-war period was that finish options were reflected in the actual marked model numbers. In earlier years the catalogs had provided prefix letters for the available finishes, but the wrenches were marked with just the industry-standard model number, regardless of finish. In the later years the observed finishes are chrome plating, indicated by a "P" prefix, and cadmium plating, indicated by a "0" prefix.

By 1956 (or earlier) the standard finish for "Select Steel" open-end wrenches was chrome plating, which was indicated by a "P" prefix in the catalogs and on the wrenches.

Currently we do not have catalog listings showing a cadmium finish option. It's possible that Indestro catalogs from the late 1940s or early 1950s (currently unavailable) may have offered cadmium finishes, or else the observed cadmium-finished wrenches may have been contract production not covered by the catalogs. We have tentatively attributed wrenches with cadmium finishes to the late 1940s to early 1950s, but will update these estimates if better information becomes available.


Indestro "Select Steel" [P/0]720 5/16x11/32 Open-End Wrenches

[Indestro Select Steel 0720 5/16x11/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 482. Indestro "Select Steel" 0720 5/16x11/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1950s?

Fig. 482 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 0720 5/16x11/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

The overall length is 3.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

[Indestro Select Steel P720 5/16x11/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 483. Indestro "Select Steel" P720 5/16x11/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 483 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" P720 5/16x11/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

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


Indestro "Select Steel" No. 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel No. 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 484. Indestro "Select Steel" No. 21 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 484 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" No. 21 5/16x13/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The construction and marking style of this wrench closely resemble the earlier Indestro "Chicago" generation, with "Indestro Chicago-U.S.A." replaced by "Made in U.S.A." on the front panel. (See for example the similar Indestro "Chicago" No. 721 Open-End Wrench.) In particular, the use of a pure industry-standard model number without a finish prefix follows the earlier convention.

This wrench was likely made in the 1944-1945 wartime years and provides evidence of the transition to generic markings during the wartime period.


Indestro "Select Steel" P722 5/16x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel P722 5/16x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 485. Indestro "Select Steel" P722 5/16x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 485 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" P722 5/16x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 3.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Indestro "Select Steel" [P/0]723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show three generations of the Indestro No. 723 3/8x7/16 wrench, beginning with a transitional example from the late wartime period.

[Indestro Select Steel 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 486. Indestro "Select Steel" 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 486 shows an early Indestro "Select Steel" No. 723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.

The construction and marking style of this wrench closely resemble the earlier Indestro "Chicago" generation, with "Indestro Chicago-U.S.A." replaced by "Made in U.S.A." on the front panel. (See for example the similar Indestro "Chicago" No. 25 Open-End Wrench.) In particular, the use of a pure industry-standard model number without a finish prefix follows the earlier convention.

This wrench was likely made in the 1944-1945 wartime years and provides evidence of the transition to generic markings during the wartime period.

[Indestro Select Steel 0723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 487. Indestro "Select Steel" 0723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1950s?

Fig. 487 shows a somewhat later Indestro "Select Steel" 0723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

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

[Indestro Select Steel P723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 488. Indestro "Select Steel" P723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s?

Fig. 488 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" P723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

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


Indestro "Select Steel" [P]725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show four generations of the Indestro No. 725B 1/2x9/16 wrench, beginning with a transitional example from the late wartime period.

[Indestro Select Steel 725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 489. Indestro "Select Steel" 725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 489 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" No. 725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

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

The construction and marking style of this wrench closely resemble the earlier Indestro "Chicago" generation, with "Indestro Chicago-U.S.A." replaced by "Made in U.S.A." on the front panel. (See for example the similar Indestro "Chicago" No. 25 Open-End Wrench.) In particular, the use of a pure industry-standard model number without a finish prefix follows the earlier convention.

This wrench was likely made in the 1944-1945 wartime years and provides evidence of the transition to generic markings during the wartime period.

[Indestro Select Steel 0725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 490. Indestro "Select Steel" 0725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1950s?

Fig. 490 shows a somewhat later Indestro "Select Steel" 0725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

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

[Indestro Select Steel P725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 491. Indestro "Select Steel" P725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 491 shows a somewhat later Indestro "Select Steel" P725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

[Indestro Select Steel P725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 492. Indestro "Select Steel" [P725B] 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 492 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" [P725B] 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with forged-in sizes, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

In this later example the fractional sizes are forged into both sides of the shank, and the company name and model number are not marked.


Indestro ["Select Steel"] P727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro P727 wrench, with differences in the forged-in markings.

[Indestro Select Steel P727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 493. Indestro "Select Steel" P727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 493 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" P727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

[Indestro Forged U.S.A. P727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 494. Indestro "Forged U.S.A." P727 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 494 shows a later Indestro P727 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number and "Indestro" on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

Note that the heads of this wrench are significantly oversized in relation to the milled opening, suggesting that one forging die was being used to make blanks for several wrench sizes.


Indestro "Select Steel" [P/0]27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrenches

The next four figures show examples of the "Select Steel" No. 27 19/32x11/16 wrench, with differences in the markings and finish.

[Indestro Select Steel 027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 495. Indestro "Select Steel" 027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to Mid 1950s?

Fig. 495 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with the model number on the reverse left face.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The cadmium finish and unpolished faces suggest production during the late 1940s to mid 1950s.


[Indestro Select Steel 027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 496. Indestro "Select Steel" 027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to Mid 1950s?

Fig. 496 shows another Indestro "Select Steel" 027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

This example shows that some wrenches with cadmium finishes were also marked with the Indestro name.

[Indestro Select Steel P27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 497. Indestro "Select Steel" P27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 497 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" P27 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are stamped on the front faces, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

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

[Indestro Select Steel 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 498. Indestro "Select Steel" 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 498 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" [P27] 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench with forged-in sizes, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

In this later example the fractional sizes are forged into both sides of the shank, and the company name and model number are not marked.


Indestro "Select Steel" P729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 729 5/8x3/4 wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel P729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 499. Indestro "Select Steel" P729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 499 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" P729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

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

[Indestro Select Steel P729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 500. Indestro "Select Steel" [P729] 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 500 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" [P729] 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench with forged-in sizes, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

In this later example the fractional sizes are forged into both sides of the shank, and the company name and model number are not marked.


Indestro "Select Steel" No. 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel No. 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 501. Indestro "Select Steel" No. 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 501 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" No. 31 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with the model number on the left face of the reverse side.

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

The construction and marking style of this wrench closely resemble the earlier Indestro "Chicago" generation, with "Indestro Chicago-U.S.A." replaced by "Made in U.S.A." on the front panel. (See for example the similar Indestro "Chicago" No. 33-B Open-End Wrench.) In particular, the use of a pure industry-standard model number without a finish prefix follows the earlier convention.

This wrench was likely made in the 1944-1945 wartime years and provides evidence of the transition to generic markings during the wartime period.


Indestro "Select Steel" [P/0]731B 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 731B 13/16x7/8 open-end wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 0731B 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 502. Indestro "Select Steel" 0731B 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to Mid 1950s?

Fig. 502 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 0731B 13/16x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with the model number on the reverse left face.

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

[Indestro Select Steel P731B 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 503. Indestro "Select Steel" P731B 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1960s.

Fig. 503 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" P731B 13/16x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Indestro" and the model number on the reverse faces.

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


Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 033C 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench

This next figure provides an example of Indestro's late production, with the forged-in markings reduced to just "Forged U.S.A." on one panel.

[Indestro Forged U.S.A. 033C 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 504. Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 033C 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 504 shows a later Indestro 033C 15/16x1 inch open-end wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel.

The front faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with the model number and "Indestro" on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium or zinc plating.


Open+Box Wrenches

The "open+box" wrench style combined open and box ends of different sizes and became popular in the early 1930s for automobile toolkits. Indestro's early production of this style can be seen in the section on Indestro "Chicago" Open+Box Wrenches.

Note that although the open+box wrenches were assigned 90x catalog numbers from the beginning, the numbers are not known to have been marked on the tools.

As with the other "Select Steel" tools, open+box wrenches were available in sets of various sizes. An example of one of these sets can be seen as the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.

Construction and Marking Styles

In the post-war era the open+box wrenches remained relatively unchanged for many years. The standard markings were "Made in U.S.A." forged into the streamlined depressed panel on the front, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel, and with the fractional sizes forged into small "size panels" on the reverse.

Later production made minor changes to the markings. The "Made in U.S.A." marking was changed to "Forged U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel, replacing the "size panels" of the previous generation.

Finish Options

The standard finish was chrome plating with polished faces, and no other finishes have been observed on the collected examples.


Indestro "Select Steel" 3/8x7/16 Open+Box Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 3/8x7/16 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 505. Indestro "Select Steel" 3/8x7/16 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 505 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 3/8x7/16 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

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

This wrench was acquired as part of the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.


Indestro "Select Steel" 7/16x1/2 Open+Box Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro 7/16x1/2 open+box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 7/16x1/2 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 506. Indestro "Select Steel" 7/16x1/2 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 506 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 7/16x1/2 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

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

This wrench was acquired as part of the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.

[Indestro Select Steel 7/16x1/2 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 507. Indestro "Select Steel" 7/16x1/2 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 507 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" 7/16x1/2 open+box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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


Indestro "Select Steel" 1/2x9/16 Open+Box Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 1/2x9/16 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 508. Indestro "Select Steel" 1/2x9/16 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 508 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1/2x9/16 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired as part of the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.


Indestro "Select Steel" 9/16x5/8 Open+Box Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro 9/16x5/8 open+box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 9/16x5/8 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 509. Indestro "Select Steel" 9/16x5/8 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 509 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" 9/16x5/8 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired as part of the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.

[Indestro Select Steel 9/16x5/8 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 510. Indestro "Select Steel" 9/16x5/8 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 510 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" 9/16x5/8 open+box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x3/4 Open+Box Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro 5/8x3/4 open+box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 5/8x3/4 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 511. Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x3/4 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 511 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x3/4 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

This wrench was acquired as part of the Indestro 900-5A Open+Box Wrench Set.

[Indestro Select Steel 5/8x3/4 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 512. Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x3/4 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 512 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x3/4 open+box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Indestro "Select Steel" 3/4x7/8 Open+Box Wrench

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro 3/4x7/8 open+box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 3/4x7/8 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 513. Indestro "Select Steel" 3/4x7/8 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 513 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 3/4x7/8 open+box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The fractional sizes are forged into small panels on the reverse side.

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

[Indestro Select Steel 3/4x7/8 Open+Box Wrench]
Fig. 514. Indestro "Select Steel" 3/4x7/8 Open+Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 514 shows a later Indestro "Select Steel" 3/4x7/8 open+box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the front panel, with "Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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


Indestro "Select Steel" 900-5A 5-Piece Open+Box Wrench Set

Indestro offered sets of open+box wrenches of varying sizes, with the tools secured by a bolt and wing-nut.

[Indestro Select Steel 900-5A 5-Piece Open+Box Wrench Set]
Fig. 515. Indestro "Select Steel" 900-5A 5-Piece Open+Box Wrench Set, with Inset for Side View, ca. Late 1940s to 1970s?

Fig. 515 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 900-5A 5-piece open+box wrench set, stamped "Set No. 900-5A" on the metal clip, with "Indestro Mfg. Corp" and "Chicago U.S.A." on the reverse side (not shown).

The wrench sizes are 3/8x7/16, 7/16x1/2, 1/2x9/16, 9/16x5/8, and 5/8x3/4. Each wrench is marked with "Made in U.S.A." forged into one panel, with "Drop Forged Select Steel" forged into the other panel, and with the sizes forged into small panels.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Box-End Wrenches

The "Select Steel" box wrenches were offered in three styles: short angled, long (standard) offset, and short offset. The table below shows the model numbers and sizes for the wrenches in each style.

Note that although the model numbers were listed in the catalogs from the beginning, the numbers were not marked on tools until later, probably beginning in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Select Steel Box-End Wrench Models
StyleModelSizesNotes and Examples
Short Angled 919 1/4x5/16 Later production with 6-point openings.
Indestro "Select Steel" [919] Short Angled Box Wrench
  921 3/8x7/16 Later production with 6-point openings.
Indestro Select 921 Short Angled Box Wrench
  922 1/2x9/16 Indestro "Select Steel" [922] Short Angled Box Wrench
  923 5/8x11/16  
  924 3/4x25/32  
  925 13/16x7/8 Indestro 925 Short Angled Box Wrench
Long Offset 911 3/8x7/16 Later production with 6-point openings.
Indestro 911 Offset Box Wrench
  912 1/2x9/16 Indestro 912 Offset Box Wrench
  913 5/8x11/16 Indestro "Select Steel" [913] Offset Box Wrench
  914 3/4x25/32 Indestro "Select Steel" [914] Offset Box Wrench
  915 13/16x7/8 Indestro Select 915 Offset Box Wrench
  916 15/16x1 Inch Indestro 916 Offset Box Wrench
  917 1-1/16x1-1/8  
Short Offset 929 1/4x5/16 Later production with 6-point openings.
  931 3/8x7/16 Later production with 6-point openings.
  932 1/2x9/16 Indestro 932 Short Offset Box Wrench
  933 5/8x11/16 Indestro 933 Short Offset Box Wrench
  934 3/4x25/32 Indestro 934 Short Offset Box Wrench

Construction and Marking Styles

The box wrenches underwent significant changes in the forged-in markings during the post-war years, more so than for the other tool types in the "Select Steel" line. One of the more signficant changes was the relatively early omission of the "Select Steel" marking itself.

We have attempted to categorize the collected examples into groups, with a presumed ordering based on the evolution of the markings.

Finish Options

In the post-war era the only documented finish for box wrenches was chrome plating, and all of the collected examples with post-war marking styles have chrome finishes.

One additional finishing detail is worth mentioning. The Indestro catalogs from around 1956 and 1964 offered box wrench sets with an option for polished or unpolished heads, and the wrenches in this section include examples of both polished and unpolished ends.


Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 919] 1/4x5/16 Short Angled Box Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel No. 919 1/4x5/16 Short Angled Box Wrench]
Fig. 516. Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 919] 1/4x5/16 Short Angled Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 516 shows an early Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 919] 1/4x5/16 short angled box wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 3.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The cadmium finish and "Made in U.S.A." marking suggest production during the 1944-1945 wartime years. This wrench provides evidence that the earlier "Indestro - Chicago" marking was discontinued during the wartime years.

An earlier version of this model can be seen as the Indestro "Chicago" 1/4x5/16 Short Angled Box Wrench.


Indestro [Select] No. 921 3/8x7/16 Short Angled Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 921 box wrench, beginning with an example of the Indestro Select brand, a brand believed to have been used briefly in the early to mid 1960s.

[Indestro Select No. 921 3/8x7/16 Short Angled Box Wrench]
Fig. 517. Indestro Select No. 921 3/8x7/16 Short Angled Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 517 shows an Indestro Select No. 921 3/8x7/16 short angled box wrench, marked with "921 Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro Select" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

This wrench has 6-point openings, a feature of the smaller box wrenches from the mid 1950s (or earlier) onward.

[Indestro No. 921 3/8x7/16 Short Angled Box Wrench]
Fig. 518. Indestro No. 921 3/8x7/16 Short Angled Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 518 shows an Indestro No. 921 3/8x7/16 short angled box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro 921" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

This wrench has 6-point openings, a feature of the smaller box wrenches from the mid 1950s (or earlier) onward.


Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 922] 1/2x9/16 Short Angled Box Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel No. 922 1/2x9/16 Short Angled Box Wrench]
Fig. 519. Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 922] 1/2x9/16 Short Angled Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 519 shows an early Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 922] 1/2x9/16 short angled box wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged Select Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

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

The cadmium finish and "Made in U.S.A." marking suggest production during the 1944-1945 wartime years. This wrench provides evidence that the earlier "Indestro - Chicago" marking was discontinued during the wartime years.

An earlier version of this model can be seen as the Indestro "Chicago" 1/2x9/16 Short Angled Box Wrench.


Indestro No. 925 13/16x7/8 Short Angled Box Wrench

[Indestro No. 925 13/16x7/8 Short Angled Box Wrench]
Fig. 520. Indestro No. 925 13/16x7/8 Short Angled Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Early 1950s.

Fig. 520 shows an Indestro No. 925 13/16x7/8 short angled box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged No. 925 Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

This wrench appears to be a transitional form, with the earlier "Forged Select Steel" replaced by "Forged Steel" and the model number, but retaining the "Made in U.S.A." marking on the front panel.


Indestro [Select] No. 911 3/8x7/16 Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 911 wrench, including an example of the Indestro Select brand.

[Indestro No. 911 3/8x7/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 521. Indestro No. 911 3/8x7/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 521 shows an earlier Indestro No. 911 3/8x7/16 offset box wrench with 6-point openings, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 911" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Indestro Select No. 911 3/8x7/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 522. Indestro Select No. 911 3/8x7/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 522 shows a later Indestro Select No. 911 3/8x7/16 offset box wrench with 6-point openings, marked with "911 Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro Select" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro No. 912 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench

[Indestro No. 912 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 523. Indestro No. 912 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 523 shows an Indestro No. 912 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 912" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to wear.


Indestro ["Select Steel"/Select] No. 913 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show three generations of the Indestro No. 913 5/8x11/16 box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 524. Indestro "Select Steel" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1940s.

Fig. 524 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 913] 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

[Indestro No. 913 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 525. Indestro No. 913 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 525 shows a slightly later Indestro No. 913 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 913" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Indestro Select No. 913 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 526. Indestro Select No. 913 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 526 shows a later Indestro Select No. 913 5/8x11/16 offset box wrench, marked with "913 Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro Select" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro ["Select Steel"] No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show three generations of the Indestro No. 914 box wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 527. Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 914] 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1940s.

Fig. 527 shows an earlier Indestro "Select Steel" [No. 914] 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

[Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 528. Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 528 shows a somewhat later Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 914" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

[Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 529. Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 529 shows a later Indestro No. 914 3/4x25/32 offset box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro 914" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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


Indestro [Select] No. 915 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 915 box wrench.

[Indestro Select No. 915 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 530. Indestro Select No. 915 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 530 shows an earlier Indestro Select No. 915 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, marked with "915 Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro Select" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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

[Indestro No. 915 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 531. Indestro No. 915 13/16x7/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 531 shows a later Indestro No. 915 13/16x7/8 offset box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro 915" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 12.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.


Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 916 box wrench.

[Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 532. Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 532 shows an earlier Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 916" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 533. Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s?

Fig. 533 shows a later Indestro No. 916 15/16x1 Inch offset box wrench, marked with "Forged U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro 916" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 14.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.


Indestro No. 932 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench

[Indestro No. 932 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 534. Indestro No. 932 1/2x9/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 534 shows an Indestro No. 932 1/2x9/16 short offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 932" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.


Indestro [Select] No. 933 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 933 wrench, including an example of the Indestro "Select" brand, a brand used briefly in the early to mid 1960s.

[Indestro No. 933 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 535. Indestro No. 933 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 535 shows an earlier Indestro No. 933 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 933" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.

[Indestro Select No. 933 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 536. Indestro Select No. 933 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 536 shows a slightly later Indestro Select No. 933 5/8x11/16 short offset box wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "933 FRGD. U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro Select" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished ends.


Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of the Indestro No. 934 wrench, with differences in the forged-in markings.

[Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 537. Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1950s.

Fig. 537 shows an Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 short offset box wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged No. 934 Steel" forged into the reverse panel.

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

This wrench appears to be a transitional form, with the earlier "Forged Select Steel" replaced by "Forged Steel" and the model number, but retaining the "Made in U.S.A." marking on the front panel.

[Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 538. Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 Short Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s to Early 1960s.

Fig. 538 shows a slightly later Indestro No. 934 3/4x25/32 short offset box wrench, marked with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Indestro No. 934" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

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


Combination Wrenches

By 1956 Indestro was offering combination wrenches as part of its "Select Steel" line.

[1956 Catalog Listing for Select Steel Combination Wrenches]
Fig. 539. 1956 Catalog Listing for Select Steel Combination Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 539 shows a listing for "Select Steel" combination wrenches, as found on page 62 of the 1956 Indestro catalog No. 20.

The wrenches were available in 16 sizes ranging from model 1069 (1/4) up to 1084 (1-1/4). The standard finish was chrome plating with polished faces.

A later catalog extended the wrench sizes to model 1089 (1-5/8).


Indestro "Select Steel" 1069 1/4 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 1069 1/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 540. Indestro "Select Steel" 1069 1/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 540 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1069 1/4 combination wrench, marked with "1069 Select Steel" and the fractional size forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional size forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 3.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Select Steel" 1070 5/16 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 1070 5/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 541. Indestro "Select Steel" 1070 5/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 541 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1070 5/16 combination wrench, marked with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Made in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The model number is forged into a small "size panel" on the front face.

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


Indestro "Select Steel" 1072 7/16 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 1072 7/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 542. Indestro "Select Steel" 1072 7/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 542 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1072 7/16 combination wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "1072 Select Steel" and the fractional size forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional size forged into the reverse panel. The "Indestro" company name is stamped on the reverse face.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Select Steel" 1073 1/2 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Select Steel 1073 1/2 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 543. Indestro "Select Steel" 1073 1/2 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 543 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1073 1/2 combination wrench, marked with "1073 Select Steel" and the fractional size forged into the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional size forged into the reverse panel.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro "Select Steel" 1076 11/16 Combination Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Indestro 1076 combination wrench, with differences in the finish.

[Indestro Select Steel 1076 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 544. Indestro "Select Steel" 1076 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 544 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1076 11/16 combination wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Made in U.S.A." and the sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The model number is forged into a small "size panel" on the front face.

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

An example of this model marked for Western Auto's "Westline" brand can be seen as the Westline 1076 Combination Wrench.

[Indestro Select Steel 1076 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 545. Indestro "Select Steel" 1076 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 545 shows another Indestro "Select Steel" 1076 11/16 combination wrench, marked with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Made in U.S.A." and the sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The model number is forged into a small curved panel on the front face.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 01077 3/4 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Forged U.S.A. 01077 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 546. Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 01077 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 546 shows an Indestro 01077 3/4 combination wrench, marked with the fractional size forged into the front panel, with "Forged U.S.A." and the size forged into the reverse panel.

The front face is stamped with the model number, with "Indestro" on the opposite face.

The overall length is 9.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a matte surface.

The leading "0" of the model number apparently indicates the matte finish of the chrome plating.


Indestro "Select Steel" 1078 13/16 Combination Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Indestro 1078 combination wrench, with differences in the finish.

[Indestro Select Steel 1078 13/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 547. Indestro "Select Steel" 1078 13/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 547 shows an Indestro "Select Steel" 1078 13/16 combination wrench with streamlined depressed panels, marked with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Made in U.S.A." and the sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The model number is forged into a small curved panel on the front face.

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

[Indestro Select Steel 1078 13/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 548. Indestro "Select Steel" 1078 13/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 548 shows another Indestro "Select Steel" 1078 13/16 combination wrench, marked with "Forged Select Steel" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Made in U.S.A." and the sizes forged into the reverse panel.

The model number is forged into a small curved panel on the front face.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 1079 7/8 Combination Wrench

[Indestro Forged U.S.A. 1079 7/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 549. Indestro "Forged U.S.A." 1079 7/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1970s to 1980s?

Fig. 549 shows an Indestro 1079 7/8 combination wrench, marked with the fractional size forged into the front panel, with "Forged U.S.A." and the fractional size forged into the reverse panel.

The front face is stamped with the model number, with "Indestro" on the opposite face.

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


Indestro Select Socket Tools

In the early 1960s Indestro introduced an "Indestro Select" line of sockets and drive tools, parallel to the Indestro Super line but presumably at a somewhat lower price point. The date of the introduction is based on the filing of a trademark for "Select Steel Tools", which claimed a first use date in March of 1961, but unfortunately we don't have catalog coverage to provide better detail.

The socket tools were initially marked with "Indestro Select" as a brand, but the "Select" was soon dropped in favor of just the Indestro name. The exact usage period for the "Indestro Select" brand is not known, but is likely in the range of 1961 to the mid 1960s.

The Indestro Select brand was also used for "Select Steel" box wrenches, although again apparently only briefly, as examples are relatively uncommon.

There seems to be some ambiguity as to whether the Indestro Select socket tools were made using a lesser grade of steel or whether the price points were achieved by simplified manufacturing. The Indestro catalog 55-M from 1971 did not have any "Select Steel" or "Indestro Select" headings, but certain socket tools from the "Select" line were available. For example, the 6472 Reversible Ratchet was listed on page 11, and the top of the page noted that the tools were forged from alloy steel.

These considerations suggest that the "Select" may have been dropped to avoid association with the older carbon-manganese "Select Steel" socket tools. It would be interesting to test some of the "Indestro Select" tools for alloy content to see what kind of steel was being used.

The Indestro Select socket tools were available in the 1/4-drive 60xx model series, 3/8-drive 62xx model series, and 1/2-drive 64xx model series. We have a number of examples of these tools and will fill out this section as time permits.

Indestro Select tools were also available in the M.P.I. Socket Sets described in a later section.


Indestro Select 6470 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Indestro Select 6470 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 551. Indestro Select 6470 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 551 shows an Indestro Select 6470 1/2-drive reversible ratchet, stamped with "Indestro Select" and the model number on the handle panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The ratchet mechanism has a 30-tooth drive gear with a pawl biased by a spring-loaded ball. The forged ratchet body has a slot milled to hold the drive gear and pawl, and the tool appears to have been assembled by pressing the drive stud and pawl pin into place.

Page 8 of the 1962 Indestro catalog 22A has a listing for a No. 3239 ratchet of this same design, which would have been part of the Indestro Super line. But the listing is stamped "Discontinued See Select Steel No. 6470", indicating that some designs had been moved over to the Select line by then.


Indestro 6472 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Indestro 6472 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 552. Indestro 6472 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1960s to 1980s.

Fig. 552 shows an Indestro 6472 1/2-drive reversible ratchet, stamped with "Indestro U.S.A." and the model number on the cover plate.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The ratchet mechanism has a 30-tooth drive gear, with the drive gear and pawl secured within the forged body by a bi-lobed cover plate.

The model number identifies this ratchet as part of the Indestro Select line, although the brand is not marked.

The 6472 ratchet was listed on page 11 of Indestro catalog 55-M from 1971, a page devoted mostly to tools in the Indestro Super line, and with the top of the page noting that the tools were forged from alloy steel. This suggests that the "Select" socket tools were being made from alloys comparable to those for the "Super" line. A similar model 6471 female-drive reversible ratchet was also available.

The 6472 ratchet was listed on page 26 of Indestro catalog No. 60 from 1982, showing that some tools of the Select line were still available into the 1980s.


Indestro Select 6464 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension

[Indestro Select 6464 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension]
Fig. 553. Indestro Select 6464 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension, with Composite Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 553 shows an Indestro Select 6464 1/2-drive 5 inch extension, stamped with the model number plus "Indestro Select" and "U.S.A." on the drive head, as seen in the composite inset.

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


Indestro Select 64xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets

[Indestro Select 64xx 1/2-Drive Sockets]
Fig. 554. Indestro Select 64xx 1/2-Drive Sockets, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 554 shows a group of two Indestro Select 1/2-drive 12-point sockets, with models and sizes 6432 (1 inch) on the left and 6434 (1-1/16) on the right.

The sockets are stamped with "Indestro Select" and "U.S.A." plus the model and fractional size on the base. The finish is polished chrome.

The top inset shows the broached interior of the sockets. Note the annular shelf of displaced metal at the base of the broached area, a characteristic of Duro's Hot-Broaching Process.

The sockets have a straight-wall design with two decorative grooves on the base.


Indestro 6632 1/2-Drive 1 Inch 12-Point Deep Socket

[Indestro Select 6632 1/2-Drive 1 Inch 12-Point Deep Socket]
Fig. 555. Indestro 6632 1/2-Drive 12-Point Deep Socket, with Inset for Top View, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 555 shows an Indestro 6632 1/2-drive 1 inch 12-point deep socket, stamped "Indestro" and "U.S.A." with the model number and size.

The finish is polished chrome.

The inset shows the broached interior of the socket, with the annular shelf of displaced metal at the base of the broached area.


Indestro Select 85001 1/2-Drive 16-Piece Socket Set

[Indestro Select 85001 1/2-Drive 16-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 556. Indestro Select 85001 1/2-Drive 16-Piece Socket Set, ca. 1962.

Fig. 556 shows an Indestro Select 85001 1/2-drive 16-piece socket set in its metal box, consisting of a No. 6470 reversible ratchet, a No. 6464 extension, 11 No. 64xx sockets from 7/16 to 1-1/16, and a No. 6626 13/16 deep socket. The set originally contained a universal joint as well.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, 6414 (7/16), 6416 (1/2), 6418 (9/16), 6420 (5/8), 6422 (11/16), 6424 (3/4), 6426 (13/16), 6428 (7/8), 6430 (15/16), 6432 (1 inch), and 6434 (1-1/16). The sockets are stamped "Indestro Select" and "U.S.A." with the model number and size, and the finish is polished chrome.

This set was originally acquired as just the empty box and has been reconstructed from our inventory. The large sticker on the inside cover notes the set as a "Select Steel Socket Set", and the text box at the right lists the contents of the set, although without model numbers. We have followed the list of contents as a guide in replacing the tools.

The set as pictured is missing the universal joint, and we have substituted a No. 6464 5 inch extension for the specified 2.5 inch extension.


Indestro Select 6270 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Indestro Select 6270 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 557. Indestro Select 6270 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1961 to Mid 1960s.

Fig. 557 shows an Indestro Select 6270 3/8-drive reversible ratchet, stamped with "Indestro Select " and the model number on the flat handle, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The Indestro Select brand marking suggests production from 1961 to the mid 1960s.


Indestro [Select/Duro] 6228 3/8-Drive 1 Inch Sockets

[Indestro Select/Duro 6228 3/8-Drive 1 Inch Sockets]
Fig. 558. Indestro [Select/Duro] 6228 3/8-Drive 1 Inch Sockets, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1961 to 1980s.

Fig. 558 shows a group of three Indestro 6228 3/8-drive 1 inch 12-point sockets, illustrating three generations of this socket model.

The brand markings are, from the left, "Indestro Select", "Indestro", and "Duro-Indestro", and all of the sockets are stamped "U.S.A." with the model number and size.

The finish is polished chrome.


Indestro 6224UV 3/8-Drive 3/4 6-Point Universal Socket

[Indestro Select/Duro 6224UV 3/8-Drive 3/4 6-Point Universal Socket]
Fig. 559. Indestro 6224UV 3/8-Drive 3/4 6-Point Universal Socket, with Inset for Top View, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 559 shows an Indestro 6224UV 3/8-drive 3/4 6-point universal socket, stamped "Indestro" and "U.S.A." with the model number and fractional size.

The overall height is 2.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Indestro 6050 1/4-Drive Flex Handle

[Indestro 6050 1/4-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 560. Indestro 6050 1/4-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for Reverse, ca. Mid 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 560 shows an Indestro 6050 1/4-drive flex handle, stamped with "Indestro" and the model number on the flat handle, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The model number identifies this tool as part of the Indestro Select line, although the brand is not marked.


Late Production

This section will present scattered snapshots of Duro/Indestro's late production, roughly from the mid 1960s onward.


Late Combination Wrenches

Duro's experiments with thin format and "Dart" style combination wrenches were explored in a section on Duro Combination Wrenches. By around 1962 Duro's thin format combination wrenches had been redesigned with thicker shanks and heftier ends, giving them the more standard dimensions expected of this type of wrench. The new heavier combination wrenches continued to use the same 22xx model numbers previously assigned to the thin wrenches.

Around this same time Duro created a series of short format combination wrenches, using the same model numbers but with an "S" suffix. The short wrenches were available in sizes ranging from 2227S (1/4) up to 2237S (3/4).

The 22xx line of long "Standard" combination wrenches continued until around 1972, when they were superseded by a 33xx model number series, in which the lower two digits encoded the size in 32nds.


Duro-Chrome 2237B 13/16 Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2237B 13/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 561. Duro-Chrome 2237B 13/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960s to Early 1970s.

Fig. 561 shows a Duro-Chrome 2237B 13/16 combination wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the front face, with the model number and fractional size on the reverse face.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 2238 7/8 Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2238 7/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 562. Duro-Chrome 2238 7/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960s to Early 1970s.

Fig. 562 shows a Duro-Chrome 2238 7/8 combination wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the front face, with the model number and fractional size on the reverse face.

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


Duro-Chrome 2239 15/16 Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2239 15/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 563. Duro-Chrome 2239 15/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960s to Early 1970s.

Fig. 563 shows a Duro-Chrome 2239 15/16 combination wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front face, with the model number and size on the reverse face.

The overall length is 12.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 2240 1 Inch Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2240 1 Inch Combination Wrench]
Fig. 564. Duro-Chrome 2240 1 Inch Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960s to Early 1970s.

Fig. 564 shows a Duro-Chrome 2240 1 inch combination wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front face, with the model number and size on the reverse face.

The overall length is 13.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 2236S 11/16 Short Combination Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2236S 11/16 Short Combination Wrench]
Fig. 565. Duro-Chrome 2236S 11/16 Short Combination Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 565 shows a Duro-Chrome 2236S 11/16 short combination wrench, stamped with "Duro-Chrome" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the front face, with the model number and size on the reverse face.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Late Box-End Wrenches


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

Duro/Indestro made box wrenches with streamlined raised panels for many decades after the 1937 introduction, but in later years this important stylistic touch was dropped. Late production can be recognized by flat shanks with a rectangular cross-section.

[Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 566. Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 566 shows an Indestro Super 731A 9/16x5/8 offset box wrench, stamped with "Indestro Super" and the fractional sizes on the flat shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the model number on the reverse.

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


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

Duro produced miniature box wrenches in two models, the No. 2021 1/4x5/16 model seen in this next figure and a No. 2022 9/32x11/32 model. These wrenches were designed for work on ignition systems or other small equipment.

The ignition box wrenches were listed as early as the 1946 Duro catalog.

[Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 Ignition Box Wrench]
Fig. 567. Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 Ignition Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1960s?

Fig. 567 shows a Duro-Chrome 2021 1/4x5/16 miniature 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.

The present example still retains the streamlined raised panel, but is otherwise rather crudely forged and finished, suggesting a later production date.


Post-Modern Sockets

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

The specific changes noted are:

The next figure illustrates these design changes.


Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive Sockets Showing Progressive Changes

[Duro Sockets Showing Progressive Changes]
Fig. 568. Duro Sockets Showing Progressive Changes, from Left: 1619, 1618, 1626, 1634/1234.

Fig. 568 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 (parallel) 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 illustrations in catalog No. 40 from 1972 show 16xx sockets with straight walls and parallel knurling.

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.


Duro-Chrome 5725 3/8-Drive 9-Piece Socket Set

[Duro 5725 3/8-Drive 9-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 569. Duro 5725 3/8-Drive 9-Piece Socket Set, ca. Late 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 569 shows a Duro 5725 3/8-drive 9-piece socket set in its metal holder.

The socket models and sizes are, from the right, 4408H (1/4), 4410H (5/16), 4412H (3/8), 4414H (7/16), 4416H (1/2), 4418H (9/16), 4420H (5/8), 4422H (11/16), and 4424H (3/4).

The sockets are stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the base, and the finish is chrome plating.

This socket set was listed in Duro catalog No. 40 from around 1972.


Duro-Chrome 44xxH 3/8-Drive 6-Point Sockets from 5725 Set

[Duro 44xxH 3/8-Drive 6-Point Sockets from 5725 Set]
Fig. 570. Duro 44xxH 3/8-Drive 6-Point Sockets from 5725 Set, ca. Late 1960s to 1970s.

Fig. 570 shows the two largest sockets from the Duro 5725 3/8-drive socket set, with models and sizes (from the right) 4422H (11/16) and 4424H (3/4).

The sockets are stamped with "Duro-Chrome" plus the model number and fractional size on the base. The finish is polished chrome.

The socket design has straight walls with a knurled band at the base, and the construction is hot-broached, with an annular shelf of displaced metal at the base of the broached area.


"M.P.I." Socket Sets

Sometime in the mid to late 1960s Indestro introduced socket sets with a molded plastic insert to organize the tools, which were referred to as "M.P.I." sets in advertising. The M.P.I. packaging was used for both Indestro Super chrome-alloy socket sets and for Indestro Select socket sets.

The M.P.I. sets were advertised in newspapers and trade publications in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the sets are listed in Indestro catalog No. 55 from 1971. Currently our earliest reference is from June of 1968.

Duro offered M.P.I. sets as well, which it referred to as "nested" sets. Currently we're unsure of the introduction date due to a lack of catalog coverage and advertisements. Duro catalog No. 40 from 1972 lists M.P.I. "nested" sets in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-drive, but the listings in our copy of the catalog are stamped "Suspended".

The M.P.I. sets from both Duro and Indestro appear to have been discontinued by the late 1970s, although we haven't found the latest date of availability. If any of our readers have found ads illustrating M.P.I. sets in the mid to late 1970s, please let us know via email.


Indestro Select "M.P.I." Socket Sets

The Indestro Select M.P.I. socket sets were available in the 1/4-drive 61xx model series, 3/8-drive 63xx model series, and 1/2-drive 65xx model series.

[1968 Ad for Indestro Select M.P.I. Socket Sets]
Fig. 571. 1968 Advertisement for Indestro Select M.P.I. Socket Sets.

The scan in Fig. 571 shows a newspaper ad for various Indestro Select M.P.I. socket sets, as published on page 21 of the June 20, 1968 edition of the Indiana Gazette of Indiana, Pennsylvania. This is currently our earliest advertising reference to the M.P.I. sets.

The sets are the 3/8-drive No. N6332 at the upper left, 1/2-drive No. N6540 at the upper right, 1/2-drive No. N6541 at the lower left, and 1/4-drive No. N6120 at the lower right.

All of the headings mention "Select Steel", although at this time the tools may not have been marked with "Select". The descriptions note the metal box with a molded plastic insert to organize (or "nest") the tools.

An example of an Indestro Super M.P.I. N7732 Socket Set can be seen in the next figure.

If any of our readers have found advertisements for M.P.I. sets earlier than this June 1968 example, please let us know via email.


Indestro Super N7732 3/8-Drive "M.P.I." 23-Piece Socket Set

[1971 Catalog Listing for Indestro N7732 3/8-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 572A. 1971 Catalog Listing for Indestro N7732 3/8-Drive Socket Set.

The scan in Fig. 572A shows a listing for an Indestro N7732 3/8-drive "M.P.I." 23-piece socket set, as published on page 10 of Indestro catalog 55 from 1971.

The illustration shows the tools "nested" in their plastic insert, and the text "Indestro MPI" can be seen in the upper left corner. The graphics style of the label in this illustration was used from around 1971 onward.

[Indestro N7732 3/8-Drive M.P.I. 23-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 572B. Indestro Super N7732 3/8-Drive "M.P.I." 23-Piece Socket Set, ca. Mid 1960s to Early 1970.

Fig. 572B shows an Indestro Super N7732 3/8-drive "M.P.I." 23-piece socket set in its original case.

The set consists of a No. 2775 ratchet, No. 2781 flex handle, No. 2730 3 inch extension, No. 2733 6 inch extension, No. 2797 universal joint, eleven regular sockets from 3/8 to 1 inch, six deep sockets from 7/16 to 3/4, and a 13/16 spark plug socket.

The sockets in the top row are all double-hexagon (except for the smallest) and have models and sizes 2712H (3/8 hexagon), 2714 (7/16), 2716 (1/2), 2718 (9/16), 2720 (5/8), 2722 (11/16), 2724 (3/4), 2726 (13/16), 2728 (7/8), 2729A (15/16), and 2729B (1 inch).

The deep sockets in the middle row (to the right of the universal joint) have models and sizes 2742 (7/16), 2743 (1/2), 2744 (9/16), 2745 (5/8), 2746 (11/16), and 2747 (3/4). The 13/16 spark plug socket at the far right has model number 2748HS.

All of the tools and sockets are stamped "Indestro Super" and "U.S.A." and have a polished chrome finish.

The set as acquired was complete and in very good condition. Two of the regular sockets (the 7/16 and 1/2 sizes) have a different style than the others, with two grooves at the base instead of a knurled band, and may be later replacements by the original owner. (The two-groove style was used for the Indestro Select line of sockets, but the sockets in this set are marked Indestro Super.)

The set was furnished in a metal box with dimensions 19 inches wide by 7.4 inches deep by 1.5 inches high. A plastic label covers the inside of the lid and identifies this as an "Indestro 23 Piece M.P.I. Socket Wrench Set", and a detail box at the lower right provides the N7732 model number and a list of the component pieces.

The label for this set is very similar to that shown in a 1968 ad for Indestro Select Steel socket sets, for which the corresponding model was N6332. Sets with labels in this graphics style were advertised as late as February of 1970, which provides the basis for our production date estimate.

Duro "Nested" Socket Sets

Duro referred to its versions of the M.P.I. sets as "nested" sets. Currently we don't have an example to display, but have included a catalog listing to show the style.

[1972 Catalog Listing for Duro Nested Socket Sets]
Fig. 572C. 1972 Catalog Listing for Duro "Nested" Socket Sets.

The scan in Fig. 572C shows two examples of Duro's "nested" socket sets, as published on page 15 of catalog No. 40 from 1972.

The text refers to the molded plastic insert as providing a "nest" for the tools. Two 1/2-drive socket sets are listed, the N5840 set with 13 pieces, and the N5841 set with 16 pieces.

The illustrations show a sticker on the inside cover with the Duro-Chrome logo.

These two sets were still listed in the 1974 M-215 price list, but our copy of catalog No. 40 has the nested sets stamped "Suspended", so they were apparently discontinued sometime in the mid to late 1970s.


Other Late Production

We'll use this last section as a catch-all for any late production that doesn't fit into the prior categories.


Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 573. Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 573 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.

In its earlier years Duro/Indestro seldom if ever offered products made by other companies, as Duro/Indestro was generally close to, if not the lowest cost producer of the tools it offered. But as Duro/Indestro broadened its line in the late 1950s to 1960s, tools that sold in lower volumes and had not been previously offered were likely produced by other companies.


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