Alloy Artifacts  

Fuller Tool Company

Table of Contents

Introduction


Company History

The Fuller Tool Company was founded in May of 1937 by Bernard Fuller in Whitestone, New York, a section of Queens. (The founding date is based on the first use date in a later trademark filing.) The company's early products included screwdrivers and nut drivers.

The company was incorporated on July 26, 1946.

[1944 Ad for Fuller Screwdrivers]
Fig. 1A. 1944 Ad for Fuller Screwdrivers.

During the 1940s and 1950s the company advertised its screwdrivers in publications such as Hardware Age, Popular Mechanics, and Popular Science.

The scan in Fig. 1A shows an ad for Fuller "De Luxe" screwdrivers, as published on page 36 of the December 7, 1944 issue of Hardware Age.

Note that the list of sales offices below the illustration already includes an office in Montreal. Fuller Tool would later open a subsidiary in Canada, and eventually the company moved to Canada.


Tool Imports

By the late 1950s Fuller had started importing tools, probably initially from Europe. By 1958 the company was advertising a selection of fixed-pivot pliers, which were probably imported from England, based on observed examples.

Fuller was also interested in sourcing tools from Japan, and the company probably worked closely with the Daido Corporation to arrange its Japanese imports. Daido was the U.S. subsidiary of a major Japanese distributor and had been set up specifically to assist American companies with finding Japanese manufacturing partners.

[1960 Notice for Fuller Adjustable Wrenches]
Fig. 1B. 1960 Notice for Fuller Adjustable Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 1B shows a notice for Fuller adjustable wrenches in a merchandising stand, as published on page 28 of the October, 1960 edition of Hardware World.

The adjustable wrenches in the illustration are probably of Japanese origin.

By 1961 Fuller Tool was using the Kyoto Tool Company (KTC) of Japan as a contract manufacturer of Fuller brand tools. Production by KTC included adjustable wrenches, open-end wrenches, and combination wrenches.

In 1963 the FTC issued a cease-and-desist order against Fuller for complaints including improper labeling of country of origin. The FTC order notes that at that time Fuller was importing tools from Japan, England, Holland, Italy, and Portugal.

Fuller was one of the pioneers in importing tools from Japan and probably worked with a number of Japanese companies in addition to KTC. For example, Sanki is known to have supplied adjustable wrenches to Fuller, and we hope to discover other makers as well.


Acquisition of Award Tool Company

In 1965 Fuller Tool acquired the Award Tool Company of Flushing, New York. Award Tool appears to have been an importer and reseller of tools, similar to the operations of Fuller Tool by that time.

Our information on the Award Tool Company comes from a small notice regarding Martin H. Rieger, the founder of Award Tool.

[1969 Notice for Award Tool]
Fig. 1C. 1969 Notice for Award Tool.

The scan in Fig. 1C shows a notice indirectly mentioning the Award Tool Company, as published on page 28 of the June 1, 1969 issue of Hardware Age.

The text notes that Martin H. Rieger had become president of Steelcraft Tools, having previously been the executive vice president of the Award Tool Company.

The notice provides additional background information that Award Tool had been founded by Rieger in 1963, and that Award had been a subsidiary of the Fuller Tool Company since 1965.

Prior to founding Award Tool, Rieger had been an employee of the Fuller Tool Company, and in 1947 was promoted to the position of sales manager at Fuller.

As a side note, the Steelcraft Tool Company was later acquired by the Daido Corporation, a Japanese company best known for its "Truecraft" tools.

Award Tool filed a trademark application for "AWARD" on April 16, 1964, with the first use date noted as April 1, 1964 and serial #191,242. The application was published on October 20, 1964, and the company received trademark #782,779 on January 5, 1965. The applicable goods were listed as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches.


Later Operations

In the 1990s Fuller Tool moved its operations to Montreal, Canada, and in 1995 Fuller was acquired by Johnson Level, a Canadian company.


Patents


Trademarks

Fuller Tool Company: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
BLUE OX 415,648 09/01/1944 12/09/1944 08/14/1945 For screwdrivers.
Serial 477,355. Published May 29, 1945.
TOOL-A-MAT 684,051 06/01/1958 10/13/1958 08/25/1959 Dispensing stand for tools.
Serial 60,503. Published June 9, 1959.
FULLER 750,087 01/01/1940 08/26/1961 05/28/1963 Pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers.
Filed by Fuller Tool Co. Inc., 152-35 10th Avenue, Whitestone, New York
Published March 12, 1963.
FULLER 754,049 05/01/1937 02/23/1962 08/06/1963 Mechanic's hand tools, e.g. pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches
Published February 5, 1963.
Renewed June 8, 2013.
AWARD 782,779 04/01/1964 04/16/1964 01/05/1965 Screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches
Filed by Award Tool Company, later acquired by Fuller.
Serial 191,242. Published February 5, 1963.
LIFELONG 845,866  02/01/1967 03/12/1968
Serial 263,758. Published December 26, 1967.
FULLER [design] 907,758 07/01/196412/30/1968 02/16/1971 Grinding wheels
Published January 13, 1970.

References and Resources

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

Catalog Resources

Fuller Tool Company: Catalog Resources
Catalog Year Notes
    Catalogue No. 8182 (1981):
Catalogue No. 8182 1981 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 24 pages.
Published by Fuller Canada.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
    Catalog No. 1184 (1984):
Dealer Catalog No. 1184 1984 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 24 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.

Industrial Distributors

Fuller tools were available from some industrial distributors. We'll add references as time permits.


Wrenches

Currently all of our examples of Fuller wrenches were made by KTC. KTC's production for Fuller goes back to the early 1960s, and based on KTC's reputation we would expect these to be high quality tools.


Open-End Wrenches


Fuller "KTC" 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Fuller 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 2. Fuller 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 2 shows a Fuller 11/16x3/4 open-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "F24" code visible at the right.

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


Fuller "KTC" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Fuller 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 3. Fuller 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1960s.

Fig. 3 shows an early Fuller 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with "*Fuller*" and "Chrome Vanadium" plus the fractional sizes forged into the front, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo forged into the back.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.


Fuller "KTC" 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench

[Fuller 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 4. Fuller 15/16x1 Inch Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 4 shows a Fuller 15/16x1 inch open-end wrench with parallelogram panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional sizes on the front panel, with "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in code "U02" visible at the right.

The overall length is 11.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Fuller "KTC" 13x15mm Open-End Wrench

[Fuller 13x15mm Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 5. Fuller 13x15mm Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 5 shows a Fuller 13x15mm open-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "F35" code visible at the right.

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


Fuller "KTC" 17x19mm Open-End Wrench

[Fuller 17x19mm Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 6. Fuller 17x19mm Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 6 shows a Fuller 17x19mm open-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the metric sizes on the front panel, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "F79" code visible at the right.

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


Combination Wrenches


Fuller "KTC" 7/16 Combination Wrench

[Fuller 7/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 7. Fuller 7/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 7 shows a Fuller 7/16 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Forged Alloy" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in code "F4" visible at the left.

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


Fuller "KTC" 1/2 Combination Wrench

[Fuller 1/2 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 8. Fuller 1/2 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 8 shows a Fuller 1/2 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Forged Alloy" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in code "F6" visible at the left.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.


Fuller "KTC" 5/8 Combination Wrenches

The next figures show two generations of Fuller 5/8 combination wrenches made by KTC.

[Fuller 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 9. Fuller 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 9 shows a Fuller 5/8 combination wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "U0" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

[Fuller 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 10. Fuller 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 10 shows a Fuller 5/8 combination wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Forged Alloy" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "F6" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.


Fuller "KTC" 11/16 Combination Wrench

[Fuller 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 11. Fuller 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 11 shows a Fuller 11/16 combination wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "U1" code visible (upside-down) at the left.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.


Fuller "KTC" 3/4 Combination Wrench

[Fuller 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 12. Fuller 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1970s to 1980s.

Fig. 12 shows a Fuller 3/4 combination wrench with raised parallelogram panels, stamped with "Fuller" and the fractional size on the front panel, with "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo on the back panel.

The back side of the shank also has a forged-in "U4" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.


Pliers


Fuller 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers

[Fuller 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers]
Fig. 13. Fuller 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 13 shows a pair of Fuller 8 inch combination pliers, stamped with "Fuller" and "Drop Forged" near the pivot, and with "Japan" forged into the undersides of the handles.

The handles of the pliers are also marked with a forged-in "H" code at the ends.

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


Other Tools


Award Tools

The Award Tool Company was formed in 1963 by Martin H. Rieger, formerly a sales manager at Fuller Tool. The company operated independently only briefly, as by 1965 Award Tool had been acquired by Fuller Tool.


Award "KTC" 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

[Award KTC 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 14. Award "KTC" 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Marking Detail, ca. Mid to Late 1960s.

Fig. 14 shows an Award 15/16x1 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with "Chrome Vanadium" and the fractional sizes forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo forged into the back side.

The overall length is 11.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The KTC-Oval logo indicates that the wrench was produced by the Kyoto Tool Company.


Award "KTC" 3/8 Combination Wrench

[Award KTC 3/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 15. Award "KTC" 3/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Edge View, ca. Mid to Late 1960s.

Fig. 15 shows an Award 3/8 combination wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with "Award" and "Chrome Vanadium" plus the fractional size forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Oval logo forged into the back side.

The overall length is 4.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


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