Alloy Artifacts  

Lisle Corporation

Table of Contents


The Lisle Manufacturing Company was founded in 1903 by C.A. Lisle in Clarinda, Iowa and initially made well-drilling equipment. In the 1920s the company began producing automotive equipment with a valve refacing tool, and since that time has expanded as a maker of specialty tools and equipment.

Company History

The Lisle Manufacturing Company was founded in 1903 in Clarinda, Iowa. The company initially made well-drilling equipment, but branched out into other manufactured items, and in the 1920s began producing automotive equipment and tools.

The Valve Refacer

[1928 Ad for Lisle Valve Refacer]
Fig. 1. 1928 Ad for Lisle Valve Refacer. [External Link]

By 1928 Lisle was offering a valve refacing machine and a brake relining machine.

Fig. 1 shows an ad for the Lisle valve refacer, as published on page 55 of the June, 1928 issue of Motor West.

The Formation of the Lisle Corporation

[1931 Notice for Lisle Corporation]
Fig. 2. 1931 Notice for Lisle Corporation. [External Link]

Fig. 2 shows a notice of the formation of the Lisle Corporation by merger, as published on page 814f of the May, 1931 issue of American Machinist.

The text notes that the Lisle Manufacturing Company had merged with the Clarinda Manufacturing Company to form the Lisle Corporation, with Edwin Lisle as president.

Magnetic Drain Plugs

By the late 1940s Lisle was producing drain plugs with an embedded magnet to traps small bits of iron.

"Jeepers Creeper" Auto Creepers

By 1951 Lisle had acquired the line of "Jeepers Creeper" auto creepers from R & L Manufacturing of Toledo, Ohio.

Continuing Operations

Lisle continues in operation today as a private family-run business and maintains a web page on the Company History [External Link]. Interested readers are encouraged to check there for further information.

Lisle manufactures an extensive line of automotive specialty tools, which are sold both under the Lisle name and as contract production for other companies.


Lisle Corporation: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
3,681,840 J.L. Pool04/28/197108/08/1972 Reversible Snap-ring Pliers
Lisle Reversible Snap-ring Pliers


Lisle Corporation: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
SUPCO [logo] 311,216 04/25/1932 10/28/1933 03/20/1934 Text "SUPCO" in a diamond outline.
For brake parts and cables
Filed by Superior Products Corp.
Serial 343,014. Published January 9, 1934.
Renewed 3-20-54.
LISLE 1,004,486 01/01/1948 08/21/1973 02/11/1975 For automobile mechanics' hand tools

References and Resources

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

The Lisle Corporation continues in business today and more information can be found at the Lisle Corporation [External Link] website.

Catalog Resources

Lisle Corporation: Catalog Resources
Catalog Year Notes
    T-14 (1972):
T-14 1972 No copyright, date inferred from price list. 32 pages.
Includes price list T21D dated February 15, 1972.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists "Jeepers Creepers" auto creepers.

Selected Tools

Lisle Internal/External Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers

[Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 3. Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers in Internal Position, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 3 shows an pair of Lisle internal/external reversible snap-ring pliers, stamped "U.S. Pat. No. 3,681,840" on the top handle, with the "Craftsman" brand stamped on the back side of the lower handle (see inset).

The pliers were identified as Lisle production by the patent, assigned to the Lisle Corporation.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The patent notice refers to patent 3,681,840, issued to J.L Pool in 1972 with assignment to Lisle. The patent describes the design of reversible internal/external snap-ring pliers, with the mode of operation selected by means of a movable cross-bar. The photograph shows the pliers in the position for internal snap-rings.

[Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 4. Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers in External Position, with Inset for Back Side and Marking Detail.

Fig. 4 shows the Lisle snap-ring pliers in the position for external snap-rings.

In this configuration the cross-bar has been moved across the two handles, allowing the top handle to flex and back side the operation of the tips.

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