Alloy Artifacts  

Mayhew Steel Products

Table of Contents

Introduction

Mayhew Steel Products is one of the oldest American tool companies still in operation today. Founded in 1856 in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, the company claims to be the oldest punch and chisel maker in America. Although primarily known for its chisels, punches, and pry bars, Mayhew also produces a variety of other tools.


Company History

The company's earliest products included tools such as screwdrivers and boring bits. By 1887 the company had been incorporated as the H.H. Mayhew Company.

[1897 Notice for Mayhew]
Fig. 1. 1897 Notice for Mayhew.

Fig. 1 shows an notice of the resignation of Francis R. Pratt, the treasurer for the H.H. Mayhew Company, as published on page 40 of the January 7, 1897 issue of Iron Age.

[1897 Notice for Mayhew Catalog]
Fig. 2. 1897 Notice for Mayhew Catalog.

Fig. 2 shows a notice for catalog No. 8 from H.H. Mayhew, as published on page 43 of the June 10, 1897 issue of Iron Age. The text provides a list of the company's products at that time, which included screwdrivers, braces, bits, glass cutters, punches, and nail sets.

[1896 Ad for Mayhew Goodell's Drill Chuck]
Fig. 3. 1896 Ad for Mayhew Goodell's Drill Chuck.

Fig. 3 shows an ad for a Goodell's drill chuck available from H.H. Mayhew, as published on page 36 of the March, 1896 edition of The Blacksmith and Wheelwright.

[1898 Ad for Mayhew Glass Cutter]
Fig. 4. 1898 Ad for Mayhew Glass Cutter.

Fig. 4 shows an ad for a Mayhew glass cutter, as published on page 185 of the April 10, 1898 issue of Hardware.

[1899 Ad for Mayhew Door Gauge]
Fig. 5A. 1899 Ad for Mayhew Door Gauge.

Fig. 5A shows an ad for a Mayhew door-hangiing gauge, as published in the December, 1899 edition of Carpentry and Building.

[1906 Ad for Mayhew Machinists' Screwdriver]
Fig. 5B. 1906 Ad for Mayhew Machinists' Screwdriver.

Fig. 5B shows an ad for a Mayhew screwdriver, as published on page 136 of the October 18, 1906 issue of The Iron Age.

[1907 Ad for Mayhew Nail Set]
Fig. 5C. 1907 Ad for Mayhew Nail Set.

Fig. 5C shows an ad for a Mayhew finger-loop nail set, as published on page 1127 of the June, 1907 issue of Hardware Dealers' Magazine.

[1913 Ad for Mayhew Peerless Screwdriver]
Fig. 5D. 1913 Ad for Mayhew "Peerless" Screwdriver.

Fig. 5D shows an ad for a Mayhew "Peerless" screwdriver, as published on page 14 of the October, 1913 issue of American Carpenter and Builder. The illustration shows the tip of the screwdriver with serrations to prevent slipping.

Other advertisements in this publication showed a nail set, center punch, and prick punch.


Mayhew Steel Products

[1920 Ad for Mayhew Tool Kits]
Fig. 5E. 1920 Ad for Mayhew Tool Kits.

In 1915 the H.H. Mayhew Company was reoganized into Mayhew Steel Products, Incorporated.

By 1920 the Mayhew was operating three factories, two in Shelburne Falls and another in Watson, Massachusetts.

Fig. 5E shows an ad for Mayhew chisel and punch tool kits, as published on page 751 of the January, 1920 issue of the Chilton Automobile Directory.


Patents

Mayhew Steel Products: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
1,273,441 E.A. Bardwell06/19/191707/23/1918 Knurling for gripping surface
1,273,441
1,518,251 G.O. Carlson01/14/192112/09/1924 Solid joint pliers
1,518,251

Trademarks

Mayhew Steel Products: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
S [Diamond logo] 29,648 187601/27/1897 03/02/1897 "S" in a diamond logo.
Used for wood and steel boring tools.

References and Resources

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

Mayhew Steel Products maintains a website and more information can be found at About Mayhew [External Link].


Selected Tools


Mayhew 1/4 Pin Punch

[Mayhew 1/4 Pin Punch]
Fig. 6. Mayhew 1/4 Pin Punch, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 6 shows a Mayhew 1/4 pin punch, stamped with "Mayhew" in a diamond logo, with the "Pat. 7-23-18" and "Made in U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,273,441, filed by E.A. Bardwell on June 19, 1917 and issued with assignment to the H.H. Mayhew Company. The patent describes the method of knurling used to provide the gripping surface for the punch.


Mayhew 40 1/2 Flat Chisel

[Mayhew 40 1/2 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 7. Mayhew 40 1/2 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 7 shows a Mayhew 40 1/2 flat chisel, stamped "Mayhew" and "U.S.A." with the model and fractional size on the hexagonal shank. The shank also has a small stamped code "C3" to the right of the size marking, but the meaning is not yet known.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is black paint.


Mayhew 3/4 Flat Chisels

The next two figures show similar 3/4 flat chisels, but with differences in construction and markings.

[Mayhew 40 3/4 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 8. Mayhew 40 3/4 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 8 shows a Mayhew 40 3/4 flat chisel, stamped "Mayhew" and "U.S.A." with the model and fractional size on the hexagonal shank.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Mayhew 3/4 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 9. Mayhew 3/4 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 9 shows a similar Mayhew 3/4 flat chisel, stamped "Mayhew" and "Made in U.S.A." on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.


Mayhew 5 Inch Offset Screwdriver

[Mayhew 5 Inch Offset Screwdriver]
Fig. 10. Mayhew 5 Inch Offset Screwdriver, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 10 shows a Mayhew 5 inch offset screwdriver, stamped "Mayhew" on the shank.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Mayhew No. 62 "Solid Joint" Thin-Nose Pliers

[Mayhew No. 62 Solid Joint Thin-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 11. Mayhew No. 62 "Solid Joint" Thin-Nose Pliers, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1921-1924.

Fig. 11 shows a pair of Mayhew No. 62 "Solid Joint" pliers, stamped "Solid Joint" with "Mayhew" in a diamond logo, with "Patent Appld For" above and "Made in U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The middle inset shows the reverse side of the pliers. The pliers are constructed with the pivot pin as part of one of the handle forgings, in order to provide greater strength and to reduce manufacturing costs.

The pending status refers to patent 1,518,251, filed by G.O. Carlson in 1921 and issued in 1924, with assignment to Mayhew Steel Products.


Mayhew No. 50 "Solid Joint" Thin-Nose Pliers

[Mayhew No. 50 Solid Joint Thin-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 12. Mayhew No. 50 "Solid Joint" Thin-Nose Pliers, with Insets for Handle Pattern and Joint Detail.

Fig. 12 shows a pair of Mayhew No. 50 "Solid Joint" pliers, marked "U.S.A." and "Solid Joint", and with the patent notation "Pat. 10-29-24".

The overall length is 5.3 inches.

The left inset shows the reverse side of the joint. The pliers are constructed with the pivot pin as part of one of the handle forgings, in order to provide greater strength and to reduce manufacturing costs.

The patent describing the pliers was found to be patent 1,518,251, issued to G.O. Carlson on December 9, 1924 with assignment to Mayhew Steel Products. The reason for the discrepancy between the actual issue date and the stamped date is not known, but it's not uncommon to find incorrect patent dates on tools.


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