Alloy Artifacts  

Page-Storms Drop Forge Company

The Page-Storms Drop Forge Company was founded in 1902 by Edward C. Page and Frank F. Storms, with operations in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The company operated primarily as a merchant drop forger, but also produced a line of open-end and pipe wrenches.

By 1918 Page-Storms had become one of the "Big Nine" of the forging industry: nine companies who together accounted for nearly all of the drop-forged wrench production. These companies jointly signed a Conservation Agreement to reduce manpower and materials, as requested by the War Industries Board.

In 1919 Page-Storms was acquired by the Moore Drop Forging Company of nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.

[1919 Advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge]
Fig. 259. 1919 Advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge. [External Link]

The illustration in Fig. 259 shows an advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge from the October 1919 issue of The American Drop Forger.


Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench for Crompton & Knowles

[Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 260. Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 260 shows a Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench made for Crompton & Knowles, stamped "Crompton & Knowles Loom Works" on the shank, with the PS-Oval logo on the reverse face.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench for Crompton & Knowles

[Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench]
Fig. 261. Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 261 shows a Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 toolpost wrench made for Crompton & Knowles, stamped "Crompton & Knowles Loom Works" on the shank, with the PS-Oval logo on the reverse face.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Palmer Brothers Company

The Palmer Brothers Company operated in Meadville, Pennsylvania and is currently known only for their "Welloct" brand of pliers of patented construction.


Palmer Brothers "Welloct" No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers

[Palmer Brothers Welloct No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers]
Fig. 262. Palmer Brothers "Welloct" No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 262 shows a pair of "Welloct" No. 207 slip-joint pliers, stamped "U.S. Pat. 2152563" near the pivot joint, with "Palmer Brothers" and "Meadville, PA." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, with the dimple-like pattern on the handles somewhat similar to the well-known "Vacuum Grip" pattern.

The patent notice refers to patent 2,152,563, issued to Robert W. Palmer and John P. Palmer in 1939. The patent describes pliers made with a forged tab on one handle operating in a slot in the other handle, effectively providing a slip-joint function without using a special bolt.


Park Metalware Company

Park Metalware was a small tool maker operating in Orchard Park, New York. During the 1920s the company developed and patented a line of interchangeable open-end wrenches, and produced other tools including the adjustable drain-plug wrench shown below.

Park sold its tools under the XCEL brand, and later used the brand name Xcelite for a line of screwdrivers and nut drivers. The Xcelite brand continues today as part of the Cooper Tools conglomerate.

Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench

[Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench]
Fig. 263. Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 263 shows a Park adjustable socket wrench for drain-plug service, marked "Park Metalware Co." and "Orchard Park, N.Y. U.S.A." on the rotating handle, though the markings are very faint due to wear and rust.

The overall length (when retracted) is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked on this example, this wrench design is covered by patent 1,639,831, issued to J. Zilliox in 1927.

Readers familiar with our Blackhawk article will undoubtedly recognize the similarities between this tool and the Blackhawk 151 "Adjusto" Wrench shown in that article. The Park tool preceded the Blackhawk model by some number of years, and clearly must have influenced the Blackhawk design.


Peerless Wrench Company

The Peerless Wrench Company was founded in 1919 and operated in Providence, Rhode Island. Based on a published report by the Rhode Island Secretary of State, the founders were Anthony M. Cunha, Florence E. Allen, and William D. Whipple, and the company's certificate of incorporation was issued on July 21, 1919. The stated business activities were manufacturing, buying, and selling of wrenches, tools, and other metal products.

Aside from the incorporation notice, we haven't been able to find many published references to Peerless Wrench, suggesting that the company probably had a relatively short life.

The company's most notable product was a distinctive rotating-head ratchet, for which Anthony M. Cunha had received patent 1,307,485 in 1919. In addition to the rotating head, the ratchet also incorporated an advanced progressive-engagement pawl mechanism. This innovative design was an milestone in the development of ratchets, and influenced later (and better known) models such as the OTC H-160 Flex Ratchet and S-K Roto-Ratchet.

A catalog listing for the Peerless ratchet appears on page 362 of the Waterhouse & Lester catalog No. 20 for 1924. It was available in two versions, a fixed head for $2.75, and a universal (rotating) head for $3.75.

In the late 1920s the Apco-Mossberg company offered its own version of the Peerless ratchet as a Ford connecting rod wrench. The Apco-Mossberg version of the ratchet has "APCO" instead of "Peerless" forged into the handle.


Peerless Wrench 1/2-Hex Drive Rotating-Head Ratchet

[Peerless 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet]
Fig. 264. "Peerless" 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 264 shows a 1/2-hex drive Peerless Wrench rotating-head ratchet of the Cunha patented design, marked with the patent notice "Pat'd June 24, 1919 March 1, 1921" forged into the shank. The rotating head is fitted with a hex drive stud that can be pushed through to reverse the operation.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The first patent date refers to patent 1,307,485, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1918 and issued in 1919.

The second date refers to patent 1,370,194, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1919 and issued in 1921. This later patent described a removable accessory handle that could be added to the base ratchet to form a Tee handle.

This ratchet was acquired as part of a "Service" socket set in a metal case, but this tool was the only marked piece in the set. The generic markings of the set suggest that it was made as contract production for another company, possibly a large retail operation.

The socket set has since been identified as a product of the Service Engineering Corporation and more information can be found in that article.


APCO Cunha Patent 1/2-Hex Drive Rotating-Head Ratchet

[APCO 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet]
Fig. 265. APCO Cunha Patent 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1920s.

Fig. 265 shows the APCO version of the Cunha patent rotating-head ratchet, marked with "APCO" forged into the shank, with "Pat'd June 24, 1919 March 1, 1921" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent 1,307,485, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1918 and issued in 1919.

The second date refers to patent 1,370,194, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1919 and issued in 1921. This later patent described a removable accessory handle that could be added to the base ratchet to form a Tee handle.


Place Manufacturing Company

The Place Manufacturing Company was founded in 1889 by Chauncey C. Place and operated in Oswego, New York as a maker of lathe chucks, pipe wrenches, and other tools.

One of the tools produced by Place Manufacturing was a pipe wrench based on patent 391,957, issued in 1888 to J.A. Giles.


Place Mfg. 10 Inch Giles Patent Pipe Wrench

[Place Mfg. 10 Inch Giles Patent Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 266. Place Mfg. 10 Inch Giles Patent Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1889 to 1890s.

Fig. 266 shows a Place Mfg. 10 inch pipe wrench, marked with "The Place M'f'g Co." and "Oswego, N.Y." forged into the shank, with "Giles Patent" and "Oct. 30 '88." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 391,957, filed by J.A. Giles in 1888 and issued later that year, with partial assignment to C.C. Place.


Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company

The Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company (Q.M.S.) was a maker of railroad and automotive accessories and tools, and is most notable for its Auto-Clé socket sets. The Auto-Clé sets were first offered in late 1905, making them the first interchangeable socket sets for automotive use available in America.

Our article on the Frank Mossberg Company has extensive coverage of the Auto-Clé sets, but because of the significance of this product, we thought it would be worthwhile to explore the origin of the company that introduced these sets to the U.S. market.

Railway Appliances Corporation

The Auto-Clé sets were first marketed in America by the predecessor to Q.M.S., the Railway Appliances Corporation. According to a notice for a related company, Railway Appliances had been formed in 1900 by George H. Sargent and Percival Manchester, and operated in Chicago, Illinois.

[1908 Notice Relating to Railway Appliances Corp.]
Fig. 267. 1908 Notice Relating to Railway Appliances Corporation. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 267 was published on page 260 of the September, 1908 edition of Railway Master Mechanic and provides incidental background information, specifically noting that Railway Appliances had been formed in 1900.

Page 214 [External Link] of the 1905 edition of the Illinois Certified List of Domestic and Foreign Corporations listed Railway Appliances at 184 Van Buren Street in Chicago, with Charles F. Quincy as President and Percival Manchester as Secretary.

The Auto-Clé socket tools were invented in France by Camille Contal and were covered by patents 751,055 and RE12,379, issued in 1904 and 1905 respectively. The socket sets are believed to have been produced in France beginning in 1904, and likely became popular with early automobile enthusiasts. Although we haven't found any specific information, it's possible that someone associated with Railway Appliances could have discovered the Auto-Clé socket set on a trip to Paris.

Railway Appliances began marketing the Auto-Clé sets in late 1905, and these early examples were likely marked with the Railway Appliances name. Although early advertisements list Railway Appliances as the manufacturer of the sets, we believe it's likely that the Frank Mossberg Company acted as contract manufacturers for the sets from the beginning.

[1906 Notice for Railway Appliances Auto-Clé Set]
Fig. 268. 1906 Notice for Railway Appliances Auto-Clé Set. [External Link]

Fig. 268 shows a composite scan of a notice published on pages 142-143 of the January 17, 1906 issue of The Horseless Age. The text states that the Auto-Clé set was "introduced last year", providing documentation for a 1905 introduction date.

The description notes that the sets included a ratchet, universal, hexagon and square sockets, and a spark plug socket. The sets were available in two sizes, a small version with 10 sockets and a larger version with 30 sockets.

[1906 Ad for Railway Appliances Auto-Clé Set]
Fig. 269. 1906 Ad for Railway Appliances Auto-Clé Set.

Fig. 269 shows an early advertisement for the small Auto-Clé set, published on page 344 [External Link] of the April 1, 1906 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal.

The earliest known catalog listing for the Auto-Clé sets is on page 52 of the 1906 Ballou-Wright Automobile Supplies catalog No. 2, which offered the small set for $12.00 and the large set for $18.00 list price. The catalog illustration is the same as the ad at the left.

As a side note, the Ballou-Wright catalog No. 2 is available as a reprint from the Oregon Historical Society.


The Formation of the Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company

In February of 1906 the Q.M.S. company was incorporated as the successor to Railway Appliances and other related businesses. The incorporation date was found on page 2481 [External Link] of the 1908 edition of Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporations, along with other corporate information. In particular, the officers were W.D. Sargent as Chairman, C.F. Quincy as President, and Percival Manchester as Vice-President and Treasurer. (George H. Sargent, the founder of Railway Appliances, was listed as a member of the Board of Directors.) The address of the main office was given as Plainfield, New Jersey.

[1906 Notice for Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company]
Fig. 270. 1906 Notice for Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company.

The notice in Fig. 270 was published on page 160 [External Link] of the April 1906 issue of American Engineer and Railroad Journal and announces the formation of the Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company. The text notes it as the successor to the Railroad Appliances Corporation and related businesses.

[1908 Advertisement for Q.M.S. Company]
Fig. 271. 1908 Advertisement for Quincy, Manchester, Sargent, Company.

The advertisement in Fig. 271, published on page 1119 [External Link] of the December 31, 1908 issue of Motor Age, shows the Auto-Clé sets as offered by the Q.M.S. company.

The illustration shows three sets: the large Auto-Clé at the upper left, the small Auto-Clé at the upper right, and the "Titus-Clé" at the bottom. The latter set had a folding handle instead of a ratchet, allowing it to fit in a very compact case.

Note that the top cover of the large set shows the Frank Mossberg Company as distributors.

In late 1908 the Auto-Clé line was acquired by the Frank Mossberg Company and became one of their best-selling products. More information on these interesting and significant products can be found in our article on Mossberg Auto-Clé Socket Sets.

After acquiring the Auto-Clé line, Mossberg continued to supply Auto-Clé sets to Q.M.S. and acted as a distributor for the sets. Then in late 1909 Q.M.S. formed a Motor Parts Company division to handle all of their automotive specialties, and Auto-Clé sets sold by Q.M.S. after that time were marked with the Motor Parts name.

[Detail for Cover of Auto-Clé No.1 Socket Set]
Fig. 272. Detail for Cover of Auto-Clé No.1 Socket Set, ca. 1909-1912.

Fig. 272 shows the Motor Parts Company logo on the top cover of a socket set, with "Auto-Clé" inside an oval design resembling an old-fashioned keyhole. Within the oval are the markings "Motor Parts Co." and "Plainfield, N.J.", with "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." below the oval.

The markings are printed on (or possibly burned into) the wood cover, rather than being attached as a decal, as was commonly done for later Mossberg socket sets. The full socket set can be seen as the Auto-Clé No. 1 Set in our article on the Frank Mossberg Company.


Rex Wrench Company

The Rex Wrench Company was the maker of distinctive "T-Socket" wrench sets with interchangeable sockets or wrench heads.

[1908 Advertisement for Rex T Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 273. 1908 Advertisement for Rex Wrench Set. [External Link]

Our earliest reference to the company is the advertisement in Fig. 273, published on page 303 of the April, 1908 edition of The Automobile Trade Directory. This ad places the company at 620 Atlantic Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts. (Incidentally, this publication also has advertisements for other early automotive tools, such as the Auto-Clé and Yala socket sets.)

A 1909 edition of the Motor Cyclopedia listed the company as a maker of socket wrenches with an address at 184 Summer Street, Boston, and with J. Frank Torbert as the company president. A 1909 report from the Massachusetts Tax Commissioner gives December 11, 1907 as the certification date for the corporation.

The Rex Wrench tools were based on patent 820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands in 1904 and issued on May 8, 1906. The patent document clearly illustrates the operation of a Tee handle with insertable socket heads, with the connection to the handle allowing several angular offsets.

The Rex Wrench Company had only a relatively short life, as the corporation was dissolved in 1916, according to a 1916 report of Special Acts by the General Court of Massachusetts.

[1909 Advertisement for Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 274. 1909 Advertisement for Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 274 was published on page 262 of the June 1, 1909 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal. The illustration shows their "Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set" on top, with a set of open-end wrenches partially visible on the bottom. The text notes that the tools are drop forged from carbon steel.

[1909 Advertisement for Rex Wrench Set]
Fig. 275. 1909 Advertisement for Rex Wrench Set.

The advertisement in Fig. 275 was published on page 23 [External Link] of the July 7, 1909 issue of The Horseless Age and illustrates a Rex Wrench set with open-end wrench heads. The wrench heads (or other attachments) all have an integral hook-shaped drive tang which fits into a special Tee handle.


Rex Wrench "T" Adjustable Socket Wrench Set

[Rex Wrench T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 276. Rex Wrench "T" Adjustable Socket Wrench Set, ca. 1907-1916.

Fig. 276 shows a Rex Wrench "T" socket wrench set, consisting of a Tee handle, crossbar, eight hex socket heads, an open-end wrench head, and a screwdriver head.

The inside of the lid is marked "Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set" in a curved arc, with "Patented May 8th, 1906" just below, and with "Made by Rex Wrench Co." and "Boston, Mass." at the bottom.

The patent date refers to patent 820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands 1904 and issued in 1906.


Rex Wrench Tee Handle from "T" Adjustable Set

[Rex Wrench Tee Handle]
Fig. 277. Rex Wrench Tee Handle from "T" Adjustable Set, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1907-1916.

Fig. 277 shows the Rex Wrench Tee handle from the "T" adjustable set, stamped with a "Pat'd. May 6, '06" patent date on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The upper inset shows the construction of the drive head. The cross-bar serves to retain the socket or wrench head in the drive end, and the spring-loaded plunger holds the head in the desired position.

The patent date refers to patent 820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands 1904 and issued in 1906.


Richards Manufacturing Company

The Richards Manufacturing Company was founded in Aurora, Illinois and was in operation by 1904 or earlier. The company's earliest products included ball-bearing door hangers and foot-powered grindstones, but their best known product was probably the "Wizard" adjustable ratchet wrench, which was in production by 1908.

In 1910 Richards Manufacturing merged with the Wilcox Manufacturing Company to form the Richards-Wilcox Manufacturing Company. The combined companies produced several types of wrenches in addition to the "Wizard" wrench, including a "Shark" adjustable pipe wrench, a "Yankee" monkey wrench, and various farm implement wrenches.

Interestingly, Richards-Wilcox remains in business today as a maker of overhead conveyor systems and door hardware, and readers can visit their web site at Richards-Wilcox [External Link] for more information.

[1909 Advertisement for Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 278. 1909 Advertisement for Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 278 appeared on page 10 of the January 1909 issue of The American Blacksmith and shows an illustration of the Wizard wrench. A separate notice in the same publication describes the advantages of the wrench and claims that several thousand wrenches had been sold by that time.

Richards "Wizard" Adjustable Ratchet Wrench

Fig. 279 shows a Richards "Wizard" adjustable ratchet wrench, stamped with "The Richards Mfg. Co." and "Aurora, Ill." on the face, with "Patented May 21, '07" and "Other Pats Pending" patent notices.

[Richards Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 279. Richards "Wizard" Adjustable Ratchet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. 1908-1910.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 854,174, filed by J.N. Noyer in 1906 and issued 1907.


Ridge Tool Company

The Ridge Tool Company is best known as the maker of Ridgid brand pipe wrenches. Ridgid pipe wrenches were based on patents by William O. Thewes and were the first pipe wrenches to dethrone the well-known Stillson design as the "king" of pipe wrenches.

The company continues in operation today as Ridgid, and interested readers can find more information on their About page.


Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 280. Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 280 shows a Ridgid 10 inch pipe wrench, marked "Trade Mark" and "Pat. 1727623", with "The Ridge Tool Co." and "Elyria, O. U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench is covered by patent 1,727,623, issued to W.O. Thewes in 1929.


Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 281. Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 281 shows a somewhat later Ridgid 6 inch pipe wrench, marked with the Ridgid trademark and "Pat. 1727623", with "Ridge Tool Co." and "Elyria, O. U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches closed and 6.5 inches fully extended. The finish is the familiar red paint.


Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

Some readers may be surprised to learn that Ridge Tool also made Stillson-pattern pipe wrenches. The next figure shows an example, not marked with a company name but identified via the patent marking.

[Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 282. Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench.

Fig. 282 shows a Stillson-pattern 8 inch pipe wrench, marked "Improved Stillson" and "Made in U.S.A" in forged raised letters, and with a "Pat. No. 2076830" patent notice.

The overall length is 7.0 inches closed and 8.1 inches fully extended, and the finish is red paint.

The patent notice refers to patent 2,076,830, issued to W.O. Thewes in 1937 with assignment to Ridge Tool.


Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

Ridge Tool is best known for their Ridgid trademark, but the company also sold tools under the "Ritco" brand.

[Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 283. Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 283 shows a Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, stamped with the Ritco logo on the face. The shank is marked with "Chrome Alloy" in forged raised letters, with "Made in U.S.A" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Ritco "Chrome Alloy" 7/16 Combination Wrench

[Ritco 7/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 284. Ritco "Chrome Alloy" 7/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 284 shows a Ritco 7/16 combination wrench, marked with "Ritco" forged into a depression on the face, with "Chrome Alloy" forged into the shank. The reverse side is marked with the fractional size stamped on the face, with "Made in U.S.A" and the fractional size forged into the shank. The shank also has a code "7712" visible at the right.

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


Robert Wrench Company

The Robert Wrench Company was a short-lived tool company operating in New York City, known primarily as the maker of a patented self-adjusting pipe wrench. The wrench patent was issued to Frederic P. Robert in 1922, but by 1926 the patents and production of Robert Wrench had been acquired by the Hoe Corporation.


Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 285. Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 285 shows a Robert self-adjusting pipe wrench, with forged-in markings "Patented & Patents Pending" on one side, and with "Robert Wrench Co. N.Y." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and finish is plain steel.

The patent notice refers to patent 1,407,578, filed by Frederic P. Robert in 1921 and issued in 1922.


Rogers, Printz & Company

Rogers, Printz & Company was a maker of wedge-adjusting wrenches, founded in 1909 and operating in Warren, Pennsylvania.

[1909 Notice of Incorporation for Rogers Printz]
Fig. 286. 1909 Notice of Incorporation for Rogers Printz. [External Link]

The small notice of incorporation in Fig. 286 was published on page 94 of the July 8, 1909 issue of the Iron Trade Review. The principals are listed as A.M. Printz, James P. Rogers, and William R. Rogers, and the capital stock was $50,000.

[1910 Advertisement for Rogers Printz Wedge-Adjusting Wrench]
Fig. 287. 1910 Advertisement for Rogers Printz Wedge-Adjusting Wrench. [External Link]

The company's products were based on patents by John R. Long, initially on the earlier patent 890,146, filed in 1908 and issued on June 9, 1908. Later products used patent 955,974, filed in 1909 and issued on April 26, 1910.

The advertisement in Fig. 287, published on page 74 of the August, 1910 issue of Southern Machinery, illustrates the company's wedge-adjusting wrench.

Similar wedge-adjusting wrenches based on the Long patents were later made by the Standard Wrench & Tool Company.


Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench

[Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 288. Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1908-1909.

Fig. 288 shows an early Rogers Printz 4 inch wedge-adjusting bicycle wrench, produced as a souvenir for the Hudson-Fulton event of September 1909. The wrench is stamped "Souvenir Hudson-Fulton Celebration" and "New York, Sept. 25, '09" on the front, with "Mfg'd By Rogers, Printz & Company" and "Warren, PA." on the back, along with a "Pat'd June 9, 1908" patent date.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent 890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908 and issued later that year.

The markings on this wrench for both the patent date and the souvenir event date indicate a manufacturing date between June 1908 and September 1909, a fairly precise estimate for a tool more than 100 years old.

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration was an event commemorating the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson river, together with the (approximate) 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton's successful demonstration of a steamboat on the Hudson river. Further information on this event can be found in an article on Robert Fulton [Sorry, dead link 😢] published in the September 25, 1909 edition of Scientific American.


Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench

[Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 289. Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1910+.

Fig. 289 shows a Rogers Printz 8 inch wedge-adjusting bicycle wrench, marked with "Rogers Printz & Company" and "Warren PA." forged into the handle, with "Drop Forged Steel" forged into the reverse. The sliding sheath is stamped with "FitZAll" and "Trade Mark" in a diamond outline, along with a "Patented June 9, 1908 Apr. 26 1910" patent notice.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The first patent date refers to patent 890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908 and issued later that year. The second patent date refers to patent 955,974, filed by J.R. Long in 1909 and issued in 1910.


W.E. Rosel Company

The W.E. Rosel Company was a maker of automotive specialty tools operating in Columbus, Ohio. The company is currently known only for its "5 In 1" tool, which combined a spark-plug wrench, alligator wrench, and gap-setting gauge.


Rosel "5 In 1" Specialty Wrench

[Rosel 5 In 1 Specialty Wrench]
Fig. 290. Rosel "5 In 1" Specialty Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1919 to Early 1920s.

Fig. 290 shows a Rosel "5 In 1" specialty wrench, marked with "W.E. Rosel" and "Col. O." cast into the shank, with "5 In 1 Tool" and "Pat July 22 1919" cast into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to design patent D53,641, filed by W.E. Rosel in 1919 and issued later that year.


Scholler Manufacturing Company

The Scholler Manufacturing Company operated in Buffalo, New York as a maker of adjustable wrenches and possibly other tools. Published references indicate that the company was in operation by 1915 (or earlier) and remained in business at least through the 1920s.

[1915 Notice for Scholler Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 291. 1915 Notice for Scholler Adjustable Wrench. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 291 was published on page 167 of the October, 1915 issue of The Automobile Journal and describes the Scholler adjustable wrenches.


Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 292. Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 292 shows a Scholler 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the Scholler name forged into the handle, with "Scholler Mfg. Co. Inc." and "Buffalo N.Y." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thick head and stepped rectangular keyway.


Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 293. Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 293 shows a Scholler 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the Scholler name forged into the handle, with "The Scholler Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo N.Y." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.3 inches. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thick head and stepped rectangular keyway.


William Schollhorn Company

The William Schollhorn Company of New Haven, Connecticut was a well-known maker of parallel-jaw pliers and other tools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was incorporated in 1891 and remained active through the first part of the 20th century, and was eventually acquired by the Sargent Company in 1948.

Schollhorn is probably best known for its distinctive parallel-jaw pliers, produced under the numerous patents issued to W.A. Bernard. These pliers featured precisely-formed sheet metal handles with embossed designs, a type of construction that offered lighter weight and lower cost than comparable forged handles.


Schollhorn "Bernard" 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers with Cutters

[Schollhorn Bernard 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers]
Fig. 294. Schollhorn Bernard 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail.

Fig. 294 shows a pair of Schollhorn "Bernard" 4 Inch parallel-jaw pliers with cutting blades on the side. The pliers are stamped "W. Schollhorn Co." and "New Haven, Conn." around the pivot, with "Made in U.S.A." above and "Pat. 6-17-1913" below. (The Schollhorn name is partially obscured by rust.)

The handles are also stamped "Bernard" in a center panel, a reference to the inventor of these and many other similar models.

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

The patent date refers to patent 1,064,956, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1907 but not issued until 1913. The patent describes a method of forming sheet-metal handles for pliers.


Schollhorn "Ideal" Lineman's Pliers

[Schollhorn Ideal Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 295. Schollhorn Ideal Lineman's Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 295 shows a pair of Schollhorn "Ideal" lineman's pliers, stamped "W. Schollhorn Co." and "New Haven, Conn." around the pivot. The handle has a patent notice "Pat. May 2, 1905 Apr. 2, 1907" stamped on the side, and the other handle is stamped "Ideal".

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The first patent date refers to patent 788,575, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1904 and issued in 1905.

The second date corresponds to patent 848,877, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1905 and issued in 1907.


O.P. Schriver & Company

O.P. Schriver & Company was a maker of pumps and other hardware items operating in Cincinnati, Ohio. A 1906 issue of the Hardware Dealer's Magazine noted the company as a maker of wire cloth and netting, and a 1907 report by the Ohio Secretary of State listed the company's products as "Pumps, etc.", with a capital stock of $20,000. The company's earlier address appears to have been at 208 Elm Street in Cincinnati, but by 1914 the address was being reported as 621 East Pearl Street. A 1918 bulletin by the Industrial Commission of Ohio reported a total of 25 employees at that time.

In later years the company produced a line of chain repair pliers described by patent 1,320,547, issued in 1919 to E.P. Happensack and assigned to the company.


Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers

The next two figures show examples of the Schriver IXL 7 inch pliers, with minor differences in the forged-in markings.

[Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 296. Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers, With Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 296 shows a pair of Schriver IXL 7 inch chain repair pliers, marked with "IXL Chain Plier Patented" and "Malleable Iron" forged into the handles, with "OP Schriver Co. Cin. O." and "1320547" forged into the undersides.

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is plain steel with traces of a coppery paint, although it's not known whether the paint is original.

The pliers are marked with patent 1,320,547, filed by E.F. Happensack in 1919 and issued later that year.

[Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 297. Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers, With Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 297 shows another similar pair of Schriver IXL 7 inch chain repair pliers, marked with "IXL Chain Plier Patented" and "Malleable Iron" forged into the handles, with "OP Schriver Co." and "Cin. O." forged into the undersides.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The "Patented" marking refers to patent 1,320,547, filed by E.F. Happensack in 1919 and issued later that year.


R.F. Sedgley, Inc.

R.F. Sedgley, Inc. was founded by the eponymous Reginald F. Sedgley, an inventor with several patents for ratchet wrenches and socket-related tools. The company was located in Philadelphia and was operating by 1916 or earlier.

[1916 Notice for R.F. Sedgley Hexall Socket Set]
Fig. 298. 1916 Notice for R.F. Sedgley "Hexall" Socket Set. [External Link]

R.F. Sedgley's best-known products were the line of "Hexall" brand socket sets, which were offered by a number of industrial distributors in the years before and shortly after 1920.

Sedgley filed a trademark application for "HEXALL" on March 17, 1916, with the first use date listed as January 24, 1916. The application was published as Serial No. 93,613 in Vol. 225 No. 4 of the USPTO Gazette, and the trademark was issued as #111,295 on July 4, 1916.

The notice in Fig. 298 was published on page 98 of the November 25, 1916 issue of Hardware Age and describes the Hexall socket wrench set. The text notes that the sockets were made of bar steel and case hardened, making this an early example of broached (rather than pressed-steel) sockets.


R.F. Sedgley "Hexall" 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet

[R.F. Sedgley Hexall 1/2-Dex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 299. R.F. Sedgley "Hexall" 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1917-1920.

Fig. 299 shows a 1/2-hex drive Sedgley "Hexall" ratchet, marked with "Ratchet Socket Wrench" and "Pat. May 1, 1917" forged into the handle. The reverse is marked "Forged Steel" with "R.F. Sedgley, Inc." and "Phila. PA. U.S.A.", plus another "Hexall" marking.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,224,223, filed in 1917 by R.F. Sedgley and issued in the same year.


Service Engineering Corporation

More than a decade ago we acquired two socket sets with "Service" embossed on the top cover, but at the time didn't recognize "Service" as part of a company's name, and the sets languished in the vaults as "mystery" tools. Recently though (2021) we noticed a "Boston 27" address forged into the ratchet handle, and this address turned out to be the clue needed to discover the notice in Fig. 302, leading us to the Service Engineering Corporation.

Service Engineering was a maker of automotive socket sets operating in Boston during the early 1920s, with the company's address being noted as 568 East First Street, Boston 27, Massachusetts in a 1922 publication.

[1921 Notice for Service Engineering Corp.]
Fig. 300. 1921 Notice for Service Engineering Corporation. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 300 was published on page 1704 of the December 29, 1921 issue of Iron Age and reports the formation of the Service Engineering Corporation. The company officers were Arthur L. Lewis as president, Carroll W. Prochaska as vice-president, and Frederick J. Shepard, Jr. as treasurer.

[1922 Notice for Service Engineering Corp.]
Fig. 301. 1922 Notice for Service Engineering Corporation. [External Link]

Fig. 301 shows a slightly later notice for the company, found on page 428 of a 1922 Massachusetts Manufacturers' Directory.

[1922 Notice for Service Wrench Set]
Fig. 302. 1922 Notice for Service Wrench Set. [External Link]

The directory listing notes that the company had 10 employees and mentions an additional officer, E.S. Church as secretary.

Fig. 302 shows a notice for a Service Wrench Set No. 1, as published on page 86 of the May 1, 1922 issue of the Automobile Trade Journal. The illustration shows the set in a clam-shell metal case, and the description notes the use of alloy steel for the sockets, universal joint, and ratchet gear.

A similar notice was found on page 43 of the February 23, 1922 issue of Motor Age, and another notice (with an illustration on the following page) was found on page 28 of the April 15, 1922 issue of The Commercial Vehicle. These earlier notices have illustrations with just the tools, possibly because the cases weren't ready yet.

Apart from these notices, we haven't found any further information for the company — not even an advertisement!

The lack of advertisements may be a clue that the company pursued a different route for sales. Perhaps they had a contract to supply toolkits for large commercial or industrial customers, or maybe this was a repair kit for a fleet of taxis.

[1922 Ad for Lewis_Shepard Company]
Fig. 303. 1922 Advertisement for Lewis-Shepard Company. [External Link]

While looking for more information on Service Engineering, we ran into a related company called the Lewis-Shepard Company. Lewis-Shepard was run by two of the principals at Service Engineering and shared a contiguous address on East First Street in Boston.

Fig. 303 shows an advertisement for Lewis-Shepard, published on page 88 of the December, 1922 issue of Industrial Management. As can be seen from the ad, Lewis-Shepard was in the materials-handling business and made jacks, lift trucks, wheeled dollies, and so on.

Lewis-Shepard was a substantial operation with branch offices in other cities. The company filed trademarks from before the 1920s into the 1940s and beyond — for example, the company received trademark #119,194 for "Jacklift" on October 30 of 1917. Lewis-Shepard is actually still in operation today as a division of Hyster.

Materials handling is a bit far afield from our primary interests here at Alloy Artifacts, but the discovery of Lewis-Shepard is immediately relevant for Service Engineering. First of all it shows that the management would have had extensive contacts with large commercial and industrial companies — the kind of businesses that needed Lewis-Shepard products. Maybe it will even turn out that the Service socket sets were toolkits for early fork-lift trucks.

Secondly, we can assume that as a maker of heavy industrial equipment, Lewis-Shepard would have had substantial engineering and production resources.

And for one last point, since we haven't discovered the eventual fate of Service Engineering, the existence of a related company raises the possibility that Service could have merged quietly into the bigger company, avoiding the messiness of a bankruptcy auction and corporate dissolution.

Readers familiar with King Pressed Steel may have noted some similarities with the present company and wondered about a connection. There are some obvious similarities — both were obscure companies operating in the Greater Boston area in the 1920s, both sold socket sets in clam-shell metal cases with wooden organizers, and their sockets have a similar shape with a radius groove at the base. We can offer a fairly simple explanation for the similarities of their socket sets.

When Service Engineering was designing their socket set in late 1921, they would have needed to consider some kind of case for the tools. King Pressed Steel is known to have advertised their metal stamping services, and since they were located nearby, it's reasonable to think that Service Engineering would have contacted King.

At this time King was producing socket sets in clam-shell cases with a chessboard design on top, and presumably they would have shown examples to Service Engineering. Obviously Service Engineering liked the design, so they could have contracted with King Pressed Steel for similar cases with "Service" embossed on top.

The similarity of the sockets is also easy to explain. Since both companies were small and new to the socket business, both almost certainly would have used a screw machine company to produce their socket blanks. So whether Service Engineering used the same screw machine contractor or not, sockets of this design would have been easy to produce on an automatic screw machine.

Beyond the superficial similarities of the companies' products are some significant differences. The King Pressed Steel sets were 7/16-hex drive and were suitable mostly for light-duty work, and didn't even include a ratchet.

In contrast, Service Engineering designed their set with a greater awareness of the demands of maintenance tools. The set used a heavier 1/2-hex drive, and the company went to the trouble of designing a combination-tool ratchet made with a custom drop-forging. (Even the adapter plug for their asymmetrical universal was drop-forged.) More importantly, based on the published specs the company used alloy steel for the sockets and other parts, which would make Service Engineering the first company to produce alloy sockets.

It may seem remarkable that a virtually unknown company would have been the first to produce alloy-steel socket sets, but sometimes history takes surprising turns. We hope our readers will enjoy exploring this long-forgotten company's products.


Service 1/2-Hex Drive No. 1 Socket Set

We have two socket sets from Service Engineering, a No. 1 set closely matching the illustration in Fig. 302, and another (possibly later) set with a different and interesting Peerless ratchet. Both sets were supplied in metal boxes with "Service" embossed on the lid, with a wooden insert to organize the sockets and tools.

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 304. Service 1/2-Hex Drive No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1922.

Fig. 304 shows a 1/2-hex drive Service No. 1 socket set, consisting of a ratchet, two drive plugs, an extension, a double-female universal, and 9 hexagon sockets. The set as shown is missing its screwdriver bit.

The socket sizes are, from the left, 1 inch, 7/8, 13/16, 3/4, 11/16, 5/8, 9/16, 1/2, and 7/16. The sockets are numbered from 9 to 1, but are not marked with the fractional sizes.

[Top Cover of Service No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 305. Top Cover of Service No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1922.

Fig. 305 shows the top cover of the Service No. 1 socket set, with "Service" embossed in block letters in the center. The case still retains some of its original black paint.

The dimensions of the case are 11.0 inches wide by 4.8 inches deep by 1.4 inches high.

The set as acquired was missing the universal, the screwdriver bit, and one socket, but also came with a mystery piece. The drive stud in the ratchet was a 1/2-hex to 5/8-hex adapter plug, with no obvious function except to secure the ratchet head in the provided hole. We assumed it was just an interpolation by the former owner.

Then when we went to borrow a universal from the second set, we found that the piece that looked like a universal was actually a 1/2-hex drive universal socket. For a moment it looked like neither set had a working universal, until we remembered the odd adapter plug in the first set. It fit the universal socket perfectly and the design was then clear: instead of making a conventional symmetrical universal, the company designed an asymmetrical universal and added an adapter plug! This allowed the set to include both the expected drive universal as well as a universal socket with a useful opening size.


Service 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 306. Service 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1922.

Fig. 306 shows the 1/2-hex drive Service ratchet and drive plug from the No. 1 set. The paneled handle is marked with "Service" and "Pat. Appd." forged into the front, with "Boston 27" and "Mass" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The ratchet mechanism has a relatively stiff and coarse action with 12 teeth on the gear.

The forged ratchet handle provides two openings broached for 1/2-hex drive, one at the center and one at the end, and these openings allow the ratchet handle to function as a Tee or Ell handle with a drive plug or extension. Effectively the ratchet is a type of combination tool, allowing more functionality within the limits of a compact tool kit.

Since the ratchet mechanism itself is rather pedestrian (even for the 1920s), we suspect that the patent application may have made claims about the ratchet handle as a combination tool. The patent has not yet been found.


Service 1/2-Hex Drive 10 Inch Extension

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive 10 Inch Extension]
Fig. 307. Service 1/2-Hex Drive 10 Inch Extension, ca. 1922.

Fig. 307 shows the unmarked 1/2-hex drive 10 inch extension from the Service No. 1 set.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel. The extension uses an embedded steel ball at each end as a stop.


Service 1/2-Hex Drive Universal and Adapter Plug

This next figure shows the unusual two-piece universal from the Service No. 1 set.

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive Universal and Adapter Plug]
Fig. 308. Service 1/2-Hex Drive Universal and Adapter Plug, ca. 1922.

Fig. 308 shows the unmarked 1/2-hex drive universal and adapter plug from the Service No. 1 set. The tool consists of two pieces: a 1/2-hex drive 5/8 universal socket and a 5/8-hex to 1/2-hex drive adapter.

The overall length is 2.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive Adapter Plug]
Fig. 309. Service 1/2-Hex Drive Adapter Plug, ca. 1922.

Fig. 309 shows the unmarked 1/2-hex to 5/8-hex adapter plug. Note the parting line visible on the right end, indicating that the adapter was drop-forged rather than machined.

The overall length is 1.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The unusual combination design of this universal allowed the set to include a useful universal socket as well as a fully functional universal.


Service 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets

[Service 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets]
Fig. 310. Service 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets, ca. 1922.

Fig. 310 shows the three largest 1/2-hex drive sockets from the Service No. 1 set. The socket sizes are, from the left, 1 Inch, 7/8, and 13/16.

The sockets are numbered sequentially but are not marked with the fractional size.

Note the relatively clean interior of the sockets, with no chips or fragments from the broaching process. The sockets were designed with a machined recess below the broached area, which allowed the metal chips to break off during broaching.


Simplex Wrench Company

The Simplex Wrench Company is known primarily for their distinctive open-end wrenches with stepped sizes and a ratcheting action. These wrenches were offered by Snap-On in their Motor Tool Specialty catalogs of the mid 1920s, giving the company a national footprint for sales.


Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Simplex No. 11 wrench, with differences in the markings and alloy steel content.

[Simplex No. 11 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 311. Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 311 shows a Simplex No. 11 ratcheting open-end wrench with depressed panels and numerous forged-in markings. The front is marked "Simplex Ratchet" with "Chrome Vanadium", and the reverse shows "Simplex Wrench Co N.Y." plus patent notices and "Fastnut License".

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel with a few traces of the original nickel plating.

The first patent notice states "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. A second notice states "Other Patents Pending", but the corresponding patents have not yet been found.

[Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 312. Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 312 shows another Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 11 Simplex Ratchet" and "Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the S.A.E. sizes forged into the shank. The reverse side has "Simplex Wrench Co N.Y." plus "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" forged into the panel, with "Fastnut License" and "S.A.E." near the ends.

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

The patent date refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent 1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are marked "S.A.E. 7/16 1/2-5/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 5/8, 3/4, and 15/16 respectively. The smaller (right) end opening sizes are marked "S.A.E. 1/4 5/16-3/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16 respectively.


Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 313. Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 313 shows a Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 12 Simplex Ratchet" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "S.A.E." and "0" forged at the ends of the shank. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "S.A.E." forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent 1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

This wrench is unusual in not having the opening sizes forged into the shank. The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are 3/4 and 15/16, and for the smaller (right) end are 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8.


Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 314. Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 314 shows a Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 13 Simplex Ratchet" and "Hi-Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the (S.A.E.) size ranges forged into each end. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "Reilly License" forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent 1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are marked "S.A.E. 7/16-1/2", corresponding to across-flats sizes 5/8 and 3/4 respectively. The smaller (right) end opening sizes are marked "S.A.E. 5/16-3/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 1/2 and 9/16 respectively.


Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 315. Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1927+.

Fig. 315 shows a Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 14 Simplex Ratchet" and "Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the size ranges forged into each end. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924 & April 27, 1927" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "Reilly License" forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922.

The second patent date was apparently intended to refer to patent 1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925, but issued on April 12, 1927 rather than the April 27 date marked on the wrench. (It's not uncommon to find an incorrect patent date on a tool.)

The stepped openings allow the wrench to handle the three nut sizes 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8 on the small end, and two sizes 3/4 and 15/16 on the large end.


Simplex No. 15 3/4x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 15 3/4x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 316. Simplex No. 15 3/4x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1927+.

Fig. 316 shows a Simplex No. 15 3/4x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 15 Simplex Ratchet" and "Hi-Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the size ranges forged into each end. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924 & April 27, 1927" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "Reilly License" forged near the ends.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to rust and pitting.

The first patent date refers to patent 1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922.

The second patent date was apparently intended to refer to patent 1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925, but issued on April 12, 1927 rather than the April 27 date marked on the wrench. (It's not uncommon to find an incorrect patent date on a tool.)

The stepped openings allow the wrench to handle nut sizes 3/4 and 7/8 on the small (right) end, and two sizes 13/16 and 15/16 on the large (left) end.


Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

Later production of the Simplex wrenches was marked with the Frank C. Reilly Ltd. company name and used a patent by Reilly.

[Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 317. Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, 1935.

Fig. 317 shows an example of the Reilly production, a Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 ratcheting open-end wrench. The wrench is marked with "No. 9 Simplex Ratchet" forged into the front panel, with "Reilly License" and "Fastnut License" forged into the shank. The reverse is marked with "Patent No. 1624508 Other Patents Pending" and "Frank C. Reilly Ltd. N.Y." forged into the depressed panel.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The patent notice refers to patent 1,624,508, issued to F.C. Reilly in 1927. The patents corresponding to the pending status (if issued) are not known.

The stepped openings allow the wrench to handle the sizes 5/16 and 3/8 on the small end, plus sizes 7/16 and 1/2 on the large end.

The front panel of this wrench is also marked with a forged-in code "L:M" which closely resembles a Bonney date code. (Bonney is known to have done contract production for other companies.) Assuming that this is a Bonney date code, it would likely indicate production in 1935.


Southington Manufacturing Company

The Southington Manufacturing Company was founded in 1909 in Southington, Connecticut as a maker of tools, automobile tool kits, and forgings.

[1922 Advertisement for Southington Manufacturing Company]
Fig. 318. 1922 Advertisement for Southington Manufacturing Company. [External Link]

The advertisement at the left was published on page 1142 of the June, 1922 edition of Hardware dealers' Magazine and illustrates an S-shaped wrench. The ad shows the SMCo logo on each side, with "S" over "M.Co" inside a circle.


SMCo 504 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[SMCo 504 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 319. SMCo 504 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1910s to 1920s.

Fig. 319 shows a Southington "SMCo" 7/8x1 S-Shaped open-end wrench, marked with "Drop Forged" and the SMCo logo forged into the shank, and with "504" forged into the reverse [not shown].

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The inset shows a close-up of the SMCO logo on the shank, although it's not very clear.


Spring Leaf Lubricator Company

[1915 Advertisement for Spring Leaf Lubricator Company]
Fig. 320. 1915 Advertisement for Spring Leaf Lubricator Company. [External Link]

The Spring Leaf Lubricator Company operated in Ann Arbor, Michigan as the maker of Knowlson brand spring leaf spreaders. The company was in business by 1912, based on a notice in the November 23, 1912 issue of Automobile Topics announcing their spring leaf spreader tool. Other public notices and advertisements indicate that the company remained in business at least into the early 1920s.

The advertisement at the left was published on page 157 of the October, 1915 issue of Motor and illustrates the company's Knowlson No. 1 spring leaf spreader.

By 1918 the company was producing a slightly smaller Knowlson No. 3 spring spreader as well.

The Knowlson spring spreaders were based on patent 1,108,111, filed by C.F. Adamson in 1912 and issued on August 18, 1914. Currently we're unsure of the origin of the "Knowlson" brand, as the patent does not list an assignment.


Knowlson No. 3 Spring Leaf Spreader

[Knowlson No. 3 Spring Leaf Spreader]
Fig. 321. Knowlson No. 3 Spring Leaf Spreader, ca. 1918 to Early 1920s.

Fig. 321 shows a Knowlson No. 3 spring leaf spreader, marked with "Knowlson No. 3" and "Pat. Aug 18 1914" forged (or cast) into the body.

The overall length is 8.0 inches fully extended, and the length of the crossbar is 3.8 inches. The finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,108,111, issued to C.F. Adamson in 1914.

In use, the chisel points would be placed between two leaves of the spring and the screw tightened to force the leaves apart. A suitable lubricant (the company recommended a mixture of heavy grease and graphite) would then be applied to the springs.


Standard Wrench & Tool Company

The Standard Wrench & Tool Company was a maker of adjustable wrenches and pipe wrenches operating in Providence, Rhode Island. The dates of operation for the company are a bit uncertain, but it appears in published lists of corporations from 1911 through at least 1918. The February 8, 1912 issue of The Automobile includes a description of the FITZALL wedge-adjusting wrench on page 453, with an illustration on the previous page.

Some of the company's products were based on patents for wedge-adjusting wrenches issued to John R. Long, as illustrated in the following figure.


Standard Wrench "FITZALL" Wedge-Adjusting Wrench

[Standard Wrench FITZALL Wedge-Adjusting Wrench]
Fig. 322. Standard Wrench FITZALL Wedge-Adjusting Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1910-1920.

Fig. 322 shows a Standard Wrench "FITZALL" wedge-adjusting nut wrench, marked with "Standard Wrench & Tool Co." and "Providence R.I. U.S.A." forged into the shank. The adjusting sleeve is stamped "Trade FITZALL Mark" inside a diamond outline, with "Patented June 9, 1908 Apr. 26, 1910" below (see inset). The reverse shank is also marked "Drop Forged Steel' (not shown).

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The first patent date refers to patent 890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908. The second patent date refers to patent 955,974, filed by J.R. Long in 1909.


L.S. Starrett Company

The L.S. Starrett Company is an important maker of machinist's tools and precision measuring instruments, continuing in operation from its founding in 1880 to the present day. The company was founded by Laroy S. Starrett in Athol, Massachusetts.

Starrett Catalogs

Starrett has published many catalogs during its long years of operations. Although the earlier catalogs were often printed without a publication date, the effective date of publication can be estimated using printed advertisements for the various catalog editions. Starrett was a frequent advertiser in magazines and trade journals such as Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and the Machinists Monthly Journal.

Some of the catalog editions noted in advertisements include No. 18 in 1910, No. 19 in 1912, No. 20 in 1913, No. 21 in 1917, No. 22 in 1921, No. 23 in 1926, No. 24 in 1928, and No. 25 in 1930.


Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers

[Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 323. Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Jaw Detail.

Fig. 323 at the left shows a pair of Starrett No. 1-7 compound action cutting pliers, stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." on the upper arm, with the model number on one handle. The cutter inserts are marked "For Music Wire", as seen in the lower inset.

The overall length is 7.0 inches. The finish is polished steel, possibly with a thin nickel plating.


Socket Sets

Starrett was also a producer of socket sets intended for automotive service or general maintenance. Only a single standard model was available, the No. 443-A socket set, which included a ratchet, an extension, a universal, a selection of sockets, and a "packer drill" attachment. (The set could also be ordered as the No. 443-B variation without the drill attachment.)

The Starrett socket sets used pressed-steel sockets, making them similar in appearance to the familiar Mossberg or Walden sockets. However, Starrett used a non-standard design with a narrow 5/8 square base for the sockets, making them incompatible with the sockets produced by Mossberg and the rest of the industry. As a result of the narrow base, Starrett sockets could not be driven from the inside with a standard 1/2 square drive stud.

The Starrett No. 443 socket sets were probably first produced around 1911, the date of the patent filing for the ratchet supplied with the sets. Our earliest catalog reference for the set is from Starrett catalog No. 20, published around 1913.

We have several examples of the L.S. Starrett socket sets and are currently preparing them for display.


Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set Ratchet

[Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 324. Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 324 shows an early Starrett No. 443-A socket set in sturdy wooden box. The drive tools consist of a No. 443 ratchet, an extension, a universal, and a drilling attachment, plus a few miscellaneous items. The generous collection of sockets includes 27 standard hex sockets, two square sockets, and one spark-plug (deep) socket.

The standard hex sockets include the 23 sizes from 5/16 to 1 inch by 32nds, plus the four larger sizes 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32. The sockets are all marked with the fractional size and the Starrett S-Circle logo. The set as shown is missing the 11/16 and 11/32 sockets.

The square sockets in the set have sizes 13/32 and 21/32, of which one (the 21/32) is missing in this example. The spark-plug socket (near the center of the set) has size 29/32.

When considering the sizes in the socket set, keep in mind that Starrett pressed-steel socket sizes were specified as 1/32 oversize, as was the case with Mossberg and other brands of pressed-steel sockets. A discussion of this confusing convention can be found in the section on Size Conventions in our article on the Frank Mossberg Company.

Fig. 325 at the left shows a more detailed view of the lower compartment of the socket set. The top two rows hold the majority of the hex sockets, followed by a row with the remaining three hex sockets at the left, a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket in the center, and a universal joint at the right.

The next row down has pegs for two square sockets (one is missing) at the left, with a circular knob in the center and the packer drill attachment at the right.

[Detail for Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set]
Fig. 325. Detail for Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

The circular knob is referred to as a "thrust plug" in later catalogs, but is not listed in Starrett catalog No. 20. The thrust plug could be inserted in the drive end of a socket or extension to provide a smooth surface for exerting palm pressure.

The tools at the bottom of the photograph are the No. 443 ratchet and a 6 inch extension. The ratchet in the set is marked "Pat. Applied For", a reference to patent 1,167,948, filed in 1911 by L.S. Starrett et al and issued in 1916.

Since later ratchets are known to have been marked with the patent date, the pending status for this ratchet suggests that this is an early set, probably made between 1913 and 1915. Earlier sets made from 1911 to 1913 probably did not include the thrust plug piece, based on its omission from catalog No. 20.

[Top Cover of Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set]
Fig. 326. Top Cover of Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 326 shows the top cover of the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, marked with a decorative "Starrett Tools" decal in the center.

The dimensions of the box are 14.0 inches wide by 8.1 inches deep by 3.5 inches high.


Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchets

The next two figures show examples of the Starrett No. 443 ratchet, beginning with the ratchet from the early set.

[Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 327. Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1911-1915.

Fig. 327 shows the Starrett No. 443 ratchet from the early No. 443-A socket set, stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." on the head, with "Pat. Applied For" below.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The pending status refers to patent 1,167,948, filed by L.S. Starrett et al in 1911 and issued in 1916.

[Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 328. Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1916-1920.

Fig. 328 shows a later Starrett No. 443 ratchet from a No. 443-B socket set. The head is stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." with a "Patented Jan. 11, 1916" patent notice.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,167,948, filed in 1911 by L.S. Starrett et al.


Starrett 6 Inch Extension from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 329. Starrett 6 Inch Extension from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Construction Detail, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 329 shows the unmarked 6 inch extension from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets]
Fig. 330. Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Construction Detail, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 330 shows a group of three hex sockets from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, each stamped on the base with the fractional size and S-Circle logo.

The socket sizes are, from the left, 3/4, 25/32, and 13/16. The finish is plain steel.


Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set]
Fig. 331. Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 331 shows the unmarked screwdriver bit from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, consisting of a square shank with a spring clip riveted in the center. The shank of the bit is approximately 13/32 square, the size required to fit in the drive end of a socket, i.e. with the socket used as a bushing.

The overall length is 3.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Storage for the screwdriver bit was provided by a wooden bracket on the inside of the lid, as seen in the Starrett No. 443-A Set photograph above.


Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set]
Fig. 332. Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set, with Insets for Side and Top Views, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 332 shows the unmarked thrust plug from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, designed to fit into the drive end of the Starrett sockets. The shank is flattened on one side with a spring clip on the opposite side.

The overall height is 1.0 inches, and the diameter of the top is 0.96 inches. The finish is plain steel.


Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment]
Fig. 333. Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment from No. 443-A Set.

Fig. 333 shows the unmarked drill attachment shown with the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set. The drill attachment consists of a 5/8-drive adapter threaded to screw into the knurled body, and the drive end of the adapter has a tapered square opening (not shown) for holding the drive stud of an older-style drill bit.

The overall length is 5.1 inches in the retracted position. The finish is plain steel.


Stephens Patent Angle Wrench

In 1909 H.E. Stephens received patent 943,757 for an open-end wrench with an adjustable offset angle.


Stephens Patent 1-1/4 Angle Wrench

[Stephens 1-1/4 Angle Wrench]
Fig. 334. Stephens Patent 1-1/4 Angle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail,

Fig. 334 shows a rare Stephens patent 1-1/4 angle wrench, marked with "Stephens Wrench" forged into the handle, with "Pat'd. Dec. 21, 09" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of nickel plating.

The wrench face is stamped with "3/4", a reference to the older U.S.S. size convention for the 1-1/4 opening.

The patent date refers to patent 943,757, filed in 1908 by H.E. Stephens and issued in 1909.


St. Pierre Chain Corporation

The St. Pierre Chain Corporation was founded in Worcester (Massachusetts) in 1920 as a maker of tire chains. The founder was Henry St. Pierre, an inventor from Vermont who had created an improved type of tire chains. The company later added automotive service tools and chain-repair tools to its product line, and later still began making pitching horseshoes for the game of horseshoes.

The company continues in operation today as the St. Pierre Manufacturing Corporation, and interested readers can visit their web site at www.stpierreusa.com [External Link] for further information. Our coverage here will focus on their automotive service tools, and we have a number of examples of pliers, wrenches, and chain-related tools to show.


St. Pierre [No. 1] Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 335. St. Pierre [No. 1] Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 335 shows an early pair of St. Pierre [No. 1] chain-repair pliers, marked with "St. Pierre" and "Worcester Mass U.S.A." forged into one handle, with "Pat Pending" forged into the reverse. No model number was marked on this example, but this model is marked as "No. 1" in the next figure.

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

The patent pending status corresponds to the patent 1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928.


St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 336. St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 336 shows another pair of St. Pierre No. 1 chain-repair pliers, with forged-in markings for the company name and "Worcester Mass U.S.A." near the pivot, and with the model number and a "Pat Pending" notice on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The pliers are also marked with the M-Circle logo of the Moore Drop Forging Company, indicating that these pliers were made by Moore.

The patent pending status corresponds to the patent 1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928.


St. Pierre 11 Inch Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 337. St. Pierre Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1929 to 1930s.

Fig. 337 shows a pair of St. Pierre 11 inch compound-leverage chain-repair pliers, marked with "Pat. No. 1657978-1658995-1710554" forged into the handle. Although not marked with the company name, the pliers can be identified by the patent markings and resemblance to the St. Pierre No. 1 pliers.

The overall length is 10.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The first patent number listed on the handle is 1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928. The second patent number listed is 1,658,995, filed by J.N. MacDonald in 1925 and issued in 1928. The third patent number listed is 1,710,554, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1926 and issued in 1929.


St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Terminal Box Wrench]
Fig. 338. St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 338 shows a St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Chrome Alloy" on the shank, with "St. Pierre" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench

[St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 339. St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 339 shows a St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 battery terminal box-end wrench, stamped with "St. Pierre" and "Worcester, Mass." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Superior Wrench Company

The Superior Wrench Company was a maker of self-adjusting pipe wrenches operating in Marshalltown, Iowa. The company was founded in 1909 as the Lake Superior Wrench Company in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, but by 1910 had moved to the Iowa location. The company name was later simplified by dropping the leading "Lake".

The company's best known product was a self-adjusting pipe wrench described by the Munro 1909 933,096 and Boulieu 1910 972,052 patents.

[1909 Advertisement for Superior Wrench]
Fig. 340. 1909 Advertisement for Lake Superior Wrench Co. [External Link]

The early advertisement in Fig. 340 appeared in a 1909 issue of Technical World Magazine and refers to the tool as an "Automatic Auto Wrench". The ad offers the 12 inch model for $1 prepaid, or a set of four wrenches with sizes from 6 to 16 inches for just $3 prepaid.

At this time the company was still the Lake Superior Wrench Company, and the address is listed as 124 Maple Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

A brief article [External Link] in the March, 1910 issue of Hardware Dealer's Magazine describes the operation and advantages of the wrenches, and an illustration shows models available from 6 inches up to 20 inches.


Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 341. Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, 1910.

Fig. 341 shows an early Lake Superior 6 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, stamped "Lake Superior Wrench Co." and "Sault Ste. Marie, Mich." on the handle. The wrench is also marked with a patent notice "Patented U.S.A. Oct. 4-10 Canada July 12-10" stamped between the swing arms.

The overall length is 5.4 inches with the jaw retracted, and the maximum opening is 0.75 inches. The finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent 972,052, filed by J. Boulieu in 1909 and issued in 1910.

The markings for the 1910 patent date and earlier company location indicate production in 1910.


Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 342. Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1909-1910.

Fig. 342 shows an earlier Lake Superior 16 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Lake Superior Wrench Co." and "Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan" forged into the handle, and with a "Pat. Pend." patent notice stamped between the swing arms.

The overall length is 16.0 inches with the jaw retracted and 17.5 inches fully extended. The maxiumum opening is approximately 2.0 inches.

The finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The pending status refers to patent 972,052, filed by J. Boulieu in 1909 and issued in 1910.


Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 343. Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1910-1920.

Fig. 343 shows a later Superior 12 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Superior Wrench Company" forged into the handle.

The overall length is 12.0 inches with the jaw retracted, and the maxiumum opening is 1.3 inches. The finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.


H.B. Todd Patent Nippers

In 1876 Henry B. Todd received patent 182,615 for end nippers with replaceable cutting edges. The Todd design became very popular and remained in production for many years, with the nippers typically marked "Todd" but without a clear maker's name.


Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers

[Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers]
Fig. 344. Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers, with Insets for End and Side View.

Fig. 344 shows a pair of Todd No. 4 8 inch end nippers, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with an "E" code and hex logo.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with a patent notice, these nippers are described by patent 182,615, filed in 1876 by H.B. Todd and issued later that year.


Tower & Lyon Company

Tower & Lyon was a tool maker in New York city, active between 1884 and 1916. The company produced a wide variety of wrenches, including adjustable bicycle wrenches and pipe wrenches.


Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench

[Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 345. Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench.

Fig. 345 shows a Baxter patent adjustable wrench, marked "T. & L." with "Baxter's Pat." above but partially obscured. The "T. & L." marking is presumed to indicate to Tower & Lyon, a well-known maker of adjustable wrenches in the late 19th century.

The overall length is 3.9 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The patent notice refers to patent 84,605, issued to William Baxter in 1868. Wrenches of this design were first produced by the Baxter Wrench Company, and then later by Green, Tweed, & Company.

The adjusting screw in the center has threaded studs of opposite pitch on each end, moving the two wrench sections to adjust the openings at each end.


Trimont Manufacturing Company

Trimont Manufacturing was a maker of pipe wrenches, plumbing tools, and nut wrenches operating in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1888.

[1896 Notice for Trimont Mfg.]
Fig. 346A. 1896 Notice for Trimont Manufacturing. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 346A was published on page 1818 of the 1896 edition of the New England Business Directory.

[1900 Listing for Trimo Pipe Tools]
Fig. 346B. 1900 Listing for Trimo Pipe Tools. [External Link]

The text notes that the company was organized in 1888 with $150,000 in capital, and lists E.L. Button as president and E.O. Ely as treasurer and secretary.

The company's products were sold primarily under the "Trimo" brand.

The ad in Fig. 346B was published on page 62 of the February, 1900 issue of the Journal of Railway Appliances and shows Trimo pipe wrenches, chain pipe wrenches, combination nut and pipe wrenches, and pipe cutters.

[1909 Advertisement for Trimo Tools]
Fig. 347A. 1909 Advertisement for Trimo Tools. [External Link]

Fig. 347A shows an advertisement summarizing the company's tools, published on page 145 of the September, 1909 edition of the Engineering Review.

[1911 Advertisement for Trimont Wrenches]
Fig. 347B. 1911 Advertisement for Trimont Wrenches. [External Link]

Fig. 347B shows a later advertisement for the company's wrenches, published on page 585 of the October, 1911 edition of the Automobile Trade Directory.

One of the company's popular products was an improved Stillson style pipe wrench based on patent 1,012,037, filed in 1911 by J.H. Vinton and issued later that year, with assignment to Trimont Manufacturing.

The patent specified a circular disk next to the adjusting nut, to prevent accidental changes in adjustment.


Patents

Trimont Manufacturing: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
D19,168 J.H. Vinton12/26/188806/18/1889 Design for pipe wrench jaws
536,553 J.H. Vinton07/27/189403/26/1895 Chain pipe wrench
536,554 J.H. Vinton07/13/189403/26/1895 Pipe cutter
1,012,037 J.H. Vinton08/10/191112/19/1911 Adjustment protection for pipe or similar wrenches
Trimo 12 Inch Monkey Wrench

Trademarks

Trimont used "Trimo" as its primary brand, but we haven't yet found a trademark registration for the brand.

On November 15, 1928 Trimont filed applications for trademarks "Moroco" and "Sando" to be used for wrenches. The first use dates were November 1, 1928 and November 7, 1928. The serial numbers were 275,341 and 275,342. The applications were published on page 20 of the February 5, 1929 Official Gazette. The trademarks were issued as #255,223 and #255,222 respectively.


Trimo 12 Inch Monkey Wrench

[Trimo 12 Inch Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 348A. Trimo 12 Inch Monkey Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1910s to 1920s.

Fig. 348A shows a Trimo 12 inch monkey wrench, marked with "Trimont Mfg. Co." and "Roxbury Mass. USA" forged into the shank, with "Size 12" and "Pat'd 12-19-1911" forged into the reverse, as seen in the inset. (The inset has been rotated for readabiity.)

The wrench also has a "Trimo" marking forged into the body near the jaw, and the movable jaw has "Drop Forged" forged into the shank, with "Trimo" forged into the reverse (not shown).

The overall length is 11.4 inches closed and 14.0 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.

The patent date corresponds to patent 1,012,037, issued to J.H. Vinton in 1911 with assignment to Trimont Manufacturing. This patent was originally issued for pipe wrenches and describes a circular disk placed next to the adjusting nut, in order to prevent accidental changes in the adjustment of the wrench.


Trimo 10 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Trimo 10 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 348B. Trimo 10 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 348B shows a Trimo 10 inch pipe wrench, marked with "Trimont Mfg Co" and "Roxbury Mass USA" forged into the shank, with "Trimo Size 10" and "Drop Forged Pat'd" forged into the reverse.

The carrier shell is also stamped "Trimo Alloy", and the movable jaw has "Cr Mol" forged in near the bend.

The overall length is 9.6 inches closed and 11.0 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.

The patent notice corresponds to patent 1,012,037, issued to J.H. Vinton in 1911 with assignment to Trimont Manufacturing.

A review of published references found the Trimo alloy pipe wrenches first mentioned in 1934, with continuing references into the 1940s.


Truecraft Tool Company

The Truecraft Tool Company was a maker of wrenches and other tools operating in Chicago, Illinois during the late 1940s and 1950s. Based on trademark applications, the company was formed in 1947 as the successor to the Otto Kaufman Company. Truecraft Tool registered two trademarks, both stylized forms of "TRUECRAFT", and listed the date of first use as December 30, 1947. The trademark applications give the company's address as 2425 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The company was active at least until 1959, but was later acquired by the Daido Corporation, a Japanese import/export company. Daido continued to use the "Truecraft" brand for an extensive and popular line of tools sourced mostly from Japan. (See our article on Daido for more information on the later Truecraft tools.)

The archive.org online resource has a 1959 Truecraft Tool Catalog [External Link] showing tools at that time, including adjustable wrenches, several models of pliers, a hammer, and other items. Based on the items in the catalog, the company's customers were probably hardware stores.

We have a few examples of tools believed to represent the production of the Truecraft Tool Company.

Trademarks

Truecraft Tool Company: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes and Examples
Truecraft [Stylized] 563,957 12/30/1947 03/12/1948 09/09/1952 Signed by Paul Kaufman, Vice President.
Later acquired by Daido.
Truecraft [Stylized] 585,763 12/30/1947 03/11/1953 02/16/1954 Signed by Paul Kaufman, Vice President.
Later acquired by Daido.

Truecraft Tool 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench

[Truecraft Tool 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 349. Truecraft Tool 3/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1940s to 1950s.

Fig. 349 shows a Truecraft Tool 5/16x13/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Truecraft" forged into the shank (see inset), with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse. (Note that the inset has been rotated for readability in the photograph.)

The overall length is 3.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench

[Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 350. Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 350 shows a Truecraft Tool B-105 5/8 combination wrench, stamped with "Truecraft" and "SW-5" on the polished area of the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and the fractional size on the reverse. The polished areas on both sides are bracketed by stamped flag emblems.

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

The shank also has a "5" code forged into the reverse side.


Truecraft Tool B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench

[Truecraft Tool B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 351. Truecraft Tool B-106 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 351 shows a Truecraft Tool B-106 11/16 combination wrench, stamped with "Truecraft" and "SW-6" on the polished area of the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and the fractional size on the reverse. The polished areas on both sides are bracketed by stamped flag emblems.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The shank also has forged-in markings for the fractional size on both sides, and an "N2" marking on the reverse side.


United Shoe Machinery Corporation (USMC)

The United Shoe Machinery Corporation was a major manufacturer of production machinery for the shoe making industry. Formed in 1899 by a merger of three companies, USMC became the dominant supplier of shoe making machinery in the United States.

In addition to producing machinery, the company was also a maker of wrenches and other tools, probably primarily for repair and maintenance of its own equipment.

Tool Identification

Tools produced by USMC can be identified by the distinctive USMC-Script logo, typically forged into the tool. Note though that as the initials "USMC" are more famously associated with the U.S. Marine Corps, tools produced by United Shoe Machinery may sometimes be mistakenly considered as contract production for the military.


USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 352. USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 352 shows a USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 open-end wrench, marked with the USMC-Script logo forged into the shank, and with the model number stamped on the reverse face.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 353. USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 353 shows a USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with the USMC-Script logo forged into the shank.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


USMC 1755H 1/2x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 354. USMC 1755H 1/2x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 354 shows a USMC 1755H 1/2x5/8 open-end wrench, stamped with the USMC-Script logo and model number on the faces, with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Vanadium Tool Company

The Vanadium Tool Company was a maker of hand-forged alloy steel tools located in Athens, Ohio. The company was founded around 1945 by the Harmon family and remained in operation until at least the mid 1970s. In 1969 the company was purchased by Alexander T. Topping, formerly the vice president of marketing for S-K Wayne Tools. (The change of ownership was noted in a 1969 issue of the Hardware Retailer publication.)

A company catalog from the mid 1950s notes that their production process uses Bradley power hammers to shape the tools, and claims that the process produces tougher steel than the common faster production methods, apparently a reference to drop-forging. The tools available at this time included a variety of chisels, punches, scrapers, and screwdrivers, as well as wrenches in open-end, box-end, and combination styles.

A later catalog No. 271 from 1971 offers a similar collection of tools, but with the addition of metric sizes in combination wrenches, plus a line of angle-head open-end wrenches with 15 and 60 degree offsets. The inside front cover of the catalog notes that the company had been making tools for more than 25 years, providing us with a mid-1940s estimate for the founding date. This catalog was received with a separate price list No. U-173 dated January 15, 1973.

The later catalog also provides the specific alloy steels used for the tools, with AISI 6150 chrome-vanadium steel used for the chisels, punches, and screwdrivers, and AISI 4140 chrome-molybdenum steel used for the wrenches.


Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 355. Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench.

Fig. 355 shows a Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 356. Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 356 shows a Vanadium Tool 7/8 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 357. Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 357 shows a Vanadium Tool 15/16 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 12.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vanadium Tool CF-10 Offset Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool CF-10 5/8 Offset Combination Wrench]
Fig. 358. Vanadium Tool CF-10 5/8 Offset Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 358 shows a Vanadium Tool CF-10 offset combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vandegrift Manufacturing Company

The Vandegrift Manufacturing Company was a maker of nut and pipe wrenches, founded by Theodore F. Vandegrift and operating in Shelbyville, Indiana. The company was active from around 1891 through at least 1905. Many (if not all) of the company's products were based on patents issued to Vandegrift.

Some Vandegrift wrenches were made under contract for various farm machinery companies, and these tools may be marked with names such as International Harvester or McCormick.


Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench

[Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 359. Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1897-1905.

Fig. 359 shows a Vandegrift No. 5 monkey wrench, marked with a number "5" and the patent notice "Pat. Sep 7 97" cast in the handle.

The overall length is 8.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent notice corresponds to patent 589,765, issued to T.F. Vandegrift in 1897.


Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Company

Vaughan & Bushnell was founded in 1869 by Alexander Vaughan and initially operated as a maker of post augers in Chicago, Illinois. Vaughan had invented an improved auger and received patent #91,387 in 1869. The success of the auger business led to the production of other types of hand tools.

After the Chicago fire of 1871 destroyed the business, Sidney Bushnell provided additional capital to rebuild the business, and in 1882 the company was incorporated as the Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Company. By the 1880s the company was making a wide variety of tools, including hammers, chisels, punches, wrecking bars, and pliers.

[1920 Advertisement for Vaughan & Bushnell]
Fig. 360. 1920 Advertisement for Vaughan & Bushnell Vanadium Tools. [External Link]

By 1920 the company was using vanadium steel for some of its tools, a significant early use of alloy steel. The advertisement in Fig. 360 was published on page 88 of the November 1, 1920 issue of Southern Hardware and Implement Journal and illustrates a vanadium steel hammer, as well as a bit brace with vanadium steel jaws.

[1922 Notice for Vaughan & Bushnell]
Fig. 361. 1922 Notice for Vaughan & Bushnell. [External Link]

By 1922 the Vaughan family had purchased a controlling interest in the company. The notice in Fig. 361, published on page 97 of the December, 1922 issue of Hardware World, notes the acquired controlling interest and the promotion of Alexander S. Vaughan, the founder's grandson, to the position of secretary and treasurer.

The company continues in business today as Vaughan Manufacturing, and interested readers can find more information at the Vaughan [External Link] web site, which includes a page on the History of Vaughan & Bushnell [External Link].


Industrial Distributors

Vaughan & Bushnell products were available from many industrial distributors, and the catalogs of these companies are a good source of information on V&B products. For example, the 1918 catalog "E" from the Ducommun Hardware Company of Los Angeles lists V&B alligator wrenches on page 237, and shows illustrations of Nos. 0, 1, 2, 3, 12, 13 and 14.


Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

[Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 362. Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Detail.

Fig. 362 shows a pair of Vaughan & Bushnell 8 inch Button's Pattern Pliers, stamped with "Vau???Bushn??" faintly visible on one handle (see middle right inset).

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Button's Pattern pliers were first produced by J.M King & Company in the late 1860s and became one of the most popular styles of wire-cutting pliers. The Vaughan & Bushnell Button's pliers shown here are very similar to the J.M. King models.


Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller

[Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller]
Fig. 363. Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 363 shows a Vaughan & Bushnell cotter pin puller, stamped "Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg. Co." on the side.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Alligator Wrenches

[1918 Catalog Listing for Vaughan & Bushnell Alligator Wrenches]
Fig. 364. 1918 Catalog Listing for Vaughan & Bushnell Alligator Wrenches.

Alligator wrenches were an important early product for V & B. The scan in Fig. 364, from page 237 of the 1918 Ducommun catalog "E", gives illustrations for six models of alligator wrenches, Nos. 0, 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, and 14. The table at the bottom of the listing gives specifications and prices for the wrenches.

The description notes that the wrenches are drop-forged from "extra warranted steel" and then oil tempered.


Vaughan & Bushnell No. 101 Double-Ended Alligator Wrench

[Vaughan & Bushnell No. 101 Double-Ended Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 365. Vaughan & Bushnell No. 101 Double-Ended Alligator Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 365 shows a Vaughan & Bushnell No. 101 double-ended alligator wrench, stamped with "V. & B." on a panel in the center of the checkered field, with the "101" model on the reverse panel.

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


Vim Tool Company

The Vim Tools Company operated in Minneapolis, Minnesota beginning in the 1920s or earlier. The company produced a variety of general purpose and specialized automotive service tools.


Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 366. Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid to Late 1920s.

Fig. 366 shows a Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Vanadium Tappet" with the "VIM" name on the shank. The fractional sizes are stamped on the faces, with the model number on the reverse face.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The marking style of this wrench is very similar to the Herbrand tappet wrenches of the mid to late 1920s, suggesting that this is likely contract production by Herbrand. The corresponding model can be seen as the Herbrand H-3 Tappet Wrench.


Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 367. Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 367 shows a Vim 11/16x3/4 offset box wrench, marked only with the "VIM" name and fractional sizes.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers

[Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers]
Fig. 368. Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 368 shows a pair of Vim 216 wheel weight pliers, designed for installing and removing weights during tire balancing. The handle is stamped "Vim" with the model number.

The overall length is 10.6 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Vulcan Manufacturing Company

The Vulcan Manufacturing Company operated in Winona, Minnesota and is currently known only by the wrench in the next figure. We hope to add more information for the company in the future.


Vulcan Manufacturing "Largrip" Adjustable Wrench

[Vulcan Manufacturing Largrip 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 369. Vulcan Manufacturing "Largrip" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 369 shows a Vulcan Manufacturing 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Largrip" and "Pat Pend" forged into the shank, and with "Vulcan Mfg Co" and "Winona Minn" on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench is unusual in having a rectangular keyed slot, instead of the more common round keyway.


Wakefield Wrench Company

The Wakefield Wrench Company was an early maker of adjustable wrenches operating in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company began operations in the 1890s and took its name from the principal, J.E. Wakefield, an inventor of some note. In later years the company was run by Clarence E. Wakefield, the son of the founder.

[1904 Advertisement for Wakefield Nut and Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 370. 1904 Advertisement for Wakefield Nut and Pipe Wrench. [External Link]

The advertisement at the left was published in the December 22, 1904 issue of Iron Age and shows a Wakefield nut and pipe wrench.

Some Wakefield tools were marked with the "Wizard" brand, apparently an unregistered mark which could be confused with the later Wizard trademark registered by Western Auto Supply.


Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 371. Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1890s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 371 shows a Wakefield No. 3 quick-adjusting pipe wrench, stamped with "The Wakefield Wrench" and "Worcester, Mass." on the upper jaw, and with the "No. 3" model number on the lower handle. The reverse jaw is stamped with "Pat. June 30, 91" and "Other Pat's Pending" patent notices, as shown in the lower inset.

The overall length is 16.0 inches fully extended, and the maximum opening is 2.3 inches.

The finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 454,893, filed by J.E. Wakefield in 1890 and issued in 1891.


Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 372. Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 372 shows a Wakefield 5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Wakefield Wrench" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.4 inches. The finish is plain steel with pitting due to rust, but the original finish may have been nickel plating.


Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 373. Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1900.

Fig. 373 shows a very early Wakefield No. 8 bicycle wrench, marked "Wakefield Wrench" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A.", with "Pat. Sept. 4, 1900" on the reverse (see inset). The overall length (fully extended) is 8.0 inches.

The date marked on the tool refers to patent 657,326, which was issued to J.E. Wakefield. The patent describes the construction of the wrench, and the most notable feature is the handle tube drawn from a single sheet of steel.

Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench

[Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 374. Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench, ca. 1908-1920.

Fig. 374 shows a Wakefield 10 inch "Nut & Pipe" adjustable wrench, marked "Wakefield Wrench" and "Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." with a "Pat. May 5, 1908" patent notice.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet

[Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 375. Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 375 shows a Wakefield No. 24 1/2-hex drive ratchet handle, marked "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." with "Pat. Jul 12 1910" and "Pats. Pending" on the reverse. The overall length is 7.0 inches.

A patent search found this tool described by patent 963,895, issued to H.L. Houghton on the cited date. The patent corresponding to the pending status has not yet been found.


Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench

[Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 376. Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench, ca. 1922-1930.

Fig. 376 shows a somewhat uncommon Wakefield No. 19 monkey or auto wrench, marked "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." and "Pat'd. Nov. 14 1922". The overall length is 9.1 inches.

The cited patent date refers to patent 1,435,548, issued to J.F. Oliver and J.P. Fleming, and assigned to Clarence E. Wakefield.


Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 377. Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 377 shows a Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

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


Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 378. Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 378 shows a Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 5.8 inches.


Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 379. Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 379 shows a Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 7.8 inches.


Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench

Wakefield sometimes used the "Wizard" brand for its products, as the next figure illustrates.

[Wakefield Wizard No. 34 1/2x9/16 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 380. Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 1/2x9/16 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 380 shows a Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 open-end wrench in the nut-and-tap style, stamped "Made in Worcester, Mass, U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The square opening in the center allowed the wrench to be used as a (threading) tap handle, and this style was commonly called a "Nut and Tap" wrench. The center hole was also typically used with a bolt for holding sets of wrenches.

An example of Nut-and-Tap wrenches from another maker can be seen as the Indestro Nut-and-Tap Wrench Set.

Wakefield's use of the "Wizard" brand should not be confused with later (and better known) use by the Western Auto Supply Company.


Walworth Manufacturing Company

The Walworth Manufacturing Company was a maker of pipe wrenches and other plumbing tools operating in Boston, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1852 as J.J. Walworth & Company and later incorporated as Walworth Manufacturing in 1872. The founder was James J. Walworth, who served as company president until 1890.

Walworth Manufacturing is most famous as the original maker of the Stillson pipe wrench, named after its inventor Daniel Stillson, who was an employee of the company at the time. The original Stillson design was covered by patent 95,744, filed by Daniel Stillson in 1869 and issued later that year.


Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench

[Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 381. Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 381 shows a Walworth 10 inch Stillson pipe wrench, marked with "Stillson" and "Registered Trade Mark" in a diamond logo forged into the shank, with "Walworth Mfg. Co." and "Boston, U,.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches closed and 10.8 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.


Waymoth Corporation

The Waymoth Corporation of Pawtucket, Rhode Island is known only as a maker of cutting pliers, as shown in the next figure.


Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 382. Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 382 shows a pair of Waymoth No. 2 6 inch diagonal cutters, marked "The Waymoth Corp." and "Pawt. R.I." around the pivot.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Whitman & Barnes Manufacturing Company

Whitman & Barnes (W&B) was a well-known tool maker active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was founded in 1877 by the merger of the Whitman & Miles Company with George Barnes & Company, and initially operated as a maker of knives.

The company acquired the Acme line of monkey wrenches from the Capital Manufacturing Company in 1893. In subsequent years the company expanded its wrench business with various models of bicycle wrenches, pipe wrenches, fixed and adjustable alligator wrenches, auto wrenches, and other tools. One of their best known products was the line of "Bull Dog" alligator wrenches, produced in a range of sizes.

[1909 Advertisement for W&B Twist Drills]
Fig. 383. 1909 Advertisement for Whitman & Barnes Twist Drills. [External Link]

Twist drills were another important product of W&B. The illustration in Fig. 383 shows an advertisement for twist drills published in the December 2, 1909 issue of The Iron Age.

In 1920 the J.H. Williams company acquired the drop-forge and wrench operations of Whitman & Barnes, and the W&B president A.D. Armitage became a vice-president of J.H. Williams. Some of the W&B product lines (e.g. monkey wrenches and alligator wrenches) remained in production under J.H. Williams.


W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench

[W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 384. W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 384 shows a W&B No. 1 alligator wrench, stamped with the W+B-Diamond logo and "Made in U.S.A." on one side, with the model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.


W&B 5 Inch Double-Ended Alligator Wrench

[W&B 5 Inch Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 385. W&B 5 Inch Alligator Wrench.

Fig. 385 shows a W&B 5 inch double-ended alligator wrench, stamped with the WBCo-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." in the center.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 386. W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 386 shows a W&B 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with the WBCo-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The prominent grooves in the shank give the wrench a distinctive appearance, but the intent appears to be cosmetic rather than functional.


W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 387. W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 387 shows a W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the shank.

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

The insets show the reverse face markings "3/8" and "5/16", references to the older U.S.S. size convention.


W&B No. 501 1/2x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[W&B No. 501 1/2x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 388. W&B No. 501 1/2x5/8 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 388 shows a W&B No. 501 1/2x5/8 S-shaped open-end wrench, marked with the model number and "Made in U.S.A." plus the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the shank, with the fractional sizes forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench

[W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench]
Fig. 389. W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 389 shows a W&B No. 287 19/32 single-open toolpost wrench, marked with the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the head, with the model number forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Whitman & Barnes No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench

[W&B No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench]
Fig. 390. W&B No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 390 shows a W&B No. 478 1/2 single open-end wrench with a spud handle, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the shank.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


T. Williams Company (England)

The T. Williams Company is a British maker of wrenches and other forged tools, most frequently found as the "Superslim" brand. Currently we don't have any additional information on the company, but hope to expand this section in the future.

Tools made by T. Williams are generally marked with a forged-in logo showing a "T/W" in a circle.


Superslim 1/2x9/18 Open-End Wrench

[Superslim 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 391. Superslim 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 391 shows a Superslim 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, marked with the fractional sizes and "AF" forged into the shank, with "Made in England" and the T/W logo forged into the reverse.

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


Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 392. Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 392 at the left shows a Superslim 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with the fractional sizes and "AF" forged into the shank, with "Made in England" and the T/W logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Winner Tool Company

The Winner Tool Company operated in Puyallup, Washington as the maker of a patented plier-wrench.


Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier Wrench

[Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier-Wrench]
Fig. 393. Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier-Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 393 shows a Winner Tool 8 inch plier-wrench, marked with "Winner Tool Co." and "Puyallup, Wash." forged into the shank, with "Plier Wrench" plus "Patd. Mar. 7, 1922" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,408,524, filed by W.T. Long in 1921 and issued in 1922, with assignment to the Usona Manufacturing Company.


Wright Wrench Manufacturing Company

The Wright Wrench Manufacturing Company was founded in Canton, Ohio as a maker of quick-adjusting nut wrenches. The company probably began operations around 1909, and the founder is presumed to have been James F. Wright, an inventor whose patents formed part of the basis for the company's products.

[1909 Notice for Wright Quick-Adjusting Wrench]
Fig. 394. 1909 Notice for Wright Quick-Adjusting Wrench. [External Link]

The illustration in Fig. 394 was published on page 499 of the November 3, 1909 issue of The Horseless Age and shows the construction of the Wright quick-adjusting wrench. A brief note in the text describes the operation and advantages of the wrench.

In 1909 the company began operating an additional facility in Tacoma, Washington, and later wrench production was typically marked with either the Canton or Tacoma location.

In 1910 the company name was changed to the Wright Wrench & Forging Company, and the company introduced a line of quick-adjusting pipe wrenches, based on a later patent by James F. Wright.


Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench

[Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench]
Fig. 395. Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 395 shows a Wright Wrench 8 inch quick-adjusting nut wrench, marked with "Steel Forging" and "Pat 3-04 - 1-09" forged into the shank, with "Wright Wrench Co." and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent notice is a bit tricky to interpret, as it provides the month and year for two separate patent dates. The first date refers to patent 754,633, filed by L. Ash and H.B. Stewart in 1903 and issued on March 15, 1904. The second date refers to patent 910,890, filed by J.F. Wright in 1907 and issued on January 26, 1909.


Zim Manufacturing Company

Zim Manufacturing is a maker of automotive specialty tools based in Chicago, Illinois. The company began operations in the 1920s (or earlier) and is probably best known for their automotive valve service tools.


Zim Valve Adjusting Tool

[Zim Valve Adjusting Tool]
Fig. 396. Zim Valve Adjusting Tool, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 396 at the left shows a Zim valve adjusting tool, consisting of a 9/16x5/8 stamped-steel box wrench fitted with a retractable screwdriver. The tool is stamped "Zim Mfg. Co. Chicago" and "Made in U.S.A." on the arm.

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

In operation, the swinging arm is positioned over the desired wrench opening and then secured with the thumbscrew. The wrench then loosens the valve lock nut while the tappet is adjusted with the screwdriver, and the nut is tightened when the correct setting is reached.

This tool is virtually identical to the New Britain Valve Adjusting Tool shown in our article on the New Britain Machine company.


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