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Reed Manufacturing Company

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The Reed Manufacturing Company is a maker of vises and pipe tools operating in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Company History

The Reed Manufacturing Company was founded in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1896 by Carl Reed and partners as a maker of vises, pipe tools, and other metal products. The company was incorporated in 1899 with $100,000 in capital, with a list of products including scales and bicycles as well as plumbing tools. The company built its headquarters at 1425 West 8th Street in 1899.

In 1902 the company was acquired by Reuben Wright, and his sons Paul and Ross became president and secretary-treasurer, respectively.

The Katzki Patent Pipe Wrench

[Illustration for 1897 Katzki Patent 588,069]
Fig. 1. Illustration for 1897 Katzki Patent 588,069.

One of the company's earliest products was a pipe wrench with a spring-loaded jaw based on the 1897 Katzki patent 588,069.

The scan in Fig. 1 shows the illustration for the patent.

[1898 Ad for Reed Manufacturing Pipe Wrenches]
Fig. 2. 1898 Ad for Reed Manufacturing Pipe Wrenches. [External Link]

Fig. 2 shows an advertisement for Reed Manufacturing pipe wrenches, as published on page 63 of the July 9, 1898 supplement issue of Scientific American.

The illustration shows the company's pipe wrench based on the 1897 Katzki patent 588,069.

[1899 Notice for Reed Manufacturing Company]
Fig. 3. 1899 Notice for Reed Manufacturing Company. [External Link]

Fig. 3 shows a notice for Reed Manufacturing, as published on page 46 of the August 3, 1899 issue of The Iron Age.

Continuing Operations

Reed Manufacturing remains in business today as a 5th generation family owned business, and the interested reader can find more information in the Company Profile [External Link] on their website.


Reed Manufacturing Company: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
588,069 A. Katzki11/11/189608/10/1897 Pipe Wrench
Reed No. 16 16 Inch Katzki Patent Pipe Wrench
1,955,447 R.P. Wright01/22/193104/17/1934 Pipe Reamer


Reed Manufacturing Company: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
REED [Logo] 531,777 01/01/1903 06/17/1949 10/10/1950 Text "REED" in oval outline
For vises and pipe tools.
Serial 580,674. Published July 18, 1950.

References and Resources

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

Catalog Resources

Reed Manufacturing Company: Catalog Resources
Catalog Year Notes
    Catalog C-1 (1974):
Catalog C-1 1974 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 20 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.

Industrial Distributors

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

Selected Tools

Reed No. 16 16 Inch Katzki Patent Pipe Wrench

[Reed No. 16 Katzki Patent Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 4. Reed No. 16 16 Inch Katzki Patent Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1890s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 4 shows a Reed No. 16 16 inch Katzki patent pipe wrench, marked with "Reed Mfg. Co." and "Erie, PA. U.S.A." cast into the front, with "PAT AUG 10, 97" cast into the back.

The patent date refers to patent 588,069, filed by A. Katzki in 1896 and issued on that date in 1897.

The overall length is 17.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Reed No. 71 Ratchet Die Stock

[Reed No. 71 Ratchet Die Stock]
Fig. 5. Reed No. 71 Ratchet Die Stock, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Mid 1930s to 1950s.

Fig. 5 shows a Reed No. 71 ratchet die stock, marked with "Made By Reed Mfg Co" plus "Erie PA USA" cast into the front, with "No. 71" and the "Reed" logo plus "Pat. No. 1955477" cast into the back.

The handle is stamped with "Reed Mfg. Co." and "Erie, PA. U.S.A.", and the size capacity is stated as 1 inch to 5 inch pipe.

The overall length is 17.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel with some red paint remaining on the head. The diameter of the opening is 2-3/8 inches.

The ratchet is equipped with two reversible pawls, allowing it to work in either direction or with the inserted die locked in place.

The marked patent number is for patent 1,955,477, filed by R.P. Wright in 1931 and issued in 1934. But this patent describes a pipe reamer, one of the tools used with the die stock, rather than the ratchet die stock itself.

We have a pipe reamer attachment for this tool and will provide a photo later.

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