Alloy Artifacts  

Sockets and Drive Tools

Walden was one of the early makers of socket sets and was offering pressed-steel socket sets by around 1911. These early socket tools have been discussed in a previous section on Early Walden Socket Sets, and in this section we'll look at the heavy-duty machined sockets that became the successors to the early products.

Although the early pressed-steel socket sets were best suited for light-duty work, heavier sockets were on the way. By 1916 Walden had developed a method of securing heavy-duty machined sockets to steel rod handles and soon became the leading producer of fixed socket wrenches. Once these machined and broached sockets were in production, it was a fairly simple matter to give them a 1/2-square drive end broach instead of attaching a handle, and Walden began planning to produce sets of heavy-duty interchangeable sockets.

The date on which these heavy interchangeable sockets were first offered is not yet known, but we can trace Walden's development work by examining their patent filings. Before 1920 Walden had filed two important patents for ratchet handles, #1,281,484 in 1917 and #1,420,467 in 1919, both of which describe the construction of high-strength but inexpensive ratchet handles. These patent filings suggest that Walden was preparing to make heavy-duty interchangeable sockets as early as 1917, but their actual production appears to have been delayed by some years.

[1920 Advertisement for Walden No. 27 Socket Set]
Fig. 67A. 1920 Advertisement for Walden No. 27 Socket Set. [External Link]

Currently the earliest known commercial reference to the Walden interchangeable socket sets is the advertisement in Fig. 67A, which appeared on page 166 in a 1920 issue of the Tractor Field Book, published by the Farm Implement News Company. The illustration shows the contents of the No. 27 set, Walden's largest collection of socket tools, which included heavy-wall sockets in hex and square broachings, plus a ratchet, brace, sliding Tee-handle, universal, and extensions. The text also mentions the smaller No. 8 and No. 16 socket sets.

Our earliest catalog reference for the Walden sets is the 1920 catalog from the Weaver-Ebling Automobile Company of New York City. Page 129 of their catalog shows the same illustration for the No. 27 socket set, and also illustrates the Nos. 8 and 16 sets.

As an interesting aside, this early advertisement and catalog listing both show the Walden No. 1102 universal in a double-male style, rather than the double-female style shown in all the later references. The other contents of the sets are slightly different too — the early listings specify one drive plug plus a double-female connector, but the later references call for two drive plugs as required for the double-female universal.

The next catalog reference is the 1922 catalog No. 11 from the C.W. Marwedel Company, an industrial supplier then in its 50th year of business. (This catalog was dated based on the founding year of the company and may have been published in late 1921.) The Marwedel catalog offered a number of the Walden sockets sets, as well as individual drive tools and sockets.

Another catalog from this same time frame is the Walden catalog "B", published in July of 1922 and giving a complete listing of the company's tools at that time.

In our view, Walden's introduction of heavy-duty interchangeable socket sets was an important event in the history of socket tools. In 1920 there were only three companies making heavy-duty socket tools in the modern 1/2-drive standard: Walden, Blackhawk, and a new start-up called the Snap-On Wrench Company. The sockets from the three companies were comparable in design and construction, being machined from bar steel and then broached and hardened.

Blackhawk was actually the first to offer 1/2-drive interchangeable socket sets, with its Mid 1919 Introduction of sets in several models. Walden and Blackhawk offered a more extensive collection of tools in multiple sets, including ratchets, speeders, braces, and universals, with wooden boxes for storage. Snap-On's first offering was a bare-bones set of five drive tools and 10 sockets. Blackhawk's universals and extensions were more modern than Walden's, but Walden's ratchet was stronger than the first-generation Blackhawk model. Snap-On initially didn't offer a ratchet or universal.

Of these three companies, Walden was a proven high-volume manufacturer, and at the time was the leading maker of automotive service tools, with its tools in daily use at virtually every garage and automobile dealership. Blackhawk, a division of the American Grinder Company, was well-capitalized and had recently retooled its factory to make socket tools, but was still relatively new to the automotive service market. Snap-On was a 2-man outfit operating in a small facility with only minimal production equipment.

An independent observer in 1920 might have picked Walden as the most likely to be successful, but history didn't play out that way. Walden faced setbacks from a forced financial reorganization in late 1920 and from an ill-fated lawsuit against Blackhawk for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Although Walden eventually recovered from these problems, it faced stiff competition in the booming market for interchangeable socket tools.


Walden's Development of Socket Tools

Based on our current understanding of Walden's development of sockets and drive tools, the company's later production can be grouped into three periods, with the approximate dates listed below.


The Interchangeable Period, 1920-1924

[1922 Catalog Listing for Walden Sockets Sets]
Fig. 67B. 1922 Catalog Listing for Walden Socket Sets.

Walden initially offered heavy-duty interchangeable socket sets in three models, the larger No. 27 "Combination Wrench Set", an intermediate No. 16 set, and the smaller No. 8 set. These three sets were all noted in the advertisement displayed earlier in this section.

By 1922 the selection had been expanded to include a No. 26 set and a No. 9 set in a canvas roll, in addition to the original three models. The contents of these sets are described in the catalog listing in Fig. 67B, scanned from page 298 of the 1922 Marwedel catalog No. 11, an industrial supply company then in its 50th year of business. (Note though that the description of the No. 16 set fails to mention the two No. 1109 drive plugs necessary for using the double-female universal joint.)

Sometime between 1923 and 1925 an additional No. 25 set became available, which offered a brace wrench and other drive tools, but no ratchet.

Walden initially produced heavy-duty sockets in two 1/2-drive model number series, the 1xx models with square (4-point) broachings, and the 2xx models with hex (6-point) broachings. (In our shorthand the "xx" indicates the size in 32nds.) The design of these early sockets was simple, with tapered walls for the smaller sizes, and stepped bases but straight walls for the larger sockets.

The examples below will illustrate these various models and styles, at least where we have models available.


Walden-Worcester No. 8 Socket Set

[1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 8 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 68A. 1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 8 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set.

The Walden No. 8 socket set was the company's smallest collection and was particularly recommended for servicing Ford automobiles. A description of the set can be seen in the scan in Fig. 68A, taken from pages 52-53 of the Walden catalog "C" for 1923, copyrighted in 1922.

A somewhat subtle point to note here is that Walden has started using the term "Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set", instead of the earlier "Combination Wrench Set". This change may have been in response to the extensive advertising by the Snap-On Wrench Company during the early 1920s, which emphasized the superiority of interchangeable sockets over fixed socket wrenches.

[Walden No. 8 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 68B. Walden No. 8 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 68B shows an early Walden No. 8 1/2-drive socket set consisting of a No. 516 ratchet, a No. 1102 universal joint, two No. 1109 drive plugs, a No. 1139 9 inch extension, seven 2xx-series hex sockets with sizes from 1/2 to 15/16, and one No. 118 9/16 square socket. (Two drive plugs were required in order to use the double-female universal joint.)

The socket models and sizes (with one missing) are, from the right, 118 (9/16 square), 216 (1/2), 218 (9/16, missing), 220 (5/8), 222 (11/16), 224 (3/4), 228 (7/8), and 230 (15/16).

The No. 8 set was supplied in a sturdy wooden box with wrap-over hinges. The dimensions are 10.3 inches wide by 4 inches deep by 3 inches high.

[Top Cover of Walden No. 8 Socket Set]
Fig. 68C. Top Cover of Walden No. 8 Socket Set, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 68C shows the top cover of the Walden No. 8 set, bearing a brass plate marked "No. 8" and "Combination Wrench Set" with the Walden-Worcester logo in the center.

Note the sturdy wrap-over hinges used for the box, which is made of chestnut lumber with finger-joint corners.

The sockets and drive tools in the set are finished with nickel plating.

The tools in this set are basically identical to those in the No. 16 set shown in a later figure, and photographs of individual tools can be seen with the No. 16 set.


Walden-Worcester No. 16 Socket Set

[1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 16 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 69A. 1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 16 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set.

This next figure shows a Walden No. 16 socket set, one of Walden's earliest heavy-duty sets and a popular model of intermediate size. A description of the set can be seen in the scan in Fig. 69A, taken from pages 52-53 of the Walden catalog "C" for 1923, copyrighted in 1922.

Note though that the descriptive text has a typo, as it fails to mention the two No. 1109 drive plugs, which were necessary to use the double-female universal. (The drive plugs are visible in the illustration.)

[Walden No. 16 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 69B. Walden No. 16 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 69B shows an early Walden No. 16 1/2-drive socket set in the lower half of its wooden box. The set consists of a No. 516 ratchet, a No. 1139 extension, two No. 1109 drive plugs, a No. 1102 universal, and 16 2xx-series hex sockets with sizes ranging from 7/16 to 1-1/4. The set as acquired was complete except for three broken or missing sockets, one of which has been replaced for the photograph.

The socket models and sizes are, from left to right in the bottom row, 214 (7/16), 216 (1/2), 218 (9/16), 219 (19/32, missing), 220 (5/8), 222 (11/16, missing), 224 (3/4), 225 (25/32), and 226 (13/16). The top row models and sizes are, from left to right, 240 (1-1/4), 236 (1-1/8), 234 (1-1/16), 232 (1 Inch), 231 (31/32), 230 (15/16), and 228 (7/8).

In our particular set the No. 516 ratchet was marked with a patent pending notation, which based on the patent dates gives a likely manufacturing date of 1920-1922 for the set. Several details of the socket construction also suggest an early production date; in particular, the larger sockets have straight rather than tapered walls, and the small sockets have a smaller clearance hole and shallower broaching than later examples.

The sturdy box is made of chestnut lumber with finger-joints at the corners. The cover for the box has been removed for repairs, and will be shown at a later time.

The next several figures will show the various sockets and tools from the No. 16 set.


Walden-Worcester 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Walden 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 70. Walden 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 70 shows the 1/2-drive Walden model 516 ratchet from the No. 16 set, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. Pending" on the reverse of the handle.

The overall length is 9.2 inches. The finish is a thin nickel plating, now worn off in some areas.

This ratchet was acquired as part of a No. 16 socket set. The female-drive ratchet was intended to work with either the 1109 drive plug or the 1139 double-male extension, both included in the set.

The patent pending notation was found to refer to patent #1,420,467, filed in 1919 and issued to W.S. Bellows in 1922. This patent describes a ratchet design with a forged handle fitted to a stamped-steel body, allowing the same parts to be supplied with handles of different lengths.


Walden-Worcester 1/2-Drive No. 1139 9 Inch Extension and No. 1109 Drive Plug

[Walden 1/2-Drive No. 1139 Extension and No. 1109 Drive Plug]
Fig. 71. Walden 1/2-Drive No. 1139 Extension and No. 1109 Drive Plug, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 71 shows the 1/2-drive Walden No. 1139 9 inch extension and a No. 1109 drive plug from the No. 16 set. The extension is stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." (faintly) on the shank, with the model number at the right. The drive plug is stamped "W.W.-1109" and "Made in U.S.A." on the back side.

The overall length of the extension is 9.0 inches, and the length of the plug is 1.5 inches. The finish is a thin nickel plating, now worn off in some areas.

Note the use of a stop-pin on the drive plug and at one end of the extension. The use of stop-pins is a construction detail currently known only from Walden drive tools.

The opposite end of the extension has a detent ball but no stop, allowing it to work as a variable-length extension with the female drive ratchet.


Walden-Worcester No. 1102 1/2-Drive Double-Female Universal Joint

[Walden No. 1102 1/2-Drive Double-Female Universal Joint]
Fig. 72. Walden No. 1102 1/2-Drive Double-Female Universal Joint, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 72 shows the 1/2-drive Walden No. 1102 double-female universal from the No. 16 set, marked "Made in U.S.A." and "Walden-Worcester".

The overall length is 3.0 inches.

The finish is nickel plating.


Walden-Worcester 2xx-Series 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets

The next several photographs show examples of the 2xx-series sockets from the No. 16 socket set.

[Walden 2xx 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets]
Fig. 73. Walden 2xx 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 73 shows the two smallest 1/2-drive Walden 2xx series sockets, each stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the base. The models and sizes are, from the left, 214 (7/16) and 216 (1/2).

The finish is nickel plating.

The top inset shows the broached opening of the sockets. Note that the the broaching is relatively shallow, and that the socket has been drilled only to provide clearance for the expected bolt size. The smaller clearance hole was probably intended to improve the strength of the socket.

[Walden 2xx 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets]
Fig. 74. Walden 2xx 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 74 shows a group of three 1/2-drive Walden 2xx series sockets, each stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the upper wall. The models and sizes are, from the left, 230 (15/16), 231 (31/32), and 232 (1 Inch).

The finish is nickel plating.

Note that these larger examples of the 2xx socket series have straight upper walls. Later production of the 2xx sockets used tapered walls on the large sizes as well as the small sizes.

[Walden 240 1/2-Drive 1-1/4 Hex Socket]
Fig. 75. Walden 240 1/2-Drive 1-1/4 Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 75 shows the largest socket from the No. 16 set, a 1/2-drive Walden 240 1-1/4 hex socket, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the upper wall.

The finish is nickel plating.

Note that this socket has straight upper walls, as with the sockets in the previous figure. Later production of the 2xx sockets had tapered walls for the large sizes as well as the small sizes.


Walden-Worcester 125 1/2-Drive Square Socket

In addition to the 2xx series of hex sockets, Walden also produced a 1xx series of square sockets.

[Walden 125 1/2-Drive 25/32 Square Socket]
Fig. 76. Walden 125 1/2-Drive 25/32 Square Socket, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1920-1925.

Fig. 76 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 125 25/32 square socket, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the upper wall.

The finish is nickel plating.


Walden-Worcester No. 25 Socket Set

The Walden No. 25 socket set was an alternative collection with heavy-duty drive handles, but without a ratchet. The set consisted of a No. 1125 Ell-handle, a No. 1143 Tee-handle extension, a No. 1163 brace, and 12 2xx-series hex sockets with sizes 7/16 to 1-1/4.

The hex socket models and sizes were 214 (7/16), 216 (1/2), 218 (9/16), 220 (5/8), 222 (11/16), 224 (3/4), 228 (7/8), 230 (15/16), 232 (1), 234 (1-1/16), 236 (1-1/8), and 240 (1-1/4).

Currently we have only two catalog references for this set. The 1925 Waterhouse & Lester Supplement A to catalog No. 20 lists the No. 25 set on page 54, and the illustration shows a wooden box. The second reference is the 1925 Dunham catalog, but this time the illustrations show all of the Walden sets in metal boxes. Our set is in a wooden box, suggesting that it was probably made in 1924.

The No. 25 set was supplied in a sturdy wooden box with wrap-over hinges. Our set is currently being prepared for display.

Fig. 77. Walden No. 25 1/2-Drive Socket Set To Be Added.

Walden-Worcester 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle

[Walden 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle]
Fig. 78. Walden 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 78 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1125 Ell handle, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank (see composite inset).

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Our earliest listing for this tool is the 1922 Walden catalog "B". At that time the No. 1125 tool was not included in any of the standard sets, but soon after it appeared in the No. 25 set.


Walden-Worcester No. 26 Socket Set

[1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 26 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set]
1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 26 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set.

The Walden No. 26 socket set was the company's second-largest collection and differed from the larger No. 27 set only by the omission of square sockets. A description of the set can be seen in the scan at the left, taken from pages 52-53 of the Walden catalog "C" for 1923, copyrighted in 1922.

The drive tools in the No. 26 set consisted of a No. 716 ratchet, a No. 1102 universal joint, a No. 1105 sliding T-handle, a No. 1107 brace handle, a No. 1108 brace top, two No. 1109 drive plugs, a No. 1110 connector, a No. 1135 5 inch extension, and a No. 1139 9 inch extension. (Two drive plugs were required in order to use the double-female universal joint.)

The sockets in the set consisted of 16 2xx-series hex sockets with sizes ranging from 7/16 to 1-1/4. The socket models and sizes were 214 (7/16), 216 (1/2), 218 (9/16), 219 (19/32), 220 (5/8), 222 (11/16), 224 (3/4), 225 (25/32), 226 (13/16), 228 (7/8), 230 (15/16), 231 (31/32), 232 (1), 234 (1-1/8), and 236 (1-1/4).

In addition to the sockets and drive tools, the set included five open-end wrenches of stamped-steel construction.

The No. 26 set was supplied in a sturdy wooden box with wrap-over hinges. Our set is currently being prepared for display.

Fig. 79. Walden No. 26 1/2-Drive Socket Set To Be Added.

Walden-Worcester No. 27 Socket Set

[1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 27 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set]
1923 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 27 Interchangeable Socket Wrench Set.

The Walden No. 27 socket set was the company's largest collection. A description of the set can be seen in the scan at the left, taken from pages 52-53 of the Walden catalog "C" for 1923, copyrighted in 1922.

The drive tools in the No. 27 set consisted of a No. 716 ratchet, a No. 1102 universal joint, a No. 1105 sliding T-handle, a No. 1107 brace handle, a No. 1108 brace top, two No. 1109 drive plugs, a No. 1110 connector, a No. 1135 5 inch extension, and a No. 1139 9 inch extension. (Two drive plugs were required in order to use the double-female universal joint.)

The sockets in the set consisted of 16 2xx-series hex sockets with sizes ranging from 7/16 to 1-1/4, plus 11 square sockets with sizes from 3/8 to 1-1/4. The hex socket models and sizes were 214 (7/16), 216 (1/2), 218 (9/16), 219 (19/32), 220 (5/8), 222 (11/16), 224 (3/4), 225 (25/32), 226 (13/16), 228 (7/8), 230 (15/16), 231 (31/32), 232 (1), 234 (1-1/8), and 236 (1-1/4).

The square socket models and sizes were 112 (3/8), 114 (7/16), 116 (1/2), 118 (9/16), 120 (5/8), 122 (11/16), 124 (3/4), 128 (7/8), 132 (1), 136 (1-1/8), and 140 (1-1/4).

In addition to the sockets and drive tools, the set included five open-end wrenches of stamped-steel construction.

The No. 27 set was supplied in a sturdy wooden box with wrap-over hinges. Our set is currently being prepared for display.

Fig. 80. Walden No. 27 1/2-Drive Socket Set To Be Added.

Walden-Worcester 1107 1/2-Drive Brace Socket Wrench

Our next figure demonstrates that Walden took the concept of "interchangeable" more seriously than others, or at least more literally. If "interchangeable" meant swapping sockets to other companies, to Walden it meant swapping drive parts as well. Included among their early drive tools was a configurable brace handle with both male and female ends, which allowed it to be combined with other tools in various configurations.

[Walden 1107 1/2-Drive Brace Handle and 1108 Knobl]
Fig. 81. Walden 1107 1/2-Drive Brace Handle and 1108 Knob, with Inset for Detail, ca. 1920-1924.

The operation will become clear by reference to Fig. 81, where we see a 1/2-drive Walden 1107 brace socket wrench with a model 1108 knob attached at the left. The brace is marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on one leg of the bend, as shown in greater detail in the inset.

The throw is 4.8 inches, and the overall length (exclusive of knob) is 9.5 inches.

The brace is very solidly constructed, with the male drive stud attached with a pin, and the female socket crimped at the bottom. The finish is nickel plate, though much of the finish has been lost due to wear and rust.

In typical operation, a drive plug (Model 1109) or double-male extension (Model 1139) would be inserted in the drive socket on the right, a 1/2-drive female connection. At this point the tool would function as a conventional speeder or brace, and sockets could be connected as needed.

But the tool allows many other other possibilities -- for example, connecting a socket in place of the knob, and adding the knob on the other side, or perhaps a ratchet handle instead. Or as suggested in a catalog, different sized sockets could be connected on each side to create a double socket wrench.

The No. 1107 brace wrench was apparently produced for only a short while, as listings in the 1925 Dunham catalog show that it had been replaced by a more conventional No. 1163 brace in the Nos. 25, 26, and 27 socket sets.

In addition to the No. 1107, the 1922 Walden catalog "B" listed two alternate brace wrenches, a short No. 1114 tool and a long No. 1160 tool, both one-piece units with a conventional 1/2-drive stud.


Walden-Worcester 1108 1/2-Drive Brace Handle

[Walden 1108 1/2-Drive Knob]
Fig. 82. Walden 1108 1/2-Drive Brace Handle, with Inset for Detail, ca. 1920-1924.

The knob or brace handle in the above figure is shown in greater detail in Fig. 82, a 1/2-drive Walden 1108 brace handle marked "Made in U.S.A." on the shaft. The inset shows the top of the knob with markings "Walden Worcester Speed Wrenches" and "Patents Pending".

The patents applying to this tool have not been found yet.


Walden-Worcester 1139 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension

One of the accessory tools designed for use with the 1107 brace was a double-male extension, as illustrated in the next figure.

[Walden 1139 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension]
Fig. 83. Walden 1139 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension, ca. 1920-1924.

Fig. 83 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1139 double-male extension, stamped with "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the square shank.

The overall length is 9.0 inches.

In the photograph the left end of the extension has an inserted pin to act as a stop, and both ends are fitted with friction balls (not visible in the photograph). The end without stop-pins was expected to be connected to another drive tool for which no stop was needed, such as the 1107 brace or 1102 universal.

Walden's use of stop-pins is shown in a 1922 catalog illustration, but in the 1925 Dunham catalog the stops appear to be pinched tabs. This detail may be useful for estimating the manufacturing date of early extensions.

This particular tool was acquired with the No. 1107 brace socket wrench, but was also included as a component in most of the early Walden socket sets.


Walden-Worcester 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet with Nickel Finish

The later production of the model 516 ratchets was given a heavy nickel plate finish.

[Walden 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet, Nickel Finish]
Fig. 84. Walden 516 1/2-Drive Ratchet, Nickel Finish, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1919-1922.

Fig. 84 shows an example, a 1/2-drive Walden 516 ratchet, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. Pending" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.0 inches.


Walden-Worcester 716 1/2-Drive Long Ratchet

Walden also offered a model 716 ratchet with a longer handle.

[Walden 716 1/2-Drive Long Ratchet]
Fig. 85. Walden 716 1/2-Drive Long Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1919-1922.

Fig. 85 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 716 long-handled ratchet, marked with "Walden Worcester" forged into the handle, with "Pat. Pending" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in "K" code visible at the right.

The overall length is 12.0 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

The patent pending status refers to patent #1,420,467, filed by W.S. Bellows in 1919 and issued in 1921.

This ratchet is basically identical to the 516 model except for the longer forged handle.


The Chrome Alloy Period, 1925-1945

[A Walden Chrome-Nickel Merchandising Cabinet in 1925]
A Walden "Chrome Nickel" Merchandising Cabinet in 1925

By 1925 Walden had started using chrome-nickel alloy steel for its sockets, making Walden the earliest known manufacturer of alloy sockets in standard 1/2 square drive. (Recently found information indicates that Mossberg was using a chrome alloy for sockets as early as 1922, although not in 1/2 square drive.) The scan at the left from the 1925 Dunham, Carrigan, & Hayden catalog shows a merchandising cabinet for Walden's interchangeable sockets and drive tools, with "Chrome Nickel" prominently displayed at the top.

Walden sockets from the early part of this period were marked with "Chrome Nickel" in an outline box, while later sockets (from about 1930 on) were marked "Chrome Alloy".

By 1925 the Walden socket sets were being supplied in metal boxes, and a new No. 28 set had been added. The earlier No. 1107 brace handle had been replaced by a single-piece No. 1163 brace, and two new speeders (Nos. 1115 and 1119 at 15 and 19 inches respectivly) were available as part of the No. 28 set.

By 1928 an 8xx series of 1/2-drive double-hex (12-point) sockets was available, which featured tapered walls and full-sized bases. The 1xx and 2xx series continued to be available as well, but were probably discontinued a short time later. At this time the socket design featured a knurled band around the center, and catalog illustrations show this style on all of the 1xx, 2xx, and 8xx series.

By 1932 Walden had introduced the 1/2-drive 18xx socket series, with straight thin walls and double-hex broachings. The earliest form of the 18xx sockets had a single knurled band around the base, but the later (and more commonly found) style featured two narrow knurled bands, one around the base and the other near the center.

This period also saw the introduction of sockets and tools in 1 Inch Hex Drive, which when first offered in 1925 were the largest drive size yet produced by any tool maker. However, initially these large tools were not made of alloy steel, but instead were produced from carbon steel and hardened after machining. By the 1930s the 1 inch hex series were being made of chrome alloy steel.


214 "Chrome Nickel" 7/16 Hex Socket

We'll begin this section with some examples of early 2xx series Chrome-Nickel hex sockets.

[Walden-Worcester 214 1/2-Drive 7/16 Inch Socket]
Fig. 86. Walden-Worcester 214 1/2-Drive 7/16 Inch Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1930.

Fig. 86 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 214 7/16 inch hex socket, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline.

The finish is cadmium plating.

The tapered upper walls and knurled band around the center were standard features of the 1xx and 2xx series sockets in the "Chrome Nickel" era.


231 "Chrome Nickel" 31/32 Hex Socket

[Walden-Worcester 231 1/2-Drive 31/32 Hex Socket]
Fig. 87. Walden-Worcester 231 1/2-Drive 31/32 Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 87 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 231 31/32 hex socket, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline.

The socket has an interesting rounded base and a knurled band around the center. By 1929 or so the larger sockets were no longer being made with a rounded base.


232 "Chrome Nickel" 1 Inch Hex Socket

[Walden-Worcester 232 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Hex Socket]
Fig. 88. Walden-Worcester 232 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 88 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 232 1 inch hex socket, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline.

The socket has an interesting rounded base and a knurled band around the center. By 1929 or so the larger sockets were no longer being made with a rounded base.


Walden-Worcester No. 28 Socket Set

In 1925 Walden began offering a No. 28 socket set which included several tools that had not been previously offered in sets. Currently we do not have an example of the No. 28 set, but will use this entry as a placeholder to help provide context for the new tool models.


Walden-Worcester 1106 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Sliding Tee Head

This next figure shows an unusual type of drive tool, giving the appearance of an extension at first glance, but actually designed as an extended sliding Tee head.

[Walden 1106 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Sliding Tee Head]
Fig. 89. Walden 1106 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Sliding Tee Head, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 89 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1106 6 inch sliding Tee head, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with a reversed-Z date code at the right (see composite inset).

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The upper right inset shows a close-up of the drive head and cross-bar hole. The hole is drilled for a 1/2 diameter bar, and a detent ball is provided as a convenience.

Our earliest reference for this tool is the 1925 Dunham catalog, where it is listed as part of the new No. 28 socket set.


Walden-Worcester 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Sliding Tee Head with Rotating Grip

The No. 28 set also included a 12 inch sliding Tee head, seen here in a slightly later version with a rotating hand grip.

[Walden 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Sliding Tee Head]
Fig. 90. Walden 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Sliding Tee Head, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1928 to Late 1930s.

Fig. 90 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1127 12 inch sliding Tee head with a rotating grip, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the grip (see composite inset).

The overall length is 12.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The upper right inset shows a close-up of the drive head and cross-bar hole. The hole is drilled for a 1/2 diameter bar, and a detent ball is provided as a convenience, to help hold the handle in position.

Our earliest reference for the No. 1127 tool is the 1922 Walden catalog "B", although at that time this tool was not part of any of the standard sets. By 1925 the No. 1127 tool was included as part of the new No. 28 socket set, along with the similar Walden 1106 Sliding Tee Head.

By 1928 the No. 1127 tool was being made with a rotating hand grip, as seen in this example. In a later generation this tool had been transformed into an extension by adding a 1/2-drive broaching, and an example can be seen as the Walden No. 1127 Extension.


Walden-Worcester 1111 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

This next figure shows one of the tools first offered in the No. 28 set.

[Walden 1111 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 91. Walden 1111 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 91 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1111 sliding Tee handle, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the head.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

One detail to note here is that the 9/16 diameter handle bar shown in the photograph is a replacement, borrowed from an S-K socket set but believed to be similar to the original Walden piece.

Our first reference for this tool is the 1925 Dunham catalog, where it is listed as part of the new No. 28 socket set. In its earlier years Walden often made sliding Tee handles with a removable bar, possibly to allow the tools to be stored more easily. By the 1950s this tool appears to have had a permanently attached handle.


Stevens Walden Worcester 1115 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Speeder

[Walden 1115 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Speeder]
Fig. 92. Walden 1115 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1927 to 1930s.

Fig. 92 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1115 15 inch speeder with a rotating hand grip, stamped "Stevens Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the end piece (see composite inset).

The overall length is 15.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

By 1925 the No. 1115 15 inch speeder had been introduced as part of the Walden No. 28 socket set. The "Stevens" marking on this example indicates somewhat later production.


Walden-Worcester 1113 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter

[Walden 1113 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter]
Fig. 93. Walden 1113 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1926.

Fig. 93 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1113 ratchet adapter, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the barrel.

The overall length is 2.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The No. 1113 ratchet adapter was available by 1925 as part of the No. 28 socket set. Although not marked with a patent reference, this tool is covered by patent #1,643,860, filed by C.A. Shedd in 1926 and issued in 1927. The lack of a patent marking suggests production before the patent filing. By 1928 this tool was no longer included in any standard set, but was still available as a separate tool.

Note that this type of tool, although commonly referred to as a ratchet adapter, is technically a clutch, since once engaged it can be turned in either direction.

Similar examples of spring-loaded ratchet adapters were produced by several other companies, including Snap-On Wrench, Blackhawk, and Indestro. (The Snap-On tool is believed to have been the first available.) Examples can be seen as the Snap-On No. 6 Ratchet Adapter, Blackhawk T-3 Ratchet Adapter, and Indestro Chromium-Vanadium Ratchet Adapter.


Walden-Worcester 1133 1/2-Drive Ratchet Ell Handle

[Later Walden 1133 1/2-Drive Ratchet Breaker Bar]
Fig. 94. Walden 1133 1/2-Drive Ratchet Breaker Bar, with Inset for Detail, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 94 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1133 ratchet breaker bar, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." (see inset).

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

The clutch mechanism in this tool is similar to that in the Walden 1113 Ratchet Adapter. Currently we do not have a catalog reference for this tool.


For 1928: Double-Hex Sockets and a New Ratchet Model

By 1928 the Stevens Walden catalog No. 263 was offering an 8xx series of double-hex sockets, although the older 2xx hex series were still available. In addition, the older model 516 and 716 ratchets had been replaced by a model OR916 ratchet.

Also by this time the earlier No. 16 socket set had been superseded by the No. 16-R set, with changes including the use of chrome-nickel double-hex sockets and the later OR916 ratchet, but without the universal included in earlier sets.


Walden-Worcester 832 "Chrome Nickel" 1 Inch Double-Hex Socket

[Walden-Worcester 832 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Double-Hex Socket]
Fig. 95. Walden-Worcester 832 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Double-Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1928.

Fig. 95 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 832 1 inch double-hex socket, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline.

The socket is designed with tapered upper walls and a knurled band around the center, features inherited from the 1xx and 2xx series sockets.

This socket has an interesting rounded base, a feature also noted on the earlier production of the 2xx series sockets up to about 1928.


Walden-Worcester OR916 1/2-Drive Ratchet

This next figure shows an example of the OR916 ratchet, acquired separately rather than as part of a set.

[Walden OR916 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 96. Walden OR916 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1928 to Early 1930s.

Fig. 96 shows a 1/2-drive Walden model OR916 ratchet, with forged-in markings "Walden Worcester" on the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse. The overall length is 10.5 inches.

The finish is a thin metal coating of unknown composition.

The OR916 is a ruggedly built female-drive ratchet constructed with two metal plates riveted to a forged handle. This model was listed in Walden's 1928 Handbook No. 263 as their standard 1/2-drive ratchet, and was included in socket sets 16-R, 26-R, and others.

The OR916 ratchet was still listed in the 1930 Sligo catalog, but by 1932 had been replaced by the Walden 916 Ratchet.


Walden-Worcester No. 16-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set

We are fortunate to have a rare example of a Walden No. 16-R socket set from around 1930, acquired in very good condition in its metal box.

[Walden No. 16-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 97. Walden No. 16-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1930.

Fig. 97 shows a Walden No. 16-R 1/2-drive socket set in its metal case, consisting of an OR916 ratchet, a No. 1109 drive plug, a No. 1125 Ell handle, a No. 1139 extension, and 12 8xx-series double-hex sockets with sizes ranging from 7/16 to 1 inch.

The socket models and sizes are, beginning at the right in the front socket bay, 814 (7/16), 816 (1/2), 818 (9/16), and 819 (19/32). Then continuing from the right in the back bay, the models and sizes are 820 (5/8), 822 (11/16), 824 (3/4), 825 (25/32), 826 (13/16), 828 (7/8), 830 (15/16), and 832 (1 Inch).

The tools in the set are finished with cadmium plating, and the sockets are finished with a black oxide base and a plain upper part.

[Top Cover of Walden No. 16-R Socket Set]
Fig. 98. Top Cover of Walden No. 16-R Socket Set, ca. 1930.

Fig. 98 shows the top cover of the Walden No. 16-R socket set, marked "Walden-Worcester Wrenches" and "Set No. 16-R" on a circular paper decal.

The dimensions of the box are 10.8 inches long by 4.5 inches deep by 2.0 inches high.

The set as acquired was complete except for the No. 1109 drive plug, but we were able to replace it from inventory, in the pinched-tab version to match the extension.

Our No. 16-R set has some transitional features that allow a reasonably precise estimate of the manufacturing date. Most of the sockets in the set are marked "Chrome Alloy", but two exceptions carry the earlier "Chrome Nickel" marking. In addition, all of the sockets have dual markings for the 2xx and 8xx model series, a transitional form probably used when the 2xx series were being discontinued. These features suggest a manufacturing date around 1930, the approximate time of the transition to the "Chrome Alloy" marking and the discontinuation of the 2xx series sockets.

When compared with an earlier Walden No. 16 Set, several changes in this set are apparent. The later set has fewer sockets, 12 instead of 16, and no longer comes with a universal. However, this later set does offer an additional drive tool in the No. 1125 Ell handle, and the updated OR916 ratchet offers slightly better leverage.


Walden-Worcester OR916 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Walden OR01916 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 99. Walden OR916 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1930.

Fig. 99 shows the 1/2-drive Walden OR916 female-drive ratchet from the No. 16-R socket set. The shank is marked with "Walden Worcester" forged into the front, with "Made in USA" forged into the reverse. Note also the M-Circle logo forged into the reverse shank at the right.

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

The M-Circle logo was a trademark of the Moore Drop Forging Company and was frequently used as a forge mark on their contract production. Walden is not known to have had much (if any) drop-forging capabilities and therefore turned to other companies when drop-forged parts were needed.


Walden-Worcester 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle

[Walden 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle]
Fig. 100. Walden 1125 1/2-Drive Ell Handle, with Composite Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930.

Fig. 100 shows the 1/2-drive Walden 1125 Ell handle from the No. 16-R socket set, stamped with "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in an outline box, as shown in the composite inset.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Walden-Worcester 1139 1/2-Drive 9 Inch Extension with Pinched Tabs

[Walden 1/2-Drive 1139 9 Inch Extension]
Fig. 101. Walden 1/2-Drive 1139 9 Inch Extension, ca. 1930.

Fig. 101 shows the 1/2-drive Walden 1139 9 inch double-male extension from the No. 16-R socket set, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

Note that this extension is constructed with pinched tabs as stops at one end, instead of the stop-pins used in an earlier Walden 1139 Extension. As with earlier construction, the opposite end does not have stops, allowing it to be used as a variable-length extension with a female-drive ratchet.


Walden-Worcester 2xx/8xx 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets

[Walden-Worcester 230/830 1/2-Drive 15/16 Double-Hex Socket]
Fig. 102. Walden-Worcester 2xx/8xx 1/2-Drive Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1930.

Fig. 102 shows the three largest 1/2-drive sockets from the No. 16-R set, each stamped with the 2xx/8xx model number plus "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in an outline box. The models and sizes are, from the left, 232/832 (1 inch), 230/830 (15/16), and 228/828 (7/8). (The markings are a bit difficult to read due to the black oxide finish.)

This sockets are also stamped with the fractional size and either "Chrome Alloy" or "Chrome Nickel" in an outline box, as shown in the lower inset. In this group the 228/828 socket on the right is marked "Chrome Nickel", with "Chrome Alloy" for the other two.

The sockets are designed with tapered upper walls and a knurled band around the center, features inherited from the 1xx and 2xx series sockets. The finish is black oxide on the base with plain steel upper parts.

The upper inset shows the 12-point broaching of the sockets.

The dual 2xx/8xx model numbers and mixed Chrome Alloy/Chrome Nickel markings are transitional features that helped to narrow the production date for the No. 16-R set to around 1930.


Walden-Worcester 230/830 "Chrome Nickel" 15/16 Double-Hex Socket

The next several figures show additional examples of 8xx series sockets from the late 1920s to 1930s, acquired separately from the No. 16-R set.

[Walden-Worcester 230/830 1/2-Drive 15/16 Double-Hex Socket]
Fig. 103. Walden-Worcester 230/830 1/2-Drive 15/16 Double-Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1929-1930.

Fig. 103 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 830 15/16 double-hex socket, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline (see composite inset).

The socket is designed with tapered upper walls and a knurled band around the center, features inherited from the 1xx and 2xx series sockets.

This socket is also stamped with a "230" model number, a reference to the older 2xx series of hex sockets. Dual 2xx/8xx markings are believed to have been used for a short transitional period after the production of 2xx sockets had been discontinued.


Walden-Worcester 234/834 "Chrome Nickel" 1-1/16 Double-Hex Socket

[Walden-Worcester 234/834 1/2-Drive 1-1/16 Double-Hex Socket]
Fig. 104. Walden-Worcester 234/834 1/2-Drive 1-1/16 Double-Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1929-1930.

Fig. 104 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 834 1-1/16 double-hex socket, stamped with "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Nickel" in a separate box outline.

The socket is designed with tapered upper walls and a knurled band around the center, features inherited from the 1xx and 2xx series sockets.

This socket is also stamped with a "234" model number, a reference to Walden's older 2xx series of hex sockets. Dual 2xx/8xx markings are believed to have been used for a short transitional period after the production of 2xx sockets had been discontinued.


Walden-Worcester "Chrome Alloy" 8xx-Series Sockets

By 1930 the Sligo Iron Company catalog was specifying chrome alloy steel for the Walden 8xx series sockets. These sockets were marked with "Chrome Alloy" in an outline box, similar to older "Chrome Nickel" marking.

[Walden-Worcester 8xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 105. Walden-Worcester 8xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets, with Insets for Broach and Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 105 shows a group of three 1/2-drive Walden 8xx-series sockets, each marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Alloy" in a separate box outline. The models and sizes are, from the left, 816 (1/2), 825 (25/32), and 836 (1-1/8).

The sockets have tapered walls and a knurled band around the center, and the upper (tapered) part is polished. The finish is plain steel.

The upper inset shows the socket broaching details.

The lower row of insets shows the "Chrome Alloy" marking along with the presumed date codes. The date code resembles a reversed "F" for the lefthand socket, and reversed "Z" codes for the middle and righthand sockets.

The use of "Chrome Alloy" here, instead of the earlier "Chrome Nickel", suggests that Walden might have adopted a chrome-vanadium or chrome-molybdenum alloy by this time, as others in the tool industry had done.


Walden-Worcester No. 21 Drain Plug Service Set

[Catalog Listing for Walden-Worcester No. 21 Drain Plug Service Set]
1925 Catalog Listing for Walden-Worcester No. 21 Drain Plug Service Set.

Early automobiles required frequent changes of lubricating oil, and the oil drain plugs for the various auto models came in a wide variety of sizes and formats. Some plugs needed hex sockets, some needed square sockets, and a some even needed square plug (driver) sockets.

To address this service problem, some manufacturers began offering special socket sets tailored to drain plug service. Walden offered its No. 21 drain plug service set as early as 1925, and it remained in production into the 1930s.

Our earliest catalog reference for this set can be seen in the scan at the left, found on page 53 of the 1925 Waterhouse & Lester Supplement A to catalog No. 20. As the No. 21 set wasn't listed in the 1924 catalog No. 20, this suggests a 1925 offering date.

[Walden-Worcester No. 21 Drain Plug Service Set]
Fig. 106. Walden-Worcester No. 21 Drain Plug Service Set, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 106 shows a Walden No. 21 drain plug service set in its metal case, a collection of specialty sockets and drive tools intended primarily for drain plugs. The set consists of a sliding Tee handle and three groups of sockets: shallow hex sockets, shallow square sockets, and square pipe plug (driver) sockets. The metal case is embossed on the cover with "Walden Worcester Wrenches" and "Made in U.S.A.", seen from the back (reversed) in the photograph.

The hex sockets in the back row have models and sizes, from the left, 340 (1-1/4), 336 (1-1/8), 334 (1-1/16), 332 (1 inch), 330 (15/16), and 316 (1/2). The 324 (3/4) socket is missing and would fit in the gap between the 15/16 and 1/2 sockets.

The square sockets (the third row from the back) have models and sizes, from the left, 0310 (5/16), 0312 (3/8), 0316 (1/2), 0318 (9/16), 0322 (11/16), 0324 (3/4), and 0326 (13/16). Two sockets are missing, the 0314 (7/16) and 0320 (5/8), and the 0322 socket has been repaired.

The square pipe plug sockets (the front row) have models and sizes, from the left, P-10 (5/16), P-12 (3/8), P-14 (7/16), P-16 (1/2), P-18 (9/16), P-20 (5/8), P-22 (11/16), and P-24 (3/4).

All of the sockets in the set are marked stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in a small outline box, and most of the sockets have a reversed-"F" date code. The finish is cadmium plating.

The drive tools are seen in the second slot from the back, a 1/2-drive Walden 1124 sliding Tee extension and a 7/16 diameter crossbar. The sliding Tee head is marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." with a reversed-"F" date code, matching the markings on most of the sockets. The cross-bar is marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." and fits the sliding Tee head correctly, but was not acquired with to the set.

Although the No. 21 set was produced during the period characterized by alloy steel sockets, we do not have any evidence that the drain plug socket series were ever produced using alloy steel.


Walden-Worcester No. 1124 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head and Crossbar

[Walden-Worcester 1124 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head]
Fig. 107. Walden-Worcester 1124 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head and Crossbar, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 107 shows the 1/2-drive Walden 1124 sliding Tee handle from the No. 21 set, consisting of a 1124 sliding Tee head and an unnumbered 7/16 diameter cross-bar. The Tee head is stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with a reversed-"F" date code at the right. The cross-bar is also stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A.", but no model number is marked.

The length of the bar is 7.0 inches and that of the drive shaft is 4.0 inches. The finish is cadmium plating.


Later Socket Sets

We do not have any examples of complete socket sets from later in the 1930s, but can describe some of the changes to the sets, based on the listings in the Stevens-Walden catalog No. 117 of 1932. In addition, we do have examples of later versions of individual tools from this time frame.

By 1932 the standard socket sets were offered with an option for either 8xx sockets ("-D" suffix) or 18xx thin-wall sockets ("-T" suffix). For example, the 16-R socket set of the late 1920s could now be ordered as a 16-D set with 8xx series sockets, or as a 16-T set with 18xx sockets.


Walden-Worcester 916 1/2-Drive Ratchet

By 1932 the OR916 ratchet had been superseded by the 916 ratchet in the standard socket sets, according to Walden catalog No. 117.

[Walden 916 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 108. Walden 916 1/2-Drive Ratchet and 1109 Drive Plug, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 108 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 916 female-drive ratchet, with markings "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the handle, and with "Worcester, Mass." on the reverse (not shown).

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

The ratchet is shown with a Walden-Worcester 1109 drive plug.


Walden-Worcester 1139 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extensions

Walden frequently retained the same model numbers for tools even after significant changes had been made to the construction or specifications. The next figures show examples of this in later generations of the Model 1139 1/2-drive extension.

[Later Walden 1139 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension]
Fig. 109. Later Walden 1139 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 109 shows a later model 1/2-drive Walden 1139 10 inch extension with a female drive head, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the broached end. The shank is also stamped with an inverted "V" date code, but the interpretation is not yet known.

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

The original Model 1139 was a double-male extension with an inserted pin as a stop, quite different from this later version. (And not even inter-operable, if a double-male extension was needed!)

Currently we're unsure of exactly when Walden replaced the double-male extension with a modern male-female version. The 1928 Stevens Walden catalog No. 263 appears to show male-female extensions in some of the illustrations, but a No. 16-R socket set from around 1930 still included a double-male extension. The 1932 Stevens Walden catalog No. 117 also illustrated male-female extensions, and probably by this time the change had been made.

[Walden 1139 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension with Double-Knurl Base]
Fig. 110. Walden 1139 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension with Double-Knurl Base, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 110 at the left shows another later example of the 1/2-drive Walden 1139 extension, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the drive head. The base shows two bands of knurling, a pattern also seen on later sockets in the 18xx series.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Walden-Worcester 1102 1/2-Drive Universal

This next figure shows another example of a later tool retaining the old model number after significant changes. Probably by 1932 this style of universal with both male and female ends had superseded the earlier double-female design.

[Later Walden 1102 1/2-Drive Universal]
Fig. 111. Later Walden 1102 1/2-Drive Universal, with Inset for Detail, ca. 1930s.

In Fig. 111 we see a later model 1/2-drive Walden 1102 universal, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in an outline box, and with "Chrome Alloy" in another outline.

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

The inset shows the "Chrome Alloy" marking and a presumed date code, resembling a rotated (reversed and inverted) "t" symbol. The "Chrome Alloy" marking suggests production in the 1930s.

The earlier Walden 1102 Universal had double-female connections, although since a drive plug would generally have been used, the newer universal design was probably more convenient in most cases.


Walden-Worcester Early 18xx-Series Thin-Wall Sockets

By 1932 (or earlier) Walden had introduced a new 18xx series of straight thin-wall 12-point sockets. The 18xx thin-wall sockets remained in production for a number of years, making them relatively easy to find, although usually in a later style with two thin knurled bands. We were fortunate to find a group of sockets in the early form of the 18xx series, identified by a single (and wider) knurled band.

[Walden-Worcester 18xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 112. Walden-Worcester 18xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 112 shows six of the rarely-seen early style 1/2-drive Walden 18xx-series sockets, each marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Alloy" in a separate box outline. The models and sizes are, from the left, 1819 (19/32), 1820 (5/8), 1822 (11/16), 1825 (25/32), 1830 (15/16), and 1832 (1 Inch).

The sockets are polished and have a thin finish of chrome plate, now worn in some areas. The base has knurled band separated by narrow grooves on either side.

The lower inset shows the "Chrome Alloy" markings in an outline box, plus the presumed date code symbols marked on the sockets. The symbols resemble a reversed "F" on four sockets, a reversed "7" on one (second from the right, the 1830), and one socket (third from left, 1822) is too worn to read. These sockets were acquired as a group, making it more likely that they were produced around the same time.

The upper inset shows the socket construction and broaching details. There are chatter marks visible on the walls, indicating that these were probably cold-broached. The chips from the broaching have been trimmed close against the walls, similar to the way early Snap-On 12-point sockets were made. (See patent #1,772,723 for a description of Snap-On's method of broaching sockets.)

The 18xx series sockets in this style are illustrated in the Walden No. 117 catalog of 1932. The catalog offers an interesting note on the manufacturing process, stating that the socket blanks were broached before being turned down to their final diameter, in order to prevent buckling of the thin walls during broaching. The material used was chrome alloy steel.


Walden-Worcester 5828 Oval-Drive 7/8 Socket

During the mid 1920s Walden received a patent for a configurable type of socket wrench, with the sockets secured to the handle by set-screws instead of being permanently mounted. This allowed a shop to make up its own special-use socket wrenches, combining the socket sizes most commonly used together. The design was covered by patent #1,596,708, issued to F.H. Bellows in 1926.

The idea seems not to have caught on though, as these tools appear to be very rare. However, we were able to acquire one of the special sockets used with these wrenches.

[Walden-Worcester Oval-Drive 5828 7/8 Socket]
Fig. 113. Walden-Worcester Oval-Drive 5828 7/8 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Detail, ca. 1930-1940.

Fig. 113 shows an oval-drive Walden 5828 7/8 socket, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline, and with "Chrome Alloy" in a separate box outline.

The upper right inset shows the broaching for the socket, with the oval drive clearly visible through the opening. The set-screw for securing the socket can be seen at the base.

The lower inset shows the "Chrome Alloy" marking in the outline box. The style and construction of this socket closely resembles the 8xx series sockets shown above, but with the standard 1/2-drive replaced by the special oval-drive.


Walden-Worcester 3330 1/2-Drive 15/16 Deep Socket

[Walden-Worcester 3330 1/2-Drive 15/16 Deep Socket]
Fig. 114. Walden-Worcester 3330 1/2-Drive 15/16 Deep Socket, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 114 shows a rarely-seen early 1/2-drive Walden 3330 15/16 deep socket, marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." inside a box outline.

The socket is drilled for a cross-bar hole and has a wide knurled band, possibly to assist with turning by hand.

The inset shows the size marking and presumed date code, a reversed "F" symbol.


Walden-Worcester 3332 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Deep Socket

[Walden-Worcester 3332 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Deep Socket]
Fig. 115. Walden-Worcester 3332 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Deep Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1930-1940.

Fig. 115 shows another example of the 1/2-drive 33xx deep socket series, a Walden 3332 1 inch socket. The socket is marked "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in an outline box, with "Chrome Alloy" in another box.

The socket is drilled for a cross-bar hole and has a wide knurled band, possibly to assist with turning by hand.

The lower inset shows the size marking and "Chrome Alloy", plus an "I" symbol as a presumed date code.


Walden-Worcester 1135 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extensions

[Walden 1135 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 116. Walden 1135 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 116 shows an example of a 1/2-drive Walden 1135 6 inch extension, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the drive head. The head is marked with two narrow bands of knurling, a pattern also seen on later sockets in the 18xx series.

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

The two knurled bands around the drive head indicate later production for this example, probably in the 1940s.


[Walden 1135 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 117. Walden 1135 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 117 at the left shows another 1/2-drive Walden 1135 6 inch extension, this time with a knurled head. The extension is stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, and is also stamped with a date code resembling a "7" digit.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The drive end of this example is knurled for a better grip when turning by hand, a convenience not seen on earlier extensions. Currently we don't have a catalog reference for this style of extension.

Note also that the drive stud of this example doesn't have the flared section generally seen in other Walden extensions.


Walden-Worcester 216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension

This next example is a bit of an oddball tool, as the 216 model number is not known to have been used by Walden for an extension. (Much earlier a model 216 would have been a 1/2-drive 1/2 hex socket.) It may represent wartime production.

[Walden 216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 118. Walden 216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension, ca. 1941-1945.

Fig. 118 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 216 6 inch extension, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

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


Walden-Worcester 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Sliding Tee Head Extension with Rotating Grip

Walden later added a broached end to the No. 1127 tool to make it into an extension, with the cross-bar hole still available for use as a sliding Tee handle.

[Walden 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Extension]
Fig. 119. Walden 1127 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Tee Head Extension with Rotating Grip, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 119 shows a later 1/2-drive Walden 1127 12 inch sliding Tee head extension with a rotating hand grip, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the grip, with the model number at the left and an "I" date code at the right (see composite inset).

The overall length is 12.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The upper right inset shows a close-up of the drive head and cross-bar hole, with the end broached for a 1/2 square drive. The hole is drilled for a 1/2 diameter bar, and equipped with a detent ball.


Walden-Worcester 1151 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Walden 1151 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 120. Walden 1151 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 120 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1151 15 inch flex-head handle, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." with an "I" date code.

The overall length is 15.5 inches. The finish is plated, but of unknown composition.

The handle is provided with both a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive end broach, as can be seen in the right inset. These features allow additional use as a Tee-handle or extension, making this a very flexible tool.


Walden-Worcester 1152 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Later Walden 1152 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 121. Later Walden 1152 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for End Detail.

Fig. 121 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1152 flex-head handle, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." and a "v" date code.

The overall length is 10.5 inches. The finish is now mostly plain steel, but may have been cadmium plating originally.

The handle is provided with both a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive end broach, as can be seen in the inset detail. These features allow additional use as a Tee-handle or extension, making this a very flexible tool.


Walden-Worcester 1153 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Walden 1153 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 122. Walden 1153 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Head and End Detail.

Fig. 122 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1153 flex-head handle, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." with a reversed-"7" date code. The overall length is 15.6 inches.

The left inset shows a closeup of the flexible head, with a groove to act as a detent.

As with the previous figures, the knurled handle is provided with both a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive end broach, for operation as a Tee-handle or extension.


Walden-Worcester 1130 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver

[Walden 1153 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver]
Fig. 123. Walden 1130 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 123 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1130 drag link driver, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." and a "W" date code.

The overall height is 1.6 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The two knurled bands on the base indicate later production, probably during the 1940s.


1 Inch Hex Drive Tools

Now that we've completed our survey of 1/2-drive tools during Walden's Chrome Alloy period, it's time to examine some of the other drive sizes offered during this period. We'll begin with tools made using hex instead of square drive, an unusual design choice for Walden, which had preferred using square drive for most of its history.

By 1925 Walden had introduced a line of 1 inch hex drive sockets and tools, at that time the largest drive size available from any maker. Our earliest catalog reference for these tools is the 1925 Dunham, Carrigan, & Hayden catalog No. 73, which offered an extensive selection of Walden tools. The 1 inch hex tools available in 1925 consisted of a No. 1103 sliding Tee head, a No. 1112 sliding Tee extension, a No. 1123 handle bar, and twelve sockets ranging in size from 1-1/4 (No. 540) up to 2 inches (No. 564). These tools could be purchased individually or in the No. 500 set in a metal box.

Later additions to the 1 inch hex drive product line included the No. 1132 and No. 1137 ratchets, No. 1116 plug connector and No. 1117 extensions, and additional sockets to cover the range from 7/8 up to 2-7/16 inches. The No. 510 socket set included a ratchet, extension, sliding Tee handle, and ten sockets. The 1 inch hex drive tools were still available in the 1932 Stevens Walden catalog No. 117.

Although the 1 inch hex drive line was introduced around the same time as the development of chrome nickel sockets, the earlier 1 inch hex tools were still made of carbon steel. In addition, the design of the sockets resembled a scaled-up version of the first-generation 1/2-drive sockets. Later sockets were made of chrome alloy steel.


Walden-Worcester Early 546 1 Inch Hex Drive Socket

[Walden 546 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-7/16 Socket]
Fig. 124. Walden 546 Early 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-7/16 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1925.

Fig. 124 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 546 1-7/16 socket, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the upper wall.

The left inset shows the 1 inch hex drive end, and the right inset shows the broached service opening.

This is an earlier socket and lacks the cross-bar hole used for later production.


Walden-Worcester Early 548 1 Inch Hex Drive Socket

[Walden 548 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/2 Socket]
Fig. 125. Walden 548 Early 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/2 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1925.

Fig. 125 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 548 1-1/2 socket, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the upper wall.

The right inset shows the broached service opening, with the 1 inch hex drive end visible in the background.

This is an earlier socket and lacks the cross-bar hole used for later production.


Walden-Worcester 540 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/4 Socket

[Walden 540 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/4 Socket]
Fig. 126. Walden 540 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/4 Socket, with Insets for Broaching Detail, ca. 1927.

Fig. 126 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 540 1-1/4 socket, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the base.

The insets shows the broached drive end (left) and service opening (right) of the socket.

The socket is equipped with a cross-bar hole for a 7/8 inch bar, a convenience feature added sometime after the introduction of the 1 inch drive tools.


Walden-Worcester 558 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-13/16 Socket

[Walden 558 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-13/16 Inch Socket]
Fig. 127. Walden 558 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-13/16 Inch Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1927.

Fig. 127 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 558 1-13/16 socket, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the base (see lower composite inset).

The left inset shows the drive end of the socket with its 1 inch hex opening. The right inset shows the broached service opening of the socket, with the hex drive end visible at the bottom.

The socket is equipped with a cross-bar hole for a 7/8 inch bar, a convenience feature added somewhat after the introduction of the 1 inch drive tools.


Walden-Worcester 564 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Socket

[Walden 564 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Socket]
Fig. 128. Walden 564 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Socket, with Inset for Broaching Detail, ca. 1927.

Fig. 128 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 564 2 inch socket, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the base.

The inset shows the broached service opening of the socket, with the hex drive end visible at the bottom.

The socket is equipped with a cross-bar hole for a 7/8 inch bar, a convenience feature added somewhat after the introduction of the 1 inch drive tools.


Walden-Worcester "Chrome Alloy" 4464 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Double-Square Socket

The production of 1 inch hex drive tools extended into the "Chrome Alloy" period, as the next figure illustrates.

[Walden Chrome Alloy 4464 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Double-Square Socket]
Fig. 129. Walden "Chrome Alloy" 4464 1 Inch Hex Drive 2 Inch Double-Square Socket, with Insets for End View, Broaching Detail, and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 129 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 4464 2 inch double-square socket, stamped with "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." in an outline box, with a reversed-"Z" date code and "Chrome Alloy" at the right.

The overall height is 3.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with minor pitting due to rust.

The left inset shows the drive end with its 1 inch hex opening, and the right inset shows the broached double-square service opening.

The socket is equipped with a cross-bar hole for a 7/8 inch bar, a convenience feature added somewhat after the introduction of the 1 inch drive tools.

This socket model was offered in the 1932 Stevens-Walden catalog No. 117, with the use of chrome alloy steel noted.


Walden-Worcester 1112 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Extension

[Walden 1112 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Extension]
Fig. 130. Walden 1112 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Extension, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1929.

Fig. 130 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 1112 sliding Tee extension, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the head.

The overall length is 13.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This tool is intended for use with the Walden 1123 7/8 diameter handle bar. The right inset shows the drive head with a detent ball in the cross-bar hole.


Walden-Worcester Early 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet

[Walden 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 131. Walden 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1928-1929.

Fig. 131 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 1132 ratchet, stamped "Stevens Walden Worcester" on the handle.

The overall length is 19.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Walden-Worcester 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet with Forged Body

In later production Walden increased the strength of the 1132 ratchet by using a rugged forged body, as illustrated in the next figure.

[Walden 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 132. Walden 1132 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1930+.

Fig. 132 shows a later version of the Walden 1132 ratchet with a forged body, marked with the "Walden Worcester" logo and "Worcester, Mass." forged into the handle, with "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse side (not shown).

The overall length is 20.1 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

This style of ratchet was illustrated in the 1932 Stevens-Walden catalog No. 117.


Walden-Worcester 1 Inch Hex Drive Plug for 1132 Ratchet

[Walden 1 Inch Hex Drive Plug]
Fig. 133. Walden 1 Inch Hex Drive Plug for 1132 Ratchet, with Inset for End View, ca. 1928-1929.

Fig. 133 shows the unmarked 1 inch hex drive plug for the Walden 1132 ratchet.

The overall length is 2.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The drive plug is equipped with two friction balls at each end, but three of the four balls were missing when the tool was acquired. The missing balls were replaced with a steel ball of the same 0.250 inch diameter, backed by a suitable 7/32 diameter spring cut to size for each hole. The ball and spring assembly was then swaged in place using a small socket (0.28 end diameter) as the swaging die.


Walden-Worcester 1103 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Head and Extension

[Walden 1103 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Head]
Fig. 134. Walden 1103 1 Inch Hex Drive Sliding Tee Head, with Insets for End View and Marking Detail, ca. 1930+.

Fig. 134 shows a 1 inch hex drive Walden 1103 sliding Tee head, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the side, with an "I" code at the right (see left composite inset).

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

The sliding Tee head has a cross-bar hole for a 7/8 diameter bar, equipped with a detent ball for convenience. The end of the body is broached with a 1 inch hex opening for use as an extension, as shown in the right inset.

This version of the model 1103 with the broached end was offered somewhat later than the other hex drive tools.


5/16-Hex Drive Tools

At the opposite extreme in hex drive sizes was an unusual miniature socket set made with 5/16 hex drive, a somewhat unusual drive size.


Walden-Worcester No. 68 5/16-Hex Drive "Spintite" Socket Set

[1928 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 68 Spintite Socket Set]
1928 Catalog Listing for Walden No. 68 Spintite Socket Set.

The scan at the left shows a catalog listing for a set of miniature tools, taken from page 20 of the Walden-Stevens catalog No. 263, undated but published around 1928. Although the drive size is not specified, the socket sizes, handle style, and general layout of the set match our example in the figure below. Based on this catalog reference, we have identified our example as a No. 68 "Spintite" Socket Set.

Additional references to the No. 68 socket set have been found in industrial catalogs in the early and mid 1930s.

It's interesting to note that during the late 1920s the Husky Wrench Company offered minature socket sets with 5/16 hex drive, an example of which can be seen as the Husky Wrench No. 999 Socket Set. By 1928 Husky was collaborating with the J.H. Williams Company in offering "Midget Electrical Sets" for ignition service, which combined Husky sockets and drive tools with J.H. Williams ignition wrenches.

J.H. Williams produced socket sets in 5/16 hex drive for a few years after their initial collaboration with Husky Wrench, but eventually converted the miniature sets to 9/32 square drive and then to 1/4-drive. Apart from Husky Wrench, J.H. Williams, and Walden, no other companies are known to have offered socket sets in 5/16 hex drive.

[Walden No. 68 5/16-Hex Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 135. Walden No. 68 5/16-Hex Drive Socket Set, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 135 shows a Walden No. 68 5/16-hex drive socket set in a metal case, marked with "Walden Worcester Wrenches" and "Made in U.S.A." embossed on the top cover. The tools in the photograph are, from bottom to top, a drive handle, an insertable drive shaft, 8 sockets (with one missing), and a sliding Tee handle. The drive handle is marked with the Walden-Worcester name and a 3801 model number, with the other tools unmarked except for the sizes on the sockets.

The sockets in the set include two square and six double-hex broachings. The sizes are, from the left, 1/4 square, 5/16 square, 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16 (missing), and 1/2. The sockets are marked only with the sizes, in the form "1-2" for 1/2. The finish is cadmium plating.

The sockets in this set have two bands of knurling, similar to the style used for later production of the 18xx series of 1/2-drive sockets. This suggests a production date in the 1940s for this set.

[Top Cover of Walden 5/16-Hex Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 136. Top Cover of Walden 5/16-Hex Drive Socket Set.

Fig. 136 shows the top cover of the Walden 5/16-hex drive socket set box, showing the embossed markings "Walden Worcester Wrenches" within a rectangle, with "Made in U.S.A." in a circular arc.

The overall dimensions of the box are 4.8 wide by 4.1 deep by 1.3 high, all in inches. The finish is black paint.


1/4-Drive Tools


Walden-Worcester 3117 1/4-Drive Flex Handle

[Walden 3117 1/4-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 137. Walden 3117 1/4-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 137 shows a Walden 3117 1/4-drive flex handle, stamped "Walden-Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." with an inverted-V date code.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.


5/8-Drive Tools

During the late 1920s and 1930s Walden also offered tools in the 5/8 drive size. The 5/8-drive tools are less common than the 1/2-drive or even 1 inch hex drive lines, suggesting that Walden's 5/8-drive line was not very popular.


Walden-Worcester 5/8-Drive Ratchet

[Walden 2285 5/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 138. Walden 2285 5/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 138 shows a Walden 2285 5/8-drive ratchet, marked with "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Walden Worcester" and "Worcester, Mass." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 15.9 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The ratchet mechanism has a 16-tooth drive gear. The female drive gear is intended to work with the Walden 2284 Drive Plug shown in the next figure.


Walden-Worcester 2284 5/8-Drive Plug

[Walden 2284 5/8-Drive Plug]
Fig. 139. Walden 2284 5/8-Drive Plug, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 139 shows the Walden 2284 5/8-drive plug for use with the 2285 ratchet, stamped "Walden Worcester" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 1.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


3/4-Drive Tools


Walden-Worcester 5176 3/4-Drive Ratchet

[Walden-Worcester 5176 3/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 140. Walden-Worcester 5176 3/4-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 140 shows a 3/4-drive Walden 5176 female-drive ratchet, marked "Walden Worcester" with "Made in U.S.A." and a "W" date code.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


The Modern Period, 1946+

During this period Walden continued producing many of the same drive tool models, but the designs were generally simplified, and the markings were often just "Walden" and a model number. Most tools were finished in polished chrome.


Walden 1116 1/2-Drive Non-Reversible Ratchet

[Walden 1116 1/2-Drive Non-Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 141. Walden 1116 1/2-Drive Non-Reversible Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 141 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1116 ratchet with a female drive broaching, marked only "1116 STW" on the knurled handle. The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plate.

The rather coarse ratchet mechanism uses a 12-tooth drive gear with a cylindrical pawl, very similar to the mechanism in the old Billings Model CA ratchets.


Walden 1150 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Walden 1150 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 142. Walden 1150 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 142 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1150 ratchet, marked only "Walden 1150" on the knurled handle. The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plate.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 20-tooth drive gear with a pivoting pawl.


Walden 1160 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Walden 1160 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 143. Walden 1160 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 143 shows a 1/2-drive Walden 1160 ratchet, marked only "Walden 1160" on the knurled handle. The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plate.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 20-tooth drive gear with a pivoting pawl.


Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 144. Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle.

Fig. 144 shows a 3/8-drive Walden 4032 flex-head handle, marked only "Walden 4032" on the knurled handle.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plate.

The drive head is held by a split spring pin, and a wave washer provides friction to hold the head in position.


Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Extensible Flex-Head Handle

[Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Extensible Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 145. Walden 4032 3/8-Drive Extensible Flex-Head Handle.

In Fig. 145 we see a similar a 3/8-drive Walden 4032 flex-head handle, but with a larger knurled handle drilled to accept an extension bar.

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


Walden 4050 3/8-Drive Ratchet

[Walden 4050 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 146. Walden 4050 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 146 shows a 3/8-drive Walden 4050 ratchet with a forged handle, marked "Walden Worcester" in forged raised letters, with "4050" and "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plate.

The ratchet mechanism has a 22-tooth main gear with dual pawls, each of which engages two teeth.


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