Alloy Artifacts  

Sockets and Drive Tools

Williams was not one of the pioneers in the development of interchangeable sockets, having waited until 1930 to introduce this important class of tools. But once their line of sockets and drive tools had been introduced, Williams made up for lost time with a broad offering of superb tools. Drive sizes were offered from 1/4-drive (initially 5/16-hex) up to 1 inch drive, and most of the socket tools were of chrome alloy construction.

In this section we'll present examples covering all of their drive sizes (where available), with the greatest detail presented for 1/2 drive. Additional examples of the later production of Williams socket tools can be found in the section on Late Sockets and Drive Tools.

Early Collaboration with Husky Wrench

As part of our research we often review older trade catalogs, and during this review Alloy Artifacts was able to rediscover an interesting but almost forgotten sidenote of J.H. Williams history. In the late 1920s, before the introduction of their own sockets and drive tools, Williams collaborated with the Husky Wrench Company to offer sets of socket tools and open-end wrenches. Such sets were popular with the mechanics of the time, and as Husky produced only socket tools and Williams only wrenches, the collaboration made good sense for both companies.

One of the results of this collaboration was a "Combination Electrical Wrench Set" combining 5/16-hex drive tools from Husky Wrench with ignition wrenches from Williams. Although the collaboration with Husky was short-lived, Williams continued to offer a line of "Midget" sets using 5/16-hex drive tools of its own, so these early sets effectively marked Williams' introduction to the sockets and drive tools market.

Williams-Husky No. 287 5/16-Hex Drive "Combination Electrical Wrench Set"

[1929 Catalog Listing of Williams-Husky No. 287 Wrench Set]
Fig. 201A. 1929 Catalog Listing for Williams-Husky No. 287 Wrench Set.

The scan in Fig. 201A shows a catalog listing for a No. 287 Williams-Husky "Combination Electrical Wrench Set", as found on page 82 of the 1929 Marwedel catalog. This set was one of the products offered under the collaboration between Williams and Husky, and the heading of the listing clearly identifies the collaboration.

The catalog illustration shows both the Williams "Superrench" trademark and the Husky "Common Sense Sockets" logo. The description mentions several of the Husky tools, including the L-2 Combination Tee and L-147 Handy Grip Extension shown in our article on Husky Wrench. Although not specified in the catalog listing, the sockets and drive tools use a 5/16-hex drive size.

The Williams wrenches in the set range in size from 7/32 to 1/2, and although the model numbers aren't specified, these would have been from the "Midget Superrench" 11xx model series. (See for example the Williams 1128 Midget Superrench.) The catalog notes that the wrenches were forged from chrome-molybdenum steel.

We are fortunate to have acquired a Williams-Husky No. 287 set in good condition.


[Williams-Husky No. 287 Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 201B. Williams-Husky No. 287 Socket Set, ca. 1929-1930.

Fig. 201B shows a rare early Williams-Husky No. 287 5/16-hex drive "Combination Electrical Set", consisting of a Williams No. 287T sliding Tee handle, a Husky L147 Rotating Grip Extension, eight hex and double-hex sockets, and four (of the original seven) ignition wrenches in the angle-head style.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, L10 (5/32, hex), L12 (3/16, hex), LD16 (1/4, hex), LD20 (5/16), LD22 (11/32), LD24 (3/8), LD28 (7/16), and LD32 (1/2). The sockets are all marked with the Williams scroll logo, but interestingly are not marked with the sizes.

The set is marked with a paper sticker on the inside of the lid, with the Williams scroll logo at the sides. The text reads "Combination Electrical Set No. 287" and "J.H. Williams & Co." plus "Made in U.S.A." and the company locations.

The ignition wrenches acquired with the set are models 1114 (7/32), 1120 (5/16), 1122 (11/32), and 1132 (1/2). (Originally the set would have included models 1116 (1/4), 1124 (3/8), and 1128 (7/16) as well.) The wrenches are marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Molybdenum" on the reverse.

[Top Cover of Williams-Husky No. 287 Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 202. Top Cover of Williams-Husky No. 287 Socket Set, ca. 1929-1930.

Fig. 202 shows the top cover of the Williams-Husky No. 287 set, marked with three overlapping decals.

The center decal has the Williams scroll logo at the top with "Electrical Set No. 287", followed by "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." at the bottom.

The left decal has "Superrench" and "Wrenches" followed by "Forged in U.S.A.", with "(Chrome-Molybdenum)" between the first two lines. The text of the right decal is "Socket Wrenches" with "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

One of the most interesting aspects of this set is that it represents transitional production, as Williams took over manufacturing the parts previously supplied by Husky. All of the socket tools are marked for Williams except for the Husky L147 extension, which presumably was part of the remaining inventory of Husky tools. Based on this evidence, this set is one of the earliest socket sets made by Williams.

Note that the model number for the 1/4 hex socket was incorrectly marked as LD16 but should be L16, as the "D" indicates a double-hex broaching.

The No. 287T sliding Tee handle in this set is nearly identical to the Williams No. 287T Sliding Tee Handle shown as part of the No. 287A set. Examples of the ignition wrenches in this set can be seen as the Williams 1114 Ignition Wrench and Williams 1132 Ignition Wrench.


Williams 5/16-Hex Drive Lxx and LDxx Sockets from No. 287 Set

[Williams 5/16-Hex Drive Sockets from No. 287 Set]
Fig. 203. Williams 5/16-Hex Drive Sockets from No. 287 Set, with Insets for Top View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1929-1930.

Fig. 203 shows the eight Williams 5/16-hex drive sockets from the No. 287 set.

The models and sizes are, from the left, L10 (5/32, hex), L12 (3/16, hex), LD16 (1/4, hex), LD20 (5/16), LD22 (11/32), LD24 (3/8), LD28 (7/16), and LD32 (1/2). The sockets are all marked with the Williams scroll logo, as seen in the lower inset. The finish is chrome plating.

As noted previously, the third socket from the left should have been marked L16 rather than LD16, since it has a 6-point broaching.

These are some of the earliest sockets ever made by Williams, so the problems with marking (omission of the sizes and an incorrect model number) are understandable.


Early No. 287A 5/16-Hex Drive "Midget Electrical Set"

As a result of its collaboration with Husky Wrench, during the early 1930s Williams continued to offer sockets and drive tools using the 5/16-hex drive size. These tools were incorporated into socket sets or combination wrench sets, as the next figure illustrates.

[1931 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 287A Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 204A. 1931 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 287A "Midget Electrical Set".

The scan in Fig. 204A shows an early catalog listing for the Williams No. 287A set, as found on page 10 of a Williams A-373 catalog supplement dated June, 1931. The illustration shows the parts of the set, consisting of a sliding Tee handle, an extension, 9 sockets, and seven ignition wrenches.

The text refers to a No. 286 set, which contains the same sockets and drive tools but no ignition wrenches. The No. 286 set lists the hex socket sizes as 5/32, 3/16, 1/4, and 9/32, and the double-hex sockets as 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, and 1/2.

The heading on the catalog page refers to the 5/16-hex drive size as the "Midget Pattern". The No. 287A set was also listed earlier in a catalog A-373 from October, 1930.

[Williams No. 287A 5/16-Hex Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 204B. Williams No. 287A "Midget Electrical Set", ca. 1930-1932.

Fig. 204B shows a Williams No. 287A "Midget Electrical Set", consisting of 5/16-hex drive tools, nine hex and double-hex sockets from 5/32 to 1/2, and seven "Superrench" ignition wrenches from 7/32 to 1/2.

The set is marked with a decal on the inside of the lid, with the Williams scroll logo at the top, followed by "Midget Electrical Set". The model number "No. 287A" appears in the center, followed by "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, [N.Y.]", with "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

The drive tools in the back bay are the No. 287T sliding Tee handle and the No. 287S rotating-grip extension. Both tools are marked with the Williams scroll logo and the model number.

The hex socket models and sizes are, from the left, L10 (5/32), L12 (3/16), L16 (1/4), and L-18 (9/32). The double-hex sockets begin at the fifth from the left as LD20 (5/16), LD22 (11/32), LD24 (3/8), LD28 (7/16), and LD32 (1/2). The sockets are stamped with the Williams underline logo with the fractional size and model number, and the finish is chrome plating.

The No. 287A set differs from the earlier No. 287 set by the addition of the L18 9/32 hex socket.

The ignition wrench models and sizes are, from the front, 1114 (7/32), 1116 (1/4), 1120 (5/16), 1122 (11/32), 1124 (3/8), 1128 (7/16), and 1132 (1/2). The wrenches are marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the shank, with "Chrome-Molybdenum" forged into the reverse. The faces are stamped with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the 7/16 and 1/2 sizes, with just the W-Diamond logo on the 3/8 and smaller wrenches.

The set was furnished in a metal box with a piano hinge for the lid. The approximate dimensions are 5.5 inches wide by 3.0 inches deep by 1.1 inches high. The box was originally finished in gray paint, although most has been lost due to rust.

By January of 1933 the No. 287A set had been superseded by a No. 289 set with additional sockets and ignition wrenches. This leads to an estimated manufacturing date from 1930-1932 for this set.

The sockets in this set are nearly identical to the 5/16-Hex Drive Sockets from the earlier No. 287 set, but are also marked with the fractional size. (And the model number on the 1/4 hex socket is correctly marked as L16.)

Examples of ignition wrenches from this set can be seen as the Williams 1120 Ignition Wrench, 1122 Ignition Wrench, 1124 Ignition Wrench, and 1128 Ignition Wrench. Further information and examples of the "Superrench" ignition wrenches can found in the section on Williams Ignition Wrenches.

The successors to the 5/16-hex drive "Midget" sets can be seen in the section on Other Drive Sizes.


No. 287T 5/16-Hex Drive Sliding Tee Handle from No. 287A Set

[Williams No. 287T 5/16-Hex Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 205. Williams No. 287T 5/16-Hex Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930-1932.

Fig. 205 shows the Williams No. 287T 5/16-hex drive sliding Tee handle from the No. 287A set. The sliding head is stamped with the Williams scroll logo on the front, with the model number on the reverse (see inset).

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This tool is a nearly identical copy of the Husky Wrench L2 Sliding Tee Handle shown in our article on the Husky Wrench Company.


No. 287S 5/16-Hex Drive Rotating-Grip Extension from No. 287A Set

[Williams No. 287S 5/16-Hex Drive Extension]
Fig. 206. Williams No. 287S 5/16-Hex Drive Extension, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1930-1932.

Fig. 206 shows the Williams No. 287S 5/16-hex drive rotating-grip extension from the No. 287A set, stamped with the Williams scroll logo on the hexagonal head, with the model number on the reverse (see left inset).

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

This tool is a nearly identical copy of the Husky Wrench L147 Rotating-Grip Extension shown in our article on the Husky Wrench Company.


Early 1/2-Hex Drive S-50 Ratchet

The use of 5/16 hex drive socket tools in the Husky-Williams sets raises an intriguing question as to whether Williams produced hex drive tools in other drive sizes. Except for the 1 inch hex drive size, the Williams catalogs do not document any regular production tools in hex drive. Thus the tool in the next figure came as a surprise.

[Williams Early 1/2-Hex Drive S-50 Ratchet]
Fig. 207. Williams Early 1/2-Hex Drive S-50 Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 207 shows an unusual Williams S-50 ratchet in 1/2-hex drive, with forged-in markings "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." plus the W-Diamond logo, and with "Drop Forged in u.S.A." on the reverse. And in addition to the unusual drive format, the ratchet body is forged of solid brass instead of steel!

The overall length is 9.8 inches, slightly shorter than a standard (steel) S-50 ratchet.


1/2-Drive ("Standard") Tools

The 1/2-drive or "Standard" line of sockets and drive tools was the most popular size, and examples of this drive size are readily available.

The tools for this drive size were given model numbers with an "S" prefix (for "Standard").


S-4xx 1/2-Drive 4-Point Sockets

We'll begin the presentation with a group of square (4-point) sockets, all in the same S-4xx series, and with one socket possibly among the earliest produced by Williams. The S-4xx series sockets (along with the S-12xx) were the first group of sockets produced by Williams, and remained in production until sometime in the early to mid 1940s, when they were replaced by the S-8xx series with double-square broachings. (A 1945 Williams A-409 catalog update shows only the S-8xx models at that time.)

[Williams S-4xx 1/2-Drive 4-Point Sockets]
Fig. 208. Williams S-4xx 1/2-Drive 4-Point Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Logo.

Fig. 208 shows a group of four Williams S-4xx series sockets, each marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo in the center. The models and sizes are, from the left, S-412 (3/8), S-414 (7/16), S-416 (1/2) and S-418 (9/16).

Each of the sockets have a somewhat different finish, and we'll use this to help estimate the manufacturing dates. The leftmost socket is polished chrome, the second from the left is cadmium plate, the third is plain steel, and the righthand socket is chrome plate, polished on the top but with a satin finish base.

The socket construction also shows some differences in broaching, with the S-412 (lefthand) and S-416 (third from left) showing chatter marks indicative of cold-broaching. In contrast, the S-414 (second from left) and S-418 (righthand) sockets have smooth inner walls, and the S-418 socket shows an edge where steel flowed past the bottom of the broach. These observations indicate that the second group was hot-broached.

The lower inset also shows minor differences in marking, with the lefthand and third from left sockets marked without a hyphen in the model number. (E.g. "S412" instead of "S-412".) The Williams catalogs all consistently use a hyphen in the model numbers, but apparently the early marking machines didn't always agree.

We can use these details on the finish and construction, along with some catalog information, to make a reasoned estimate of the manufacturing dates. A 1931 Williams catalog specifies the finish of the new "SuperSocket" line as chrome plating, and the cadmium finish of the S-414 socket suggests likely production in 1942-1944. Although we don't know the exact date when Williams switched to hot-broached socket construction, it probably would have been by 1935, a time when other major makers (e.g. Blackhawk and Duro-Chrome) had switched to hot-broaching.

These considerations lead to estimated manufacturing dates for the sockets as, from the left, 1931-1934 (S-412), 1942-1944 (S-414), 1929-1931 (S-416), and 1935-1944 (S-418). As indicated, the S-416 socket with the plain finish appears to be one of the earliest sockets.


S-12xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets

Our next figure presents a group of double-hex or 12-point sockets in the S-12xx model series. These are believed to be representative of the first sockets produced by Williams, although without the specific clues to the manufacturing dates we saw in the previous figure.

The Williams S-12xx model series was a tapered-wall design with a prominent knurled band, probably intended to assist with hand turning. These sockets, along with the S-4xx series, were the only sockets available at first, but were soon joined by the more-familiar ST-12xx series with straight walls.

[Williams S-12xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 209. Williams S-12xx 1/2-Drive 12-Point Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1931-1936.

Fig. 209 shows a group of four 1/2-drive Williams S-12xx series sockets, each marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo in the center. The models and sizes are, from the left, S-1214 (7/16), S-1216 (1/2), S-1219 (19/32) and S-1224 (3/4).

All of the sockets are finished in chrome plating, with a satin finish for the base and highly polished upper walls.


S-1225 1/2-Drive Socket

[Williams S-1225 1/2-Drive 25/32 Socket]
Fig. 210. Williams S-1225 1/2-Drive 25/32 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1931-1936.

Fig. 210 shows a single S-series socket in greater detail, a 1/2-drive Williams S-1225 25/32 tapered-wall socket, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo in the center.

The finish is polished chrome.


S-1234 1/2-Drive Socket

By 1937 the tapered-wall S-series sockets had been discontinued in most sizes, but remained available in sizes 1-1/16 and larger, and in a few smaller sizes. The next figures show examples of some of the larger sizes.

[Williams S-1234 1/2-Drive 1-1/16 Socket]
Fig. 211. Williams S-1234 1/2-Drive 12-Point 1-1/16 Socket, with Inset for Broaching.

Fig. 211 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-1234 1-1/16 tapered-wall socket, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo in the center.

The finish is polished chrome.


S-1236 1/2-Drive Socket

[Williams S-1236 1/2-Drive 1-1/8 Socket]
Fig. 212. Williams S-1236 1/2-Drive 1-1/8 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 212 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-1236 1-1/8 socket, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The right inset shows the broached interior of the socket. The construction is cold-broached with a recessed area below the broaching.


S-1240 1/2-Drive 12-Point Socket

[Williams S-1240 1/2-Drive 1-1/4 Socket]
Fig. 213. Williams S-1240 1/2-Drive 12-Point 1-1/4 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Detail.

Fig. 213 shows a later 1/2-drive Williams S-1240 1-1/4 socket, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket, illustrating the hot-forged construction used for this later socket.


S-619 1/2-Drive 6-Point Socket

[Williams S-619 1/2-Drive 6-Point 19/32 Socket]
Fig. 214. Williams S-619 1/2-Drive 6-Point 19/32 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Model.

S-824 1/2-Drive 8-Point Socket

[Williams S-824 1/2-Drive 8-Point 3/4 Socket]
Fig. 215. Williams S-824 1/2-Drive 8-Point 3/4 Socket, with Inset for Broaching.

The ST-12xx Straight-Wall Socket Series

By the mid 1930s Williams was offering 1/2-drive sockets in a straight-wall design, with model numbers assigned to an ST-12xx series to distinguish them from the older tapered-wall models. Initially the ST-series sockets were offered as an alternative to the S-series, but within a few years the tapered-wall sockets had been discontinued, except for some of the larger sizes.

The initial design for the ST-series included a wide groove in the base, and we'll refer to this as the "Wide-Groove" style.


ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Sockets, Wide-Groove Style

[Williams ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Straight-Wall Sockets]
Fig. 216. Williams ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Straight-Wall Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1939.

Fig. 216 at the left shows a group of six 1/2-drive Williams ST-12xx double-hex sockets, all marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. The models and sizes are, from the left, ST-1214 (7/16), ST-1216 (1/2), ST-1218 (9/16), ST-1219 (19/32), ST-1220 (5/8), and ST-1222 (11/16).

The socket style shown here has a single wide groove above the markings on the base, the original design for the Williams straight-wall sockets. The ST-series design was later changed to use two narrow grooves in the base, and we'll show additional examples of this later style.

These sockets were acquired as part of a No. 21-R Socket Set shown later in this page. (The ST-1219 socket, fourth from the left, was a replacement to the set, but is in the same style as the others.) The manufacturing date was estimated based on the components in that set.


S-30 1/2-Drive Fixed-Head Ell Handle

We'll begin the drive tools with an early Williams Ell handle, in production only during the early 1930s.

[Williams S-30 1/2-Drive Fixed-Head Ell (Offset) Handle]
Fig. 217. Williams S-30 1/2-Drive Fixed-Head Ell (Offset) Handle, with Inset for Detail, ca. 1930-1932.

Fig. 217 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-30 fixed-head Ell or offset handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the head, with "Williams U.S.A." and another W-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 11.7 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The S-30 was among the first drive tools offered by Williams and was listed in their 1931 catalog, but had already been discontinued by early 1933.

The knurled hand grip was made as a separate piece and then pressed onto the shank, a construction technique also used by Snap-on. (See for example the Snap-on No. 1 Breaker Bar.)


S-40 Early 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Williams Early S-40 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 218. Williams Early S-40 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction Detail, ca. 1931-1932.

Fig. 218 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-40 flex-head handle, stamped "Williams U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 12.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The left inset shows the flex head construction. Note the use of a tapered plunger to control the head movement, rather than the more commonly used detent ball.

This tool was acquired as part of an early Williams No. 20 socket set dating to 1931-1932 based on the other tools in the set.


S-10 1/2-Drive Brace

[Williams S-10 1/2-Drive Brace]
Fig. 219. Williams S-10 1/2-Drive Brace, with Inset for Design Detail.

Fig. 219 shows a Williams S-10 brace with a rotating knurled grip and a large circular end piece. The shank is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and another W-Diamond logo is forged into the distinctive end piece.

The brace has a throw of 4.9 inches and an overall length of 11.6 inches. The finish is chrome plating for the shank and rotating grip, but with cadmium plating for the end piece.

The distinctive circular end piece used for this brace was introduced sometime between 1934 and 1937, and the illustrations in a 1937 catalog show the S-10 (and S-15) models in this style. Braces and speeders made in 1933 and before had knurled cylindrical end pieces, and sometime after 1960 the knurled cylindrical style came back into use.

The rotating hand grip was a standard feature of the Williams braces and speeders, except for a brief period during the mid 1940s when only plain handles were available. The 1945 catalog shows the brace and speeder model number with a "P" suffix to indicate the plain handles, but by 1947 the standard models with the rotating hand grip were again available.


S-10P 1/2-Drive Brace with Plain Handle

[Williams S-10P 1/2-Drive Brace]
Fig. 220. Williams S-10P 1/2-Drive Brace, with Insets for Design and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 220 shows the "Plain" variant of the S-10 brace, a Williams S-10P brace with a large circular end piece but a plain hand grip. The shank is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and another W-Diamond logo is forged into the distinctive end piece.

The brace has a throw of 4.9 inches and an overall length of 11.8 inches. The finish is cadmium plating.


S-15 1/2-Drive 17 Inch Speeder

[Williams S-15 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 221. Williams S-15 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Insets for Marking and Design Detail, ca. 1948-1949.

Fig. 221 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-15 speeder with a rotating knurled grip and a large circular end piece. The shank is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and another W-Diamond logo is forged into the distinctive end piece.

The speeder has a throw of 4.0 inches and an overall length of 17.4 inches. The finish is chrome plating for the shank and rotating grip, but with cadmium plating for the end piece.

This speeder was acquired as part of a S-5 Socket Set. The late 1940s production date was estimated based on the mix of socket styles in the set.


S-15P 1/2-Drive Speeder with Plain Handle

[Williams S-15P 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 222. Williams S-15P 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Insets for Marking and Design Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 222 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-15P speeder with a large circular end piece, but without the rotating grip seen on the previous example. The shank is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and another W-Diamond logo is forged into the distinctive end piece.

The speeder has a throw of 4.0 inches and an overall length of 17.6 inches. The original finish was chrome plating, but most has been lost due to extensive rust and pitting.

This speeder model (with the plain handle) replaced the normal S-15 rotating grip model during the mid 1940s, probably due to wartime manufacturing restrictions.


S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle

[Williams S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle]
Fig. 223. Williams S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle, with Inset for Patent Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 223 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-40 12 inch flex-head handle, marked "Williams U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and with a "U.S. Pat. 2028561" notation on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish suggests a manufacturing date during the 1942-1945 wartime years.

The knurled handle is broached at the end for a 1/2-drive stud, to allow use as an extension, but is not equipped with a cross-bar hole. This was the standard configuration the S-40 model up until at least 1947, but by 1950 a cross-bar hole had been added. (See the next figure for a later example.)

This flex handle is covered by patent #2,028,561, issued to E.F. Pilger in 1936 with assignment to Snap-on Tools. The patent covers the use of a spring clip tensioner to control the movement of the flex head, and presumably the patent was licensed by Williams. Earlier Williams production (such as the Early S-40 Flex Handle shown above) had used a spring-loaded plunger to control the head movement.

As a side note, the spring clip on this tool has been removed for replacement, as it was completely worn out from extensive use. The spring clips are frequently missing from flex handles of this design, but unfortunately no source for replacement clips has been found.


S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex-Head Handle with Cross-Bar Hole

[Williams S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 224. Williams S-40 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for End Broaching, ca. 1950.

Fig. 224 shows another S-40 12 inch flex-head handle of somewhat later production than the previous example. The shank is marked "Williams U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, but without a patent notation, and the knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole.

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

Although the patent isn't acknowledged on this example, this tool uses the same spring-clip design to control the head movement. And as is frequently the case, the spring clip is missing.


S-43 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle

[Williams S-43 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle]
Fig. 225. Williams S-43 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Flex Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 225 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-43 12 inch flex handle, stamped on the shank with "Made in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 12.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The flex head assembly is equipped with a spring clip to control the head movement.

This tool is similar to the S-40 model but with a plain knurled handle, without the end broaching or cross-bar features typically found on the S-40 handle. The simplified construction and cadmium finish suggest that this model was designed for wartime production quotas. In addition, no catalog reference has been found for this model, another indication that it was a temporary wartime model.


S-41 1/2-Drive 17 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Williams S-41 1/2-Drive 17 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 226. Williams S-41 1/2-Drive 17 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 226 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-41 17 inch flex-head handle, stamped on the shank with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 17.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and has the end broached for 1/2-drive, allowing use as an extension.


S-20A 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Williams S-20A 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 227. Williams S-20A 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 227 shows a Williams S-20A sliding Tee handle, marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the sliding head.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The "Williams U.S.A." marking indicated production in 1947 or later, after the marking styles were changed.


S-20C 1/2-Drive Offset Sliding Tee Handle

This next figure shows an unusual Williams offset sliding Tee handle, a tool produced for only a limited period during the 1930s.

[Williams S-20C 1/2-Drive Offset Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 228. Williams S-20C 1/2-Drive Offset Sliding Tee Handle, with Insets for Top Views, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 228 shows a Williams S-20C offset sliding Tee handle, marked on the sliding head with "Made in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Although not marked with a patent notice, this tool is based on patent #1,954,820, filed by W.C. Kress in 1932 and issued in 1934.


S-50 1/2-Drive Ratchets

The S-50 female-drive ratchet was the earliest 1/2-drive ratchet offered by Williams, and was one of the tools included in the initial selection of drive tools for 1931. The ratchet used a push-through plug to change direction.

[Williams S-50 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 229. Williams S-50 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 229 at the left shows a 1/2-drive S-50 ratchet, marked "J.H Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." in forged raised letters, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The W-Diamond logo appears both on the handle forging and stamped on one face.

[Williams S-50 1/2-Drive Ratchet and S-150A Plug]
Fig. 230. Williams S-50 1/2-Drive Ratchet and S-150A Plug, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1935-1939.

Fig. 230 shows another S-50 ratchet with its S-150A drive plug, marked "J.H Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." in forged raised letters, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The W-Diamond logo appears both on the handle forging and stamped on one face.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The ratchet uses an S-150A drive plug, kept captive in the drive gear, and easily pushed to either side to reverse the direction. The ratchet mechanism can be serviced and lubricated by removing the threaded retaining plate.

The second ratchet was acquired as part of the No. 21-R Socket Set.


S-51 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchets

The next figures show two generations of the Williams S-51 ratchet.

[Williams S-51 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 231. Williams S-51 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1934-1946.

Fig. 231 shows an earlier version of the 1/2-drive Williams S-51 ratchet, stamped on the reverse face with "Forged in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo, and with extensive forged-in markings on the shank. The top of the shank is forged with the S-51 model number and "Superrench" trademark, and the reverse is marked with the W-Diamond logo and "J.H. Williams & Co.", plus a "Patented" marking.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,957,462, filed by W.C. Kress in 1933 and issued in 1934.

The S-51 ratchet was being offered in the Williams catalogs by January of 1933, around the same time that the patent was filed. This suggests that some of the early production may have been marked with a patent pending notice.

[Williams S-51 1/2-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 232. Williams S-51 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 232 shows a later version of the Williams S-51 ratchet. The markings are similar to the previous example, but the face is stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo instead of "Forged in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo.

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


S-110 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension

[Williams S-110 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension]
Fig. 233. Williams S-110 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension, ca. 1935-1939.

Fig. 233 shows a Williams S-110 5 inch rotating-grip extension, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

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

This extension was acquired as part of the No. 21-R Socket Set.

The rotating grip was a standard feature for 1/2-drive extensions beginning with the first drive tools offered in 1931. A plain extension (indicated by a "P" suffix) was later introduced and was available by 1937 or earlier. The rotating grip models remained available into the 1940s, but had been discontinued by 1945.


S115 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension

[Williams S-115 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension]
Fig. 234. Williams S-115 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Rotating-Grip Extension.

Fig. 234 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-115 10 inch extension with a rotating hand grip, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 10.3 inches.


S-110P 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extensions

[Williams S-110P 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension]
Fig. 235. Williams S-110P 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension, ca. 1937-1947.

Fig. 235 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-110P 5 inch extension, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This type of plain extension (indicated by the "P" suffix) was introduced in 1937 or earlier; prior to that time, only the rotating-grip extension models had been offered.

[Williams S-110P 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension]
Fig. 236. Williams S-110P 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 236 shows another example of the Williams S-110P extension, similar to the previous figure but with a plain steel finish. The drive head is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish of this example indicates production during the 1942-1945 war years.


No. 21-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set

[Williams No. 21-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 237A. Williams No. 21-R 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1935-1939.

Fig. 237A shows a Williams No. 21-R 1/2-drive socket set in its metal case. This popular model consisted of an S-50 ratchet with drive plug, an S-110 rotating-grip extension, and eleven double-hex sockets in the ST-12xx series.

The models and sizes for the sockets (from the left) are ST-1214 (7/16), ST-1216 (1/2), ST-1218 (9/16), ST-1219 (19/32), ST-1220 (5/8), ST-1222 (11/16), ST-1224 (3/4), ST-1225 (25/32), ST-1228 (7/8), ST-1230 (15/16), and ST-1232 (1 inch). The sockets are in the Williams wide-groove style.

The tools and sockets are finished with chrome plating.

The rotating-grip extension shown here was an optional component of this set, and the Williams catalogs list the actual model as No. 21-1/2-R as configured. The set was also available as a No. 21 with an S-41 flex handle instead of the ratchet.

The manufacturing date for this set can be estimated based on the models of the components. In 1933 the No. 21-R set included sockets from the tapered-wall S-12xx series, but by 1937 the straight-wall ST-12xx series sockets were standard. In 1937 the standard ratchet for the set was the S-50, but by 1940 the ST-51 reversible ratchet was the preferred component. Thus assuming that this set was based on the standard items of its time, the manufacturing date was likely in the range 1935-1939.

The dimensions of the box are 12.0 inches long by 2.8 inches deep by 1.8 inches high.

The tools in this set can be seen in detail as the S-50 Ratchet with S-150A Drive Plug and S-110 Rotating-Grip Extension. A group of the smaller sockets in this set can be seen as the ST-12xx Wide-Groove Sockets, and the largest socket is shown as the ST-1232 Socket.


ST-1232 1/2-Drive Socket from No. 21-R Set

[Williams ST-1232 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Socket from No. 21-R Set]
Fig. 237B. Williams ST-1232 1/2-Drive 1 Inch Socket from No. 21-R Set, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1939.

Fig. 237B shows the Williams ST-1232 1/2-drive 1 inch socket from the No. 21-R Socket Set. The socket is stamped with the Williams scroll logo and "Made <W> U.S.A." bracketed by the size and model number, as seen in the lower inset.

The right inset shows a top view of the socket, illustrating the cold-broached construction.

The socket is made in the Williams wide-groove style, the style used for straight-wall sockets from the mid 1930s until the late 1940s.

The finish is chrome plating with polished upper walls.


S-320 1/2-Drive Socket Set

[1936 Catalog Listing for Williams S-320 Socket Set]
Fig. 238A. 1936 Catalog Listing for Williams S-320 Socket Set.

The scan in Fig. 238A shows a Williams S-320 1/2-drive socket set, as found on page 195 of the 1936 H. Channon catalog.

We have an example of the rare S-320 set in excellent condition and are preparing it for display.


No. 100 1/2-Drive Drain Plug Socket Set

The next figure shows a specialty socket set used for drain plug service.

[Williams No. 100 1/2-Drive Drain Plug Socket Set]
Fig. 239. Williams No. 100 1/2-Drive Drain Plug Socket Set, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 239 shows a Williams No. 100 1/2-drive drain plug socket set, designed for servicing plugs requiring a square male driver. The set consists of eight square plug driver sockets, along with an SP-20E sliding Tee head and its associated SP-20B handle bar.

The models and sizes for the driver sockets are, from the left, SP-410 (5/16), SP-412 (3/8), SP-414 (7/16), SP-416 (1/2), SP-418 (9/16), ST-420 (5/8), SP-422 (11/16), and SP-424 (3/4).

The sockets are all stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, along with the fractional size and model number. The finish is cadmium plating.

The dimensions of the box (in inches) are 8.6 long by 2.4 wide by 1.5 high.


SP-420 1/2-Drive 5/8 Square Plug Socket

[Williams SP-420 1/2-Drive 5/8 Square Plug Socket]
Fig. 240. Williams SP-420 1/2-Drive 5/8 Square Plug Socket, with Insets for End View and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 240 shows an example of one of the sockets from the No. 100 set, a 1/2-drive Williams SP-420 5/8 square plug socket. The base is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, with the fractional size and model number at the sides, as shown in the composite inset.

The finish is cadmium plating.


SP-20E 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head for No. 100 Set

[Williams SP-20E 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head]
Fig. 241. Williams SP-20E 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Head, with Inset for Construction Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 241 shows the 1/2-drive Williams SP-20E sliding Tee head from the No. 100 set, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 4.6 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The drive head is drilled with a cross-bar hole for the 7/16 diameter SP-20B handle bar shown in the next figure. Note the detent ball in the close-up inset, a convenience feature to hold the bar in place.

The SP-20E sliding Tee head and SP-20B handle were available only with the No. 100 set.


SP-20B Handle Bar for No. 100 Set

[Williams SP-20B Handle Bar]
Fig. 242. Williams SP-20B Handle Bar, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 242 shows the Williams SP-20B handle bar for use with the SP-20E 1/2-drive sliding Tee head. The bar is stamped "Williams U.S.A." with the model number.

The overall length is 8.3 inches and the diameter is 0.44 (7/16) inches. The finish is cadmium plating.


The Double-Groove Socket Style

In the late 1940s Williams updated the socket design for its 1/2-drive ST-12xx series, with the primary change being the replacement of the wide groove in the base by two narrow grooves. In addition, sockets in sizes 5/8 and larger were given a full polish finish, instead of having a matte finish on the base.

The resulting "Double-Groove" style remained in production for many years and became Williams' best-known style. The double-groove style was also extended to sockets of other drive sizes, including 1/4-, 3/8-, and 3/4-drive. However, the 1 inch drive socket design remained unchanged.

This change in the socket design occurred around the same time that Williams was updating the marking styles for both wrenches and socket tools, with the W-Diamond and "Made in U.S.A." markings being replaced by the "Williams U.S.A." logo. This leads to a question as to which change went into production first, and we'll offer an answer in a later figure.


ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Sockets, Double-Groove Style

[Williams U.S.A. ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Double-Groove Sockets]
Fig. 243. Williams U.S.A. ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Double-Groove Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1948-1949.

Fig. 243 shows a group of four 1/2-drive Williams ST-12xx sockets in the double-groove style, each marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo. The models and sizes are, from the left, ST-1216 (1/2), ST-1218 (9/16), ST-1219 (19/32), and ST-1220 (5/8).

The upper inset shows the broached openings of the sockets, and the annular ring of displaced metal from the hot-broached construction can be seen in each socket.

These sockets were acquired as part of the S-1 Socket Set.


ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Transitional Sockets

[Williams U.S.A. ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Transitional Sockets]
Fig. 244. Williams U.S.A. ST-12xx 1/2-Drive Transitional Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1948-1949.

We wondered about the relative timing of the changes to the socket marking style and socket design, and this figure provides an answer.

Fig. 244 shows a pair of Williams ST-12xx 1/2-drive sockets in a transitional form, showing the older "Wide-Groove" design but with updated "Williams U.S.A." markings. The models and sizes are, from the left, ST-1214 (7/16) and ST-1222 (11/16).

The standard markings for the "Wide-Groove" design can be seen in the ST-12xx Wide-Groove Sockets shown in an earlier figure. The examples here show that the change in marking style preceded the update to the socket design.

These sockets were acquired as part of the S-1 Socket Set.


S-1 1/2-Drive Socket Set

In the late 1940s Williams revamped its socket sets and assigned new model numbers based on the prefix letter for the drive size.

[Williams S-1 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 245. Williams S-1 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1948-1949.

Fig. 245 shows a Williams S-1 1/2-drive socket set in its metal box, consisting of an S-51 ratchet with eleven double-hex (12-point) sockets. The cover of the box shows the Williams scroll logo with "Made in U.S.A." and the "S-1" set model number.

The models and sizes for the sockets are, from the left, ST-1212 (3/8), ST-1214 (7/16), ST-1216 (1/2), ST-1218 (9/16), ST-1219 (19/32), ST-1220 (5/8), ST-1222 (11/16), ST-1224 (3/4), ST-1225 (25/32), ST-1228 (7/8), and ST-1232 (1 inch).

The ratchet and sockets are finished in chrome plating.

The sockets in the set show a mix of designs and marking styles, with most of them in the double-groove style with the "Williams U.S.A" logo. One socket is in the older wide-groove style with "Made in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo, and two sockets are in a transitional style with the wide-groove design but marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The mix of marking styles in this set suggests that this example was one of the earlier S-1 sets to be produced, when Williams still had inventories of tools marked in the older style. The change from the older set models (e.g. No. 21-R) occurred in 1948 or 1949, so this socket set was probably produced around that time.

The dimensions of the box are 12.6 inches long by 3.2 inches deep by 2.2 inches high.

A group of the smaller sockets in this set can be seen as the ST-12xx Double-Groove Sockets, and the two transitional sockets are shown as the ST-12xx Transitional Sockets.


S-5 1/2-Drive Socket Set

As luck would have it, we were able to acquire another Williams 1/2-drive set from the late 1940s, a larger model S-5 socket set with 17 sockets and seven drive tools.

[Williams S-5 1/2-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 246. Williams S-5 1/2-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1948-1949.

Fig. 246 shows a Williams S-5 1/2-drive socket set, consisting of 17 sockets and seven drive tools in a metal case. The top cover of the case is marked with the Williams logo and "S-5" model number, with "Made in U.S.A." in the lower right corner.

The drive tools consist of an S-15 speeder, S-20A sliding Tee handle, S-41 flex handle, S-51 reversible ratchet, S-110P and S-115P extensions, and S-140 universal. (The set as acquired was missing the ratchet, sliding Tee handle, and flex handle, so these were filled in with appropriate pieces from our inventory.)

The models and sizes for the sockets (from the right) are ST-1212 (3/8), ST-1214 (7/16), ST-1216 (1/2), ST-1218 (9/16), ST-1219 (19/32), ST-1220 (5/8), ST-1222 (11/16), ST-1224 (3/4), ST-1225 (25/32), ST-1226 (13/16), ST-1228 (7/8), ST-1230 (15/16), ST-1231 (31/32), ST-1232 (1 inch), ST-1234 (1-1/16), ST-1236 (1-1/8), and ST-1240 (1-1/4).

As with the S-1 Socket Set, the sockets in this set show a mix of designs and marking styles, with most of them in the double-groove style with the "Williams U.S.A" logo. Two sockets are in the older wide-groove style with "Made in U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo, and three sockets are in the transitional form with a wide-groove design but marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The dimensions of the box are 21 inches wide by 7.8 inches deep by 2.3 inches high.

The speeder from this set can be seen as the S-15 17 Inch Speeder. The sockets in this set are basically identical to the ST-12xx Double-Groove Sockets from the S-1 set.


SU-1222 1/2-Drive Universal Socket

[Williams SU-1222 1/2-Drive 11/16 Universal Socket]
Fig. 247. Williams SU-1222 1/2-Drive 11/16 Universal Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 247 shows a 1/2-drive Williams SU-1222 11/16 universal socket, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The overall height is 2.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


SC-8 1/2-Drive Adjustable Crowfoot Wrench

[Williams SC-8 1/2-Drive Adjustable Crowfoot Wrench]
Fig. 248. Williams SC-8 1/2-Drive Adjustable Crowfoot Wrench, with Insets for Side and Top Views, ca. 1948-1952.

Fig. 248 shows a unique Williams product, a 1/2-drive SC-8 adjustable crowfoot wrench. The wrench is marked "U.S.A." and "Pat. Pend." on the drive foot.

The overall width is 2.6 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The pending status refers to patent #2,600,617, filed by C.F. Coates in 1948 and issued in 1952.


S-52 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet

In 1951 W.J. Johnson filed a patent for an improved fine-tooth ratchet design, and the resulting model S-52 (and related) ratchets became highly successful products for J.H. Williams. In this next figure we'll look at a very early example of the S-52 ratchet and discuss the patent behind it.

[Williams S-52 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 249. Williams S-52 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Fine-Tooth Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse, ca. 1951-1956.

Fig. 249 shows an early example of the Williams S-52 1/2-drive ratchet, with "S-52 Superratchet" and "Pat. Pend." forged into the handle, and with "J.H. Williams & Co. U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

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

The patent pending notice corresponds to patent #2,772,763, filed by W.J. Johnson in 1951 and issued in 1956.

The patent describes a ratchet mechanism with a dual-pawl progressive advance design, closely based on an earlier patent #2,395,681 by W.H. Odlum et al of Duro Metal Products.

The key to the patent is the use of dual pawls with an odd number of gear teeth, so that the pawls are always a half step out of synchronization. This allows the ratchet to get another "bite" with only half the angular displacement, effectively doubling the gear pitch.


BS-71 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet

[Williams BS-71 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 250. Williams BS-71 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

S-15A 1/2-Drive Speeder

By the early 1970s Williams had updated its speeders to replace the large circular end-piece with a knurled cylindrical handle, and the model numbers were given an "A" suffix to note the change.

[Williams S-15A 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 251. Williams S-15A 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 251 shows a later version of the model S-15 speeder, a 1/2-drive Williams S-15A speeder stamped "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 19.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


S-40A 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

By the early 1970s Williams had discontinued the end broaching for the S-40 and S-41 flex handles, with the model numbers adding an "A" suffix to note the change.

[Williams S-40A 1/2-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 252. Williams S-40A 1/2-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 252 shows a later 1/2-drive Williams S-40A flex handle, stamped "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 12.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole, but no longer has the 1/2-drive end broaching found on earlier flex handles.


S-102P 1/2-Drive 2 Inch Extension

[Williams S-102P 1/2-Drive 2 Inch Extension]
Fig. 253. Williams S-102P 1/2-Drive 2 Inch Extension.

Fig. 253 shows a 1/2-drive Williams S-102P 2 inch extension, stamped "U.S.A." with the Williams scroll logo.

The overall length is 2.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


3/8-Drive ("Bantam") Tools

Sockets and tools in 3/8-drive were among the first socket tools offered by Williams in 1931, and their development basically parallels that of the 1/2-drive line. The initial selection included a speeder, fixed and flex-head handles, a ratchet, extensions, and 12-point sockets in a range of sizes.

Williams used the term "Bantam Pattern" to describe the 3/8-drive socket tools from the beginning, but somewhat oddly, the early tools were given model numbers with an "F" prefix, instead of the expected "B" prefix. (Snap-on also used an "F" prefix, but it matched their 3/8-drive "Ferret" moniker.)

According to the H. Channon catalog, by 1936 the 3/8-drive line had switched to a "B" prefix for everything except the older tapered-wall sockets and the F-15 speeder. The odd F-15 speeder model number persisted until at least 1941, but by 1945 the Williams catalogs were listing the speeder as a B-15.


B-15 3/8-Drive Speeder

[Williams B-15 3/8-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 254. Williams B-15 3/8-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1940s.

Fig. 254 shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-15 speeder, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 16.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

With careful examination, the "B" of the model number on this example looks like an overstamp of the earlier F-15 model, suggesting a mid 1940s manufacturing date for the present example.


B-20A 3/8-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Williams B-20A 3/8-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 255. Williams B-20A 3/8-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, ca. 1936-1947.

Fig. 255 shows a Williams B-20A sliding Tee handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the head.

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

The sliding head is held in position by an internal detent ball, and a groove in the center of the handle keeps the head in position for use as a Tee handle.

Some readers might wonder whether the "A" model suffix on this tool indicates an improvement over an earlier model. In this case, it turns out that the "A" suffix goes all the way back to our earliest reference, the 3/8-drive F-20A sliding Tee shown in the 1931 catalog. We'll investigate further if an earlier catalog with socket tools turns up.


B-30 3/8-Drive Offset (Ell) Handle

[Williams B-30 3/8-Drive Ell Handle]
Fig. 256. Williams B-30 3/8-Drive Ell Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 256 shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-30 offset (Ell) handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-40 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle With End Broaching

Williams initially offered a single 3/8-drive flex-head handle as the model F-40 (later B-40), which featured an end broaching for 3/8-drive but no cross-bar hole. By 1936 Williams had added the B-42 flex-head handle with a cross-bar hole, but without the 3/8-drive end broaching.

[Williams B-40 3/8-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 257. Williams B-40 3/8-Drive Flex Handle, with Inset for End Broaching, ca. 1935-1948.

Fig. 257 shows an earlier 3/8-drive Williams B-40 flex handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The inset shows the end broached for a 3/8-drive stud, allowing the flex handle to be used as an extension as well.

The flex head is held in position by a detent ball in the shaft, instead of the spring clip used by earlier flex handles. This early version of the B-40 was later superseded by a version with a cross-bar hole, as seen in the Later B-40 Flex Handle.


B-42 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle With Cross-Bar Hole

[Williams B-42 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 258. Williams B-42 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle, ca. 1936-1948.

Fig. 258 shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-42 flex-head handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished highlights.

The B-42 model was introduced around 1936 (or before) to provide a flex handle with a cross-bar, but note that there is no 3/8-drive end broaching. The associated 5/16 diameter cross-bar was offered without a model number in the earlier catalogs, but by 1945 had been given a B-42B model number.

By 1949 the B-42 flex handle had been discontinued, superseded by an updated Later B-40 Flex Handle with both a cross-bar hole and an end broaching.


F-50 3/8-Drive Ratchets

[Williams F-50 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 259. Williams F-50 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1931-1936.

Fig. 259 shows an early 3/8-drive Williams F-50 ratchet with its F-150 push-through drive plug. The shank has forged-in markings "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." with the W-Diamond logo on one side, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The face is also stamped with "Made U.S.A." and another W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


[Williams F-50 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 260. Williams F-50 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1931-1936.

Fig. 260 shows another example of the early 3/8-drive Williams F-50 ratchet, marked "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." with the W-Diamond logo forged into the shank, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The reverse face is also stamped with "Made U.S.A." and another W-Diamond logo; note that the face markings are on the opposite side from the previous example.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


B-51 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Williams B-51 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 261. Williams B-51 3/8-Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 261 shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-51 reversible ratchet with insets for the reverse and side views. The shank has forged-in markings "B51 The Superratchet Patd." on the front, and "Drop-Forged J.H. Williams & Co." with the W-Diamond logo on the reverse. The reverse face is also stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

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

The ratchet mechanism has a 24-tooth drive gear with a pivoting pawl, and the shift lever is loosely coupled to the pawl to allow independent movement. The design is described by patent #1,957,462, issued in 1934 to W.C. Kress.


B-108 3/8-Drive 3 Inch Extension

The next figures show two generations of the Williams B-108 3 inch extension.

[Williams B-108 3/8-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 262A. Williams B-108 3/8-Drive 3 Inch Extension, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 262A shows an earlier Williams B-108 3/8-drive 3 inch extension, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the head.

The overall length is 3.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

[Williams B-108 3/8-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 262B. Williams B-108 3/8-Drive 3 Inch Extension, ca. 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 262B shows a later Williams B-108 3/8-drive 3 inch extension, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the head.

The overall length is 3.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-110 3/8-Drive 5.5 Inch Extension

[Williams B-110 3/8-Drive 5.5 Inch Extension]
Fig. 262C. Williams B-110 3/8-Drive 5.5 Inch Extension, ca. 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 262C shows a Williams B-110 3/8-drive 5.5 inch extension, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the head.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-115 3/8-Drive 10 Inch Extension

The next figures show two generations of the Williams B-115 extension.

[Williams B-115 3/8-Drive 10 Inch Extension]
Fig. 263A. Williams B-115 3/8-Drive 10 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 263A shows an earlier Williams B-115 3/8-drive 10 inch extension, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the head.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Williams B-115 3/8-Drive 10 Inch Extension]
Fig. 263B. Williams B-115 3/8-Drive 10 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1950s to 1970s.

Fig. 263B shows a later Williams B-115 3/8-drive 10 inch extension, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the head.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-140A 3/8-Drive Universal

[Williams B-140A 3/8-Drive Universal]
Fig. 263C. Williams B-140A 3/8-Drive Universal.

Fig. 263C shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-140A universal, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the base.

The overall length is 2.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-55 3/8-Drive Ratchet Adapter

[Williams B-55 3/8-Drive Ratchet Adapter]
Fig. 264. Williams B-55 3/8-Drive Ratchet Adapter, with Inset for Drive End, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 264 shows a 3/8-drive Williams B-55 ratchet adapter, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The overall length is 2.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


B-52 3/8-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchets

The next figures show two generations of the B-52 3/8-drive ratchet. In this model the ratchet mechanism is a dual-pawl progressive advance design based on patent #2,772,763, issued to W.J. Johnson in 1956.

The key to the patent is the use of dual pawls with an odd number of gear teeth, so that the pawls are always a half step out of synchronization. This allows the ratchet to get another "bite" with only half the displacement, effectively doubling the gear pitch. [Editor's note: we think this is a brilliant patent!] In this model the ratchet head is milled with a 41-tooth drive gear, providing an effective 82-tooth action.

[Williams B-52 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 265. Williams B-52 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse, ca. Late 1950s.

Fig. 265 shows an earlier 3/8-drive Williams B-52 fine-tooth ratchet with a four-pronged shifter. The shank has forged-in markings "B52 Superratchet" and "Pat" on top, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a highly polished head and shank.

[Williams B-52 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 266. Williams B-52 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 266 shows a later 3/8-drive Williams B-52 fine-tooth ratchet, with forged-in markings "B52 Superratchet" on the shank, and with "J.H. Williams U.S.A." stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a highly polished head and shank.


Later B-40 3/8-Drive Flex Handle

From the mid 1930s on Williams had offered two 3/8-drive flex handles, a Model B-40 with the end broached for use as an extension, and a Model B-42 with a cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle. By 1949 Williams had finally combined the two models into an updated B-40, providing both the end broach and a cross-bar hole in one tool. The B-42 model flex handle was discontinued at this same time, and the B-42B cross-bar could now be used with the B-40.

[Williams Later B-40 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 267. Williams Later B-40 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction Details, ca. 1949-1970.

Fig. 267 shows the later version of the 3/8-drive Williams B-40 flex handle, stamped on the shank with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The right inset shows the end of the knurled handle, broached for 3/8-drive and with a 3/8 diameter cross-bar hole.


Later B-40A 3/8-Drive Flex Handle

By the early 1970s Williams had discontinued the 3/8-drive end broaching for the B-40, and the model number was updated to B-40A to indicate the change. The cross-bar hole was retained though, so that the B-40A flex handle now had the same specifications as the earlier B-42 model of 1936.

[Williams B-40A 3/8-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 268. Williams B-40A 3/8-Drive Flex Handle, ca. 1970+.

Fig. 268 shows an example of the later revision to the B-40, a Williams B-40A flex handle, stamped "Williams U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 9.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


BD-814 3/8-Drive 7/16 8-Point Deep Socket

[Williams BD-814 3/8-Drive 7/16 8-Point Deep Socket]
Fig. 269A. Williams BD-814 3/8-Drive 7/16 8-Point Deep Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 269A shows a Williams BD-814 3/8-drive 7/16 deep socket with an 8-point broaching, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo and model number on the base.

The overall height is 1.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


BU-12xx 3/8-Drive Universal Sockets

[Williams BU-12xx 3/8-Drive Universal Sockets]
Fig. 269B. Williams BU-12xx 3/8-Drive Universal Sockets, with Insets for Top View, ca. 1950s to 1960s.

Fig. 269B shows a group of seven Williams BU-12xx 3/8-drive universal sockets, all with an 12-point broachings.

The models and sizes are, from the right, BU-1212 (3/8), BU-1214 (7/16), BU-1216 (1/2), BU-1218 (9/16), BU-1220 (5/8), BU-1222 (11/16), and BU-1224 (3/4).

All of the socket are stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the base, and the finish is chrome plating.


BA-5 3/8-Drive 5/32 Hex Driver

[Williams BA-5 3/8-Drive 5/32 Hex Driver]
Fig. 269C. Williams BA-5 3/8-Drive 5/32 Hex Driver, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 269C shows a Williams BA-5 3/8-drive 5/32 hex driver, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The overall height is 2.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


BP-2 and BP-3 3/8-Drive Phillips Drivers

[Williams BP-2 and BP-3 3/8-Drive Phillips Drivers]
Fig. 269D. Williams BP-2 and BP-3 3/8-Drive Phillips Drivers.

Fig. 269D shows two Williams 3/8-drive Phillips drivers, the BP-3 on the bottom and BP-2 on the top.

The BP-3 driver is stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the head, and the BP-2 model is stamped "Williams" and "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 3.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


3/8-Drive Socket Sets

The next several figures will shows examples of 3/8-drive socket sets.


B-315 3/8-Drive "Bantam" Socket Set

[1936 Catalog Listing for Williams B-315 Socket Set]
Fig. 270A. 1936 Catalog Listing for Williams B-315 Socket Set.

The Williams B-315 socket set was a substantial 3/8-drive general service set supplied in a custom metal box, with holders and clips to secure the various sockets and tools.

The scan in Fig. 270A shows a catalog listing for the set, as found on page 195 of the 1936 H. Channon Company Catalog No. 102. This is currently our only catalog reference for the B-315 set.

Based on the catalog listing, the set consisted of a B-51 reversible ratchet, an F-15 speeder, a B-20A sliding Tee handle, a B-42 flex handle with a cross-bar, B-108 and B-115 extensions, a B-140 universal, and seven B-12xx series sockets.

The socket models and sizes are B-1212 (3/8), B-1214 (7/16), B-1216 (1/2), B-1218 (9/16), B-1220 (5/8), B-1222 (11/16), and B-1224 (3/4).

We have a B-315 set in very good condition and are preparing it for display.

Fig. 270B. Williams B-315 3/8-Drive "Bantam" Socket Set To Be Added.

3/4-Drive ("Heavy Duty") Tools

Sockets and tools in the 3/4-drive size were included among the first socket tools offered by Williams in 1931. The initial selection included a ratchet, adapter plugs, a sliding Tee handle, two extensions, and sockets ranging from 7/8 up to 1-5/8 in size.

The early sockets had 12-point broachings with tapered walls and a knurled band around the center. This tapered-wall design was similar to that used for the 1/2-drive S-series sockets, as for example the S-12xx Sockets shown previously. But where the 1/2-drive sockets soon changed to the straight-wall ST-series, Williams continued production of the 3/4-drive tapered-wall sockets until around 1945. (When the change to 3/4-drive straight wall sockets did occur, the model numbers remained in the same H-12xx series, rather than changing to an HT prefix.)

Early 3/4-drive extensions were forged with square shanks, a design that persisted at least up to 1937. But by 1940 the extensions were being produced with round shanks.

The standard finish for 3/4-drive tools was chrome plating over nickel.


H-12xx Early 3/4-Drive Sockets

[Williams Early 3/4-Drive H-12xx Sockets]
Fig. 271. Williams Early 3/4-Drive H-12xx Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1931-1935.

Fig. 271 at the left shows two early 3/4-drive Williams H-12xx series sockets, both marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. The models and sizes are, from the left, H-1232 (1 inch) and H-1234 (1-1/16).

The socket on the right has a chrome plated satin finish. The lefthand socket shows signs of extreme use, and the original finish has been lost due to wear.

The construction of the sockets indicates earlier production, as the broached area has an undercut recess.

A careful look at the drive end of the sockets reveals that each wall has a small recess in the center, a feature that provides a more secure grip for the socket. Williams appears to have been one of the earliest manufacturers to add this feature.


H-1244 3/4-Drive 1-3/8 Socket

[Williams H-1244 3/4-Drive 1-3/8 Socket]
Fig. 272. Williams H-1244 3/4-Drive 1-3/8 Socket, with Inset for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 272 shows a Williams H-1244 3/4-drive 1-3/8 socket in the tapered-wall style, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The finish is chrome plating with a matte surface, the standard finish for this socket series.

The construction of the socket is hot-forged, and the metal displaced by the broaching has merged smoothly with the base of the socket.


H-1270 3/4-Drive 2-3/16 Socket

[Williams H-1270 3/4-Drive 2-3/16 Socket]
Fig. 273. Williams H-1270 3/4-Drive 2-3/16 Socket, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 273 shows a Williams H-1270 3/4-drive 2-3/16 socket in the tapered-wall style, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The dull gray finish appears to be zinc rather than cadmium, as the surface is somewhat harder than the very soft cadmium.

The construction of the socket is hot-forged, with the displaced metal merged smoothly with the base of the socket.


H-20A 3/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Williams H-20A 3/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 274. Williams H-20A 3/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 274 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-20A sliding Tee handle, marked "Made in U.S.A" with the W-Diamond logo on the sliding head.

The overall length is 17.6 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


H-50 3/4-Drive Ratchet with H-150 Drive Plug

[Williams H-50 3/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 275. Williams H-50 3/4-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 275 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-50 ratchet with a forged handle. The handle has forged-in markings "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." with the W-Diamond logo on the front, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse (not shown). The reverse face is stamped with "Forged in U.S.A." with another W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 18.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The ratchet is fitted with a Williams H-150 drive plug, which can be pushed through to reverse the direction. The ratchet mechanism uses a 16-tooth drive gear.


H-150 3/4-Drive Ratchet Drive Plug

[Williams H-150 3/4-Drive Ratchet Drive Plug]
Fig. 276. Williams H-150 3/4-Drive Ratchet Drive Plug.

Fig. 276 shows a closeup of the 3/4-drive Williams H-150 ratchet drive plug, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 1.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


H-140 3/4-Drive Universal

[Williams H-140 3/4-Drive Universal]
Fig. 277. Williams H-140 3/4-Drive Universal.

Fig. 277 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-140 universal, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 4.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


H-110 Early 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension

[Williams Early H-110 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension with Square Shank]
Fig. 278. Williams H-110 3/4-Drive 8 Inch Extension with Square Shank, ca. 1931-1937.

Fig. 278 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-110 extension with a forged square shank, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 8.1 inches.


H-115 Early 3/4-Drive 15 Inch Extension

[Williams Early H-115 3/4-Drive 15 Inch Extension with Square Shank]
Fig. 279. Williams H-115 3/4-Drive 15 Inch Extension with Square Shank, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1931-1937.

Fig. 279 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-115 15 inch square-shank extension, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 15.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


H-51 3/4-Drive Reversible Ratchet

Williams had introduced reversible ratchets to its 1/2-drive line in the early 1930s, but didn't extend the design to the 3/4-drive line until sometime after 1941. By 1945 the H-51 reversible ratchet was being listed in the catalogs, with a design closely resembling a scaled-up version of the S-51 1/2-drive model.

[Williams H-41 3/4-Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 280. Williams H-51 3/4-Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 280 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-51 reversible ratchet with a forged handle, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the reverse face (see middle inset). The shank has forged-in markings for the model number and "Superratchet" trademark on one side, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and the W-Diamond logo on the reverse. Additional markings "Drop Forged" and "Patented" are also forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 19.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,957,462, filed by W.C. Kress in 1933 and issued in 1934.


H-41 3/4-Drive Flex Handle

Williams didn't include a flex-head handle in its initial offering of 3/4-drive tools, and as late as 1941 this popular tool was still missing from the lineup. But by 1945 the H-41 flex-head handle had finally appeared, and this next figure shows a reasonably early example.

[Williams H-41 3/4-Drive Flex Handle]
Fig. 281. Williams H-41 3/4-Drive Flex Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 281 shows a 3/4-drive Williams H-41 flex handle, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and detent ball, as can be seen in the upper right inset. The matching cross-bar model was the H-41B bar, with a 3/4 diameter and 16 inch length.

The upper left inset shows the flex head with its spring clip for controlling movement. The spring clip mechanism is described by patent #2,028,561, issued in 1936 to Snap-on Tools. These spring clips are often missing from older tools, and we're fortunate to have this example for illustration.


H-41A 3/4-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Williams H-41A 3/4-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 282. Williams H-41A 3/4-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 282 shows a more recent 3/4-drive Williams H-41A flex-head handle, stamped "USA" with the Williams name.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This model has a plain knurled handle, without the cross-bar hole found in earlier models of this series.

The upper left inset shows the flex head construction. This model uses wave washers within the mechanism to control the movement of the head, instead of the external spring clip seen in the previous figure.


Later Sockets

In the late 1940s Williams updated its 3/4-drive H-12xx sockets to a design with straight walls. At this time the knurled band of the older sockets was replaced initially with a wide groove, analogous to the early 1/2-drive ST-12xx socket series. However, the wide groove was soon replaced by two narrow grooves to become the familiar "Double-Groove" design. The socket markings were also changed around this time, with the older W-Diamond logo being replaced by the "Williams U.S.A." scroll logo.

By the late 1940s the sockets were constructed by hot-broaching a machined blank, a process that left a characteristic annular ring of displaced metal at the base of the broached area. Hot-broaching remained the dominant construction technique for several decades, but Williams later adopted a cold-forming process for socket production.


H-1260 3/4-Drive Socket, Double-Groove Style

[Williams H-1260 3/4-Drive 1-7/8 Socket]
Fig. 283. Williams H-1260 3/4-Drive 1-7/8 Socket, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1970s.

Fig. 283 shows a much later 3/4-drive Williams H-1260 1-7/8 socket in the double-groove style, stamped "Williams U.S.A." with the model number and size.

The right inset shows the interior of the socket to illustrate the cold-formed construction.


3/4-Drive Socket Sets

Williams offered 3/4-drive sockets and tools in sets of various sizes. This section will look at some examples of the 3/4-drive sets.


WSH-4B 3/4-Drive Socket Set

The Williams WSH-4B socket set was one of the larger collections of 3/4-drive tools, consisting of 27 H-12xx series sockets and nine drive tools, all contained in a TB-9T toolbox and tray.

The catalog listing specifies socket models and sizes H-1224 (3/4), H-1226 (13/16), H-1228 (7/8), H-1230 (15/16), H-1231 (31/32), H-1232 (1 Inch), H-1234 (1-1/16), H-1236 (1-1/8), H-1238 (1-3/16), H-1240 (1-1/4), H-1242 (1-5/16), H-1244 (1-3/8), H-1246 (1-7/16), H-1248 (1-1/2), H-1250 (1-9/16), H-1252 (1-5/8), H-1254 (1-11/16), H-1256 (1-3/4), H-1258 (1-13/16), H-1260 (1-7/8), H-1264 (2 Inch), H-1266 (2-1/16), H-1268 (2-1/8), H-1270 (2-3/16), H-1272 (2-1/4), H-1264 (2-5/16) and H-1276 (2-3/8).

The specified drive tools are an H-51A ratchet head with H-A1 handle, H-20A sliding Tee handle, H-41A flex-head handle with H-41C cross-bar, H-104 4 inch extension, H-110 8 inch extension, H-115 15 inch extension, and H-140A universal joint.

Fig. 284. Williams WSH-4B 3/4-Drive Socket Set To Be Added.

1 Inch Drive ("Extra Heavy Duty") Tools

J.H. Williams has a long history of producing 1 inch drive "Extra Heavy Duty" socket tools. The first group of sockets and drive tools offered in 1931 included the 1 inch drive size, but with 1 inch hexagonal instead of square drive studs. Tools in 1 inch hex drive were also available from Armstrong, Billings (produced by Walden), and Walden, and at that time these were the largest available sockets and drive tools.

The Williams 1 inch hex drive tools were given model numbers with an "X-" prefix, standing for "Extra Heavy Duty". The tools available in 1931 included the X-50 female-drive ratchet, X-150 ratchet plug, X-20B handle bar, X-20C sliding Tee head, and two extensions, X-110 and X-115. (The extensions were just hex bars with detent balls at the ends.) The finish for these early 1 inch hex tools was cadmium plating.

Sockets were available in 12 sizes ranging from the 1-1/16 model X-1234 up to the 2-1/2 model X-1280. The sockets were broached with double-hex (12-point) service openings.

Williams continued production of 1 inch hex drive tools until at least 1937, but by 1940 had switched to a 1 inch square drive format. The new tools were given model numbers with an "NX-" prefix, to avoid confusion with the earlier (incompatible) tools. By 1940 the standard finish had also been changed to chrome plating over nickel.

The changeover to 1 inch square drive didn't introduce any new drive tools to the product line; in particular, Williams did not offer a flex handle or reversible ratchet until some years later. The NX-41 flex handle was introduced around 1945 and is shown in a catalog from late in that year. The NX-51 reversible ratchet first appears (in our catalogs) in the 1947 catalog.

One significant new feature for the sockets and drive tools appeared around the same time as the change to square drive. Williams added a socket locking mechanism with a push-button release, using locking pins instead of detent balls for the drive studs, and with a release button in the base of each socket. This locking mechanism was a significant safety feature for workers using these heavy tools.

The concept of locking pins and release buttons had been developed and patented by Blackhawk in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and Snap-on licensed Blackhawk's patent for its heavier sockets and drive tools. The Williams approach was functionally similar, but used a different method of securing the push-button in the socket base.

The "NX-" series model numbers remained in use until at least 1950, but by around 1956 Williams had switched back to the "X-" prefix for 1 inch drive. Later years brought some minor additions to the product line, adding some intermediate sizes to the available sockets, and extending the socket sizes up to the 3-1/8 model X-12100. Socket sizes above 2-1/2 inches were made with a shorter neck and no cross-bar hole.


X-1248 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/2 Socket

We'll begin this section with an example of the early 1 inch hex drive sockets.

[Williams X-1248 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/2 Socket]
Fig. 285. Williams X-1248 1 Inch Hex Drive 1-1/2 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 285 shows an early 1 inch hex drive Williams X-1248 1-1/2 socket, stamped with the Williams scroll logo and "Made <W> in U.S.A.", with the fractional size at the left and the model number to the right.

The overall height is 3.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

In addition to its hex drive opening, the socket is also equipped with a 1 inch diameter cross-bar hole, intended for use with an X-20B handle bar (or equivalent). (The similar NX-20B Handle Bar can be seen in a later figure.)


Early NX-50 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet

When the NX series of 1 inch square drive tools were introduced, the early production of the NX-50 ratchets continued to use 1 inch hex drive, but were fitted with a hex to square drive adapter plug for use with the new sockets.

[Williams Early NX-50 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 286. Williams Early NX-50 1 Inch Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 286 shows a 1 inch hex drive Williams NX-50 non-reversible ratchet, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face. The depressed panels of the shank are marked with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." on the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." on the reverse. The reverse panel is also marked with the "NX-50" model at the left and the W-Diamond logo at the right.

The overall length is 20.5 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 16-tooth drive gear held in place by a threaded circular cover plate.

This ratchet was normally furnished with an XX-150 1 inch hex to 1 inch square adapter for use with NX-series sockets.


NX-1240 1 Inch Drive Socket

[Williams NX-1240 1 Inch Drive 1-1/4 Socket]
Fig. 287. Williams NX-1240 1 Inch Drive 1-1/4 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1943.

Fig. 287 shows a 1 inch drive Williams NX-1240 1-1/4 socket, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. The finish is chrome plating.

The socket is equipped with a 1 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use with the NX-20B Handle Bar shown in a figure below.

The left inset shows the release button in the drive end, a convenience feature for depressing the locking pin of the drive stud. The Williams release buttons are secured by a pin inserted from the drive end, a different approach from that used by Blackhawk and Snap-on.

This socket was acquired as part of the Williams No. 81 Socket Set shown in a later figure.


NX-1264 1 Inch Drive Socket

[Williams NX-1264 1 Inch Drive 2 Inch Socket]
Fig. 288. Williams NX-1264 1 Inch Drive 2 Inch Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1943.

Fig. 288 shows a 1 inch drive Williams NX-1264 2 inch socket, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. The finish is cadmium plating.

The socket is equipped with a 1 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use with the NX-20B Handle Bar, shown in the next figure.

The right inset shows the broaching detail for the socket. The socket was constructed using a hot-forging process, with the displaced metal merged with the bottom of the socket.

This socket was acquired as part of the Williams No. 81 Socket Set shown in a later figure.


NX-20B/C 1 Inch Drive Sliding Tee Handle

The next two figures show examples of the Williams NX-20B/C sliding Tee handle.

[Williams NX-20B/C 1 Inch Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 289. Williams NX-20B/C 1 Inch Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1943.

Fig. 289 shows an earlier 1 inch drive Williams NX-20B bar with the NX-20C sliding Tee head, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the bar, with "Made in U.S.A." and another W-Diamond logo on the sliding head.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The NX-20B bar includes a stop-ball at only one end, so that the sliding head can be removed when needed.

This sliding Tee was acquired as part of the Williams No. 81 Socket Set shown in a later figure. The tools in the set had a mix of chrome and cadmium finishes, suggesting an early 1940s manufacturing date.


[Williams NX-20B/C 1 Inch Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 290. Williams NX-20B/C 1 Inch Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. 1948-1949.

Fig. 290 shows a somewhat later Williams NX-20B bar and NX-20C sliding Tee head, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the bar, with "Made <W> in U.S.A." on the sliding head.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This sliding Tee handle was acquired as part of a Williams NX-1 Socket Set.


NX-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Williams NX-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 291. Williams NX-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. 1947.

Fig. 291 shows a 1 inch drive Williams NX-51 reversible ratchet, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." with a W-Diamond logo on the reverse face.

The shank is marked with the model number and "Superratchet" forged into one side, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse. The reverse also has smaller forged markings "Drop Forged" and "Patented".

The overall length is 25.4 inches. The finish is chrome plating, with a bit of green paint probably added by a former owner.

The drive stud is equipped with a locking pin instead of a detent ball, a mechanism that provides a more secure hold on the large sockets used with tools of this type.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,957,462, filed by W.C. Kress in 1933 and issued in 1934.

This ratchet was acquired as part of a Williams NX-1 Socket Set. The set was likely manufactured in the late 1940s based on the mix of marking styles on the tools, and the ratchet is probably from around 1947 based on the stamped W-Diamond logo on the face.


NX-110 1 Inch Drive Extension and Tee Head

[Williams NX-110 1 Inch Drive 9 Inch Extension and Tee Head]
Fig. 292. Williams NX-110 1 Inch Drive 9 Inch Extension, with Insets for Marking Detail and End View, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 292 shows a Williams NX-110 1 inch drive extension, marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo, and equipped with a cross-bar hole for operation as a Tee handle.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating. (The finish is somewhat worn, revealing some of the copper underplating.)

The drive stud is equipped with a locking pin instead of a detent ball, a mechanism that provides a more secure hold on the large sockets used with tools of this type.

The upper right inset provides a detailed view of the driven end. Note the detent ball to help hold the cross-bar when in use as a Tee handle, an important convenience feature.


NX-115 1 Inch Drive 18 Inch Extension and Tee Head

[Williams NX-115 1 Inch Drive 18 Inch Extension and Tee Head]
Fig. 293. Williams NX-115 1 Inch Drive 18 Inch Extension, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1938-1946.

Fig. 293 shows a 1 inch drive Williams NX-110 18 inch extension, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 18.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

As with the previous example, the extension is equipped with a cross-bar hole for operation as a Tee handle. The upper left inset provides a detailed view of the driven end, showing the detent ball and the release button.


X-41 1 Inch Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Williams X-41 1 Inch Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 294. Williams X-41 1 Inch Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 294 shows a Williams X-41 1 inch drive flex-head handle, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 27.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The drive stud is equipped with a locking pin instead of a detent ball, a mechanism that provides a more secure hold on the large sockets used with tools of this type.

The upper right inset shows a closeup of the drive head with its spring clip for tension control. The spring clip mechanism is described by the 1936 patent #2,028,561 issued to Snap-on Tools.

The design and markings of this tool lead to a bit of confusion when we attempt to estimate the manufacturing date. Williams did not offer flex-head handles in 1 inch drive until about 1945, and at that time this model was listed as an NX-41. The NX-series model numbers for 1 inch drive tools remained in use at least through 1950. Furthermore, the catalog illustrations show the NX-41 and X-41 handles with a cross-bar hole until at least 1964, but by 1978 the X-41 model is shown with a solid handle like the present example. So based on the model number and solid handle, the manufacturing date would appear to be 1965 or later.

On the other hand, the use of the Williams W-Diamond logo is generally associated with tools made before 1947, at least when the logo is stamped and could be easily changed. In addition, at least for the 1/2-drive tools the spring clip tensioner mechanism was soon replaced by a detent ball, probably before 1950. Thus it would seem a bit surprising for a 1 inch drive tool to be using the spring clip at a much later date.


X-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Williams X-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet]
Fig. 295. Williams X-51 1 Inch Drive Reversible Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1956+.

Fig. 295 shows a 1 inch drive Williams X-51 reversible ratchet, with the model number and "Superratchet" trademark forged into the front, and with "Drop Forged" and "J.H. Williams & Co. U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 25.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This ratchet is very similar to the NX-51 Ratchet shown in a previous figure, with minor changes to the forged-in markings.


1 Inch Drive Socket Sets

Williams offered its 1 inch drive socket tools in sets of various sizes, with sturdy metal cases included for storage. The earlier catalogs offered two sets, the No. 76 set with 16 pieces including a ratchet, and the No. 81 set with 10 pieces.

By 1949 the socket sets had been renumbered and reconfigured into three choices, sets NX-1, NX-2, and NX-3. The NX-2 set was basically the same as the old No. 81, but the other two sets were new combinations of tools and sockets.

These Williams 1 inch drive sets are somewhat hard to find (not to mention heavy to lift and awkward to store), but we're fortunate to have an example to display.


No. 81 1 Inch Drive Socket Set

[Williams No. 81 1 Inch Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 296A. Williams No. 81 1 Inch Drive Socket Set, ca. 1941-1943.

Fig. 296A shows a 1 inch drive Williams No. 81 socket set, consisting of an NX-20B handle bar, NX-20C sliding Tee head, an NX-110 extension, and seven sockets from 1-1/4 to 2-3/8.

The socket sizes and models (from the right) are NX-1240 (1-1/4), NX-1246 (1-7/16), NX-1252 (1-5/8), NX-1258 (1-13/16), NX-1264 (2 Inch), NX-1270 (2-3/16), and NX-1276 (2-3/8).

All of the sockets include a cross-bar hole for use with the NX-20B handle bar, a convenience when a close connection to the socket is needed.

The sockets and tools in the set include pieces both with chrome finishes (e.g. NX-110, NX-1240, NX-1270) and with cadmium finishes (e.g. NX-20B, NX-1264, NX-1276), suggesting a manufacturing date during the early wartime years of 1941-1943.

[Top Cover of Williams No. 81 Socket Set]
Fig. 296B. Top Cover of Williams No. 81 Socket Set.

Fig. 296B shows the top of the No. 81 socket set in its metal case. The finish is gray paint, with extensive losses to rust in some areas, as can be seen in the photograph. The metal handle and mounting hardware were electrolytically derusted, giving them a clean but pitted surface.

The dimensions of the case are 24 inches long by 5.3 inches wide, with a height of 3.5 inches.

The drive tools in this set can be seen as the NX-20B/C Sliding Tee Handle, and two of the sockets can be seen as the NX-1240 1-1/4 Socket and NX-1264 2 Inch Socket.


NX-1 1 Inch Drive Socket Set

[1950 Catalog Listing for Williams NX-1 1 Inch Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 297. 1950 Catalog Listing for Williams NX-1 1 Inch Drive Socket Set.

The scan in Fig. 297 shows a catalog listing for the Williams NX-1 socket set, as found on page 82 of the 1950 Williams catalog. The NX-1 was the largest of the 1 inch drive sets offered by Williams and consisted of an NX-51 ratchet, NX-41 flex handle, NX-20B handle bar with NX-20C sliding Tee head, NX-110 and NX-115 extensions, and twelve sockets from 1-1/16 to 2-3/8.

The socket models and sizes were NX-1234 (1-1/16), NX-1236 (1-1/8), NX-1240 (1-1/4), NX-1246 (1-7/16), NX-1248 (1-1/2), NX-1252 (1-5/8), NX-1258 (1-13/16), NX-1260 (1-7/8), NX-1264 (2 Inch), NX-1270 (2-3/16), NX-1272 (2-1/4), and NX-1276 (2-3/8).

The set was contained in a heavy-gauge steel box with carrying handles on the ends.

We had an NX-1 set at one point, but the case needed repairs to reattach the cover, and we were not able to get photographs of the full set before needing to clear out space. We're providing the catalog listing and a description of the set in case it may be helpful.

All of the sockets included a cross-bar hole for use with the NX-20B handle bar, a convenience when a close connection to the socket is needed. The markings on the sockets and tools were mostly of the older style with the W-Diamond logo, with one or two pieces marked with the newer "Williams U.S.A." logo. This suggests that the set was an early example of the NX-1 model, produced in the late 1940s when the markings (and sets) were being updated.

We did manage to take photographs of some of the tools in the set, which can be seen as the Williams NX-51 Ratchet and Williams NX-20B/C Sliding Tee Handle.


Other Drive Sizes

In the early 1930s Williams offered a line of 5/16-hex drive "Midget" socket tools, a holdover from earlier years when Husky Wrench supplied socket tools to Williams. (See the section on Collaboration with Husky Wrench for more information.) Sometime between 1933 and 1936 the 5/16 hex tools were discontinued, and Williams introduced a line of 9/32 (square) drive socket tools as a replacement. (Tools in 9/32-drive had been offered by Snap-on as early as 1925 and had become something of a standard for small socket tools.)

The Williams 9/32 product line was relatively short-lived — by late 1940 the 9/32-drive tools had been superseded by 1/4-drive.

9/32-Drive "Midget" Socket Sets

Williams offered 9/32-drive "Midget" tools in various sets, some consisting of just socket tools and others adding ignition wrenches and pliers. Our first catalog listing for these sets is from the 1936 H. Channon Catalog No. 102, which offered an M-310 9/32-drive set consisting of just socket tools.

Our first listing from a Williams catalog is in the A-409 update booklet from April of 1937, which offered "Midget Electrical" sets Nos. 1268P, 1284P, and 1288P, similar to the earlier Nos. 286 and 287A 5/16-hex drive sets.

The 9/32-drive sets showed a few minor changes from the earlier sets. For the sockets, the 5/32 and 1/2 sizes were dropped and the 7/32 size added. And for the angle-head ignition wrenches, the 1/2 size was dropped, and the 13/64, 15/64, and 9/32 sizes were added. In addition, the sets now included No. 1519 ignition pliers by default, signified by the "P" suffix to the model number.


M-310 9/32-Drive "Midget" Socket Set

[1936 Catalog Listing for Williams M-310 9/32-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 298A. 1936 Catalog Listing for Williams M-310 9/32-Drive Socket Set.

Sometime between 1933 and 1936 Williams made a transition from 5/16-hex drive to 9/32 square drive for its "Midget" series of sockets and drive tools.

The scan in Fig. 298A shows a catalog listing for the M-310 9/32-drive socket set, as found on page 195 of the 1936 H. Channon Company Catalog No. 102. This is currently the only known listing for this set.

The set consists of a flex handle, a cross-bar, and eight sockets of hex and double-hex broaching. The socket sizes are listed as 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 9/32, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, and 7/16.

[Williams M-310 9/32-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension]
Fig. 298B. Williams M-310 9/32-Drive Socket Set, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 298B shows a 9/32-drive Williams M-310 "Midget" socket set, consisting of an M-42 flex handle, an unmarked [M-42B] crossbar, and eight sockets of mixed hex and double-hex broaching.

The leftmost four sockets have hex (6-point) broachings, and the models and sizes are M-606 (3/16), M-607 (7/32), M-608 (1/4), and M-609 (9/32). The rightmost four sockets have double-hex (12-point) broachings with models and sizes M-1210 (5/16), M-1211 (11/32), M-1212 (3/8), and M-1214 (7/16).

A review of the J.H. Williams catalogs shows that the 9/32 drive size was introduced some time after 1933 and discontinued in late 1940. (A catalog from March 1940 still lists 9/32 drive tools, but a November update from that year declares 9/32 drive as obsolete.)


M-42 9/32-Drive Flex Handle and Crossbar from M-310 Set

[Williams M-42 9/32-Drive Flex Handle and Crossbar]
Fig. 299. Williams M-42 9/32-Drive Flex Handle and Crossbar, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 299 shows the 9/32-drive Williams M-42 flex handle and crossbar from the M-310 set, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 5.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The crossbar at the top of the photograph is unmarked, but later catalogs gave this a "B" suffix, e.g. M-42B. The cross-bar allows the flex handle to act as a Tee handle.


M-6xx and M-12xx 9/32-Drive Sockets from M-310 Set

[Williams M-6xx and M-12xx 9/32-Drive Sockets from M-310 Set]
Fig. 300. Williams M-6xx and M-12xx 9/32-Drive Sockets from M-310 Set, with Inset for Top View, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 300 shows the Williams M-6xx and M-12xx 9/32-drive sockets from the M-310 set.

The models and sizes are, from the left, M-606 (3/16), M-607 (7/32), M-608 (1/4), M-609 (9/32), M-1210 (5/16), M-1211 (11/32), M-1212 (3/8), and M-1214 (7/16). The sockets are stamped with the Williams scroll logo and "U.S.A.", along with the fractional size and model number. The finish is chrome plating.

The inset shows a top view of the sockets, illustrating the hex and double-hex broachings.


No. 1288P 9/32-Drive "Midget" Socket Set

[1937 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1288P Socket Set]
Fig. 301A. 1937 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1288P Socket Set.

The scan in Fig. 301A shows a catalog listing for the Williams No. 1288P "Combination Electrical Set", as found on page 74 of the 1937 Williams "Tools of Industry" catalog. (One nice feature of this catalog is that every page provides the June 1937 publication date. You can't imagine how many hours we've spent scouring undated catalogs for hints of the publication date!)

The set consists of an M-110 extension handle, an M-20A sliding Tee handle, eight sockets with hex and double-hex broachings from 3/16 to 7/16, nine ignition wrenches in the angle-head style from 13/64 to 7/16, and No. 1519 ignition pliers.

As always, the set could be ordered without the pliers by dropping the "P" from the model number.

[Williams No. 1288P 9/32-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 301B. Williams No. 1288P 9/32-Drive Socket Set, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940.

Fig. 301B shows a partially complete Williams No. 1288P 9/32-drive "Midget Electrical Set" in its metal box, consisting of an M-110 extension handle, seven hex and double-hex sockets, four ignition wrenches in the angle-head style, and No. 1519 ignition pliers. This set was built up from spare tools and is missing a number of components, specifically the M-20A sliding Tee handle, an M-1210 5/16 socket, and five ignition wrenches.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, M-606 (3/16, hex), M-607 (7/32, hex), M-608 (1/4, hex), M-609 (9/32, hex), M-1211 (11/32), M-1212 (3/8), and M-1214 (7/16). (The M-1210 (5/16) socket is missing.) All of the sockets are marked with the Williams scroll logo, fractional size, and model number. The finish is chrome plating.

The wrench models and sizes are 1114 (7/32), 1116 (1/4), 1120 (5/16), and 1124 (3/8). (The missing wrenches would have been 1113 (13/64), 1115 (15/64), 1118 (9/32), 1122 (11/32), and 1128 (7/16).) The wrenches have a forged-in marking for the "Superrench" trademark, with "Chrome-Molybdenum" or "Chrome-Alloy" on the reverse. Photographs of ignition wrenches can be seen in our section on Williams Ignition Wrenches.

The ignition pliers are substantially the same as the No. 1519 Ignition Pliers shown with another socket set.

As noted above, this set was built from inventory rather than being acquired in original condition. The box was acquired with some sockets and drive tools, but they turned out to be 1/4-drive tools placed in an older box. (We were able to use them to reconstruct another set!) Of the pieces present, all correspond to the mid 1930s time period, except that one wrench with a cadmium finish is likely from the 1940s wartime era. (A cadmium finish was standard on the No. 1519 pliers according to the 1937 catalog.)


M-110 9/32-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension

One of the more distinctive Williams tools was first developed for the 9/32-drive line, the M-110 convertible drive handle and extension.

[Williams M-110 9/32-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension]
Fig. 302. Williams M-110 9/32-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension, ca. 1933-1937.

Fig. 302 shows an early 9/32-drive Williams M-110 convertible handle and extension, stamped with "Williams" and the W-Diamond logo on the shank, and with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. Pend'g" on the reverse. (This tool is displayed as part of the No. 1288P socket set.)

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The end of the handle has a 9/32 broached opening to allow use as an extension, as shown in the upper inset.

The pending status refers to patent #2,071,543, filed by W.C. Kress in 1933 and issued in 1937. The patent describes a very clever mechanism that allows the knurled drive handle to convert to a rotating grip extension. The pending status for this particular tool indicates a likely production date between 1933 and 1937.

In its normal drive position, the knurled handle is locked to the shaft by two pins projecting into holes on either side of the handle (see photograph). When operation as an extension is desired, the knurled handle can be pulled back slightly to allow a detent ball to pop up, which in turn allows the locking pins to retract. The knurled handle will then rotate freely on the shaft.


The Transition to 1/4-Drive

In 1940 Williams replaced its 9/32-drive sockets and tools with 1/4-drive equivalents, recognizing that 1/4-drive had emerged as the new industry standard. The transition from 9/32-drive to 1/4-drive apparently occurred in mid-year 1940; a review of catalogs from 1940 found that 9/32-drive tools were still listed in a March printing, but had been discontinued in the November update.

The new tools were made in the same sizes and configurations, but the model number prefix was changed to "NM" to distinguish them from the earlier 9/32-drive tools. For example, a 9/32-drive M-110 handle became a 1/4-drive NM-110 handle in the new series.

Model numbers in the NM-series were used from late 1940 until about 1955, but then reverted back to the M-series for all 1/4-drive tools.


NM-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension

[Williams NM-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension]
Fig. 303. Williams NM-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 303 shows a Williams NM-110 convertible handle and extension, the 1/4-drive equivalent to the M-110 9/32-Drive Handle shown in another figure. The shank is stamped with "Williams" and the W-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Patented" on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The end of the handle is broached for 1/4-drive, to allow use as an extension.

The drive handle is equipped with a very clever mechanism that allows a quick conversion into a rotating-grip extension. In its normal drive position, the knurled handle is locked to the shaft by two detent balls, one of which is visible in the hole (see photograph). If the handle is pulled back slightly, another detent ball pops up and allows the locking balls to retract, and the handle will then rotate freely on the shaft.

This convertible mechanism is described by patent #2,071,543, issued to W.C. Kress in 1937.

This tool was acquired as part of the No. 1291P Midget Electrical Set, a collection including ignition wrenches, miniature pliers, and 1/4-drive sockets and drive tools.


NM-20A 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handles

The next figures show two generations of the NM-20A sliding Tee handle.

[Williams NM-20A 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 304A. Williams NM-20A 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 304A shows an early Williams NM-20A 1/4-drive sliding Tee handle, stamped "Williams U.S.A." on the bar, with the model number and W-Diamond logo on the sliding head.

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

This tool was acquired with a group of sockets in the wide-groove style and is shown as part of a No. 1285P Midget Electrical Set.

[Williams NM-20A 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 304B. Williams NM-20A 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 304B shows a slightly later Williams NM-20A 1/4-drive sliding Tee handle, stamped "Williams" and "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

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

This tool was acquired as part of the No. 1269 Midget Electrical Set of likely wartime origin, as most of the tools and sockets were cadmium plated.

The marking style in Fig. 304A is believed to have been transitional, as it required the somewhat awkward placement of a very small "<W>" logo and model number on the sliding head. The updated style in Fig. 304B placed all of the markings on the bar, a more convenient location. This style remained in effect into the next generation, as can be seen in the NM-7 Socket Set.


NM-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Williams NM-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 305. Williams NM-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 305 shows a Williams NM-51 1/4-drive ratchet, stamped "Superratchet" on the shank with the model number on the reverse, and with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the reverse face.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The NM-51 ratchet was a component of socket sets Nos. 1269PR, 1286PR, and 1292PR.


1/4-Drive Socket Sets

As with the other drive sizes, Williams offered a number of different sets of 1/4-drive sockets and tools. These sets frequently combined the 1/4-drive socket tools with ignition wrenches or other related tools, perhaps as a throwback to the early Williams-Husky combination sets.

The initial 1/4-drive socket sets offered in 1941 included models 1269PR, 1285P, 1286PR, 1291P, and 1292PR, with the letter suffix indicating whether the set included miniature pliers ("P") or a ratchet ("R"). The set model numbers were derived by adding one to the earlier 9/32-drive model numbers, e.g. 1268PR became 1269PR.

These sets were identified by decals with the catalog number for the set as configured, with decals both on the top and on the inside lid. The decals all stated "Midget Electrical Set", but the catalogs referred to the sets containing ignition wrenches as a "Combination Electrical Set".

In the late 1940s Williams updated the model numbers for its socket sets, using the standard alphabetic prefix for the particular drive size followed by a number (usually starting from 1) for the set. The 1/4-drive tools were using the "NM" prefix at that time, and the socket sets were listed as models NM-1 through NM-8. In the mid 1950s the 1/4-drive model numbers reverted to the "M" prefix, and the socket sets followed the change as well.

The next several figures will show examples of various the 1/4-drive socket and wrench sets.


No. 1269 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set

[1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1269PR 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 306. 1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1269PR 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set.

The scan in Fig. 306 shows a catalog listing for the Williams No. 1269PR socket set, as found on page 4 of the 1941 Williams A-409 catalog supplement. The 1941 publication date makes this one of the first catalogs to show these sets in the new 1/4 square drive format.

The set consists of a reversible ratchet, a sliding Tee handle, an extension-driver, eight hex or double-hex sockets from 3/16 to 7/16, and a pair of miniature pliers.

As noted at the bottom, the set could also be ordered without the pliers and ratchet by dropping the "PR" suffix from the model number.

This next figure shows an example of the base model, without the pliers and ratchet.

[Williams No. 1269 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 306A. Williams No. 1269 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 306A shows a Williams No. 1269 1/4-drive socket set in its gray metal case, consisting of an NM-110 extension handle, an NM-20A sliding Tee handle, and eight hex and double-hex sockets. This set was acquired complete as seen in the photograph.

The hex socket sizes (from the left) are NM-606 (3/16), NM-607 (7/32), NM-608 (1/4), and NM-609 (9/32). The remaining double-hex sockets (starting fifth from the left) are NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), 1212 (3/8), and NM-1214 (7/16).

The set is marked with a decal on the inside of the cover, chipped in places but still partially legible. The Williams scroll logo at the top is followed by "Midget Electrical ..." with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." at the bottom. The last part of the model number is missing, but fortunately the decal on the top of the box has the full "No. 1269" number.

The tools and all of the sockets except one have a cadmium finish, suggesting a manufacturing date in the 1943-1945 wartime years.

The extension handle closely resembles the NM-110 Extension Handle from the NM-1291P set. The sliding Tee handle from this set can be seen in detail as the NM-20A Sliding Tee Handle.

If ordered with the "PR" suffix, this set would include the NM-51 Reversible Ratchet and No. 1519 Ignition Pliers.

[Top Cover of Williams No. 1269 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 306B. Top Cover of Williams No. 1269 Midget Electrical Set, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 306B shows the top cover of the Williams No. 1269 socket set, with another copy of the decal from inside the set. The top decal is damaged around the edges but is still partially readable, and clearly identifies the set as the No. 1269 model.

The dimensions of the box are 5.7 inches long by 3.0 inches deep by 1.1 inches high.


NM-6xx and NM-12xx 1/4-Drive Sockets from No. 1269 Set

[NM-6xx and NM-12xx Sockets from No. 1269 Set]
Fig. 306C. NM-6xx and NM-12xx Sockets from No. 1269 Set, ca. 1943-1945.

Fig. 306C shows the Williams NM-6xx and NM-12xx 1/4-drive sockets from the No. 1269 set.

The models and sizes (from the left) are NM-606 (3/16), NM-607 (7/32), NM-608 (1/4), NM-609 (9/32), NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), NM-1212 (3/8), and NM-1214 (7/16). The sockets are stamped with the Williams scroll logo and "U.S.A." (see lower inset), plus the size and model number.

The finish is cadmium plating, except that the NM-1210 socket has a chrome plated finish.

The top inset shows the interior of the sockets, with hex and double-hex broachings.

The sockets are in the wide-groove style used from the mid 1930s until the late 1940s. Note that although the company marking is the same as the later "Williams U.S.A." form, it represents the degenerate case of "Forged <W> in U.S.A." for the limited space available.


No. 1285P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set

[1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1285P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 307A. 1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1285P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set.

The scan in Fig. 307A shows a catalog listing for the Williams No. 1285P socket set, as found on page 4 of the 1941 Williams A-409 catalog supplement. The 1941 publication date makes this one of the first catalogs to show these sets in the new 1/4 square drive format.

The set consists of a sliding Tee handle, an extension-driver, eight hex or double-hex sockets from 3/16 to 7/16, a pair of miniature pliers, and four ignition wrenches (in the double open-end style) from 13/64 to 3/8.

As noted at the bottom, the set could also be ordered without the pliers by dropping the "P" suffix from the model number.

[Williams No. 1285P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 307B. Williams No. 1285P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set, ca. 1941-1942.

Fig. 307B shows a partial Williams No. 1285P socket set in its metal box, consisting of an NM-20A sliding Tee handle, an NM-110 extension-driver, seven of the original eight sockets, and a pair of No. 1519 miniature pliers. The set is missing the four ignition wrenches (in the double open-end style) originally supplied with the set.

The hex and double-hex socket models and sizes are, from the left, NM-606 (3/16), NM-607 (7/32), NM-609 (9/32), NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), M-1212 (3/8), and NM-1214 (7/16). (The original NM-608 1/4 socket is missing.) The sockets are in the wide-groove style, except for the later M-1212 double-groove socket. The finish is chrome plating.

The extension-driver and sliding Tee handle have a chrome finish. The pliers have a cadmium finish, which was standard at that time.

The gray metal box measures 5.7 inches long by 3.0 inches deep by 1.1 inches high.

The sliding Tee handle in this set can be seen in greater detail as the NM-20A Sliding Tee Handle. The extension handle in this set is very similar to the NM-110 Extension Handle from the No. 1269 set, but has a chrome plated finish. The six wide-groove sockets in this set are very similar to the NM-6xx and NM-12xx Sockets from the No. 1269 set, but have a chrome finish.

This set was built from parts rather than being acquired intact. The sliding Tee handle and six sockets were acquired as a lot in a box for a 9/32-drive set, but are placed here in an appropriate box. The extension-driver, pliers, and the later M-1212 socket were added from inventory.

The transitional markings on the sliding Tee handle and the wide-groove style sockets would be consistent with production in 1941-1942, and with the exception of the M-1212 socket, the other tools are also consistent with that time period. The appropriate ignition wrenches were not available in our inventory, but would have been marked "Chrome-Alloy" at that time.


No. 1291P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set

[1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1291P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 308A. 1941 Catalog Listing for Williams No. 1291P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set.

The scan in Fig. 308A shows a catalog listing for the Williams No. 1291P socket set, as found on page 5 of the 1941 Williams A-409 catalog supplement. The 1941 publication date makes this one of the first catalogs to show these sets in the new 1/4 square drive format.

The set consists of a sliding Tee handle, an extension-driver, eight hex or double-hex sockets from 3/16 to 7/16, a pair of miniature pliers, and ten ignition wrenches (in the angle-head style) from 3/16 to 7/16.

As noted at the bottom, the set could also be ordered without the pliers by dropping the "P" suffix from the model number.

[Williams No. 1291P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 308B. Williams No. 1291P 1/4-Drive Midget Electrical Set, ca. 1942-1943.

Fig. 308B shows a Williams No. 1291P "Midget Electrical Set" in its metal case, consisting of 1/4-drive socket tools along with ignition wrenches and pliers.

The catalog description for the set includes an NM-20A sliding Tee handle, an NM-110 extension-driver, eight sockets of mixed hex and double-hex broaching, the No. 1519 miniature pliers, and ten ignition wrenches in the 11xx series. Our set as acquired was missing all but three of the sockets.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, NM-607 (7/32 hex), NM-608 (1/4 hex), and NM-1214 (7/16 double-hex). The missing sockets are hex models NM-606 (3/16) and NM-609 (9/32), plus double-hex models NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), and NM-1212 (3/8). The sockets have a chrome finish with polished upper walls.

The ignition wrenches in this set are in the angle-head style. The models and sizes are 1112 (3/16), 1113 (13/64), 1114 (7/32), 1115 (15/64), 1116 (1/4), 1118 (9/32), 1120 (5/16), 1122 (11/32), 1124 (3/8), and 1128 (7/16). Most of the wrenches have a forged-in "Alloy" marking, but two have a forged-in "Chrome-Alloy" marking.

The drive handles and some of the wrenches in the set have a cadmium or other soft finish, instead of the standard chrome plating, suggesting a manufacturing date during the early to middle wartime years.


[Top Cover of Williams No. 1291P Midget Electrical Set]
Fig. 309. Top Cover of Williams No. 1291P Midget Electrical Set, ca. 1942-1943.

Fig. 309 at the left shows the top cover of the Williams 1291P set, marked "J.H. Williams & Co. Buffalo, N.Y." with "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

The dimensions of the box are 5.7 inches by 3.0 inches, with a height of 1.1 inches.

Normally the decal for a set would be marked with the model number as configured, in this case "No. 1291P". However, both decals for this set are blank, possibly reflecting the wartime production.

The extension handle in this set can be seen as the NM-110 Extension Handle. The sliding Tee handle closely resembles the NM-20A Sliding Tee Handle from the No. 1269 set.


No. 1519 Ignition Pliers from No. 1291P Set

[Williams No. 1519 Ignition Pliers]
Fig. 310. Williams No. 1519 Ignition Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1943.

Fig. 310 shows the Williams No. 1519 ignition pliers, stamped with the "Williams" logo and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

Cadmium plating was the standard finish for these pliers, according to the 1937 Williams catalog.

These pliers tool were acquired as part of the No. 1291P Midget Electrical Set.


Summary of Early 12xx-Series 1/4-Drive Socket Sets

The table below summarizes the various early 1/4-drive socket sets, based on the listings in the 1941 Wiiliams A-409 catalog. All of the sets included the NM-20A sliding Tee handle, NM-110 extension handle, and eight sockets of hex or double-hex broaching. The various set model numbers determined whether square sockets or ignition wrenches (and which style) were to be included.

The model number suffixes determined whether the No. 1519 miniature pliers ("P") or NM-51 ratchet ("R") were included, and in all cases the "P" or "R" suffix could be dropped to exclude that tool.

Summary of Williams 1/4-Drive 12xx-Series Socket Sets
Model Description 1269PR 1285P 1286PR 1291P 1292PR Example(s)
NM-20ASliding Tee Handle X X X X X NM-20A Sliding Tee Handle
NM-110Extension Handle X X X X X NM-110 Extension Handle
NM-6xx(4) 6-Pt Sockets, 3/16 to 9/32 X X X X X NM-6xx Sockets
NM-12xx(4) 12-Pt Sockets, 5/16 to 7/16 X X X X X NM-12xx Sockets
NM-51Ratchet X   X   X NM-51 Ratchet
NM-4064-Pt Socket, 3/16     X   X  
NM-4074-Pt Socket, 7/32     X   X  
NM-4084-Pt Socket, 1/4     X   X  
NM-8108-Pt Socket, 5/16     X   X  
NM-8128-Pt Socket, 3/8     X   X  
1106Ignition Wrench, 13/64x7/32   X X     1106 Ignition Wrench
1107Ignition Wrench, 15/64x1/4   X X     1107 Ignition Wrench
1108Ignition Wrench, 9/32x5/16   X X      
1109Ignition Wrench, 11/32x3/8   X X      
1112Ignition Wrench, 3/16       X X 1112 Ignition Wrench
1113Ignition Wrench, 13/64       X X 1113 Ignition Wrench
1114Ignition Wrench, 7/32       X X 1114 Ignition Wrench
1115Ignition Wrench, 15/64       X X 1115 Ignition Wrench
1116Ignition Wrench, 1/4       X X 1116 Ignition Wrench
1118Ignition Wrench, 9/32       X X 1118 Ignition Wrench
1120Ignition Wrench, 5/16       X X 1120 Ignition Wrench
1122Ignition Wrench, 11/32       X X 1122 Ignition Wrench
1124Ignition Wrench, 3/8       X X 1124 Ignition Wrench
1128Ignition Wrench, 7/16       X X 1128 Ignition Wrench
No. 1519Ignition Pliers X X X X X No. 1519 Ignition Pliers

NM-2 1/4-Drive Socket Set

The NM-series sets from the late 1940s sometimes used the same style of metal case for several different collections. In particular, the case used for the NM-7 set also served for the NM-2, NM-5, and NM-6 sets, and this next example shows an NM-2 collection configured in a case originally marked for an NM-7 set.

[Williams NM-2 1/4-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 311. Williams NM-2 1/4-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1948-1955.

Fig. 311 shows a Williams NM-2 1/4-drive socket set configured in a metal case originally used for the NM-7 Socket Set in a later figure.

The catalog lists the NM-2 set with an NM-51 ratchet, NM-106 drive handle, NM-20A sliding Tee handle, nine sockets of mixed hex and double-hex broachings, and No. 1519 miniature pliers.

For this configured set we have added some later equivalent (M-series) tools to the pieces in an original NM-7 set.

The hex socket models and sizes are, from the left, NM-606 (3/16), NM-607 (7/32), NM-608 (1/4), and NM-609 (9/32). The double-hex sockets are, from the left after the hex group, NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), NM-1212 (3/8), NM-1214 (7/16), and NM-1216 (1/2). The sockets are all marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo and have the double-groove design seen with sockets of other drive sizes.


No. 1519 Ignition Pliers

[Williams No. 1519 Ignition Pliers]
Fig. 312. Williams No. 1519 Ignition Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 312 shows the Williams No. 1519 ignition pliers pictured with the NM-2 set, stamped with the Williams logo and model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


NM-7 1/4-Drive Socket Set

[Williams NM-7 1/4-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 313. Williams NM-7 1/4-Drive Socket Set, ca. 1948-1955.

Fig. 313 shows a Williams NM-7 1/4-drive socket set in a metal case. The set consists of an NM-106 drive handle, an NM-20A sliding Tee handle, nine sockets of mixed hex and double-hex broachings, and eleven ignition wrenches with 15 and 75 degree offset openings.

The inside of the cover is marked with the Williams logo and set number, with "Made in U.S.A." in the lower right corner. The Williams logo and model number are also marked on the outside of the top, as shown in the next figure.

The hex socket models and sizes are, from the left, NM-606 (3/16), NM-607 (7/32), NM-608 (1/4), and NM-609 (9/32). The double-hex sockets are, from the left after the hex group, NM-1210 (5/16), NM-1211 (11/32), NM-1212 (3/8), NM-1214 (7/16), and NM-1216 (1/2). The sockets are all marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo and have the double-groove design seen with sockets of other drive sizes.

The metal case includes a separate compartment to hold the ignition wrenches, shown with the model 1112 3/16 wrench lying on top. The remaining models and sizes are, from the top down, 1113 (13/64), 1114 (7/32), 1115 (15/64), 1116 (1/4), 1118 (9/32), 1120 (5/16), 1122 (11/32), 1124 (3/8), 1128 (7/16), and 1132 (1/2). Each of the wrenches is stamped with the W-Diamond logo on the face, with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the shank and "Alloy" on the reverse.

More detail on this series of ignition wrenches can be found in the section on Ignition Wrenches on an earlier page of this article.

This set as acquired was missing the drive handle and 11/32 socket, and these have been replaced with later equivalent (M-series) tools for the photograph.


[Top Cover of Williams NM-7 Socket Set]
Fig. 314. Top Cover of Williams NM-7 Drive Socket Set.

Fig. 314 shows the top cover of the Williams NM-7 set. The box has dimensions 7.5 inches by 3.3 inches, with a height of 1.2 inches.

Three other Williams 1/4-drive socket sets shared the same size box, the NM-2, NM-5, and NM-6 sets, although the interior dividers may have been different. (It's hard to tell from the catalog illustrations.)


M-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension

[Williams M-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension]
Fig. 315. Williams M-110 1/4-Drive Convertible Handle and Extension, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 315 shows a later Williams M-110 1/4-drive convertible handle and extension, the modern version of the earler NM-110 1/4-Drive Handle and the original M-110 9/32-Drive handle. The shank is stamped with "Williams" and the W-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The end of the handle is broached for 1/4-drive as shown in the upper inset, allowing use as an extension.

Although not marked with a patent notice, this tool is described by patent #2,071,543, issued to W.C. Kress in 1937.


M-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Williams M-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 316. Williams M-51 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 316 shows a later Williams M-51 1/4-drive ratchet, stamped "Superratchet" on the shank with the model number on the reverse, and with the "Williams U.S.A." logo on the reverse face.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


M-52 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Williams M-52 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 317. Williams M-52 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 317 shows a Williams M-52 1/4-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped "J.H. Williams" on the shank with "U.S.A." on the reverse.

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

This ratchet model uses a dual-pawl mechanism analogous to that used in the Williams S-52 and Williams B-52 ratchet models.


M-115 1/4-Drive 6 Inch Extension

[Williams M-115 1/4-Drive Extension]
Fig. 318. Williams M-115 1/4-Drive 6 Inch Extension.

Fig. 318 shows a Williams M-115 1/4-drive extension, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

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


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