Alloy Artifacts  

Garrington (England)

Garrington (or Garringtons) was a British maker of tools and other forged products. Currently we don't have much information on the company, but they are believed to have been one of the larger forge operations, and well regarded for quality tools.


Garrington "Blue Diamond" 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Garrington Blue Diamond 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 109. Garrington "Blue Diamond" 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 109 shows a Garrington "Blue Diamond" 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped "Blue Diamond" on the shank with "Garringtons England" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Garrington "Blue Diamond" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Garrington Blue Diamond 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 110. Garrington "Blue Diamond" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 110 shows a Garrington "Blue Diamond" 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "Blue Diamond" on the shank with "Garringtons England" on the reverse.

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


Garrington "Jaguar" 11/32x3/8 Tappet Wrench

[Garrington Jaguar 11/32x3/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 111. Garrington "Jaguar" 11/32x3/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 111 shows a Garrington "Jaguar" 11/32x3/8 tappet wrench, with forged-in markings "Jaguar" on the front and "Garrington" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench is believed to be from a Jaguar automobile toolkit.


Garrington "Jaguar" 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Garrington Jaguar 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 112. Garrington "Jaguar" 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 112 shows a Garrington "Jaguar" 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench, with forged-in markings "Jaguar" on the front and "Garrington" on the reverse.

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

This wrench is believed to be from a Jaguar automobile toolkit.


Gellman Manufacturing Company

Gellman Manufacturing of Rock Island, Illinois, also known earlier as the Gellman Wrench Corporation, was the maker of a distinctive "Polly" sliding-jaw adjustable wrench. This wrench was based on patent 1,451,906, filed by I.C. Gellman in 1921 and issued in 1923. (Gellman also received patent 1,451,873 on the same date, for an adjustable socket wrench.)


Gellman "Polly" No. 91 Adjustable Wrench

[Gellman Polly No. 91 Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 113. Gellman "Polly" No. 91 Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 113 shows a Gellman "Polly" No. 91 adjustable wrench of a distinctive design, with a spring-loaded jaw held in place by serrated teeth. The shank has forged markings "Gellman Manufacturing Company" and "Rock Island, Ill. U.S.A." on the front, with the "Polly" name in script. The reverse has forged markings "Drop Forged Steel" and "9 In. No. 91", with a "Patented Apr. 17, 1923" patent notice.

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

The patent date corresponds to patent 1,451,906, filed by I.C. Gellman in 1921.

Information sent by a reader indicates that other (probably earlier) versions of this model were marked "Gellman Wrench Corp." instead of Gellman Manufacturing.


Gellman "Polly" No. 121 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Gellman Polly No. 121 Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 114. Gellman "Polly" No. 121 Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 114 shows a larger example of the "Polly" wrench, a Gellman "Polly" No. 121 adjustable wrench. The shank has forged markings "Gellman Manufacturing Company" and "Rock Island, Ill. U.S.A." on the front, with the "Polly" name in script. The reverse has forged markings "Drop Forged Steel" and "12 In. No. 121", with a "Patented Apr. 17, 1923" patent notice.

The overall length is 11.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The patent date corresponds to patent 1,451,906, filed by I.C. Gellman in 1921.


Gendron Iron Wheel Company

The Gendron Iron Wheel Company was a maker of bicycles and tools operating in Toledo, Ohio. The company was founded in 1880 by Peter Gendron, an inventor with more than ten patents issued for wire wheels, tires, and related items.


Gendron 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Gendron 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 115. Gendron 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 115 shows a Gendron 5 inch bicyle wrench, stamped with a "G" in a diamond logo, with "Pat'd June 7th, 1892" around the outline.

The overall length is 4.6 inches closed, and the maximum opening is 1.3 inches. The finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 476,629, filed by P. Gendron in 1892.


Girard Wrench Manufacturing Company

The Girard Wrench Manufacturing Company was a maker of adjustable wrenches active from 1875 through at least the 1920s. The company was located in Girard, Pennsylvania and was initially founded as a reorganization of the Walton Wrench Manufacturing Company.

Girard Wrench is known to have registered at least two trademarks. The earlier trademark was for the text "Standard Girard Wrench Warranted", which was issued as #5,880 on April 16, 1878. In 1923 the company filed a trademark application for a logo with "Girard" in a diamond outline, and the trademark was issued as #188,484 on August 26, 1924. The application notes that Girard diamond logo had been in use since April of 1878.


Girard 10 Inch Monkey Wrench

[Girard 10 Inch Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 116. Girard 10 Inch Monkey Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 116 shows a Girard 10 inch monkey wrench, stamped with the Girard logo on the fixed jaw.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the maximum opening is 2.0 inches. The finish is black paint.


Goodell-Pratt Manufacturing Company

Goodell-Pratt Manufacturing operated in Greenfield, Massachusetts as the maker of a wide variety of tools and hardware products.

[1920 Notice for Goodell-Pratt Socket Wrench]
Fig. 117. 1920 Notice for Goodell-Pratt Socket Wrench. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 117 appeared on page 43 of the October 14, 1920 issue of Motor Age.


Goodell-Pratt 11/16 Offset Socket Wrench

[Goodell-Pratt 11/16 Offset Socket Wrench]
Fig. 118. Goodell-Pratt 11/16 Offset Socket Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 118 shows a Goodell-Pratt 11/16 offset socket wrench, stamped with "Goodell Pratt Co." and "Greenfield, Mass. U.S.A." on the socket.

The overall length is 10.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench has a distinctive appearance due to the use of a malleable cast socket with a 90 degree offset.


Greene, Tweed & Company

Greene, Tweed & Company was a hardware distributor and tool manufacturer operating in New York City.

[1904 Advertisement for Favorite Reversible Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 119. 1904 Advertisement for Favorite Reversible Ratchet Wrench. [External Link]

One of the company's best-known products was a heavy-duty reversible ratchet with interchangeable sockets, marketed by Green Tweed as the "Favorite" wrench. This wrench was advertised extensively during the early 1900s, and we've included a couple of examples of the ads.

The advertisement in Fig. 119 appeared on page 67 of the March 31, 1904 issue of American Machinist.

[1906 Advertisement for Favorite Reversible Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 120. 1906 Advertisement for Favorite Reversible Ratchet Wrench. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 120 was published on page 91 of the August 1906 issue of Machinery.


Favorite No. A Ratchet Socket Wrench

[Favorite No. A Ratchet Socket Wrench]
Fig. 121. Favorite No. A Ratchet Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 121 shows a Favorite No. A ratchet socket wrench, marked with "No. A" and "Favorite Reversible Ratchet Wrench" forged into the handle, with "Patented" and "Greene, Tweed & Co. Mnfrs., N.Y." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 15.0 inches.

The patent notice corresponds to patent 461,603, issued to C.T. Burr and G.B. Hankins on October 20, 1891.

The wrench is shown fitted with dual sockets marked with U.S.S. sizes 5/8 and 3/4, corresponding to nominal openings 1-1/16 and 1-1/4 respectively. The socket sizes can be changed by removing the retaining screw and inserting a new socket unit.


Greenfield Tap & Die Corporation (GTD)

The Greenfield Tap & Die Corporation is a maker of taps, dies, pipe wrenches, and other tools operating in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The company was established on April 2, 1912 by the merger of Wiley & Russell Manufacturing with the Wells Brothers Company.


GTD "Little Giant" 8 Inch Offset Pipe Wrench

[GTD Little Giant 8 Inch Offset Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 122. GTD "Little Giant" 8 Inch Offset Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1913+.

Fig. 122 shows a GTD "Little Giant" 8 inch offset pipe wrench, marked with "Greenfield, Mass." and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Little Giant" and "Pat. Feb. 4 1913" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,052,313, filed by A.B. Carll in 1912.


Guthard, Edgar C. Company

The Edgar C. Guthard Company was founded by the eponymous Edgar C. Guthard in Chicago and had begun operations by 1919. The company offered a well-regarded line of socket sets under the "Billmont" brand, including a distinctive angled driver based on the 1919 Fullenwider patent 1,310,473.

Prior to founding the company, Guthard was the owner of the Northwestern Auto Supply Company in Billings, Montana. (The Billings location presumably gave rise to the "Billmont" name.)

[1919 Notice for Edgar C. Guthard Company]
Fig. 123. 1919 Notice for Edgar C. Guthard Company. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 123 was published on page 104 of the October 1919 issue of Motor Record and states that E.C. Guthard had sold his interest in the Northwestern Auto operations to his father, presumably to concentrate on the Chicago business.

[1920 Advertisement for Billmont Master Wrench Set]
Fig. 124A. 1920 Advertisement for Billmont Master Wrench Set. [External Link]

The company's products were carried by a number of industrial distributors, and the company also placed advertisements in various publications of the time. For example, the advertisement in Fig. 124A appeared on page 148 of the May 1920 issue of Pacific Ports. The illustration shows the Billmont "Master Wrench" socket set, a collection of hex and square sockets with the distinctive patented angled driver handle. The text gives the company's address as 361 East Ohio Street in Chicago.

Interestingly, the East Ohio Street address is the same as the address used by Duro Metal Products at that time. This raises the possibility that Duro Metal might have provided contract manufacturing, although of course it's possible that both companies just rented space in the same building.

The Guthard company filed a trademark application for "Billmont" on July 9, 1919, and the trademark was issued as #130,182 on April 13, 1920. The application listed June 10, 1919 as the first use date.


3/4-Male Hex Drive

The Billmont sets were built around 3/4-male hex drive sockets, a unique and non-standard arrangement that must have been very time-consuming to manufacture. The socket blanks could be made with an automatic screw machine, but then each socket required milling to create the hexagon drive stud. (The milling marks are visible on the bottom of the larger sockets.)

Billmont did had one advantage in that its sockets were probably the strongest on the market when they came out in 1919. However, this advantage would have been somewhat neutralized by the relatively low torque that could be delivered through the angled universal driver.

Recognizing that the sockets needed stronger and more versatile drive tools, Billmont expanded its tool selection to include a ratchet, Tee handles, speeders, extensions, and other accessories. By January of 1921 Billmont was offering this expanded selection in several sets, the largest of which was a No. 500 set in a metal carrying case.

[1921 Notice for Billmont Tool Line]
Fig. 124B. 1921 Notice for Billmont Tool Line. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 124B is part of a two-page article on Billmont tools, beginning on page 48 of the January, 1921 issue of American Garage and Auto Dealer.

The illustration shows the company's No. 500 Mechanic's Kit, their largest collection of tools. The illustration shows a ratchet, two speeders, three Tee handles, an Ell handle, plus the original angled universal driver.

Note that all of the drive tools resemble socket wrenches — because they are socket wrenches! In order to drive the 3/4-male hex drive sockets, each drive tool had to terminate in a 3/4-hex socket.

[1921 Ad for Billmont Socket Sets]
Fig. 124C. 1921 Ad for Billmont Socket Sets. [External Link]

Fig. 124C shows a 1921 ad for the new Billmont sets, as published on page 2 of the April, 1921 issue of Motor Age. The small illustration on the upper right shows a No. 250 set consisting of a ratchet, extension, and sockets in a wooden box. The No. 250 set had a $6.50 list price.

The illustration at the lower right shows the larger No. 400 "carrying kit", including speeders, Tee handles, an Ell handle, a screwdriver bit, and 10 sockets. This combination had a $13.25 list price.

The Billmont tools were included in the catalogs of some industrial distributors, including the 1921 catalog No. 2 from Cragin & Company and the 1922 catalog No. 11 from the C.W. Marwedel Company.

In searching for information on Billmont and the Edgar C. Guthard Company we found many published references from 1919 through 1922, but very few beyond that time period. This suggests that the company probably failed around 1923.

The Billmont No. 1 socket set was listed on page 116 of the 1924 Ford Owners' Supply Book (Eastern edition) catalog from Western Auto Supply, at a special $2.35 price. This very low price was likely a close-out sale of remaining inventory.


Billmont No. 100 "Master Wrench" Socket Set

[1922 Catalog Listing for Billmont Master Wrench Set]
Fig. 125A. 1922 Catalog Listing for Billmont "Master Wrench" Sets.

The scan in Fig. 125A shows a catalog listing for the various Billmont "Master Wrench" sets, as published on page 302 of the Marwedel catalog No. 11 from 1922.

Several sets or collections were available, beginning with No. 0 for the "Master Wrench" only, priced at $8.00.

The selection continued with the No. 1 set, which included the "Master Wrench" handle and five sockets in a wooden box for a $10.50 price.

The largest selection shown was the No. 100 set, which included the "Master Wrench" handle and 24 sockets, all contained in a wooden box with an insert to organize the sockets. The No. 100 set was available for a $20.50 price.

The set of 24 sockets in the wooden box could also be purchased separately (without the handle) as a No. 300 set.

[Billmont No. 100 Master Wrench Set]
Fig. 125B. Billmont No. 100 Master Wrench Set, ca. 1919 to Early 1920s.

Fig. 125B shows a Billmont No. 100 "Master Wrench" socket set in its wooden box, consisting of an angled driver, a cross-bar, 17 hex sockets from 3/8 to 31/32, and seven square sockets from 7/16 to 3/4.

The set is marked with a label on the inside of the lid, with text at the top reading "Billmont Master Wrench" and "The Wrench That Spins 'em Off", with "Edgar C. Guthard Co." and "Chicago, U.S.A." at the bottom.

The hex sockets in the front row have sizes, from the right, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16, 15/32, 1/2, 17/32, 9/16, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, 11/16, 3/4, and 25/32. The back row continues from the left with hex sockets 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, and 31/32, followed by square sockets 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 19/32, 5/8, 11/16, and 3/4. The sockets are marked only with the fractional size stamped on the drive tang. The finish is plain steel.

The set as shown also includes a 1/2-drive adapter visible at the lower right. This was an optional accessory available from Billmont to allow use of standard 1/2-drive sockets.

The dimensions of the wooden box are 16.6 inches wide by 6.1 inches deep by 2.0 inches high.

As noted in the discussion above, the sockets in the set all have 3/4 inch hexagonal drive tangs. The smaller sockets (those 1/2 inch or less) may have been turned from 3/4 hexagonal bar stock, but the majority of the sockets would have started from larger diameter bars, and the drive tangs then had to be cut by some sort of milling process.

Apart from the drive tangs, the service end of the sockets exhibits the standard cold-broached construction of that time. The openings were drilled out and then a groove cut below the intended broaching, to allow for chip removal.


Billmont "Master" Tee-Handle Driver Wrench

[Billmont Tee-Handle Driver Wrench]
Fig. 125C. Billmont "Master" Tee-Handle Driver Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1919 to Early 1920s.

Fig. 125C shows the Billmont "Master" Tee-handle driver from the socket set, marked on the end cap with "Billmont Master Wrench" and "Patented" at the top, with "Mfd. By Edgar C. Guthard Co." and "Patents Pending" at the bottom.

The overall length is 13.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The patent notice refers to patent 1,310,473, filed in 1918 by G.R. Fullenwider and issued in 1919.


Billmont 3/4-Hex Drive No. 8 Ratchet

By 1921 Billmont was offering a ratchet for their growing collection of tools.

[1921 Catalog Listing for Billmont No. 8 Ratchet]
Fig. 126A. 1921 Catalog Listing for Billmont No. 8 Ratchet.

The scan in Fig. 126A shows a listing for the Billmont No. 8 ratchet and two extensions, as published on page 218 of the 1921 catalog No. 2 from Cragin & Company of Seattle.

The ratchet had a 3/4 inch hexagon opening to fit the Billmont sockets directly, or it could be used with the 6 or 11 inch extensions.

Other pages of the same catalog listed a No. 200 "Garage Set" with two speeders, two Tee handles, and an Ell handle, as well as the older Billmont "Master Wrench" set. The No. 500 Mechanic's Kit was apparently not yet available when the catalog was being prepared.

[Billmont 3/4-Hex Drive No. 8 Ratchet]
Fig. 126B. Billmont 3/4-Hex Drive No. 8 Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1920s.

Fig. 126B shows a rare Billmont 3/4-hex drive No. 8 ratchet, marked with "Billmont" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front, with "Edgar C. Guthard Co." and "Chicago" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 11.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The ratchet is also marked with a forge mark resembling two "S" letters joined at right angles, seen as a close-up in the middle inset.

Although not marked with a patent notice, the ratchet is covered by patent 1,455,147, filed by W.J. O'Neill in 1920 and issued in 1923, with assignment to Edgar C. Guthard.

This ratchet has a very fine action and very low backdrag, both desirable features for any ratchet but remarkable in a ratchet from the early 1920s. Since the ratchet is permanently sealed (unless the flush rivets are drilled out), we couldn't open it for examination and instead turned to the patent illustration to understand the operation.


Billmont No. 500 "Mechanic's Kit" Socket Set

[1922 Catalog Listing for Billmont No. 500 Mechanic's Kit]
Fig. 126C. 1922 Catalog Listing for Billmont No. 500 Mechanic's Kit.

The scan in Fig. 126C shows a full-page display for the Billmont No. 500 Mechanic's Kit set, as published on page 303 of the Marwedel catalog No. 11 for 1922.

We have a Billmont No. 500 set and are preparing it for display.


H-P Tool Manufacturing Corporation

The H-P Tool Manufacturing Corporation was a maker of chisels, punches, wrenches, and other tools, operating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and active during the latter part of the 20th century. The company sold products under the H-P and "Blue Line" brands, the latter being a registered trademark issued in 1961.


H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-22 11/16 Combination Wrench

[H-P Tool Blue Line CW-22 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 128A. H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-22 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 128A shows an H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-22 11/16 combination wrench, stamped with "Blue Line" and the H-P Shield logo on the shank.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-24 3/4 Combination Wrench

[H-P Tool Blue Line CW-24 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 128. H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-24 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 128 shows an H-P Tool "Blue Line" CW-24 3/4 combination wrench, stamped with "Blue Line" and the H-P Shield logo on the shank.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


H-P Tool Four-Way Offset Screwdriver

[H-P Tool Four-Way Offset Screwdriver]
Fig. 129. H-P Tool Four-Way Offset Screwdriver.

Fig. 129 shows an H-P Tool four-way offset screwdriver, stamped "H-P Tool Corp." on the center face.

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


H & E Wrench Company

The H & E Wrench Company (sometimes written as HandE) operated in New Bedford, Massachusetts as a maker of slide-adjusting nut and pipe wrenches. The company was founded in the early 1920s by G.E. Hemphill and E.J. Evans, two inventors who provided the patents for the wrenches as well as the "H" and "E" for the name.

The company's slide-adjusting nut wrench was described by patent 1,391,179, filed by Evans and Hemphill in 1920 and issued on September 20, 1921. This patent was assigned to the Universal Tool Company, a Utah corporation and presumably an earlier venture by the inventors.

A slide-adjusting pipe wrench operating on similar principles is described by patent 1,449,386, filed by Evans and Hemphill in 1922 and issued on March 27, 1923.


H & E Wrench "HandE" 10 Inch Slide-Adjusting Nut Wrench

[H & E Wrench 10 Inch Slide-Adjusting Nut Wrench]
Fig. 130. H & E Wrench 10 Inch Slide-Adjusting Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 130 shows an H & E "HandE" 10 inch slide-adjusting nut wrench, stamped "HandE Wrench Co." and "New Bedford, Mass." on the fixed jaw, with a "Pat'd Sept. 20, 1921" patent date at the top (see middle inset).

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 1,391,179, filed by Evans and Hemphill in 1920 and issued on that date.


Handee Wrench Manufacturing Company

The Handee Wrench Manufacturing Company operated in Mansfield, Ohio during the mid to late 1920s. The company's main product was an eight-way multi-socket wrench described by patent 1,571,148, filed by John Sisolak in 1924 and issued in 1926.


Handee Wrench 7 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench

[Handee Wrench 7 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench]
Fig. 131. Handee Wrench 7 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 131 shows a Handee Wrench 8-way multi-socket wrench in the 7 inch nominal size, marked with "The Handee" forged into the shank, with "Mansfield Ohio" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The socket sizes are 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, and 7/8 on the left cluster, with 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8 on the right cluster.

Although not marked with a patent notice, this tool is covered by patent 1,571,148, issued to J. Sisolak in 1926.


Handee Wrench 8 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench

[Handee Wrench 8 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench]
Fig. 132. Handee Wrench 8 Inch 8-Way Multi-Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1924-1926.

Fig. 132 shows a Handee Wrench 8-way multi-socket wrench in the 8 inch nominal size, marked with "The Handee" and "Pat Appld" forged into the shank, with "Mansfield Ohio" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The (measured) socket sizes are 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8 on the left cluster, with 3/4, 7/8, 15/16, and 1 inch on the right cluster.

The patent pending status refers to patent 1,571,148, filed by J. Sisolak in 1924 and issued in 1926.


Hartford Special Machinery Company

The Hartford Special Machinery Company operated in Hartford, Connecticut and is currently known only for the unusual pliers in the next figure.


Hartford Special Machinery Ring-Forming Pliers

[Hartford Special Machinery Ring-Forming Pliers]
Fig. 133. Hartford Special Machinery Ring-Forming Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 133 shows a pair of Hartford Special Machinery patented ring-forming pliers, stamped "The Hartford Special Machinery Co" and "Hartford, Conn. U.S.A." on the underside of one handle. The other handle is stamped with a "Pat. No. 1067876 Hartford, CT." patent notice (see middle inset).

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The lower left inset shows a closeup of one jaw, illustrating the round groove used to form a wire ring. The tip of the jaw appears to have been chipped off.

The patent notice refers to the patent 1,067,876, issued to J. Merritt in 1913.


Hawkeye Wrench Company

The Hawkeye Wrench Company was a tool maker operating in Marshalltown, Iowa during the early 20th century. The company is best known for a line of alligator wrenches with thread-cutting dies in the center.

The Hawkeye alligator wrenches were based on the Benesh 1903 patent 720,554, filed by C. Benesh in 1902.


Hawkeye Wrench "Crocodile" 8 Inch Alligator Wrench with Thread-Cutting Dies

[Hawkeye Wrench Crocodile 8 Inch Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 134. Hawkeye Wrench "Crocodile" 8 Inch Alligator Wrench.

Fig. 134 shows a Hawkeye Wrench "Crocodile" 8 inch alligator wrench, stamped "Hawkeye Wrench Co." and "Marshalltown, IA." on one end, with "Crocodile" and "Made in U.S.A." on the other end.

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

The center of the wrench is equipped with three thread-cutting dies, marked for size and pitch 5/16-18, 1/2-13, and 3/8-16.

One end of the wrench is equipped with a screwdriver tip, the defining feature for the "Crocodile" models.


Heller Brothers Company

The Heller Brothers Company was founded in 1865 in Newark, New Jersey, and operated initially as a maker of files. In the 1920s the company became well known for a line of self-adjusting nut and pipe wrenches, sold under the "Masterench" brand.


Heller Brothers Masterench 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Wrench

[Heller Brothers Masterench 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 135. Heller Brothers Masterench 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 135 shows a Masterench 6 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Masterench" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the shank. The reverse is marked "Heller Brothers Co." and "Newark, N.J. U.S.A." in forged raised letters, with "Patented 7.5.27" and "4-14-25" at the end.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The earlier patent date corresponds to the patent 1,533,602, and the later date is for patent 1,634,908. Both were issued to E.E. Lynch et al with assignment to the Masterench Corporation.


Heller Brothers Masterench 10 Inch Self-Adjusting Wrench

[Heller Brothers Masterench 10 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 136. Heller Brothers Masterench 10 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 136 shows a Masterench 10 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Masterench" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Heller Brothers Co." and "Newark, N.J. U.S.A." on the reverse. The reverse is also marked with a "Pat." patent notice.

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

The patent notice refers to the patents 1,533,602 and 1,634,908, issued in 1925 and 1927, respectively.


Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Company

Hibbard Spencer Bartlett (sometimes abbreviated H.S.B.) was a major wholesaler and retailer of hardware goods from the mid 19th century onward. The company sold tools and other hardware under both the manufacturer's brands and under several of their own brands, including the True Value line of hardware still known today.

One of the company's well-known brands from the early 20th century was called "Revonoc", apparently a reversed form of the name Conover but of uncertain origin.


Revonoc (H.S.B.) 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

[Revonoc (H.S.B.) 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 137. Revonoc (H.S.B.) 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 137 shows a pair of early Revonoc 10 inch Button's pattern pliers, stamped with the Revonoc brand and "H.S.B. & Co." near the pivot.

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


Hinckley-Myers Company

The Hinckley-Myers Company operated in Chicago, Illinois as maker of automobile specialty equipment and tools. Their products included items such as cylinder reboring machines, and their customers were probably automobile dealers and repair shops. Currently we don't have much information on the company, but have found a few references in trade publications from the 1920s and 1930s.

Some later references to the company give a location in Jackson, Michigan, suggesting that the company may have moved, or possibly opened a branch office.


Hinckley-Myers J956 1/2x1/2 Tappet Wrench

[Hinckley-Myers J956 1/2x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 138. Hinckley-Myers J956 1/2x1/2 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, 1934.

Fig. 138 shows a Hinckley-Myers J956 1/2x1/2 tappet wrench, marked with "J956" and "Tappet Adj." forged into the shank, with "Hinckley-Myers" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "EZ..." at the right, which closely resembles the format of the Bonney Date Code.

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

The forged-in code and general construction of this wrench allow us to identify the maker as Bonney Forge & Tool, and an example of the equivalent Bonney model can be seen as the Bonney CV 402 Tappet Wrench. The "Z" year code in the Bonney date code system would indicate production in 1934.


Hinckley-Myers J552-2 9/16x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Hinckley-Myers J552-2 9/16x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 139. Hinckley-Myers J552-2 9/16x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, 1935.

Fig. 139 shows a Hinckley-Myers J552-2 9/16x9/16 tappet wrench, marked with "HM Co" and the model number on the shank, with "Chrome-Vanadium" on the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "BM..." at the left, which closely resembles the format of the Bonney Date Code.

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

The forged-in code and general construction of this wrench allow us to identify the maker as Bonney Forge & Tool, and an example of the equivalent Bonney model can be seen as the Bonney CV 403 Tappet Wrench. The "M" year code in the Bonney date code would indicate production in 1935.


William Hjorth & Company

William Hjorth & Company was a maker of pliers, wrenches, and other tools, and operated in Jamestown, New York during the early part of the 20th century. Currently we don't have much information on the company, but have found a few references in trade publications from the early 1900s.

[1904 Advertisement for Wm. Hjorth & Company]
Fig. 140. 1904 Advertisement for Wm. Hjorth & Company. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 140 was published on page 547 of the July 1904 issue of the Hardware Dealers' Magazine and shows several of the tools offered by the Hjorth company. The illustration at the top shows a "Lightning Wrench", a plier-wrench combining pipe and nut gripping surfaces. The patent date on the tool refers to patent 738,444, filed by A.W. Hjorth in 1902 and issued on September 8, 1903.

The middle illustration shows the "Empire" pipe wrench, with a patent date referring to patent 735,289. This patent was filed by Karl Peterson in 1902 and issued on August 4, 1903. (Karl Peterson went on to become the founder of the Crescent Tool Company.)

Finally, the bottom illustration shows a pair of combination pliers. The advertisement was placed by Wiebusch and Hilger, acting as manufacturer's agents for the Hjorth company.

A similar reference can be found in the January 18, 1905 issue of The Horseless Age, which notes Hjorth as the maker of a "Lightning" plier wrench, an "Empire" pipe wrench, and combination pliers.

[Hjorth Bent-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 141. 1908 Notice for Hjorth Bent-Nose Pliers. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 141, from the 1908 volume 21 issue 7 of The Horseless Age, describes the recently introduced Hjorth bent-nose pliers.

According to a notice in the Iron Trade Review, in 1922 the company was incorporated as the Hjorth Tool Company, with capital of $75,000. The shareholders were E.D. Cook, president; W.E. Opdyke, vice president; and W.D. Stitt, secretary and treasurer.

A few years before this, the founder W.H. Hjorth had formed a new venture, the Forged Tool Products Company. We'll follow up on these leads as time permits.


Hjorth 8 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers with Early Patent

[Hjorth 8 Inch Lightning Wrench Pliers]
Fig. 142. Hjorth 8 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 142 shows an early pair of Hjorth 8 inch "Lightning Wrench" pliers, stamped with "Wm. Hjorth & Co." and "Jamestown, N.Y." on the upper jaw, and with a "Pat. Dec. 15, 1896" patent notice.

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

The patent date refers to patent 573,313, filed by J.F. Tiner in 1896 and issued later that year. Hjorth "Lightning Wrench" pliers marked with this early patent are less commonly found.


Hjorth 12 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers

[Hjorth 12 Inch Lightning Wrench Pliers]
Fig. 143. Hjorth 12 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 143 shows a pair of Hjorth 12 inch "Lightning Wrench" pliers, stamped with "Wm. Hjorth & Co." and "Jamestown, N.Y." on the upper jaw, and with a "Pat. Sept. 8, 1903" patent notice.

The overall length is 12.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 738,444, filed by A.W. Hjorth in 1902 and issued in 1903, with assignment to William Hjorth & Company.


Hjorth 9 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers

[Hjorth 12 Inch Lightning Wrench Pliers]
Fig. 144. Hjorth 9 Inch "Lightning Wrench" Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1910.

Fig. 144 shows a pair of Hjorth 9 inch "Lightning Wrench" pliers, stamped with "Wm. Hjorth & Co." and "Jamestown, N.Y." on the upper jaw, and with a "Pat. Sept. 8, 1903" patent notice.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent 738,444, filed by A.W. Hjorth in 1902 and issued in 1903, with assignment to William Hjorth & Company.

These pliers are fitted with a replaceable lower jaw secured by a machine screw. This feature would suggest somewhat later production than the pliers in the prior figure.


Hjorth 6 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers

[Hjorth 6 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers]
Fig. 145. Hjorth 6 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers, with Inset for Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 145 shows a pair of Hjorth 6 inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "Wm. Hjorth" and "Jamestown" near the pivot.


Hjorth 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

In 1914 Wm. Hjorth introduced a line of crescent-style adjustable wrenches, initially in sizes 6, 8, and 10 inches.

[Hjorth 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 146. Hjorth 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1914 to 1920s.

Fig. 146 shows a Hjorth 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Wm. Hjorth & Co" forged into the shank, with "Jamestown NY" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Hoe Corporation

The Hoe Corporation was founded in Poughkeepsie, New York in the mid 1920s, and is known primarily as the maker of a self-adjusting pipe wrench patented by F.P. Robert. The Robert wrench design was originally produced by the Robert Wrench Company of New York City, but the patent rights were later acquired by the Hoe Corporation.


Hoe Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Hoe Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 147. Hoe Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 147 shows a Hoe self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Hoe Corporation" and "Poughkeepsie, N.Y." forged into the shank, and with "Patented Feb. 21 1922" on the reverse.

The overall length is 15.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

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

A similar but earlier example of this design can be seen as the Robert Wrench Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench.


Hol-Set Manufacturing Corporation

The Hol-Set Manufacturing Corporation was a maker of socket wrenches operating in Rochester, New York during the 1920s. Its primary product was a hex-drive brace wrench designed so that the sockets could be stored on the wrench shank.

The Hol-Set brace wrench was based on patent 1,662,424, filed in 1922 by J.J. Judge and issued in 1928. We found this patent by accident and immediately recognized the tool from the patent illustration.


Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Drive Brace Socket Wrench Set

[1930 Catalog Listing for Hol-Set Wrenches]
Fig. 148. 1930 Catalog Listing for Hol-Set Wrenches.

The Hol-Set tools were apparently still available in 1930. The scan in Fig. 148 was found on page 230 of the 1930 H. Channon catalog No. 101 and provides an illustration of the Hol-Set wrench set. The illustration shows the set with six standard sockets, one deep socket, a universal joint, a valve grinder attachment, and a separate Ell-handle.

The set was offered for a $4.50 price. Currently this is our only catalog reference for this tool.

[Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Drive Brace Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 149. Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Drive Brace Socket Wrench Set, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1922-1928.

Fig. 149 shows a Hol-Set brace socket wrench set, consisting of a 1/2-hex drive brace wrench with four hex sockets stored on the shank, plus a universal joint (not pictured). The circular end piece is stamped "Hol-Set Mfg. Corp." and "Rochester, N.Y." around the outside, with "Pat's Appl'd For" and "Made in U.S.A." near the center (see inset).

The overall length is 20.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The wrench set came supplied with a hanging hook visible near the center, a nice convenience feature.

The sockets acquired with the set consist of three standard sockets and one deep socket; however, as might be expected by the extra space on the shank, the original set included more sizes (see below). The sizes in the photograph are, from the left, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, and 31/32 (deep). The sockets are unmarked, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent applied notation is a reference to patent 1,662,424, filed in 1922 by J.J. Judge and issued in 1928. The pending status suggests production between 1922 and 1928, assuming that the company would have marked the patent number or date once issued.


Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Drive Universal

[Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Drive Universal]
Fig. 150. Hol-Set 1/2-Hex Universal, with Inset for End View, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 150 shows the unmarked 1/2-hex drive universal joint from the Hol-Set brace socket wrench set, accidentally omitted from the group photograph in the previous figure.

The overall length is 1.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The universal is missing the detent ball for its drive stud, as can be seen by the empty hole. This is easy enough to repair, requiring just a ball bearing of the right size and a small spring.


Hudson Forge Company


Hudson Forge 723 Open-End Wrench

[Hudson Forge 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 151. Hudson Forge 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Hudson Forge 94A 5/8x3/4 Tappet or Check-Nut Wrench

[Hudson Forge 94A 5/8x3/4 Check-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 152. Hudson Forge 94A 5/8x3/4 Check-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 152 shows a Hudson Forge 94A 5/8x3/4 tappet or check-nut wrench, stamped "Hudson Forge Co." on the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches.


Hudson Forge Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Pliers

[Hudson Forge Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 153. Hudson Forge Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Pliers, with Insets for Nose and Handle Detail.

Fig. 153 shows a pair of Hudson Forge thin-nose pliers, stamped "Hudson Forge Co." and "Made in U.S.A." near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.5 inches.


Interstate Drop Forge

Interstate Drop Forge was a merchant drop-forging company, founded in 1920 and operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Interstate produced forgings for a number of industrial customers, including tool companies, and Interstate is being noted here due to its work for Blackhawk and Snap-on.

Interstate's production can be identified by its use of the DIF forging mark, a raised symbol with a tall "I" in the center, flanked by shorter "D" and "F" letters.

In the 1920s some of Snap-on's ratchet handles were forged by Interstate, and these can be identified by the DIF symbol. Snap-on appears to have used multiple foundries at that time though, so only a fraction of their ratchets were made by Interstate.

Blackhawk was more consistent in its use of Interstate, and most (perhaps all) of their forged ratchet handles were made by Interstate. Blackhawk used forged handles for its 3/4-drive and larger ratchets, beginning in the mid 1920s and continuing into the 1940s.

Further information on Interstate Drop Forge can be found in a newspaper article [Sorry, dead link 😢].

Blackhawk 916 3/4-Drive Ratchet with "DIF" Forge Mark

[Blackhawk 916 3/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 154. Blackhawk 916 3/4-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1930.

Fig. 154 shows an example of production by Interstate Drop Forge, a Blackhawk No. 916 3/4-drive ratchet. The heavy forged body is marked with "Blackhawk Mfg. Co." and "Milwaukee Wis. Made in U.S.A." forged into the flat handle, with the DIF forge mark visible at the left, shown as a close-up in the small inset.

This tool appears in our article on Blackhawk as the Blackhawk 916 3/4-Drive Ratchet. Another example of Interstate's production for Blackhawk can be seen in the Blackhawk 69999 3/4-Drive Ratchet.


Snap-on No. 7 1/2-Drive Ratchet with "DIF" Forge Mark

[Snap-on Early No. 7 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 155. Snap-on Early No. 7 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1927.

Fig. 155 shows another example of production by Interstate Drop Forge, an early Snap-On No. 7 1/2-drive ratchet. The ratchet is marked with the Snap-On logo and "Milwaukee USA" forged into the shank, and with a faint DIF forge mark shown in the middle inset.

The overall length is 9.6 inches. The finish shows traces of nickel plating, although much has been lost due to wear.

This tool appears in our article on Snap-on as the Snap-on Early No. 7 Ratchet.


Irland Pipe Wrench Company

The Irland Pipe Wrench Company was a maker of pipe wrenches operating in Boston, Massachusetts during the early 1900s. Currently we don't have much information for the company, but will expand the coverage here when possible.


Irland 11 Inch Automatic Pipe Wrench

[Irland 11 Inch Automatic Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 156. Irland 11 Inch Automatic Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1905-1915.

Fig. 156 shows an Irland 11 inch pipe wrench, stamped with "Irland Pipe Wrench Co." and "Boston, Mass. U.S.A." on the side. The wrench is also marked with a patent notice "Pat. July 7 - Sept. 22 1903 ??? 1905", but the text is only partially readable due to extensive pitting.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The first date ("July 7 1903") refers to patent 732,858, filed by D.H. Irland in 1902 and issued on that date.

The second date ("Sept. 22 1903") refers to patent 739,316, filed by D.H. Irland in 1903 and issued in later that year.

The third patent date is not readable, but was found by a search to be patent 800,850. This patent was filed by the estate of D.H. Irland in 1905 and issued on October 3, 1905, with assignment to the Irland Pipe Wrench Company.

The Irland patents describe progressive refinements to a distinctive pipe wrench design, which uses a lever handle to control the spring-loaded upper jaw. When the lever is depressed, the jaw opens to allow a pipe to be grasped, after which the jaw grips the pipe by cam action.


K-D Manufacturing Company

K-D Manufacturing is a well-known maker of automotive specialty tools. The company began operations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1920, and the founders are believed to be Harry W. Kulp and Martin C. Dellinger, two inventors who collaborated on a number of patents for specialty tools. (The company name was presumably derived from their surnames.)

K-D's products include pliers, valve-spring compressors, wrenches, and other automotive specialty tools.

In recent years K-D was acquired by the Danaher Group, a conglomerate of tool companies which also includes Matco and Armstrong.


K-D No. 600 Valve Spring Lifter

[K-D No. 600 Valve Spring Lifter]
Fig. 157. K-D No. 600 Valve Spring Lifter, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 157 shows a K-D No. 600 valve spring lifter based on two of the company's early patents. The handle is stamped "K-D Mfg. Co." and "Lancaster, PA." with the Kay-Dee logo, and the lifter arm is marked "Made in U.S.A." with a "Pat. 2.10.20 7.10.23" patent notice.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The patent notice includes two dates, with the earlier one referring to patent 1,330,542, issued to H.W. Kulp in 1920. The second date refers to patent 1,461,275, issued to H.W. Kulp and M.C. Dellinger in 1923.

An example of a valve lifter from another maker based partially on the 1920 Kulp patent 1,330,542 can be seen as the BHM No. 24 Valve Lifter.


K-D No. 700 Valve Spring Lifter

[K-D No. 700 Valve Spring Lifter]
Fig. 158. K-D No. 700 Valve Spring Lifter, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1950+.

Fig. 158 shows a later K-D No. 700 valve spring lifter, stamped "K-D Mfg. Co." and "Lancaster, PA." on the lower arm. The arm is also stamped "Pat. 2,064,264" and "Pat. 2,533,121" plus "Made in U.S.A." near the adjusting screw.

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

The two patents noted in the markings are the Kulp 1936 patent 2,064,264 and Kulp 1950 patent 2,533,121, both assigned to K-D Manufacturing.


K-D No. 7 Ignition Pliers

[K-D No. 7 Ignition Pliers]
Fig. 159. K-D No. 7 Ignition Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 159 shows a pair of K-D No. 7 ignition pliers, stamped "K-D Mfg. Co." with "Made in U.S.A." on the reverse.

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


K-D No. 23 1/2 Reversible Ratcheting Box Wrench

[K-D No. 23 1/2 Reversible Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 160. K-D No. 23 1/2 Reversible Ratchet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 160 shows a K-D No. 23 ratcheting box wrench with a 1/2 hex opening, stamped "K-D Mfg. Co." and "Lancaster, PA." on one side, with "Made in United States of America" and "Pat. Appl'd For" on the reverse.

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


Keystone Manufacturing Co.

Keystone Manufacturing was a tool maker operating in Buffalo, New York. The company's products included ratchets, ratchet drills, adjustable wrenches, and socket sets. One of their better-known products was the Westcott adjustable "S" wrench, originally produced by the Westcott company but made by Keystone from about 1900 onward.


Westcott No. 78 8 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench

[Keystone Westcott No. 78 8 Inch Adjustable S Wrench]
Fig. 161. Keystone Westcott No. 78 8 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 161 shows a Westcott No. 78 8 inch adjustable "S" wrench, marked with "Westcott" and "The Keystone Mfg. Co." forged into the handle. The lower inset shows the model number and size forged into the reverse side, which is also marked "Buffalo NY USA" (not shown).

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.1 inches. The finish is black paint.


Westcott No. 80 10 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench

[Keystone Westcott No. 80 10 Inch Adjustable S Wrench]
Fig. 162. Keystone Westcott No. 80 10 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 162 shows a Westcott No. 80 10 inch adjustable "S" wrench, marked with "Westcott" and "The Keystone Mfg. Co." cast into the handle, with "10 Inch No. 80" and "Buffalo NY USA" cast into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.5 inches. The finish is black paint.


Westcott No. 82 12 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench

[Keystone Westcott No. 82 12 Inch Adjustable S Wrench]
Fig. 163. Keystone Westcott No. 82 12 Inch Adjustable "S" Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 163 shows a Westcott No. 82 12 inch adjustable "S" wrench, marked with "Westcott" and "The Keystone Mfg. Co." cast into the handle, with "12 Inch No. 82" and "Buffalo NY USA" cast into the reverse.

The overall length is 11.8 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.7 inches. The finish is black paint.


Keystone M1555 Ratchet

[Keystone M1555 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 164. Keystone M1555 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 164 shows a 1/2-hex drive Keystone M1555 ratchet, with "Ratchet Wrench" forged in the handle, and with "The Keystone Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." on the reverse.

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


Keystone 1/2-hex Drive Socket Set

The next several figures show a Keystone 1/2-hex drive socket set in a folding metal case.

[Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 165. Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set, with Inset for Top View.

Fig. 165 shows a 1/2-hex drive Keystone socket set in a compact folding case, as seen from the side and top. The set consists of an M1555 ratchet, an ell handle, eight sockets, and the metal case.

[Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets in Holder]
Fig. 166. Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets in Holder.

In Fig. 166 the metal holder has been opened to show the sockets in place. Note how the sides have been folded over and cut with scalloped openings to secure the sockets in place.

The sockets are broached with 12-point openings. The socket sizes are, from the left, 15/16, 7/8, 3/4, 11/16, 5/8, 9/16, 1/2, and 7/16.

[Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet and Ell Handle]
Fig. 167. Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet and Ell Handle.

Fig. 167 shows the 1/2-hex drive M1555 ratchet and ell handle from the Keystone socket set.

The ratchet is shown with the 1/2-hex drive stud. The forged handle has raised-letter markings "Ratchet Wrench M1555" on one side, with "The Keystone Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." on the reverse. The overall length is 7.5 inches.

The ell handle is unmarked and has an overall length of 7.1 inches. The straight end of the handle does not have stop tabs, making it possible to push the handle through the ratchet for use as an extension.

[Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets]
Fig. 168. Keystone 1/2-Hex Drive Sockets.

Fig. 168 shows a closeup of three 1/2-hex drive sockets from the Keystone set. The sockets have a band of cross-hatched knurling around the base, and are marked with only the fractional sizes.

The sizes are, from the left, 7/16, 5/8, and 15/16.


Kilborn & Bishop Company

The Kilborn & Bishop Company was established in 1896 in New Haven, Connecticut. A 1908 directory listed their product line as forged tools such as wrenches, pliers, and chisels, as well as custom forgings.


Kilborn & Bishop 601 3/8x1/2 S-Shaped Wrench

[Kilborn & Bishop 601 3/8x1/2 S-Shaped Wrench]
Fig. 169. Kilborn & Bishop 601 3/8x1/2 S-Shaped Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 169 shows a Kilborn & Bishop 601 3/8x1/2 S-shaped open-end wrench, marked with "Drop Forged" and the K&B logo forged into the shank, with the model number forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Kilborn & Bishop 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Kilborn & Bishop 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 170. Kilborn & Bishop 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 170 shows a Kilborn & Bishop 4 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "K & B Co." and "New Haven CT. U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Adjustable" and "22 1/2" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 4.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


J.M. King & Company

J.M. King & Company was an early maker of taps, dies, and related tools in Waterford, New York. The company was established by Daniel B. King in 1829, and by 1849 had been organized as J.M. King & Company.

In the late 1860s the company introduced a line of wire-cutting pliers that became their best known product and most enduring contribution to the tool-making art. These pliers came to be called "Button Pliers", for reasons not yet clear, and in later years other makers referred to the design as "Button's Pattern".

[1886 Reference to J.M. King & Company]
Fig. 171. 1886 Reference to J.M. King & Company. [External Link]

The reference in Fig. 171 was published in the 1886 book The City of Troy and Its Vicinity by Arthur James Weise (Edward Green, Troy 1886). The description notes the particulars of the founding of the company, and mentions their products as including button pliers, stocks and dies, and various types of taps. This is currently our earliest reference to the term "Button Pliers".

Button pattern pliers were actually based on the 1867 patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens of Waterford, New York. The patent document doesn't mention an assignment to J.M. King or any other party, and it's unclear whether the patent was later purchased or just licensed.

[1897 Strelinger Catalog Listing for J.M. King Button Pliers]
Fig. 172. 1897 Strelinger Catalog Listing for J.M. King Button Pliers. [External Link]

The illustration in Fig. 172 is a listing from the 1897 catalog published by the Charles A. Strelinger & Company. Note that the text cites J.M. King as the original maker of this style and mentions that other companies were producing copies. The patent for the design would have expired in 1884.

[1909 Advertisement for J.M. King Button Pliers]
Fig. 173. 1909 Advertisement for J.M. King Button's Pattern Pliers. [External Link]

The illustration in Fig. 173 shows an advertisement for J.M. King Button's pliers published on page 250 of the March 4, 1909 issue of The Iron Age. This advertisement is actually the last published reference to J.M. King & Company that we've been able to find so far.

Note that the illustration includes a "Button Pliers" marking, indicating that the later production of the pliers probably included this marking.


J.M. King 5 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

[J.M. King 5 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 174. J.M. King 5 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 174 shows a pair of J.M. King 5 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped "Button Pliers" on the face, with "King & Co" and "Waterford" on the underside of the handles.

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

Although not marked with a patent notice, these pliers are covered by patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on July 30, 1867. The absence of a patent notice suggests that this example was probably made after the patent had expired.

These pliers include the Waterford location and "Button Pliers" marking, but not the patent date, suggesting that the Waterford and Button markings were added at a later time.


J.M. King 6 Inch Button Pattern Pliers

[J.M. King 6 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 175. J.M. King 6 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1867 to 1880s.

Fig. 175 shows an early pair of J.M. King 6 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped with "J.M. King & Co" and "Pat'd July 30, 1867" on the underside of the handles.

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

The patent date refers to patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on the stated date. (For some reason this early patent doesn't list the filing date.)


J.M. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

The next several figures show examples of the J.M. King 8 inch Button's Pattern pliers, with some differences noted in the markings.

[J.M. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 176. J.M. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1867 to 1880s.

Fig. 176 shows a early pair of J.M. King 8 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped with "J.M. King & Co." and "Pat'd July 30, 1867" on the underside of the handles.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The middle left inset shows the angled cutting slot placed between the jaws, a distinctive feature of the J.M. King Button pliers.

The patent date refers to patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on July 30, 1867.


[J.M. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 177. J.M. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 177 shows a pair of J.M. King 8 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped "Button Pliers" near the pivot, and with "King & Co." and "Wate..." on the underside of the handles.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The middle left inset shows the angled cutting slot placed between the jaws, a distinctive feature of the J.M. King Button pliers. The center inset shows a close-up of the "Button Pliers" marking.

Although not marked with a patent notice, these pliers are covered by patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on July 30, 1867. The absence of a patent notice suggests that this example was probably made after the patent had expired.

These pliers include the Waterford location and "Button Pliers" marking, but not the patent date, suggesting that the Waterford and Button markings were added at a later time.

[King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 178. King 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 178 shows another pair of J.M. King 8 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped "King & Co." and "Waterford" on the underside of the handles. This pair is quite similar to the previous example, but lacks the "Button Pliers" marking.

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

The absence of a patent notice suggests that this example was probably made after the patent had expired.

These pliers include the Waterford location but not the patent date, suggesting that the Waterford marking was added at a later time.


J.M. King 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

[J.M. King 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 179. J.M. King 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 179 shows a pair of J.M. King 10 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped with "Button Pliers" on the face, and with "King & Co." and "Waterford" on the underside of the handles.

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

The middle left inset shows the angled cutting slot placed between the jaws, a distinctive feature of the J.M. King Button pliers. The center inset shows a close-up of the "Button Pliers" marking.

Although not marked with a patent notice, these pliers are covered by patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on July 30, 1867. The absence of a patent notice suggests that this example was probably made after the patent had expired.

These pliers include the Waterford location and "Button Pliers" marking, but not the patent date, suggesting that the Waterford and Button markings were added at a later time.

[J.M. King 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 180. J.M. King 10 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1880s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 180 shows another pair of J.M. King 10 inch Button's Pattern pliers, stamped with "Button Pliers" on the upper handle, and with "M. King & Co." and "Waterford NY" on the underside of the handles.

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

These pliers include an angled cutting slot placed between the jaws similar to that in the previous figure, and also have a screwdriver tip on one handle.

Although not marked with a patent notice, these pliers are covered by patent 67,370, issued to W.X. Stevens on July 30, 1867. The absence of a patent notice suggests that this example was probably made after the patent had expired.


King Pressed Steel & Manufacturing Company

King Pressed Steel & Manufacturing was a maker of socket sets and automobile accessories active during the early 1920s. The company was located in Newton, Massachusetts, a city in the suburbs of Boston. (Newton is a mostly residential city, but has had some light industry over its long history.)

[1920 Notice for King Pressed Steel]
Fig. 181. 1920 Notice for King Pressed Steel & Mfg. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 181 was published on page 1090 of the April 8, 1920 edition of the Iron Trade Review and announces the incorporation of the company, with $50,000 in capital.

[1920 Notice for King Valve Lifter]
Fig. 182. 1920 Notice for King Valve Lifter. [External Link]

The founders were listed as Thomas F. King, Amato Pescosolido, and Rocco Sementilli.

The location was noted only as Newton, Massachusetts, but page 332 of the 1922 Massachusetts Manufacturers' Directory gave the address as 13 Hawthorn Street in Newton. This directory noted six employees and a business of steel stampings and auto accessories.

A 1920 issue of The Iron Age also noted that the company had been chartered as a maker of automobile accessories.

Although King Pressed Steel is known mostly for its socket sets (if it is known at all!), the company also made other automobile-related products.

The notice in Fig. 182 was published on page 84 of a 1920 issue of the Accessory and Garage Journal. The text of the notice decribes a valve lifter tool for servicing Ford engines.


King Socket Sets

By April of 1921 the company was offering socket sets for automobile service, with sockets turned from bar steel and then broached and hardened.

[1921 Notice for King Socket Wrenches]
Fig. 183. 1921 Notice for King Socket Wrenches. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 183 was published on page 37 of the April 1, 1921 edition of the Automobile Trade Journal and illustrates the company's socket wrench set.

The text describes the King socket wrench set, which consisted of a Tee handle, an offset handle, an extension, a universal, and 12 sockets*. The illustration shows the set in a finger-jointed wooden box. (The text continues in the original document beyond what is shown in our clip.)

Although not mentioned in the description, the set was based on 7/16-hex drive tools. The Tee handle was designed with a 7/16 hex opening in the center and at one end, with the other end broached for 3/8 hex. The end broachings allowed the Tee handle to be used as a straight driver handle (with the extension) or as a 3/8 hexagon socket. (*The count of 12 sockets was a bit deceptive, as it included the ends of the Tee handle as "sockets".)

The description also mentions a patented compact universal joint, but we have not yet located the patent.

An early advertisement for the above set can be seen on page 275 of the April 7, 1921 issue of Motor Age. The company used the tag line "For Every Nut On Every Car!" in its ads.

The most glaring weakness of the set was the lack of a ratchet. From the dawn of the automobile age, socket sets had almost always included some kind of a ratchet — think Auto-ClĂ©, Miller "Giant", Syracuse Wrench "Champion", Bay State Autokit, Walden-Worcester, Lane "Unique", and so on. Another potential weakness was that the 7/16-hex drive tools were at best suitable only for light work.

Note that despite the "Pressed Steel" in the company name, the sockets were described as machined and broached from bar steel, and none of the other tools were made of stamped or pressed steel. However, the company did have facilities for metal stamping, as the advertisement below shows.

[1922 Ad for King Pressed Steel Stampings]
Fig. 184. 1922 Ad for King Pressed Steel Stampings. [External Link]

The ad in Fig. 184 was published on page 66 of the July 6, 1922 issue of The Iron Age and solicits business for the company's stamping operations.


Chessboards and Clam-Shell Cases

In early 1922 King Pressed Steel made a splash with full-page advertisements for their newly packaged socket sets. The sets were now being provided in clam-shell metal cases decorated with a chessboard design, and the interior of the case was furnished with a wooden insert to organize the tools.

[1922 Ad for King Socket Wrenches]
Fig. 185. 1922 Ad for King Socket Wrenches.

Fig. 185 shows an example of a full-page ad, published on page 123 of the January, 1922 issue of Hardware World. Note the company's motto "for every nut on every car" at the lower left corner.

The company continued its advertising blitz with smaller ads appearing every month in this same publication.

Despite the attractive new packaging, the tools in the socket sets were the same as before, with the same weaknesses noted above. Thus we could regard the adoption of consumer-oriented packaging as a tacit admission that the tools would not hold up to the demands of professional use.

With the fancy new clam-shell cases, we can see that King Pressed Steel was finally pressing some steel.

Socket sets with 7/16-hex drive are not very common, and most of our other examples were made by Bog Manufacturing, such as the Bog "Jumbo" Set from later in the 1920s. The "Jumbo" set was also supplied in a clam-shell case, with an insert for organizing the tools similar to the King sets.

The Bog sets were sold through Western Auto Supply (Bog was basically the "house brand" for Western Auto), which raises the question as to whether the King sets were ever offered by Western Auto. We can't recall having seen them in the catalogs, but will check again as time permits.


Financial Problems in 1923

By late in 1923 business was not going well for King Pressed Steel and the company was in financial trouble. Their problems began when three creditors seeking payment of $1,985 filed a petition for bankruptcy.

[1923 Notice of Bankruptcy Petition]
Fig. 186. 1923 Notice of Bankruptcy Petition. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 186 was published on page 1405 of the November 22, 1923 issue of Iron Trade and notes a bankruptcy petition on behalf of three creditors. From there, things went downhill quickly.

[1923 Notice of Bankruptcy Auction]
Fig. 187. 1923 Notice of Bankruptcy Auction. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 187 announces a court-ordered public auction of the estate of King Pressed Steel, as published on page 1724 of the December 27, 1923 issue of The Iron Age.

Some time later, King Pressed Steel & Mfg. was mentioned in the Chapter 213 [External Link] section for corporate dissolutions, part of the Massachusetts Acts and Resolves of the General Court for 1925.

With the court-ordered auction to satisfy the creditors and subsequent dissolution, it would seem that our drama has come to an abrupt end. But we'll invoke deus ex machina and magically allow King Pressed Steel to continue operations. (More on this below.)

[Catalog Listing for King Socket Set A]
Fig. 188. 1924 Catalog Listing for King Socket Set "A".

The King socket sets were still available in 1924, based on a listing in the Waterhouse & Lester catalog of that year. The scan in Fig. 188 was found on page 362 of the 1924 Waterhouse & Lester catalog No. 20, which provides an illustration of the "King Socket Wrench Set" and lists the contents.

A Chilton Buyer's Guide Directory from 1929 listed the company at 13 Hawthorn Street in Newton, Massachusetts.

The Second Life of King Pressed Steel

How does a company come back to life after being dismembered by public auction and officially dissolved? We don't have a definitive answer, but can offer a clue in the acronym "dba".

A Google search for the founders of King Pressed Steel turns up some interesting references. It seems that in 1924 two of the original founders, along with a new partner, created a new company called Newton Pressed Steel & Mfg. in Newton.

[1924 Notice for Newton Pressed Steel]
Fig. 189. 1924 Notice for Newton Pressed Steel.

Fig. 189 shows a notice for Newton Pressed Steel & Mfg., as published on page 1585 of the June 12, 1924 issue of Iron Trade.

Further searches show that a prior incarnation of Newton Pressed Steel existed as early as 1919, with Amato Pescosolido as president, but that this first version of the company had been dissolved by 1923.

With the knowledge of the creation of the second Newton Pressed Steel, we can surmise that the founders had purchased the production equipment of King Pressed Steel at the bankruptcy auction in late 1923, then put it back into operation with their new company.

Since the King brand had been advertised extensively and had some degree of brand recognition, it would have made sense to continue using the King name for their products. In this arrangement Newton Pressed Steel dba ("doing business as") King Pressed Steel would allow King products to remain on the market, even without a formal King Pressed Steel entity.

We're probably missing some details, but regarding Newton Pressed Steel as effectively the successor to King Pressed Steel would explain the continued availability of the King socket sets. We'll add more details as they become available.


Early King Socket Set

After seeing the ads for the fancy chessboard cases, some readers will be disappointed to learn that our set is apparently an early example, and it's in a plain box which is probably not even original. But the set is complete and provides a snapshot of the company's early production.

[King 7/16-Hex Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 190. King Pressed Steel 7/16-Hex Drive Socket Set, ca. 1921.

Fig. 190 shows a King 7/16-hex drive socket set, consisting of an Ell handle, a Tee handle bar, a universal, a long extension, and 10 hexagon sockets from 7/16 to 7/8.

The Tee handle bar and the Ell handle are stamped "King Pressed Steel & Mfg. Co." and "Boston 58, Mass. U.S.A." on the shank. The other tools are unmarked, except for a small "crown" logo stamped on the sockets.

The socket sizes are, from the left, 7/8, 13/16, 25/32, 19/32, 3/4, 11/16, 5/8, 9/16, 1/2, and 7/16. The sockets are marked only with a small crown logo, without even the fractional size, which is a bit of a nuisance.

The 7/16 socket was intended both as a service socket and as a connector, to allow the extension to work with the Ell handle.

The Tee handle bar is broached with 7/16-hex openings in the center and at one end, with a 3/8 broached opening at the other end. The extra openings allow it to be used as a straight driver (with the extension) or as a 3/8 socket (with the Ell handle).

The extension (not shown separately) is 9.3 inches long.

We acquired the set in the metal box shown in the photograph, but it's probably not the original box. (This type of folded and spot-welded box didn't become common until the late 1920s or 1930s.) We think it's likely that the set originally came in a wooden box, and when the box fell apart, the former owner moved the tools into this box.

The dimensions of the box are 10.9 inches wide by 3.8 inches deep by 1.7 inches high.


King 7/16-Hex Drive Ell Handle

[King 7/16-Hex Drive Ell Handle]
Fig. 191. King 7/16-Hex Drive Ell Handle from Socket Set, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1921.

Fig. 191 shows the 7/16-hex drive Ell handle from the King socket Set, stamped with "King Pressed Steel & Mfg." and "Boston 58, Mass. U.S.A." on the shank.

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


King 7/16-Hex Drive Tee Handle Bar

[King 7/16-Hex Drive Tee Handle Bar]
Fig. 192. King 7/16-Hex Drive Tee Handle Bar, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1921.

Fig. 192 shows the 7/16-hex drive Tee handle bar from the King socket Set, stamped "King Pressed Steel & Mfg." and "Boston 58, Mass. U.S.A." along the bar, with a small "Crown" logo above.

The photograph shows the 7/16 hexagonal opening in the center of the bar. The ends of the bar are broached for 7/16 and 3/8 hexagonal openings (not shown).

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The typical use for this tool would be as a Tee handle, with the extension fitted in the center opening. The extra openings in the ends of the bar would also allow it to be used as a straight driver, or as a strange kind of 3/8 socket.


King 7/16-Hex Drive Universal

[King 7/16-Hex Drive Universal]
Fig. 193. King 7/16-Hex Drive Universal, ca. 1921.

Fig. 193 shows the unmarked 7/16-hex drive universal from the King socket Set. The universal is configured as male-female, so that it can connect directly to one of the sockets.

The overall length is 2.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The universal seems to be well made, but it's not obvious that there are any patentable features.


King 7/16-Hex Drive Sockets

[King 7/16-Hex Drive Sockets]
Fig. 194. King 7/16-Hex Drive Sockets, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1921.

Fig. 194 shows the three largest sockets from the King socket Set, marked only with a stamped "crown" logo. The sizes are, from the left, 7/8, 13/16, and 25/32.

The sockets have a wide groove with a gentle radius at the base, an unusual feature that may have been simply decorative, or possibly intended to make the sockets easier to pick up with greasy hands.

The inset shows the broached interior of the sockets. Note the irregular mass of chips at the bottom of the broached area, possibly a sign of early production.


Lakeside Forge Company

The Lakeside Forge Company was a merchant forge operator and toolmaker located in Erie, Pennsylvania. The company produced a variety of tools including open-end wrenches, bicycle and auto wrenches, Crescent-style adjustable wrenches, and slip-joint pliers.

[1915 Advertisement for Lakeside Forge Company]
Fig. 195. 1915 Advertisement for Lakeside. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 195, published on page 79 of the June 24, 1915 issue of Iron Age, shows one of the logo symbols used by the company. The design shows the text "Lakeside" in a central beam, with "Trade" and "Mark" in hexagonal outlines at each end. This symbol has been observed as a forge mark on an open-end wrench.

[1921 Catalog Listing for Lakeside Forge]
Fig. 196. 1921 Catalog Listing for Lakeside Forge. [External Link]

The catalog listing in Fig. 196 was published on page 429 of the October, 1921 Condensed Catalogues of Mechanical Equipment, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The illustration shows examples of the company's standard tool production on the left, with custom forgings on the right.

Tools produced by Lakeside Forge were frequently marked with the L-Keystone logo as a forge mark, a design with the letter "L" inside a keystone outline. (The keystone is a reference to Pennsylvania, which calls itself the "Keystone State".) Lakeside adjustable wrenches were offered under the "LACO" brand.

Note that at least one other company used "Lakeside" as a brand name. Montgomery Ward used "Lakeside" as one of their tool brands, although typically in combination as "Wards Lakeside" or "Ward's Lakeside". These tools should not be confused with production from the Lakeside Forge Company.


Lakeside Forge 4 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Lakeside Forge 304 7/8x1 Shaped Wrench]
Fig. 197. Lakeside Forge 4 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 197 shows a Lakeside Forge 4 inch bicyle wrench, marked with the L-Keystone logo stamped on the upper part of the jaw.

The overall length is 4.2 inches closed and 5.7 inches fully extended, providing a generous 1.5 inch opening. The finish is plain steel.


Lakeside Forge 304 7/8x1 S-Shaped Wrench

[Lakeside Forge 304 7/8x1 Shaped Wrench]
Fig. 198. Lakeside Forge 304 7/8x1 S-Shaped Wrench, with Insets for Marking and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 198 shows a Lakeside Forge 304 7/8x1 S-shaped wrench, marked with the "Lakeside" logo forged into the shank, with the "304" model number forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The upper left inset shows a close-up of the "Lakeside" logo, with the text visible in the beam.


Lakeside Forge 9/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Lakeside Forge 9/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 199. Lakeside Forge 9/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 199 shows a Lakeside 9/16x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped "Lakeside" and "Erie, PA. U.S.A." on the face, and with the L-Keystone logo forged into the reverse shank.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Lakeside Forge No. 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench

[Lakeside Forge No. 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 200. Lakeside Forge No. 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Face Detail.

Fig. 200 shows a Lakeside No. 37 1-1/16x1-1/4 open-end wrench, stamped with "Lakeside Forge Co." and "Erie, PA. U.S.A." with the Keystone logo on the face.

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


LACO 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[LACO 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 201. LACO 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 201 shows a LACO 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Drop Forged" forged into the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Lamson & Sessions Company


Lamson & Sessions "Buckeye" No. 1 Bicycle Wrench

[Lamson & Sessions Buckeye No. 1 Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 202. Lamson & Sessions "Buckeye" No. 1 Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 202 shows a Lamson & Sessions No. 1 bicycle wrench, marked "L. & S. Co." and "Buckeye".

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


Lane, Will B. Company

The Will B. Lane Company of Chicago was an early maker of a ratchet screwdriver and socket sets, and possibly other tools, intended primarily for the automotive market. The company is notable for its early use of cold-broached machined sockets.

[1910 Notice for Lane's Ratchet and Screwdriver]
Fig. 203. 1910 Notice for Lane's Ratchet and Screwdriver. [External Link]

The founding date for the company is not yet known, but its products were being advertised as early as 1910. The notice in Fig. 203 appeared on page 95 of the June, 1910 issue of Engineering Review and describes the company's early ratchet screwdriver and wrench set. The text states that all parts are made by drop-forging, and that the sockets openings are made to accept either square or hex nuts.

Note that the sockets in this early set have male drive tangs.

Lane's ratchets were based on a distinctive design patented in 1908 and appropriately named "Unique". The ratchet mechanism used a simple spring-steel wire to set the pawl bias, with the wire set to either side of a fixed post to select the ratchet direction.

Cold-Broached Socket Construction

[1916 Notice for Will B. Lane Socket Set]
Fig. 204. 1916 Notice for Will B. Lane Socket Set. [External Link]

The notice in Fig. 204 appeared in the January 1, 1916 issue of Horseless Age and describes the company's socket wrench sets, by this time based on hex-drive cold-broached machined sockets. Ads for this set have been found as early as January of 1915, making this one of the earliest known references to cold-broached sockets.

The company address is listed as 180 Dearborn Street in Chicago.

The sockets in the Lane sets used a 1/2-hex drive size and were machined from steel bars, then broached to size and hardened. Cold-broaching was a novel technique for socket construction in the years before 1920, but became the dominant technology in the 1920s through mid 1930s. The Lane sets represent possibly the earliest example of cold-broached socket construction.

[1921 Advertisement for Lane Unique Socket Sets]
Fig. 205. 1921 Advertisement for Lane "Unique" Socket Sets. [External Link]

Later advertisements list the company address as 170 West Randolph Street in Chicago. The company remained in business until at least the early 1920s.

The advertisement in Fig. 205 was published on page 52 of the July 1921 issue of Commercial America and provides illustrations for several of the company's socket sets, all built around the "Unique" ratchet.

The 1922 Marwedel catalog No. 11 lists several Lane socket sets on page 301. In order of increasing size, the sets were the 8-piece Ford set for $3.50, the 10-piece "Standard" set for $3.50, and the 17-piece "Super Unique" set for $12.00. The latter set included 15 sockets from 7/16 to 1-1/4 and was supplied in a wooden box.


Lane Early "Unique" Style "S" 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set

[Lane Early Unique Ratchet Screwdriver]
Fig. 206. Lane Early "Unique" 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set, ca. 1916.

Fig. 206 shows an early Lane "Unique" 1/2-hex Drive socket set, consisting of a ratchet, six hex sockets, and two screwdriver bits. The set is marked "Unique Ratchet" on the inside of the lid, and the ratchet is stamped with a "Pat. Jan. 14, '08" patent notice. The sockets and screwdriver bits are unmarked.

Based on a 1921 Lane advertisement, this set is their Style "S" socket set, but with one socket (7/16) missing.

The socket sizes are, from the left, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, and 7/8. (A 7/16 socket is missing.) The sockets have a polished steel finish and are unmarked.

The patent date corresponds to patent 876,680, filed by J.P. Bartholomay in 1907 and issued the following year.

[Top Cover of Lane Unique 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 207. Top Cover of Lane "Unique" 1/2-Hex Drive Socket Set, ca. 1916.

Fig. 207 shows the top cover of the Lane "Unique" 1/2-hex Drive socket set. The box is constructed of fabric-covered paperboard with wooden ends, with dimensions (in inches) 8.5 wide by 1.9 deep by 1.2 high.


Lane Early "Unique" 1/2-Hex Ratchet

[Lane Early Unique 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 208. Lane Early "Unique" 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1916.

Fig. 208 shows the early Lane "Unique" 1/2-hex drive ratchet from the Style "S" socket set, marked only with a "Pat. Jan. 14, '08" patent date stamped on the handle.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date corresponds to patent 876,680, filed by J.P. Bartholomay in 1907 and issued the following year.

This ratchet is believed to represent the company's earlier production, as later examples were made with markings forged into the handle.


Lane Unique Ratchet Screwdriver

[Lane Unique Ratchet Screwdriver]
Fig. 209. Lane "Unique" Ratchet Screwdriver, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 209 shows a Lane "Unique" ratcheting screwdriver, marked with "Will B. Lane" and "Chicago Ill. U.S.A." forged into the handle, with a "Pat. Jan. 14, 08" patent notice below. The reverse side is marked with "Unique" forged into the handle.

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

The patent date corresponds to patent 876,680, filed by J.P. Bartholomay in 1907 and issued the following year.


Larson Tool & Stamping Company

The Larson Tool & Stamping Company was founded in 1920 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The company's early products included a line of pressed-steel socket sets and stamped metal items such as nameplates for automobiles.

The Larson Tool & Stamping Company continues in business today, and further information on the company's operations can be found on their web site at www.larsontool.com [External Link].


Larson Tool No. 9X 11/16-Drive Ratchet

[Larson No. 9X 11/16-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 210. Larson No. 9X 11/16-Drive Ratchet, ca. 1920-1922.

Fig. 210 shows a Larson No. 9X 11/16-drive ratchet, stamped "Larson T.&S. Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." on the handle, with the Larson logo at the right. The ratchet is also marked with a "Pat. Pend." patent notice.

The overall length is 9.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with a light copper coating.

The pending status refers to patent 1,419,391, filed in 1920 by Nils G. Larson and issued in 1922. The patent describes a ratchet mechanism using a pawl carried in the rotating member, with teeth cut in the handle body.

This ratchet is designed to drive standard pressed-steel sockets with an approximate 11/16 opening in the drive gear. The gear is fitted with a detent ball to secure the socket, visible in the photograph on the upper face.


F.E. Lindstrom (Sweden)

F.E. Lindstrom was founded in 1856 in Sweden as a maker of pliers, cutters, and other precision tools. The company operates today as a division of Bahco, which in turn has the Snap-on Tools Corporation as its parent.


Lindstrom PR-50 Box-Joint Needlenose Pliers

[Lindstrom PR-50 Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 211. Lindstrom PR-50 Needlenose Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 211 shows a pair of Lindstrom PR-50 box-joint needlenose pliers, marked "F.E. Lindstrom" and "Sweden" near the pivot, with "PR-50" stamped on the underside of one handle (not shown).

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Lindstrom 4 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Lindstrom 4 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 212. Lindstrom 4 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 212 shows a pair of Lindstrom 4 inch box-joint diagonal cutters, marked "Lindstrom" and "Sweden" near the pivot.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is polished steel.


Lisle Corporation

The Lisle Corporation was founded in 1903 by C.A. Lisle in Clarinda, Iowa. The company initially made well-drilling equipment, but branched out into other manufactured items, and in the 1920s began producing automotive equipment and tools.

Lisle continues in operation today as a private family-run business and maintains a web page on the Company History [External Link]. Interested readers are encouraged to check there for further information.

Lisle manufactures an extensive line of automotive specialty tools, which are sold both under the Lisle name and as contract production for other companies.


Lisle Internal/External Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers

[Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 213. Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers in Internal Position, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 213 shows an pair of Lisle internal/external reversible snap-ring pliers, stamped "U.S. Pat. No. 3,681,840" on the top handle, with the "Craftsman" brand stamped on the reverse of the lower handle (see inset). The pliers were identified as Lisle production by the patent, assigned to the Lisle Corporation.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The patent notice refers to patent 3,681,840, issued to J.L Pool in 1972 with assignment to Lisle. The patent describes the design of reversible internal/external snap-ring pliers, with the mode of operation selected by means of a movable cross-bar. The photograph shows the pliers in the position for internal snap-rings.

[Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 214. Lisle (Craftsman) Reversible Snap-Ring Pliers in External Position, with Inset for Reverse and Marking Detail.

Fig. 214 shows the Lisle snap-ring pliers in the position for external snap-rings. In this configuration the cross-bar has been moved across the two handles, allowing the top handle to flex and reverse the operation of the tips.


Los Angeles Tool Company of New York

The Los Angeles Tool Company of New York was an obscure company with an improbable name, operating in Jamestown, New York. The company is currently known only by the tool in the figure below.


Los Angeles Tool 7/16-Hex Drive 15 Inch Speeder

[Los Angeles 7/16-Hex Drive Speeder]
Fig. 215. Los Angeles 7/16-Hex Drive 15 Inch Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 215 shows a Los Angeles Tool 7/16-hex drive 15 inch speeder with a 1/2 socket installed. The end piece is stamped with "Los Angeles Tool Co. of N.Y." and "Jamestown, N.Y.", as shown in the inset.

The overall length is 14.5 inches, and the finish is black paint.


P. Lowentraut Manufacturing Company

The P. Lowentraut Manufacturing Company was a maker of wrenches and other hand tools operating in Newark, New Jersey. The company was founded in 1869 by Peter Lowentraut and initially was located on Fair Street in Newark. By 1884 the company had moved to a large three-story factory at 36-54 Brenner Street, shown below in an illustration from Newark, The City of Trade, published in 1912 by the Newark Board of Trade.

[P. Lowentraut Manufacturing Company, Brenner Street]

In 1899 the company incorporated and raised its capital to $200,000. In later years the company was a producer of ice skates under the "U.S." brand. (At that time ice skates were generally designed to attach to regular street shoes.)


Tool Identification

Lowentraut tools were marked in several different styles, some of which may not be immediately recognizable as Lowentraut production. The markings include "P.L. Mfg. Co." in a diamond logo and a more compact form with "P.L." in a diamond, referred to here as the the PL-Diamond logo.

In later years Lowentraut sold tools (and other items, including ice skates) under the "U.S." brand, typically marked inside a diamond logo. Although Lowentraut did advertise "U.S." brand ice skates under its own name, some "U.S." branded items may have been intended as contract production for other companies.


Lowentraut 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers

[Lowentraut 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers]
Fig. 216. Lowentraut 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 216 shows a pair of Lowentraut 8 inch gas and burner pliers, stamped "Forged" with the PL-Diamond logo, and with "Cast Steel" stamped on the lower jaw.

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


Lowentraut 10 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers

[Lowentraut 10 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers]
Fig. 217. Lowentraut 10 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 217 shows a pair of Lowentraut 10 inch gas and burner pliers, stamped "Forged" with the PL-Diamond logo, and with "Cast Steel" stamped on the lower jaw.

The overall length is 10.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Lowentraut "U.S." 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers

[Lowentraut U.S. 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers]
Fig. 218. Lowentraut "U.S." 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 218 shows a pair of Lowentraut "U.S." 6 inch gas and burner pliers, stamped "Forged" with the "U.S" brand in a diamond. (The "U.S." mark is on the upper handle to the right of the pivot, though somewhat difficult to read.)

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


Lowentraut "U.S." 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Lowentraut U.S. 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 219. Lowentraut "U.S." 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail.

Fig. 219 shows a Lowentraut "U.S." 5 inch bicyle wrench, stamped with "P.L. Mfg. Co." and "Newark, N.J." inside a diamond, with "Drop Forged" and "Made in U.S.A." around the outside edge of the diamond. The reverse is stamped with "U.S" in a diamond on the fixed jaw (see lower inset).

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


J.N. MacDonald & Company

The J.N. MacDonald Company operated in Hartford, Connecticut as a maker of chain-repair pliers and possibly other tools. Some of their pliers were sold using the name "Necessity", but other production may be found marked only with a patent date or number.


J.N. MacDonald "Necessity" Chain Repair Pliers

[J.N. MacDonald Necessity Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 220. J.N. MacDonald "Necessity" Chain Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1915-1920.

Fig. 220 shows a pair of J.N. MacDonald "Necessity" chain repair pliers, marked with "J.N.M. & Co." forged into the upper handle, with "Pat. July 26-10 Re-Aug-3-15" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the lower jaw. The pliers are also marked with "Necessity" forged into the underside of the handles.

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

The first patent date corresponds to patent 965,722, filed by J.N. MacDonald in 1909 and issued in 1910.

The reissue patent date is incorrect and should be August 3, 1915, which corresponds to patent RE13,957.


MacDonald Patent Chain Repair Pliers

This next example uses a later patent by J.N. MacDonald.

[MacDonald Patent Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 221. MacDonald Patent Chain Repair Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 221 shows another pair of MacDonald chain repair pliers, marked only with the patent date "Pat. Oct. 22 12" on one jaw.

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

The patent date corresponds to patent 1,041,826, issued to J.N. MacDonald in 1912. The inventor was listed as residing in Hartford, Connecticut, and the patent was assigned to James M. MacDonald of nearby Wethersfield, suggesting the possibility of a family-owned tool business.


Millers Falls Company

The Millers Falls Company operated in Millers Falls, Massachusetts as the maker of a wide variety of tools and hardware.


Millers Falls No. 199 Four-Way Offset Screwdriver

[Millers Falls No. 199 Four-Way Offset Screwdriver]
Fig. 229. Millers Falls No. 199 Four-Way Offset Screwdriver, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 229 shows a Millers Falls No. 199 four-way offset screwdriver, stamped with "Millers Falls Co." and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Millers Falls No. 803 3/32 Nailset Punch

[Millers Falls No. 803 3/32 Nailset Punch]
Fig. 230. Millers Falls No. 803 3/32 Nailset Punch, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 230 shows a Millers Falls No. 803 3/32 tapered punch for setting nails, stamped with "Millers Falls" and "Made in U.S.A." on the head, with the model number and "Alloy" plus the size (tip diameter) on an adjacent face.

The overall length is 4.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.


Miller Tool & Manufacturing Company

The Miller Tool & Manufacturing Company was founded in Detroit by R.H. Miller in 1913. The company initially operated as a manufacturer of automobile parts.

[1916 Notice of Incorporation]
Fig. 231. 1916 Notice of Incorporation. [External Link]

The small notice in Fig. 231 was published on page 902 of the April 20, 1916 issue of The Iron Trade Review and notes that Miller Tool and Manufacturing had been incorporated with $15,000 of capital. The incorporators are listed as A.L. Miller, R.H. Miller, and C.L. Campbell.

According to a notice on page 1020 of the December 6, 1917 issue of Automotive Industries, by that time the company had recently moved to a larger building at 16th and Newark Streets, and new machinery was installed to make equipment for automobile and tractor manufacturers.

[1921 Advertisement for Miller Tool]
Fig. 232. 1921 Advertisement for Miller Tool. [External Link]

In 1921 the company filed a trademark with the text "Auto Service Tools" in a diamond logo, which was issued as #159,441 on September 26, 1922. The trademark application included a very extensive list of automotive service tools for which the trademark was used.

The ad in Fig. 232 was published on page 1167 of the January, 1921 edition of the Automobile Trade Directory. The text notes that by this time the company had become the official tool manufacturer for the Dodge Brothers and Studebaker.


Miller Tool 7541 1/2x12 Tappet Wrench

[Miller Tool 7541 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 233. Miller Tool 7541 1/2x1/2 Tappet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 233 shows a Miller Tool 7541 1/2x1/2 tappet wrench, marked with the 7541 model number forged into the shank, with "Miller Tool" and "Detroit Mich" in a diamond logo plus "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the reverse. The shank also has a forged-in code "CU" visible at the left.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The center inset shows a close-up of the markings. The diamond logo (with different text) was registered as a trademark by Miller Tool.

This wrench can be recognized as Bonney production by the forged-in date code. The "U" year code on a 1920s style tappet wrench with forged-in markings indicates production in 1929.


Motor Specialties Company (Mosco)

[1919 Catalog Listing for Mosco Wheel Puller]
Fig. 234. 1919 Catalog Listing for Mosco Wheel Puller.

The Motor Specialties Company of Waltham, Massachusetts was a maker of automotive products operating in the early 20th century. The company sold products under the "Mosco" brand and is probably best known for a wheel puller for the Model T Ford, and for a patented nut holder tool.

Fig. 234 shows a listing for the Mosco wheel puller, as found on page 113 of the 1919 Ford Owners' Supply Book (Eastern edition) catalog. The same catalog also offered the nut holder tool, but without mentioning the Mosco brand.

No relation is known between this company and the Snap-on distribution company with a similar name operating in Chicago during the 1920s.


Mosco 9/16 Nut Holder

[Mosco 9/16 Nut Holder]
Fig. 235. Mosco 9/16 Nut Holder, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1918-1925.

Fig. 235 shows a Mosco 9/16 nut holder tool, marked with the patent date "Pat. 2-19-18" on one face. The corresponding patent was found to be 1,257,003, which was issued to H.S. Hoyt in 1918 and assigned to the Motor Specialties Company.

The overall length is 1.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent document describes the intended application as a holder for nuts or bolts that would otherwise turn freely, requiring another person to assist. The 9/16 size would make this tool suitable for holding Ford Model T engine base bolts, certainly a common service job at the time of the patent filing.

A 1924 catalog from Western Auto Supply lists a nut-holder very similar to this example, and although the maker is not identified, it is presumed to be the Mosco tool.

Another more elaborate tool designed for basically the same purpose can be seen in the Blackhawk 6218 Speeder Wrench.


Mystery Tools

Identifying the maker of an old tool is the most basic first step to understanding its history, and we maintain a collection of old catalogs and other resources to assist with this process. Yet despite our best efforts, some tools remain "mystery brands" of unknown origin.

But rather than let these mystery tools languish in a drawer somewhere, we'll display some of them here in a special section, with hopes that some reader may recognize the markings or style. If you do have information on any of these tools, please contact us via the "Contact" link on the home page.

Breaking News! We recently found a catalog listing linking the W. & M. Co. Mystery Ratchet to a socket set produced by Mossberg for Sears Roebuck.

Breaking News (2021)! We found a catalog listing showing that the Chrome Molybdenum Mystery Wrench was produced by Barcalo Manufacturing. The mystery wrench was added here in 2007, so we're glad to finally solve it!


Mystery Battery Terminal Pliers

[Mystery battery Terminal Pliers]
Fig. 238A. Mystery Battery Termional Pliers, with Inset for Jaw Detail.

Fig. 238A shows a pair of unmarked battery terminal pliers, designed for lifting a battery terminal while pushing on the post.

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

The handle ends are curved back to allow the tool to be easily held by the fingers.


Mystery Screwdriver Socket Box Wrench

[Mystery Screwdriver Socket Wrench]
Fig. 238B. Mystery Screwdriver Socket Wrench, with Inset for End View.

Fig. 238B shows an unusual screwdriver and socket wrench combination tool, stamped "216B" with a "Pat. in U.S.A. Oct. 7, 1919" patent date.

The overall length is 6.7 inches with the sockets fully extended, and the finish appears to be cadmium plating.

The tool consists of a shank with a central hexagonal grip and sockets on each end, sized 3/8 and 7/16. The sockets can be extended and locked in place by a pin through the shaft, allowing to tool to operate as a nut driver. When unlocked, the sockets will slide back on the shaft to reveal a screwdriver blade on each end, and the socket opening will act as a guide to hold the blade in the screw slot.

The patent date corresponds to patent 1,318,088, issued to C.H. Klein in 1919 with assignment to American Telephone & Telegraph.

One of our readers has pointed out that this was a familiar tool for telephone linemen, used for connecting the internal wiring for telephones. (Older readers may remember when telephones required wires in the basement.) The tool was likely made by Western Electric, the captive manufacturing division of AT&T.


Mystery 41-W-642-25 7/8x15/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Mystery 41-W-642-25 7/8x15/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 239. Mystery 41-W-642-25 7/8x15/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1945.

Fig. 239 shows a Mystery 41-W-642-25 7/8x15/16 obstruction wrench, marked only with the 41-W series military model number.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel or black oxide.


"Childcraft" 41-W-1468-475 25/32x25/32 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Childcraft 41-W-642-25 25/32x25/32 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 239B. "Childcraft" 41-W-1468-475 25/32x25/32 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1941-1945.

Fig. 239B shows a "Childcraft" 41-W-1468-475 25/32x25/32 angle-head obstruction wrench, stamped with "Childcraft" on the shank, with "41-W-1468-475" on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel or black oxide.

A search for "Childcraft" didn't turn up any tool-related companies, suggesting that this could be a nom de guerre like Bonney's "Krieger" brand.

Although we're listing this in our "mystery" tools section, it isn't really a mystery — the "41-W" code is a military control number identifying the specific application (and probably the maker) of the wrench. These numbers are listed in documents such as the Ordnance Supply Catalog ORD 5 SNL J-4 for the WWII era, and someone with access to such documents will likely find this wrench listed as a maintenance tool for a military vehicle.


Mystery DTM SSR14 1/2-Drive Ratchet

The next two tools are better described as from a mystery company than a mystery tool. The markings seem to indicate that the tools were produced by a company using a DTM logo, but we haven't been able to find it.

[Mystery DTM SSR14 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 240. Mystery DTM SSR14 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 240 shows an open-design ratchet from an unknown maker, a 1/2-drive DTM SSR14 ratchet stamped with a "DTM" logo on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Several other tools with this same "DTM" marking have been found and will be added shortly.


Mystery DTM ST-10001 3/8-Drive Specialty Socket

[Mystery DTM ST-10001 3/8-Drive Specialty Socket]
Fig. 240B. Mystery DTM ST-10001 3/8-Drive Specialty Socket, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 240B shows another tool from the "DTM" mystery maker, a 3/8-drive DTM ST-10001 specialty socket stamped with the "DTM" logo.

The overall height is 2.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The socket has a long hollow barrel with two projecting tabs, possibly for servicing a slotted nut for a carburetor jet.


Mystery 1/2-Drive Brace Bit Adapter

[Mystery 1/2-Drive Brace Bit Adapter]
Fig. 241. Mystery 1/2-Drive Brace Bit Adapter, ca. 1910s to 1920s.

Fig. 241 shows an unmarked 1/2-drive brace bit adapter, allowing a carpenter's brace to operate with standard 1/2-drive sockets.

The overall height is 4.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The adapter uses an inserted pin as a stop for the drive stud, a somewhat uncommon construction technique known to have been used by Walden for its early socket sets.


New Britain Manufacturing Company

New Britain Manufacturing was a small company known only as the maker of an early "Pick-Up" ratchet wrench, but has long been confused with the well-known New Britain Machine Company due to their similar names. Both companies operated in New Britain, Connecticut, as did many other tool and hardware companies. Kenneth Cope's book American Wrench Makers 1830-1930, 2nd Edition (AWM2e) lumps the Pick-Up wrench in with other products by New Britain Machine, and in earlier editions of this site we showed the Pick-Up wrench as an early tool from New Britain Machine.

Recently though we noticed the small difference in the company names, and a check of early advertisements and trade notices showed that the Pick-Up tools were consistently listed as a product of New Britain Manufacturing. Various reports from the State of Connecticut show that New Britain Manufacturing was in the die-sinking business in 1908, but was listed as a maker of Pick-Up ratchet wrenches in later years. This suggests a small company that found some success with a new (and patented) product, which then became their main line of business. We believe this evidence supports listing New Britain Manufacturing as a separate company, unrelated to the better known New Britain Machine Company.

[1908 Listing for New Britain Manufacturing Co.]
Fig. 242. 1908 Listing for New Britain Manufacturing Co. [External Link]

The listing in Fig. 242 was published on page 48 of the 1908 report from the Connecticut Office of the Factory Inspector and notes that New Britain Manufacturing was in the die-sinking and repairing business at that time. (New Britain Machine is noted as maker of steam engines.)

[1916 Listing for New Britain Manufacturing Co.]
Fig. 243. 1916 Listing for New Britain Manufacturing Co. [External Link]

The listing in Fig. 243, from page 44 of the 1916 Connecticut Department of Factory Inspection report, shows New Britain Manufacturing (on the bottom line) as the maker of Pick-up ratchet wrenches. (The line above lists the New Britain Machine Company as making woodworking and special machinery.)

[1908 Notice for Pick-Up Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 244. 1908 Notice for Pick-Up Ratchet Wrench. [External Link]

The Pick-Up wrench was based on patent 847,601, filed by G.B. Pickop in 1907 and issued later that year. (The name "Pick-Up" can be seen as a word play on the inventor's name.) Based on the notices and advertisements found so far, the Pick-Up wrench was available by 1908 (or earlier) and remained on the market until around 1918 or so.

The notice in Fig. 244 was published on page 90 of the August, 1908 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal and describes the "Pick-Up" ratchet wrench in some detail. The text lists the maker as the New Britain Manufacturing Company, with an address at 214 South Main Street in New Britain, Connecticut.

The Pick-Up wrench is noted as being available in seven sizes from 4 to 24 inches, with the 7 inch version (with a 7/8 opening) being marketed as a spark-plug wrench. The tool was also available as a set with a universal joint, extension, screwdriver blades, and 31 sockets.


Catalog Listing for "Pick-Up" Wrench Sets

New Britain Manufacturing was able to get their products into distribution fairly quickly, as the following catalog listing shows.

[1910 Listing for Pick-Up Wrench Sets]
Fig. 245. 1910 Catalog Listing for Pick-Up Wrench Sets.

The scan in Fig. 245 shows a listing for two "Pick-Up" wrench sets, as published on page 171 of the 1910 Chanslor & Lyon catalog.

The text notes that the small set included 15 sockets and came in a leather case, with a $7.50 price.

The larger set contained 32 sockets and was furnished in a wooden box, with a $10.00 price.

In later years the Pick-Up ratchet and socket sets were made by Crescent Manufacturing (no, not Crescent Tool!), a tool and hardware company based in New York City. An example of a Crescent Pick-Up Ratchet Set can be seen in that article.


"Pick-Up" Spark Plug Wrench

[Pick-Up Spark Plug Wrench]
Fig. 246. Pick-Up Spark Plug Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1907-1918.

Fig. 246 shows a "Pick-Up" spark plug wrench with an unusual spline driver design, marked with "Pick-Up" and "Patd" on the handle. In operation, the handle can be raised in its loose connection to allow the spline to disengage from the socket, and then turned to engage the next slot.

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

The patent notice refers to patent 847,601, filed by G.B. Pickop in 1907 and issued later that year.

The patent description calls this a ratchet wrench, but technically it is a clutch mechanism, as the socket can be turned in either direction once the slot and spline are engaged. The "Pick-Up" trade name is a clever play on the inventor's name and the method of operation, as the handle is picked up to disengage the drive.


C.S. Osborne & Company

C.S. Osborne & Company is a maker of pliers, nippers, and other tools and originally operated in Newark, New Jersey.

[Early History of C.S. Osborne & Company]
Fig. 248. Early History of C.S. Osbourne & Company. [External Link]

Based on the excerpt in Fig. 248, published in 1884 on page 661 of the History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey, the company was established by Thomas English in 1826 and became C.S. Osborne & Company in 1861. Their early products included tools for saddle and harness makers.

By 1895 the company was listed in the Strelinger A Book of Tools, a well-known early tool catalog, as a maker of pliers.

[1916 Advertisement for C.S. Osborne]
Fig. 249. 1916 Advertisement for C.S. Osborne & Company. [External Link]

The advertisement in Fig. 249, published on page 137 of the November 4, 1916 edition of Hardware Dealers' Magazine, notes the company as a maker of pliers, nippers, and punches.

Interestingly, the company continues in business today as a maker of industrial tools and tools for leather and upholstery work, making them probably the oldest American tool manufacturer. Interested readers can visit their web site at C.S.Osborne & Co. [External Link].


Osborne 6 Inch Flat-Nose Pliers

[Osborne 6 Inch Flat-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 250. Osborne 6 Inch Flat-Nose Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 250 shows a pair of Osborne 6 inch flat-nose pliers, stamped "C.S. Osborne & Co." on one handle, with "Steel" on the other.

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


Osborne 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers

[Osborne 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers]
Fig. 251. Osborne 6 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Jaw Detail.

Fig. 251 shows a pair of Osborne 6 inch gas and burner pliers, stamped "C.S. Osborne & Co." and "Steel" on the jaws.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the deeply incised gripping pattern on the handles.

The middle inset shows a close-up of the jaws of the pliers, illustrating the small opening in the nose that defines the "burner" feature.


Osborne 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers

[Osborne 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers]
Fig. 252. Osborne 8 Inch Gas and Burner Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 252 shows a pair of Osborne 8 inch gas and burner pliers, stamped "C.S. Osborne & Co." and "Newark, N.J." on the handle.

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


Oswego Tool Company

The Oswego Tool Company was founded in Oswego, New York in the early 1890s.


Oswego Tool 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench

[Oswego Tool 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 253. Oswego Tool 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 253 shows an Oswego Tool 10 inch Stillson-pattern pipe wrench with a wooden handle. The wrench is marked with "Oswego Tool Co." and the OT-Circle logo stamped on the shank, with "Stillson Wrench" above plus "Made in U.S.A." and "Oswego, N.Y." below.

The overall length is 9.4 inches closed and 10.6 inches fully extended, providing a maximum opening of 1.2 inches. The finish is plain steel with black paint on the handle.


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