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Lounging With Barcalo


Table of Contents

Introduction

It's not every day that a tool company is acquired by a furniture maker, but such was the case with Barcalo Manufacturing of Buffalo. Barcalo was a diversified maker of metal products including metal beds, tools, and later the Barcalounger line of reclining furniture. Eventually the fame of the Barcalounger chairs eclipsed the tool operations, and Barcalo was purchased by a furniture maker in North Carolina.

In this page we'll look at some of the company's "Barcalo-Buffalo" line of hand tools.

Company History

Barcalo Manufacturing was founded in Buffalo, New York by Edward J. Barcalo, and was in operation by 1896, based on a later catalog that noted "Quality Products Since 1896". Barcalo's early products included metal bed frames and cribs, and patent records going back to 1903 show the development of products of this type.

The company apparently met with some success, as the company founder was able to build an impressive Georgian Revival House around 1907, a well-known landmark to those interested in the architecture of the Buffalo area. A 1907 issue of The Foundry printed a brief notice that Barcalo Manufacturing was adding a foundry of size 95 by 135 feet to its existing facility, and also planned a three-story addition to the factory.

An example of Barcalo's metal bed frames can be seen in an advertisement for Barcalo Beds on page 80 of the 1911 issue of The American Magazine.

Acquisition of Charles E. Hall Company

In 1914 Barcalo Manufacturing acquired the operations of the Charles E. Hall Company, a maker of tools such as adjustable wrenches. This presumably was Barcalo's introduction to the tool industry, and in the following years the company's engineers divided their development efforts between tools and the older line of beds and cribs.

Barcalo tools were sold through distributors to hardware stores, and the company was a supplier to at least one high-volume retailer, the Western Auto Supply Company. A 1937 Western Auto catalog shows an illustration of an adjustable wrench marked "Barcalo Mfg", as part of Western Auto's "Master Quality" intermediate line of tools. Though not shown in the illustrations, Barcalo may have supplied a variety of open-end and box-end wrenches to Western Auto. Barcalo also produced tools under contract for various automobile tool kits.

The Reclining Chair Patent

In 1940 the company licensed patents to make a new type of reclining chair, and after some refinements the chairs became the trademark Barcalounger line. The Barcalounger chairs proved to be very successful, and over time the company became more famous for its furniture than its tools. In the early 1960s Barcalo was purchased by a furniture maker and the Barcalounger operations were moved to Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Acquisition by Crescent Niagara

When Barcalo was acquired by the furniture company, the company's tool operations were sold to Crescent Niagara, a company formed a few years previously to acquire Crescent Tools. (See our article on Crescent Tool History for more information.) Shortly after its formation Crescent Niagara went on to acquire other tool companies, including Billings & Spencer, Barcalo, and Bridgeport Hardware. The combined company continued to produce the various tool lines for some years, and in fact sometimes combined designs from one company with brands and trademarks from other acquisitions. One will occasionally find a wrench with a Barcalo-like design marked with a Crescent logo and bearing the Life-Time (Billings) trademark.

Crescent Niagara was eventually acquired by Cooper Industries, and most of the tool brands (except for Crescent) were eventually discontinued.


Patents

Barcalo Manufacturing was very active in product design and development, and received numerous patents for its efforts. The earlier patents (beginnning in 1903) were related to bed frames and adjustable cribs, but later patents covered tool designs and wrench holders.

Table 1. Barcalo Manufacturing: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedDescriptionNotes and Examples
719,685 E.J. Barcalo & C. Vallone09/11/190202/03/1903Bed Spring Assignment to Barcalo & Boll Mfg.
733,772 C. Vallone04/06/190307/14/1903Bed Bottom  
793,251 C. Vallone10/03/190406/27/1905Spring Bed Bottom  
845,384 C. Vallone10/23/190302/26/1907Sliding-Side Folding Crib  
857,850 C. Vallone02/07/190706/25/1907Corner Fastening for Bed Frames  
958,316 C. Vallone et al03/20/190905/17/1910Miter Joint for Tubes  
988,052 C. Vallone12/11/190903/28/1911Support for Hinged Member  
1,052,863 C. Vallone et al02/21/191102/11/1913Apparatus for Heating Tubes  
1,072,278 C. Vallone07/22/191209/02/1913Connecting Device for Bed Frames  
1,231,675 C. Vallone11/08/191307/03/1917Holding Device for Cribs  
D57,153 L.A Safford11/26/192002/22/1921Handle for Adjustable Wrench  
D59,786 L.A Safford10/17/191911/22/1921Handle for Adjustable Wrench  
1,729,640 C. Vallone08/11/192510/01/1929Adjustable Wrench  
1,822,070 C. Vallone09/18/192809/08/1931Tool Holder  
1,830,577 C. Vallone02/23/192811/03/1931Wrench Holder  
1,870,612 A. DeSchebeko03/17/193008/09/1932Multi-Wrench Barcalo Multi Wrench
1,908,938 C. Vallone09/18/192805/16/1933Socket Wrench Holder  
1,917,409 C. Vallone03/27/193107/11/1933Tool Holder  
1,938,233 C. Vallone et al05/11/193112/05/1933Broaching Machine  
1,967,458 C. Vallone09/30/193307/24/1934Wrench Holder  
D111,094 J.M. Vallone06/19/193708/30/1938Design for Wrench Handle Barcalo Convex Open-End Wrench
2,217,779 J.M. Vallone01/25/193610/15/1940Glider or Swinging Couch  
2,681,099 J.M. Vallone12/07/195106/15/1954Adjustable Lounge Chair  
D177,636 W.R. Meier et al11/23/195505/08/1956Design for Wrench Barcalo Late-Design Combination Wrench
D192,449 E.H. Shore08/02/196103/20/1962Slip-Joint Pliers  

Trademarks

Barcalo Manufacturing made use of a number of trademarks in its business, but for some reason no registrations have been found in the USPTO trademarks database (TESS) under the name "Barcalo". A more extensive search for documents has turned up a few registered trademarks, and more will probably be found with additional searching.

Barcalo used the "Barcaloy" mark as an informal trademark for its later alloy-steel tools, particularly combination wrenches. This mark was in use by the late 1940s or earlier.

Table 1B. Barcalo Manufacturing: Trademarks Issued
Text Mark First Use Date Filed Date Issued Registration Notes
Barcalo B Buffalo [B-Circle Logo] 01/01/1919 03/02/1921 08/29/1922 158,332 Lists products as wrenches, pliers, and socket-wrench sets.
MATT-REST 05/15/1921 09/06/1921 03/21/1922 153,403 Renewed in 1942

Tool Identification

Barcalo tools are generally easy to identify, and were typically marked in some variant of "-Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." or just "Barcalo Buffalo".


Charles E. Hall Company Production

[1910 Advertisement for Charles E. Hall Company]
1910 Advertisement for Charles E. Hall Company. [External Link]

We'll begin with some examples of the tools produced by the Charles E. Hall Company, the company acquired by Barcalo Manufacturing in 1914.

The advertisement at the left from the June 1910 Hardware Dealers' Magazine shows some of the tools produced by the Charles E. Hall company. The illustration shows a bicycle wrench, auto wrench, combination pliers ("Plyers"), and tin snips. Note that the corners of the illustration show a design with an "H" in a shield, a company logo that sometimes appears on the tools.


Hall No. 10 Bicycle Wrench

[Hall No. 10 Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 1. Hall No. 10 Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 1 shows a Hall No. 10 bicycle wrench, marked "Charles E. Hall Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the H-Shield logo. (The logo is shown in the inset, as it's covered by the movable jaw in the photograph.)

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


Hall No. 14 Bicycle Wrench

The next figure continues with another example of the Charles E. Hall Company production, a bicycle wrench of somewhat different design.

[Hall No. 14 Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 2. Hall No. 14 Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 2 shows a Hall No. 14 bicycle wrench, marked "Charles E. Hall Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the H-Shield logo.

The overall length is 4.2 inches retracted and 5.8 inches fully extended. The original finish appears to have been nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear.


Hall 9 Inch Auto Wrench

[Hall 9 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 3. Hall 9 Inch Auto Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 3 shows a Hall 9 inch auto wrench, stamped "Charles E. Hall Company" and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." on the fixed jaw.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear.


Wrenches


Open-End Wrenches


Barcalo Early 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

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

Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 5. Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 5 shows a Barcalo 19/32x11/16 wrench in a style similar to the previous example, with depressed panels for the markings and sizes. The wrench is marked "Barcalo Buffalo USA" in raised letters, with "Drop Forged" on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plate.


Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench

[Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 6. Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 6 shows a Barcalo 15/16x1 wrench with depressed panels for the markings and sizes, marked "Barcalo Buffalo USA" in raised letters with "Drop Forged" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plate.


Barcalo 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench with Raised Panels

[Barcalo 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 7. Barcalo 1725B 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 7 shows a Barcalo 1725B 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the model number on the face and "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the raised panel.

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


Barcalo 28S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench with Raised Panels

[Barcalo 28S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 8. Barcalo 28S 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 8 shows a Barcalo 28S 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench with raised panels, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the raised panel, with the model number on the reverse face.

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


Barcalo 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench with Depressed Panel

[Barcalo 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 9. Barcalo 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench with Depressed Panel.

Fig. 9 shows a Barcalo 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench with a depressed panel, marked with "Barcalo Buffalo USA" forged into the panel. The shank also has a forged-in code "A" visible at the right.


Barcalo 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench with Depressed Panel

[Barcalo 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 10. Barcalo 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench with Depressed Panel.

Fig. 10 shows a Barcalo 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench with a depressed panel, marked with "Barcalo Buffalo USA" forged into the panel. The reverse also has a forged-in code "A" (not shown).

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


Convex Open-End Wrenches

In 1938 Barcalo received design patent #D111,094 for an open-end wrench design with a distinctive convex shank. These wrenches proved to be quite popular and thus are easy to find (and easy to spot) among older tools.

Wrenches of this style were no longer listed in a catalog from the late 1940s, so we can estimate their production dates as late 1930s to mid 1940s.


15/16x1 Convex Open-End Wrench

[Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 11. Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1938-1945.

Fig. 11 shows a Barcalo 15/16x1 open-end wrench with a distinctive convex handle, marked "Forged in U.S.A." with the Barcalo name embedded. The overall length is 9.4 inches.

The distinctive shape of this wrench was registered as design patent #D111,094 in 1938. More commonly these wrenches are seen with a plain finish, but for this example the finish is nickel plate, now worn through in several areas.


Five Piece Open-End Wrench Set in Tool Roll

Barcalo was well known as a maker of wrenches for tool kits, including kits for military vehicles. The next several figures will show a set of wrenches from a green canvas tool roll, believed to have been supplied for a military vehicle.

[Barcalo Open-End Wrenches in Tool Roll]
Fig. 12. Barcalo Open-End Wrenches in Tool Roll.

Fig. 12 shows a set of five wrenches in a green canvas tool roll, with each wrench stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

The wrench sizes are, from left to right, 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, 19/32x11/16, 5/8x3/4, and 13/16x7/8.

The individual wrenches are shown in the next several figures.


Barcalo 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll

[Barcalo 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll]
Fig. 13. Barcalo 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll.

Fig. 13 shows a Barcalo 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench from the tool roll, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

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


Barcalo 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll

[Barcalo 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll]
Fig. 14. Barcalo 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll.

Fig. 14 shows a Barcalo 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench from the tool roll, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

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


Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll

[Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll]
Fig. 15. Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll.

Fig. 15 shows a Barcalo 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench from the tool roll, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

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


Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll

[Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll]
Fig. 16. Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll.

Fig. 16 shows a Barcalo 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench from the tool roll, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

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


Barcalo 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll

[Barcalo 7/16x1/2 Panelled Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 17. Barcalo 13/16x7/8 Open-End Wrench from Tool Roll.

Fig. 17 shows the largest wrench from the tool roll, a Barcalo 13/16x7/8 wrench stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA" on the shank.

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


Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench with Geometric Panels

[Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench with Geometric Panels]
Fig. 18. Barcalo 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench with Geometric Panels.

Fig. 18 shows yet another style of Barcalo open-end wrench, a Barcalo 19/32x11/16 wrench with geometric panels. The wrench is marked with "Barcalo-Buffalo" and "USA" forged into the shank, with the sizes forged into panels near the heads.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Box-End Wrenches


3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 19. Barcalo 3/8x7/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1944.

Fig. 19 shows a Barcalo 3/8x7/16 short offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped "Barcalo Buffalo U.S.A." on the panel, with "Forged" and the fractional sizes on the reverse. (The lower inset has been reverse for readability.)

The overall length is 4.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The shank has a forged-in marking resembling a reversed "E" at the right of the panel, which together with the rough finish suggests production during the wartime years. (Snap-On used an "E" date code specifically for 1944.)


5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 20. Barcalo 5/8x11/16 Short Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1944.

Fig. 20 shows a Barcalo 5/8x11/16 short offset box-end wrench with raised panels, marked "-Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." with "Forged" on the reverse.

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

The wrench has a forged-in marking like a reversed "E", which together with the rough finish suggests production during the wartime years. (Snap-On used an "E" date code specifically for 1944.)


"Forged Vanadium" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo Forged Vanadium 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 21. Barcalo "Forged Vanadium" 5/8x11/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 21 shows a Barcalo 5/8x11/16 offset box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the front panel, with "Forged Vanadium" and the fractional sizes stamped on the reverse. (The inset has been left in its natural orientation.)

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with polished panels and ends.

A forged-in code "O" can be seen on the reverse shank, to the left of the panel.


9/16x5/8 Halfmoon Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo 9/16x5/8 Halfmoon Box Wrench]
Fig. 22. Barcalo 9/16x5/8 Halfmoon Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 22 shows a Barcalo 9/16x5/8 halfmoon box-end wrench, marked with "Starter-Mainfold" and the fractional sizes forged into the shank, with "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." stamped on the reverse panel. (The inset has been rotated for readability.)

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


Alloy Steel Wrenches


Open-End Wrenches

Barcalo produced a line of open-end wrenches with depressed panels and forged-in size markings, with chrome molybdenum alloy steel noted in the markings.


Barcalo 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, Chrome-Molybdenum Steel

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 23. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

In Fig. 23 we see a Barcalo 19/32x11/16 wrench with depressed panels for the markings, marked "Barcalo Buffalo USA" with "Forged Chrome Molybdenum" on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches. Most of the finish has been lost, but the original finish may have been nickel plating.


Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, Chrome-Molybdenum Steel

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 24. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 24 shows another example of the depressed panel design in alloy steel, a Barcalo 5/8x3/4 wrench marked "Barcalo-Buffalo-USA", with "Forged-Chrome-Molybdenum" on the reverse.

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


Barcalo 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, Chrome-Molybdenum

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 25. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 25 shows a Barcalo 15/16x1 open-end wrench, marked with "Barcalo Buffalo USA" and the sizes forged into depressed panels, with "Forged-Chrome-Molybdenum" in the reverse panel.

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


Tappet Wrenches

By the late 1920s or early 1930s Barcalo was offering tappet wrenches with asymmetrical offsets, a style that became popular in the 1920s. Tappet wrenches in this style were usually purchased in pairs, so that each opening size was available in either offset angle.

This type of tappet wrench was listed in the Barcalo catalog No. 22 of 1934, although at that time the finish options were cadmium plating or sand-blasted steel, instead of the nickel plating found on the examples here.

Examples of tappet wrenches in this asymmetrical style from other manufacturers can be seen in the sections on Blue Point Tappet Wrenches and Bonney "CV" Tappet Wrenches.


Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 26. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 7/16x17/32 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 26 shows a Barcalo 7/16x17/32 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the smaller opening (7/16) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrenches

The next two figures show a matched pair of asymmetrical-offset tappet wrenches in the 1/2x9/16 size.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 27. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 27 shows a Barcalo 1/2x9/16 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the smaller opening (1/2) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 28. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 28 shows a Barcalo 1/2x9/16 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the larger opening (9/16) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

The next two figures show a pair of asymmetrical-offset tappet wrenches in the 5/8x11/16 size, with minor differences in marking.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 29. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 29 shows a Barcalo 5/8x11/16 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench, stamped "Barcalo Buffalo, U.S.A." and "Chrome Molybdenum" on the shank. In this model the smaller opening (5/8) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches. The finish is nickel plate, now worn through in several areas.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 30. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 30 shows a Barcalo 5/8x11/16 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the larger opening (11/16) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrenches

The next two figures show a pair of asymmetrical-offset tappet wrenches in the 3/4x7/8 size.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 31. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 31 shows a Barcalo 3/4x7/8 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench in the straight-small version, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the smaller opening (3/4) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

[Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 32. Barcalo Chrome-Molybdenum 3/4x7/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s to 1930s.

Fig. 32 shows a Barcalo 3/4x7/8 asymmetrical-offset tappet wrench in the straight-big version, stamped "Chrome Molybdenum" and "Barcalo Buffalo" on the shank. In this model the bigger opening (7/8) is at the straight (non-offset) end of the wrench.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Combination Wrenches

Barcalo's combination wrenches were among their highest quality tools. Many examples of these have been found with extensive wear to the finish and other signs of hard use, but almost invariably the box and open ends are still in good shape.

The earlier combination wrenches were generally made with chrome vanadium steel, but on later wrenches the alloy is noted as "Barcaloy", Barcalo's private brand for its alloy steel. A catalog from the late 1940s identifies the alloy as being nickel chrome molybdenum steel, and actually gives the specific alloy as SAE 8645 steel. (Herbrand frequently used the very similar AISI 8642 alloy.)


Chrome Vanadium 5/8 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Chrome Vanadium 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 33. Barcalo Chrome Vanadium 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 33 shows a Barcalo 5/8 combination wrench, stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the raised panel, with "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.0 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear and rust.


Chrome Vanadium 3/4 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Chrome Vanadium 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 34. Barcalo Chrome Vanadium 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 34 shows a Barcalo 3/4 combination wrench with raised panels, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the front panel with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.0 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear and rust.


Chrome Vanadium 15/16 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo 15/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 35. Barcalo 15/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 35 shows a Barcalo 15/16 combination wrench with raised panels, marked "Chrome Vanadium Steel" with "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.0 inches. The finish is nickel plating with polished faces.


Barcaloy 3/8 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Barcaloy 3/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 36. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 3/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 36 shows the smallest of the combination wrench series, a Barcalo 3/8 combination wrench. The raised panel is stamped with the size and "-Barcalo-Buffalo-USA-" on the front, with "-Forged-Barcaloy-Steel-" on the reverse panel. Note the use of a script for the "Barcaloy" marking, although other examples may show block letters instead.

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


Barcaloy 9/16 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Barcaloy 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 37. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 37 shows a Barcalo 9/16 combination wrench with raised panels, stamped with the fractional size and "Barcalo Buffalo USA" on the front, with "Forged Barcaloy Steel" using a script for "Barcaloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches. The finish is nickel plating with a yellowish tint, with highly polished faces and panels.


Barcaloy 5/8 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Barcaloy 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 38. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 38 shows a Barcalo 5/8 combination wrench with raised panels, stamped with the fractional size and "Barcalo Buffalo USA" on the front, with "Forged Barcaloy Steel" using a script for "Barcaloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is nickel plating with a yellowish tint, with highly polished faces and panels.


Barcaloy 11/16 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Barcaloy 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 39. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 39 shows a Barcalo 11/16 combination wrench with raised panels, stamped with the fractional size and "Barcalo Buffalo USA" on the front, with "Forged Barcaloy Steel" using a script for "Barcaloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.7 inches. The finish is nickel plating with a yellowish tint, with highly polished faces and panels.


Barcaloy 3/4 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo Barcaloy 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 40. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 40 shows a Barcalo 3/4 combination wrench with raised panels, marked with the size and "-Barcalo-Buffalo-USA-". The reverse panel is marked "-Forged-Barcaloy-Steel-" using a script for "Barcaloy", although other examples in this series may show block letters instead.

The overall length is 9.4 inches. The finish is a heavy plating with a yellowish tint, probably nickel or nickel and chrome.


Barcaloy 5/8 Combination Wrench with Size Field

Another variation on the Barcalo combination wrench design placed the wrench size in a depressed box on the open end.

[Barcalo Barcaloy 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 41. Barcalo "Barcaloy" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

An example of this style with the size field is shown in Fig. 41, a Barcalo "Barcaloy" 5/8 combination wrench with the size field on the face. The front panel is marked with "-Barcalo-Buffalo-USA-" and the size, and the reverse panel shows "-Forged-Barcaloy-Steel-" using a script for "Barcaloy". The overall length is 6.9 inches.

The finish is a heavy plating with a yellowish tint.


Other Tools


Pliers


Barcalo 10 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers

[Barcalo 10 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers]
Fig. 42. Barcalo 10 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 42 shows a pair of Barcalo 10 inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "Barcalo Buffalo" and "U.S.A." on the handle.

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

The inset provides a side view of the pliers to illustrate the cross-hatched diamond gripping pattern on the handles. The pattern appears to have been applied by a knurling process rather than as a secondary forging, as traces of the parting line from the primary forging can be seen.


Barcalo 7 Inch Slip-Joint Universal Pliers

[Barcalo 7 Inch Slip-Joint Universal Pliers]
Fig. 43. Barcalo 7 Inch Slip-Joint Universal Pliers, with Inset for Handle Pattern.

Fig. 43 shows a pair of Barcalo 7 inch slip-joint universal pliers, stamped "Barcalo Buffalo" and "U.S.A." on the handle.

The overall length is 7.1 inches.

The "universal" style of pliers was a variant of the combination style, incorporating one flat jaw and one with rounded gripping surfaces. In addition, these pliers include a wire-cutting slot between the jaws, and one handle has a screwdriver tip.

Barcalo 6 Inch Lineman's Pliers

[Barcalo 6 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 44. Barcalo 6 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 44 at the left shows a pair of Barcalo 6 inch lineman's pliers, marked "Barcalo Buffalo" around the pivot with "U.S.A." across the center.

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

This style of lineman's pliers was listed in the 1934 Barcalo catalog No. 22. Three sizes were available, 6-1/4, 7-1/4, and 8-1/2 inch nominal lengths.


Barcalo Battery Pliers

[Barcalo Battery Pliers]
Fig. 45. Barcalo Battery Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 45 shows a pair of Barcalo batery pliers, stamped "Barcalo Buffalo" and "U.S.A." on one handle, with "Drop Forged" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Barcalo Waterpump Pliers

[Barcalo Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 46. Barcalo Waterpump Pliers.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Adjustable Wrenches


Early 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Barcalo 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 47. Barcalo 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 47 shows an early Barcalo 8 inch adjustable wrench with a distinctive handle design, marked with "U.S.A." and "Barcalo-Buffalo" forged into the panelled shank, with "8 Inch" and "Drop-Forged" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is plain steel, with traces of black paint in the handle panels.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench. Note the relatively thick head, measured at 0.51 inches and typical of early carbon steel adjustable wrenches. Note also the relatively rough finish of the wrench, which has left the parting line of the forging dies clearly visible.

The wrench has a distinctive design with two oval panels on the handle and a dart-shaped hole in the end. This style was registered as design patent #D59,786, filed by L.A. Safford in 1919 and issued in 1921. Barcalo produced wrenches of this style probably beginning around 1919, and continuing at least into the mid 1930s.


Early 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Barcalo 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 48. Barcalo 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 48 shows an early Barcalo 12 inch adjustable wrench with a distinctive handle design, marked with "12 Inch" and "Barcalo-Buffalo" forged into the shank, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Drop Forged" on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.2 inches and the maximum opening is 1.6 inches. The finish is plain steel with polished faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench. Note the relatively thick head, measured at 0.81 inches and typical of early carbon steel adjustable wrenches. Note also the relatively rough finish of the wrench, which has left the parting line of the forging dies clearly visible. (There are even a few sharp remnants of the trimming operation.)


N6 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Barcalo N6 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 49. Barcalo N6 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1920s to Early 1930s.

Fig. 49 shows a somewhat later Barcalo N6 6 inch adjustable wrench in the distinctive panelled design, marked "Drop Forged" and "Barcalo" in forged raised letters, with "Model - N6" and "Buffalo U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, with a maximum opening of 0.6 inches and a head thickness of 0.49 inches. The finish is polished steel.

The wrench has a distinctive design with two oval panels on the handle and a dart-shaped hole in the end. This design was registered as patent #D59,786, filed by L.A. Safford in 1919 and issued in 1921.

Wrenches in this style were illustrated in the 1934 Barcalo catalog, in both standard and thin models, the latter being of vanadium steel. The relatively thick head of this example suggests a standard (non-alloy) model.


Barcalo 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Barcalo 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 50. Barcalo 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 50 shows a Barcalo 4 inch adjustable wrench in a more conventional Crescent-style design. The wrench is marked with "Buffalo-Barcalo" and "Made in USA" forged into the shank, with "4 In" and "Drop-Forged-Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.4 inches.


Barcalo 9 Inch Auto Wrench

[Barcalo 9 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 51. Barcalo 9 Inch Auto Wrench.

Fig. 51 shows a Barcalo 9 inch auto wrench, marked on the shank with "Barcalo-Buffalo" and "Made in USA" plus "Drop-Forged", all in forged raised letters.

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


Specialty Tools


Tack Puller

[Barcalo Tack Puller]
Fig. 52. Barcalo Tack Puller, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 52 shows a Barcalo tack puller, marked with "Drop Forged" forged into the handle, with "Barcalo Buffalo USA" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Spark Plug and Head Bolt Wrench

[Barcalo Spark Plug and Head Bolt Wrench]
Fig. 53. Barcalo 5/8x15/16 Spark Plug and Head Bolt Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 53 shows a Barcalo 5/8 box and 15/16 open-end wrench, a popular style widely used for Ford Model T spark plug and head bolt service. The panelled shank is marked with "Barcalo-Buffalo-U.S.A." forged into the front, with "Drop-Forged-Steel" and a B-Circle logo on the reverse.

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


Ford Utility Multi-Wrench

[Barcalo Ford Utility Multi-Wrench]
Fig. 54. Barcalo Ford Utility Multi-Wrench, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 54 shows a Barcalo specialty multi-wrench intended for Ford service applications, stamped "Barcalo-Buffalo, U.S.A." and "Patent No. 1,870,612" on the shank.

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

The tool is marked for patent #1,870,612, issued in 1932 to A. DeSchebeko.

This wrench is listed in the 1934 catalog No. 22 as a "Ford Utility Wrench", and the description notes that it fits 15 different service parts on Ford models "A", "B", and V-8, including spark plugs, brakes, and drain plugs. The openings are, from left to right, 5/8 square, 7/16 double-square, 7/8 hex, 3/8 square plug, and 1-1/8 hex.


5/8x3/4 Open-Box Wrench

Barcalo was one of several manufacturers to produce a style of open-box wrench popular for automotive tool kits.

[Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-Box Wrench]
Fig. 55. Barcalo 5/8x3/4 Open-Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

An example of this style is shown in Fig. 55, a Barcalo 5/8x3/4 open-box wrench marked "Forged U.S.A." with "Barcalo Buffalo" on the reverse. The fractional sizes are forged into the face and shank, as was typical for this style.

The overall length is 6.5 inches.

Other makers of this style include Auto-Kit and Indestro, and examples can be seen in the Auto-Kit No. 100 Open-Box Wrench and Indestro Chicago Open-Box Wrench.


Later Barcalo Production

Barcalo tools may occasionally be found with features markedly different from the more common styles, including "scooped" box ends, raised/depressed panels, and even model numbers! (Most of the Barcalo's production wasn't marked with a model number.) At first it seemed very puzzling that the company would suddenly start producing tools of such different styles or features. However, with an understanding of the 1960s acquisition of Barcalo by Crescent Niagara, some of these new features are now thought to represent the company's post-acquisition production.

By 1964 Crescent Niagara had acquired the tool operations of Crescent, Billings & Spencer, Barcalo, and Bridgeport Hardware. Each of these companies had substantial design and manufacturing capabilities, and Crescent Niagara seems to have experimented with combining some of the tool designs from the various operations.

At least one of the new features was definitely developed in-house by Barcalo. In the mid 1950s Barcalo developed a distinctive style of tapered or "scooped" box end for wrenches, with the box end broached at an angle, instead of forging the box at an offset or bending the shank. This style was registered as design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956. The design patent also illustrates the wrench shank with raised panels of different lengths. (The patent reference was actually found in a Crescent catalog from 1967, as Crescent continued using the distinctive design after their acquisition of Barcalo.)

In this section we'll look at examples of this late Barcalo production.


Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench with Size Field

In the previous figure we saw a combination wrench with a depressed size field on the open end, and the figure after this will show a modern style with a distinctive angled broaching of the box end. Positioned between these two styles, the present figure will show a transitional combination wrench, with both the size field and the angled broaching of the box end.

[Barcalo Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 56. Barcalo Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 56 shows a Barcalo 9/16 combination wrench in a less common transitional form, marked "Barcalo" on the raised panel with the size forged into the open face, and with "Forged U.S.A." on the reverse (depressed) panel.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the distinctive design of the box end. Note that the top of the box end is flat and flush with the shank, with the bottom protruding at an angle. Other manufacturers typically forge the box end at an angle, but Barcalo has forged it flat and then broached at an angle.

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956. The patent reference was actually found in a Crescent catalog from 1967, as Crescent had continued using the wrench design after their acquisition of Barcalo.

This example shows some apparent experimentation at Barcalo as they worked to develop the new wrench designs. In addition to the noted mix of features, the wrench has an odd combination of one raised and one depressed panel.


Transitional 3/4 Combination Wrench with Size Field

[Barcalo Transitional 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 57. Barcalo Transitional 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 57 shows another transitional example, a Barcalo 3/4 combination wrench with the size forged into the open face. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" on the raised panel, with "Forged USA" forged into the reverse (depressed) panel.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956.


Transitional 13/16 Combination Wrench with Size Field

[Barcalo Transitional 13/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 58. Barcalo Transitional 13/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 58 shows a Barcalo 13/16 combination wrench in a transitional style, marked with the size forged into the open face. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" on the raised panel, with "Forged USA" forged into the reverse (depressed) panel.

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

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956.


Transitional 7/8 Combination Wrench with Size Field

[Barcalo Transitional 7/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 59. Barcalo Transitional 7/8 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 59 shows a Barcalo 7/8 combination wrench in a transitional style, marked with the size forged into the open face. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" on the raised panel, with "Forged USA" forged into the reverse (depressed) panel.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and ends.

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956.


Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench with Raised Panels

[Barcalo Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 60. Barcalo Transitional 9/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 60 shows a Barcalo 9/16 combination wrench with raised panels, stamped with "Barcalo" and the fractional size on the shank.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by design patent #D177,636, filed by W.R. Meier et al in 1955 and issued in 1956.


Post-Crescent Production

In its later years Barcalo produced wrenches with features not found in their earlier production. In particular, the tools were assigned model numbers instead of just size markings, and wrench handles were designed with full-width raised panels, sometimes with asymmetrical positions. These features are thought to represent the production after the acquisition by Crescent Niagara in 1963.


Barcalo TC08 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo TC08 1/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 61. Barcalo TC08 1/4 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig 41A shows a Barcalo TC08 1/4 combination wrench with polished raised panels, stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished panels and faces.


Barcalo TC22 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo TC22 11/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 62. Barcalo TC22 11/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 62 shows a Barcalo TC22 11/16 combination wrench with polished raised panels, stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished panels and faces.

The distinctive design for the box end is covered by the 1956 design patent #D177,636.


Barcalo TC24 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo TC24 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 63. Barcalo TC24 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 63 shows another example of the later production, a Barcalo TC24 3/4 combination wrench with polished raised panels. The shank is stamped with the Barcalo name and size on the front panel, with "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished panels and faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the distinctive "scooped" box end described by the 1956 design patent #D177,636.


Barcalo TC26 Combination Wrench

[Barcalo TC26 13/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 64. Barcalo TC26 13/16 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 64 shows a Barcalo TC26 13/16 combination wrench with polished raised panels, stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

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

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the distinctive "scooped" box end described by the 1956 design patent #D177,636. Another quirky feature of this example is that the top and bottom panels have different lengths.


Barcalo TS0810 Short Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo TS0810 1/4x5/16 Short Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 65. Barcalo TS0810 1/4x5/16 Short Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 65 shows a Barcalo TS0810 1/4x5/16 short box wrench with polished raised panels. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished panels.


Barcalo TS1214 Short Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo TS1214 3/8x7/16 Short Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 66. Barcalo TS1214 3/8x7/16 Short Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 66 shows a Barcalo TS1214 3/8x7/16 short box wrench with polished raised panels. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

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


Barcalo TB1820 Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo TB1820 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 67. Barcalo TB1820 9/16x5/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 67 shows an example of a box-end wrench with "scooped" box ends, a Barcalo TB1820 9/16x5/8 box wrench with polished raised panels. The shank is stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plate with polished panels.


Barcalo TB3032 Box-End Wrench

[Barcalo TB3032 15/16x1 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 68. Barcalo TB3032 15/16x1 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 68 shows a Barcalo TB3032 15/16x1 box wrench with polished raised panels, stamped "Barcalo" with the fractional sizes on the front panel, with the model number and "Forged-Alloy-U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

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


Contract Production

Barcalo was active as a contract manufacturer for automobile tool kits and as a supplier to retail stores.


Western Auto Open-End Wrench

Our next figure shows an example of Barcalo's production for Western Auto Supply, a major retailer of automotive supplies and tools.

[Western Auto 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 69. Western Auto 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 69 shows a Western Auto 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of obvious Barcalo production, marked "Western Auto Stores" on the distinctive convex shank.

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

This tool can be recognized as Barcalo production by its distinctive convex shank, a style described by design patent #D111,094, issued in 1938.


Wards Lakeside 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

Montgomery Ward sold tools under a number of brand names, including Master Quality, Lakeside, Eclipse, Riverside, and Powr-Kraft. Our next figure shows an example of a Wards Lakeside tool of apparent Barcalo production.

[Wards Lakeside 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 70. Wards Lakeside 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 70 shows a Wards Lakeside 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped "Wards Lakeside" on the shank.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

This wrench resembles the Barcalo open-end wrench production such as the Barcalo Open-End Wrench, although the identification is not certain.


Wards Eclipse 4732 3/4x7/8 Open-Box Wrench

This next figure shows an example of Barcalo production for the Wards Eclipse tool line.

[Wards Eclipse 3/4x7/8 Open-Box Wrench]
Fig. 71. Wards Eclipse 4732 3/4x7/8 Open-Box Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 71 shows a Wards Eclipse 4732 3/4x7/8 open-box wrench, marked "Forged USA" in forged-in raised letters.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The style of this wrench closely resembles the Barcalo Open-Box Wrench shown earlier.


Powr-Kraft 3/4 Combination Wrench

This next figure shows an example of Barcalo production for the Wards "Powr-Kraft" brand.

[Powr-Kraft 3/4 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 72. Powr-Kraft 3/4 Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1950s to 1960s.

Fig. 72 shows a Powr-Kraft 3/4 combination wrench with raised and depressed panels, stamped "Powr-Kraft" on the front (raised) panel, with "Forged U.S.A." forged into the reverse (depressed) panel.

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


References and Resources

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

Barcalo Manufacturing is mentioned briefly in American Wrench Makers 1830-1930, 2nd Edition by Kenneth Cope (Astragal Press, 2002), referred to as AWM2e in the text. AWM2e reprints an advertisement stating that the Charles E. Hall business has been acquired by Barcalo Manufacturing.


Catalog Resources

Currently we have only limited catalog resources for Barcalo, consisting of catalog No. 22 from 1934, a line card (e.g. for hardware stores) from about 1947, and catalog 29 from about 1948.

Catalog No. 22 lists pliers, adjustable wrenches, open-end wrenches in both carbon and alloy steel, chrome-molybdenum box-end wrenches, and a selection of chisels and punches.

The 1947 line card shows a selection of wrenches and pliers for automotive or general service applications. The front of the card states "Manufacturing Quality Products Since 1896", providing a reference for the founding date of Barcalo Manufacturing.

Barcalo tools were sold through some industrial distributors and by at least one high-volume retailer, Western Auto Supply.


Patents and Trademarks

Patent information was obtained from the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO) web site at uspto.gov. Patent documents were obtained from sites offering free downloads, notably freepatentsonline.com.


Feedback

If any readers have additional information regarding Barcalo Manufacturing, please let us know via the "Contact Us" link on the home page. Your comments and suggestions are welcome as well.


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