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Bay State Tool Company

[Detail of Graphic for Bay State Autokit Socket Set]
Detail of Graphic for Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1909.

Table of Contents

Introduction


Company History

The Bay State Tool Company was a maker of adjustable wrenches and other tools, founded in Boston around 1900 by Frederic Tudor. The company maintained offices on Washington Street in Boston with a factory in South Boston, but was organized as a Maine corporation.

[1904 Advertisement for Bay State Tool]
1904 Advertisement for Bay State Tool Company. [External Link]

A 1904 publication Building and Engineering Trades Reference Book listed Frederic Tudor as President, C.R. Joy as Vice-president and General Manager, and J.P. Gardiner as Treasurer. The illustration at the left from page 611 of the same 1904 publication shows an advertisement for Bay State Tool, with their products including quick-acting wrenches, pipe wrenches, and smooth pipe wrenches.

A 1906 Directory of corporations listed the Bay State Tool Company at 147 Milk Street in Boston, with Frederic Tudor as President, C.C. Marvel as Treasurer and Secretary, M.W. Baldwin as Clerk, and Directors Tudor, Edward Blake, B.F. Gibby, and F.E. Walden.

Bay State Tool had an early association with Frederick E. Walden, a notable inventor who later founded the Walden Manufacturing Company. (See our article on Walden-Worcester for more information on this important company.) Walden served as a director of the company and contributed several patents for the company's products.

A notice in the June 6, 1906 issue of Horseless Age on page 871 (in the right column, part way down the page) shows an early Bay State Ratchet and Socket Set.


Tudor Manufacturing

[1906 Notice for Tudor Manufacturing]
1906 Notice for Tudor Manufacturing. [External Link]
[1907 Advertisement for Tudor Manufacturing]
1907 Advertisement for Tudor Manufacturing. [External Link]

In 1906 Frederic Tudor founded the Tudor Manufacturing Company, which then purchased the Bay State Tool Company. The notice at the far left appeared on page 530 of the April 19, 1906 issue of American Machinist and provides some details on the formation of Tudor Manufacturing. Following the acquisition, the Bay State Tool manufacturing operations were moved to Worcester (Massachusetts), using a factory previously occupied by the National Emery Company. The new company continued to produce the same products as before and retained the use of the "Bay State" name.

The company's headquarters remained at 147 Milk Street in Boston, with C.C. Marvel as President and E.B. Page as Treasurer. Since the new company had similar management and continued to use the "Bay State" brand, this article will treat Tudor Manufacturing and Bay State Tool as a single company.

At the immediate left is an advertisement from page 38 of the February 1907 issue of American Blacksmith. The illustration shows the familiar Bay State ratcheting box wrenches at the top and bottom, with quick-adjusting clamps at the left and right.


The Bay State Autokit

[1908 Advertisement for Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set]
1908 Advertisement for Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set. [External Link]

By late 1908 Tudor Manufacturing was advertising pressed-steel socket sets under the name "Bay State Autokit". The notice at the far left was published in the December 31, 1908 issue of Motor Age and shows a Bay State Autokit No. 1 socket set, the largest model.

[1909 Notice for Bay State Autokit Socket Set]
1909 Notice for Bay State Autokit Socket Set. [External Link]

An article in the January 1909 issue of the Automobile Trade Journal on page 286 describes the same Bay State Autokit, and notes that shipments of the sets were ready in early January of 1909.

The notice at the near left was published in the March 4, 1909 issue of The Iron Age and describes the Bay State Autokit, with an illustration showing the No. 1 set, the largest of several models.

The Bay State Autokit No. 1 set was notable for its inclusion of a rotating head ratchet, which allowed operation at any angle. This was one of the first ratchets to offer this feature, with later examples being offered by Peerless Wrench, OTC, and S-K Tools.

It's worth emphasizing that the Bay State Autokit represents a very early example of pressed-steel socket sets, or of socket sets in general for that matter. In 1908 the Frank Mossberg Company had only recently acquired the rights to the Auto-Cle line of socket sets, but hadn't yet started expanding the line with its own models. Also at this time the Syracuse Wrench Company was offering socket sets with malleable iron sockets, but apart from these makers, the socket industry was just getting started.

In some ways the Bay State Autokit was more advanced and more innovative than the earlier Auto-Cle sets. In addition to the innovative rotating-head design, the ratchet offered a somewhat finer action, and the forged handle offered the strength and length needed for better leverage. (The Auto-Cle ratchet had a short and weak wire handle.) The extensions in the Autokit were free to slide through the ratchet head, making them effectively of variable length. With the inclusion a universal joint and a generous selection of socket sizes, the Autokit was arguably the first modern socket set design.

The sockets supplied with the Autokit sets were compatible with those in the Auto-Cle and with later Mossberg sets. If fact, we can go further and offer evidence that in at least some cases, Bay State may have purchased the sockets from Mossberg directly. For one of the sets to be shown later, the majority of the sockets bear an early Mossberg marking, making it unlikely that they would be later replacements.

The Bay State Autokit was advertised widely in the 1909 to 1912 time frame and was reasonably successful for an early socket set. These sets came to the attention of Sears Roebuck, and by 1913 (or earlier) Sears was offering the Bay State No. 1 Autokit as the "Aristocrat No. 1 Auto Kit". A later figure will show an example of an early Sears Roebuck No. 1 Autokit.


Another Name Change: Bay State Pump Company

[1918 Notice for Bay State Pump]
1918 Notice for Bay State Pump Ratcheting Box Wrench. [External Link]

In searching for the later history of Tudor Manufacturing, we have located a number of advertisements or notices for Bay State products, but with the company listed as the Bay State Pump Company.

The notice at the left gives an example, published on page 59 of the August 1918 issue of Hardware Review. The illustration shows a tool very similar to the early Bay State ratcheting box wrench, and the text gives the specifications for three models offered by the Bay State Pump Company of Boston.

Other advertisements for Bay State Pump have been found with George Cutter of Taunton listed as the sales agent. (Readers will recall that George Cutter was the early Bay State Autokit sales agent of "Cat Car" fame.) References to the Bay State Pump Company appear from 1916 through the early 1920s, but no references to Tudor Manufacturing have been found after 1916.

[1917 Advertisement for Crane Air Pump]
1917 Advertisement for Crane Air Pump. [External Link]

The Bay State Pump Company appears to have been formed in 1916 with offices in Boston, and one of their earliest products was a patented engine-driven air pump sold under the Crane brand. The advertisement at the far left from the November 14, 1917 issue of Motor World provides an illustration of the Crane air pump. The company's address is listed as 100 Purchase Street in Boston.

The exact connection between Bay State Pump and Tudor Manufacturing is not yet known, but the sales of former Bay State products and use of the Bay State brand suggest that a merger or reorganization probably occurred.

[1918 Notice for Bay State Autokit]
1918 Notice for Bay State Autokit. [External Link]

The notice at the near left appeared on page 27 of the July 1918 issue of the Accessory and Garage Journal and describes the Bay State Autokit socket set, but with Bay State Pump listed as the maker. The notice was accompanied by an illustration of the Bay State No. 1 Autokit, complete with the "Cat Car" graphic on the lid. Since the Bay State Autokit was a flagship product for Tudor Manufacturing, this listing as a Bay State Pump Company product provides strong evidence of a business succession.

Based on the evidence outlined above, we will assume that Bay State Pump is the later successor to Bay State Tool and Tudor Manufacturing.


Patents

Table 1. Bay State Tool: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedDescriptionNotes and Examples
666,202 P. Lord02/10/190001/15/1901Ratchet Wrench Bay State 5/8 Ratcheting Box Wrench
761,798 F.E. Walden09/04/190306/07/1904Adjustable Wrench  
763,225 F.E. Walden09/04/190306/21/1904Punch Pliers  
763,226 F.E. Walden09/10/190306/21/1904Vise  
763,227 F.E. Walden10/15/190306/21/1904Wrench Pliers  
780,586 C.H. Thurston06/26/190201/24/1905Wire Fabric  
823,748 F.E. Walden02/10/190001/15/1901Clamp  

Trademarks

No trademarks are known to have been registered by Bay State Tool or Tudor Manufacturing.


Early Tools


Bay State 5/8 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Bay State 5/8 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 1. Bay State 5/8 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 1 shows an early Bay State 5/8 hex ratcheting box wrench, marked with "The Bay State" forged into the handle, with "Pat Jan 15 1901" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The patent date refers to patent #666,202, filed by P. Lord in 1900.


Bay State 3/4 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Bay State 3/4 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 2. Bay State 3/4 Hex Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 2 shows an early Bay State 3/4 hex ratcheting box wrench, marked with "The Bay State" forged into the handle, with "Pat Jan 15 1901" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The patent date refers to patent #666,202, filed by P. Lord in 1900.


Bay State 3/8x1/2 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Bay State 3/8x1/2 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 3. Bay State 3/8x1/2 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 3 shows an early Bay State 3/8x1/2 square ratcheting box wrench, marked with "The Bay State" forged into the shank, with "Pat Apld For" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The pending status refers to patent #666,202, filed by P. Lord in 1900 and issued in 1901.


Bay State 1/2x5/8 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Bay State 1/2x5/8 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 4. Bay State 1/2x5/8 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 4 shows an early Bay State 1/2x5/8 square ratcheting box wrench, marked with "The Bay State" forged into the shank, with "Pat Apld For" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The pending status refers to patent #666,202, filed by P. Lord in 1900 and issued in 1901.

The Bay State double-ended ratcheting wrench model appear to have been quite popular, as a number of examples have been observed. However, all of the wrenches observed thus far have been marked with "Pat Apld For", rather than with the patent date, suggesting that the company didn't update the forging dies after the patent was issued.


Bay State 25/32x7/8 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Bay State 25/32x7/8 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 5. Bay State 25/32x7/8 Square Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 5 shows an early Bay State 25/32x7/8 square ratcheting box wrench, marked with "The Bay State" forged into the shank, with "Pat Apld For" forged into the reverse. (The lower inset has been rotated for readability.)

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The pending status refers to patent #666,202, filed by P. Lord in 1900 and issued in 1901.

The Bay State double-ended ratcheting wrench model appear to have been quite popular, as a number of examples have been observed. However, all of the wrenches observed thus far have been marked with "Pat Apld For", rather than with the patent date, suggesting that the company didn't update the forging dies after the patent was issued.


Pressed-Steel Socket Sets

By late 1908 Tudor Manufacturing was advertising a line of "Bay State Autokit" socket sets in various configurations. These sets featured pressed-steel sockets compatible with the Mossberg Auto-Cle (and other) sets.

The Bay State Autokit sets were offered through a sales agent George A. Cutter operating in Taunton, Massachusetts. Some advertisements for the sets mention only the name of the sales agent, while others specifically mention Tudor Manufacturing as the maker. A copyright for the striking "Cat Car" graphic used for the model No. 1 (large) sets was filed in 1911 by George A. Cutter.


Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set

[Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 6. Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1909.

Fig. 6 shows an early Bay State Autokit No. 1 pressed-steel socket set in its wooden box, consisting of a rotating head ratchet, two extension bars, a screwdriver bit, a universal, a spherical end-piece, 27 hex sockets from 5/16 to 1-9/32, three square sockets (including a union), and a spark-plug (deep) socket.

The set is marked with a striking and unusual "Cat Car" graphic in the center of the lid, with "Bay State Autokit" in large letters at the top and a small "Patent Applied For" patent notice immediately below. The graphic design is flanked by the text "George A. Cutter Sales Agent" and "Taunton, Mass." on both sides.

The 27 hex sockets include all sizes from 5/16 to 1 inch by 32nds, plus the four larger sizes 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32. The sockets are arranged from smallest to largest beginning left to right with the fourth socket in the bottom row, continuing left to right in the middle row, then continuing right to left in the top row.

The three square sockets at the left of the bottom row include a 1/2-drive union, followed by 13/32 and 21/32 pressed-steel sockets. The 29/32 spark-plug socket appears at the far right, along with a wire handle that may not be original to the set.

[Detail for Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 7. Detail for Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1909.

Fig. 7 shows the socket and tool storage bay of the Bay State Autokit No. 1 set, with the ratchet removed to show the universal and screwdriver bit.

The set as acquired retained all of its original drive tools and about half of its original sockets. For the photograph the missing sockets were borrowed from a somewhat later Autokit No. 1 set and from our inventory of Mossberg sockets.

The original sockets in the set are nickel plated and have no markings, not even for the opening size. The tools are also nickel plated and are unmarked except for the ratchet.

[Inside Cover of Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 8. Inside Cover of Bay State Autokit No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1909.

Fig. 8 shows the inside cover of the Bay State Autokit No. 1 socket set, decorated with a striking and unusual "Cat Car" graphic.

The cover is marked with "Bay State Autokit" in large letters at the top, with a small "Patent Applied For" patent notice immediately below. The large graphic design appears in the center, with the text "George A. Cutter Sales Agent" and "Taunton, Mass." appearing on both sides of the graphic.

The dimensions of the wooden box are 15.9 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep by 2.5 inches high.


Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-Drive Ratchet from Autokit No. 1 Set

[Bay State Autokit 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 9. Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1909.

Fig. 9 shows the early Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-drive ratchet from the Autokit No. 1 set, marked with "Bay State Autokit" forged into the shank, and with "Pat. Apl'd For" stamped on the head.

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

The ratchet mechanism has a 10-tooth drive gear and can be reversed by lifting and rotating the small shaft on the head. The shaft was originally fitted with a small knurled knob, but it was missing when the set was acquired.

The design of this ratchet allows the head to rotate in the handle yoke, with movement permitted for about 90 degrees in one direction and more than 180 degrees in the other direction. The concept of a rotating head had been used somewhat earlier for certain ratchet drills, but this is the first example known in a general service tool.

The patent corresponding to the pending status (if issued) has not been found. If any of our readers happen to have found a patent for this tool, please let us know via email.


Bay State 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension from Autokit No. 1 Set

[Bay State 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension]
Fig. 10. Bay State 1/2-Drive 5 Inch Extension from Autokit No. 1 Set, ca. 1909.

Fig. 10 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive 5 inch extension from the Bay State Autokit No. 1 set.

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The drive end of the extension is fitted with a spring-loaded friction ball and a fixed stop-ball. The opposite end is tapered to fit the spherical end-piece supplied with the set.


Bay State 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Extension from Autokit No. 1 Set

[Bay State 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Extension]
Fig. 11. Bay State 1/2-Drive 12 Inch Extension from Autokit No. 1 Set, ca. 1909.

Fig. 11 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive 12 inch extension from the Bay State Autokit No. 1 set.

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

The drive end of the extension is fitted with a spring-loaded friction ball and a fixed stop-ball. The opposite end is tapered to fit the spherical end-piece supplied with the set.


Bay State 1/2-Drive 1/2 Union Socket from Autokit No. 1 Set

[Bay State 1/2-Drive 1/2 Union Socket]
Fig. 12. Bay State 1/2-Drive 1/2 Union Socket, with Inset for End View, ca. 1909.

Fig. 12 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive 1/2 union socket from the Bay State Autokit No. 1 set. This socket serves both as a union for joining the drive tools in the set and as a socket for 1/2 square bolts.

The overall length is 1.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

This socket appears to be constructed as a malleable iron casting, with thicker walls than the standard pressed-steel sockets.


Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Bay State Autokit 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 13. Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1909-1915.

Fig. 13 shows a somewhat later Bay State "Autokit" 1/2-drive ratchet, marked with "Bay State Autokit" forged into the shank.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

This ratchet is notable for its ability to rotate through 360 degrees in the handle yoke. The concept of a rotating head had been used somewhat earlier for certain ratchet drills, but this is the first example known in a general service tool.

Although this tool is not marked with a patent notice, earlier examples of this ratchet have been found with a patent applied notice. The corresponding patent (if issued) has not been found. If any of our readers happen to have found a patent for this tool, please let us know via email.


Sears Roebuck Autokit No. 1 Socket Set

With the thousands of artifacts at Alloy Artifacts it's always difficult to pick a favorite, but this next set would certainly be high on the list. In addition to offering a fine example of an early and innovative socket set, it is also of historical importance as our earliest documented example of a socket set sold by Sears Roebuck.

[Sears Roebuck Autokit No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 14. Sears Roebuck Autokit No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1910-1914.

Fig. 14 shows an early Sears Autokit No. 1 pressed-steel socket set in its wooden box, consisting of a rotating head ratchet, two extension bars, a screwdriver bit (and drive plug), a universal, a spherical end-piece, 27 hex sockets from 5/16 to 1-9/32, three square sockets (including a union), and a spark-plug (deep) socket.

The set is labelled with a placard inside the top lid printed with the text "Sears, Roebuck Autokit No. 1" in block letters. The "Autokit" name and distinctive rotating head ratchet immediately identifies the set as a Bay State No. 1 Autokit, produced by the Tudor Manufacturing Company from early 1909 onwards.

The 27 hex sockets include all sizes from 5/16 to 1 inch by 32nds, plus the four larger sizes 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32. The sockets are arranged from smallest to largest beginning left to right with the fourth socket in the bottom row, continuing left to right in the middle row, then continuing right to left in the top row.

The three square sockets at the left of the bottom row include a 1/2-drive union, followed by 13/32 and 21/32 pressed-steel sockets. The 29/32 spark-plug socket at the far right is a Mossberg replacement for the missing original socket.

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

An interesting feature of the sockets in the set is that the majority are stamped with the Mossberg M-Diamond logo, and in the early form with the axis of the diamond aligned with the axis of the socket. (See for example the Hex Sockets below.) This provides conclusive evidence that the sockets were originally sourced from Mossberg, instead of being the later replacements that are often found in socket sets of any make. The reasoning for this conclusion is that Mossberg sockets were only rarely nickel plated, and the early marking form was changed after around 1915. If the Mossberg-marked sockets were later replacements, they would likely have a random mix of finishes and marking styles, representing the types of sockets available in later years.

The tools in the set are basically identical to the examples shown in previous figures as the Bay State Ratchet, Bay State 5 Inch Extension, and Bay State 12 Inch Extension. Note though that the forged-in markings on the ratchet handle have been ground off before plating the tool.

Currently our earliest catalog reference for this set is from a 1913 Sears "Automobile Supplies" catalog, where an illustration and description of the set appears on page 99 under the heading Aristocrat No. 1 Auto Kit.


Universal Joint from Sears Autokit No. 1 Set

[Universal Joint from Sears Roebuck Autokit No. 1 Set]
Fig. 15. Universal Joint from Sears Autokit No. 1 Set, ca. 1910-1914.

Fig. 15 shows the unmarked universal joint from the Sears Autokit No. 1 set.

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


Hex Sockets from Sears Autokit No. 1 Set

One of the details noted with the Sears Autokit set is that almost all of the pressed-steel sockets (26 of 29) were marked with the well-known Mossberg M-Diamond logo. This next figure shows an example.

[Hex Sockets from Sears Roebuck Autokit No. 1 Set]
Fig. 16. Hex Sockets from Sears Autokit No. 1 Set, ca. 1910-1914.

Fig. 16 shows the three smallest hex sockets from the Sears Autokit No. 1 set, each stamped with the Mossberg M-Diamond logo and the fractional size.

The sizes are, from the left, 5/16, 11/32, and 3/8. The finish is nickel plating.


Bay State Pump "Autokit Wrench" No. 12 1/2-Drive Ratchet

This next figure shows an example of a tool from the Bay State Pump Company, the later successor to Tudor Manufacturing.

[Bay State Pump No. 12 Ratchet]
Fig. 17. Bay State Pump No. 12 Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 17 shows a 1/2-drive Bay State Pump "Autokit Wrench" No. 12 ratchet, marked with "Bay St. Pump Co." and "Boston" cast into the handle, with "Autokit Wrench" and "No. 12" cast into the reverse.

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

The body of this tool appears to be a malleable iron casting rather than a forged piece. The ratchet mechanism is reversible by rotating the pawl wheel projecting from the side.


References and Resources

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

The Bay State Tool Company is mentioned briefly in American Wrench Makers 1830-1930, 2nd Edition by Kenneth Cope (Astragal Press, 2002), referred to as AWM2e in the text.


Catalog Resources

Currently we don't have any catalogs for Bay State Tool or Tudor Manufacturing. Bay State products were carried by some industrial and automotive distributors, and we'll add selected references as time permits.


Patents and Trademarks

Patent information was obtained from the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO) web site at uspto.gov.


Feedback

If any readers have additional information regarding Bay State Tool or Tudor 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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