Alloy Artifacts

Exploring Ingenuity in Iron ...

Alloy Artifacts Home
Alloy Artifacts Web Search

Sockets and Drive Tools

Cornwell was offering sockets and drive tools by around 1926 and was one of the earliest tool makers to use alloy steel for sockets. Even more notable, Cornwell was the first company known to use hot-forged production for modern female-drive sockets. A Cornwell catalog from around 1926 offers hot-forged sockets made of chrome molybdenum steel, a combination that gave them a significant lead over the rest of the tool industry.

Examples of Cornwell's earliest socket tools can be found in the section on Early Socket and Drive Tools. In this section we'll look at examples produced from about 1935 onward.


Cornwell SR-2 1/2-Drive Gearless Ratchet

[Cornwell SR-2 1/2-Drive Gearless Ratchet]
Fig. 81. Cornwell SR2 1/2-Drive Gearless Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1935+.

Fig. 81 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell SR-2 gearless ratchet and drive plug, marked with "SR-2 Cornwell" and "Pat. Applied For" forged into the shank.

The overall length is 9.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The model SR-2 ratchet was the successor to the Cornwell No. 55 Ratchet shown in an earlier section. The patent for this ratchet (if issued) has not yet been found.


Cornwell SR4 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Cornwell SR4 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 82. Cornwell SR4 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1935+.

Fig. 82 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell SR4 reversible ratchet, with markings "Cornwell" and "Pat. Applied For" forged into the handle.

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

The lower inset shows a closeup of the small Ford script marking, located below and to the right of the shift lever. (The mark is obscured by the shift lever in the main photograph.) This mark indicates that the ratchet was probably manufactured for Ford.

The patent for this ratchet has not yet been found.


Cornwell SR-5 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Cornwell SR-5 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 83. Cornwell SR-5 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1949-1954.

Fig. 83 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell SR-5 reversible ratchet, stamped with the company name and model on the head, and with "USA" and "109" on the handle.

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

The ratchet mechanism uses a 30-tooth drive gear with a pivoting pawl, and the shift lever is loosely coupled to the pawl so that the shifter can remain stationary while the pawl oscillates. This design very similar to the J.H. Williams patent #1,957,462.

Another similarity to the Williams design is the use of a threaded cover plate, as can be seen in the middle inset.

This model was listed in the Cornwell catalog No. 28 of 1952, but a review of the 1948 catalog shows that it was not yet available at that time. By 1955 the catalogs show this ratchet as model number SR-50, apparently the successor number after Cornwell revised their model number system. Based on the catalog information, this particular ratchet was likely made in 1949-1954.


Cornwell SH17 1/2-Drive Speeder

[Cornwell SH17 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 84. Cornwell SH17 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 84 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell SH17 speeder, with markings "29 Cornwell" and "USA" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 18.7 inches.


Cornwell DL2 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver

[Cornwell DL2 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver]
Fig. 85. Cornwell DL2 1/2-Drive Drag Link Driver, with Inset for Top View.

Fig. 85 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell DL2 drag link driver, stamped "17 Cornwell" and "USA" on the base.

The overall length is 1.6 inches, and the finish is plan steel.


Cornwell HF315 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Cornwell HF315 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 86. Cornwell HF315 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 86 shows a 1/2-drive Cornwell HF315 flex-head handle, stamped "Cornwell 4" and "USA" on the handle.

The overall length is 16.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Cornwell JR2 3/8-Drive Ratchet

[Cornwell JR2 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 87. Cornwell JR2 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1935+.

Fig. 87 shows a 3/8-drive Cornwell JR2 reversible ratchet, marked with just the company name and model number.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Cornwell EP-2-6 3/8-Drive Impact Extension

[Cornwell EP-2-6 3/8-Drive Impact Extension]
Fig. 88. Cornwell EP-2-6 3/8-Drive Impact Extension.

Fig. 88 shows a 3/8-drive Cornwell EP-2-6 impact extension, stamped "14 Cornwell" and "USA" on the head.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The drive stud is fitted with a locking pin rather than a detent ball, a feature commonly used for impact tools.


3/4-Drive Sockets and Tools


Cornwell Early Gearless 3/4-Drive Ratchet

[Cornwell Early 3/4-Drive Gearless Ratchet]
Fig. 89. Cornwell Early 3/4-Drive Gearless Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 89 shows an early 3/4-drive Cornwell gearless ratchet with a push-through drive plug, marked with "Cornwell" and "Pat Applied For" forged into the handle. The shank also has a stamped code "66" (or possibly "99"), as shown in the middle inset.

The overall length is 20.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Cornwell HS54 3/4-Drive Hex Socket

[Cornwell HS54 3/4-Drive 1-1/4 Socket Hex Socket]
Fig. 90. Cornwell HS54 3/4-Drive 1-1/4 Hex Socket, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1935-1954.

Fig. 90 shows a 3/4-drive Cornwell HS54 1-1/4 hex socket, stamped "15 Cornwell" and "USA" on the side.

The finish is cadmium plating.


7/8-Drive Sockets and Tools


Cornwell Early Gearless 7/8-Drive Ratchet

[Cornwell Early 7/8-Drive Gearless Ratchet]
Fig. 91. Cornwell Early 7/8-Drive Gearless Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 91 shows an early 7/8-drive Cornwell gearless ratchet, marked with "Cornwell" and "Pat Applied For" forged into the handle, and with a stamped code "10" at the right.

The overall length is 20.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent corresponding to the pending status is not yet known.


Specialty Tools


Cornwell "Steeldraulic" Pliers

[Cornwell Steeldraulic Pliers]
Fig. 92. Cornwell Steeldraulic Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 92 shows a pair of Cornwell "Steeldraulic" pliers, marked with just the Cornwell name.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The inset shows the small boss forged into the reverse side of one handle.

Steeldraulic pliers were offered by a number of other tool makers, and examples on this site include the Blackhawk 2581 Pliers, Bonney 2581 Pliers, Duro-Chrome 2120 Pliers, Herbrand 272 Pliers, Utica 516 Pliers, and Vacuum Grip No. 14 Pliers.


Cornwell [BW]94 5/8 Specialty Box Wrench

[Cornwell BW94 5/8 Specialty Box Wrench]
Fig. 93. Cornwell [BW]94 5/8 Specialty Box Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 93 shows a Cornwell [BW]94 5/8 specialty box wrench for starter motor applications, stamped "11 Cornwell" and "94" on the shank.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.

The Cornwell catalog 21A of 1941 provides our earliest catalog reference for this model, where it is listed as a BW94 starter motor wrench, recommended for Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Chrysler applications. The catalog also notes its use for holding the eccentric bolt on 1939 Chevrolet steering systems.

The markings on this example suggest a mid 1930s origin, in particular the use of the "94" model number without the "BW" prefix, and the lack of a "USA" marking.


Cornwell OW1818 9/16x9/16 Specialty Box Wrench

[Cornwell OW1818 9/16x9/16 Specialty Box Wrench]
Fig. 94. Cornwell OW1818 9/16x9/16 Specialty Box Wrench, ca. 1955+.

Fig. 94 shows a Cornwell OW1818 9/16x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped "27 Cornwell" and "USA" on the shank.

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

The 1960 Cornwell catalog lists this tool for servicing Ford manifolds.


Cornwell "Skidmore" 1-1/16 Open-End Preset Torque Wrench

[Cornwell Skidmore 1-1/16 Open-End Preset Torque Wrench]
Fig. 95. Cornwell Skidmore 1-1/16 Open-End Preset Torque Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1959-1960.

Fig. 95 shows an unusual Cornwell "Skidmore" preset torque wrench with a 1-1/16 open end, stamped with "Cornwell-Skidmore" and "Pat. Appl. U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 15.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The patent application status refers to patent #2,959,078, filed by R.H Skidmore in 1959 and issued in 1960.


Other Tools


Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 96. Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 96 shows a Cornwell AJ-10B 10 inch adjustable wrench, stamped with the company name and model number on one side, with "Cornwell - U.S.A." on the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "L", seen at the right side of the lower inset.

The overall length is 10.2 inches and the maximum jaw opening is 1.1 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.58 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, and a close look shows the square shoulder of the sliding jaw and keyway. The square shoulder indicates that this example was produced for Cornwell by J.H. Williams, and the identification is confirmed by the forged-in "L" code noted above. A similar example can be seen as the Williams AP-8 Adjustable Wrench.


References and Resources

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


Catalog Coverage

Product information was obtained from a number of Cornwell catalogs, as summarized in the table below.

Catalog
Number
YearFormatPricesNotes
N/A 1926? Half Yes Early catalog, company still in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Chrome-molybdenum forged sockets listed.
No. 12 1930? Half Yes Company in Mogadore, Ohio. Wrench openings in S.A.E. sizes. Sockets available in 5/8-drive.
No. 16 1934 Half Yes  
No. 17 1935 Half Yes First use of letter-prefix model numbers, e.g. AW6, SS12.
No. 18 1936 Half Yes  
No. 20 1938 Half Yes  
No. 21-A 1941 3/4-Size Yes  
No. 23 1946 Full Yes "Cornwell Man" logo on back cover. Lists Fairmount body hammers.
No. 25 1948 Full No "Cornwell Man" logo on back cover.
No. 26 1950 Full No  
No. 28 1952 Full No Original model number system still in use.
No. A-55 1955 Full No New model number system in use, with sizes encoded in 32nds.
No. A-57 1957 Full No  
No. A-60 1960 Full No  

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 about Cornwell, please let us know via the "Contact Us" link on the home page. Your comments and suggestions are welcome as well.


Go To Page: << Prev   | 1 |   | 2 | 

Alloy Artifacts Home Text and Photographs Copyright © 2005-2009 Alloy Artifacts Site Index