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The Frank Mossberg Company


Table of Contents

Introduction

The Frank Mossberg Company was an important early maker of wrenches, automotive tools, and especially interchangeable socket sets. In the years before 1920, Mossberg along with Walden-Worcester both defined and dominated the early market for socket sets, and their products laid the groundwork for the later development of interchangeable socket tools.


Company History

Frank Mossberg was a notable inventor and businessman in Attleboro, Massachusetts, a center for jewelry manufacturing in the 19th century. Mossberg was born in Wermland, Sweden in 1858 and had immigrated to America in 1882. After working as a draftsman for Brown & Sharpe for a few years, he began his first manufacturing business in 1889 as the Mossberg Manufacturing Company in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Another early business venture, the Mossberg Wrench Company, was also founded in Attleboro, probably in the early 1890s. (Mossberg Wrench might have been a subsidiary of Mossberg Manufacturing, although the exact relationship is not yet clear.)

The Mossberg companies were initially a maker of tools for the jeweler's trade, but by the early 1890s had begun producing several styles of adjustable bicycle wrenches, which were very popular tools at the time. Several patents for adjustable wrenches were issued to Mossberg in the 1890s, with assignments made to the Mossberg Wrench Company.

In 1899 Frank Mossberg and other investors founded the Frank Mossberg Company to manufacture tools, with the intended production of pipe wrenches, bicycle wrenches, and related items. The company was initially located in Providence, Rhode Island and operated independently of Mossberg's earlier business(es), but by 1900 the company had moved to Attleboro, and then in 1901 the earlier business operations were merged into the Frank Mossberg Company. By the early 1900s the company was producing bicycle wrenches in a number of styles, with names such as Sterling and Diamond.

As a side note, although apparently operating as a subsidiary of the Frank Mossberg Company, the Mossberg Wrench Company continued to operate under its own name until at least 1915 or so. In July of 1902 the Mossberg Wrench Company moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, according to the Massachusetts Annual Statistics of Manufactures for 1902. Since the Central Falls location is known to have been marked on bicycle wrenches made by the Mossberg Wrench Company, this indicates that Mossberg Wrench continued to manufacture these tools after the consolidation with the Frank Mossberg Company. In later years Mossberg Wrench produced a variety of other products, including braiding machines for textile makers and equipment for the overhead line shafting.


The Auto-Cle Line

In 1908 the company made a key acquisition with the purchase of the "Auto-Cle" line of automotive socket wrenches from the Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company. These socket wrench sets consisted of pressed-steel sockets with a ratcheting drive tool, and were based on patents #751,055 and #RE12,379, issued in 1904 and 1905 respectively.

[1908 Notice of Mossberg Auto-Cle Acquisition]
1908 Notice of Mossberg Auto-Cle Acquisition. [External Link]

Mossberg is belived to have been the contract manufacturer for the Auto-Cle socket sets prior to the acquisition, although the evidence for this is mixed. The notice at the left was published on page 32 of the December 17, 1908 issue of Motor Age, and the text notes the Quincy-Manchester-Sargent Company as the former makers, although this doesn't rule out a contract production arrangement. In any event, Mossberg realized the Auto-Cle line had significant market potential, and this acquisition was the starting point for a very successful line of socket wrench products. Mossberg made numerous improvements and additions to the line over the next two decades.

In 1909 the Frank Mossberg Company built a significant new factory in Attleboro, with $50,000 of funding provided by a local group of business investors. This factory project is noted in the August, 1909 issue of The Horseless Age on page 186 at the top center. The article describes the factory as a two-story brick building of dimensions 60 by 290 feet, with a separate power plant included as well. Construction was expected to be complete by December 1 of that year.

The expansion of the automobile industry created great demand for automotive service tools, and in the years from 1910 to 1920 the Frank Mossberg Company became a significant maker of automotive specialty tools. These tools consisted primarily of fixed socket wrenches in many shapes and sizes, and Mossberg was probably second only to Walden-Worcester as a producer of such tools.

The Late Teens

In early 1919 Mossberg released an important new product, the No. 45 Socket Wrench Set, which combined a 1/2 square drive speeder handle with a selection of heavy-duty sockets. This socket set was featured in an advertisement on page 137 of the January 1919 issue of Popular Science Monthly, and the illustration shows the speeder handle together with a generous selection of sockets.

The No. 45 set was clearly intended for professional mechanics, who needed the faster operation of a speeder handle plus the stronger sockets for everyday use. (Modern readers may strain to imagine a time when there were no air-powered drive tools, but at that time a speeder was the fastest way to spin off a nut.) And with the interchangeable sockets, the No. 45 set could fit a wide range of nut sizes at a much lower cost and weight than a comparable set of fixed socket wrenches.

The timing for this set was critical too, as in early 1919 Blackhawk Manufacturing was just getting started (and its name hadn't even been decided yet), and the Snap-On Wrench Company was more than a year in the future. If the No. 45 socket set had turned out to be a huge commercial success, it very possibly could have significantly altered the balance of competition in the 1920s.

Later Developments

During the 1920s the company continued to expand its automotive service tools line. In 1927 the company was reorganized as the APCO-Mossberg Company by merger with APCO (The Auto Parts Company) of Providence, Rhode Island. APCO was a maker of parts and specialty tools for the Model T Ford, and some examples of their products can be seen in a later section.

Sometime during the 1930s APCO-Mossberg decided to drop their general service tools, perhaps because of excess competition, and became instead a specialized maker of torque measurement products. The APCO-Mossberg torque products remained in production for many years.


Patents

Frank Mossberg was extremely prolific as an inventor, and the following table lists only the tool-related patents, representing a small fraction of his total output.

Table 1. Frank Mossberg Company: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedDescriptionExamples
458,934 J.S. Barden12/10/189009/01/1891Pipe Wrench  
482,021 F. Mossberg12/26/189109/06/1892Adjustable Wrench  
482,749 F. Mossberg02/03/189209/20/1892Adjustable Wrench  
550,025 F. Mossberg09/27/189411/19/1895Adjustable Wrench (Thin Profile) "C" Bicycle Wrench
552,325 F. Mossberg05/24/189512/31/1895Adjustable Wrench "C" Bicycle Wrench
583,346 S.W. Wardwell, Jr.06/05/189605/25/1897Adjustable Wrench "D" Bicycle Wrench
583,347 S.W. Wardwell, Jr.07/03/189605/25/1897Adjustable Wrench  
661,810 F. Mossberg09/11/190011/13/1900Adjustable Bicycle Wrench No. 1 Sterling Wrench, K-8 Bicycle Wrench
695,072 F. Mossberg10/28/190103/11/1902Adjustable Bicycle Wrench A-1 Bicycle Wrench, K-8 Bicycle Wrench
751,055 C. Contal10/15/190302/02/1904Ratchet Handle Auto-Cle Ratchet
RE12,379 C. Contal10/15/190308/15/1905Ratchet Handle Auto-Cle Ratchet
949,083 F. Mossberg06/14/190902/15/1910Offset Wrench Handle Folding Drive Handle
1,078,059 F. Mossberg10/19/191211/13/1913Ratchet Wrench No. 350 Ratchet
1,105,096 S.C. North10/02/191207/28/1914Valve Spring Lifter No. 654 Valve Spring Lifter
1,165,995 F. Mossberg06/16/191512/28/1915Inexpensive Ratchet Wrench 645 Ratcheting Box Wrench
1,335,408 W.I. Tuttle10/03/191811/13/1920Brace Construction No. 360 1/2-Drive Brace
1,426,127 W.I. Tuttle04/23/192008/15/1922Ratchet Wrench  
1,438,970 W.I. Tuttle04/19/192112/19/1922Handle for Braces No. 367 1/2-Drive Speeder
1,596,951 L.B. Smith02/26/192608/24/1926Socket Wrench Set  

Trademarks

A search of the USPTO trademark records found only one trademark registered by Frank Mossberg, the M-Diamond logo. The trademark was filed in 1907 and listed the first use as November 1902.


Early Tools


Early Model C Bicycle Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of an early patented design for bicycle wrenches produced by the Mossberg Wrench Company.

[Mossberg Model C Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 1. Mossberg Model C Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1896-1902.

Fig. 1 shows an earlier Mossberg "C" bicycle wrench, stamped "Mossberg Wrench Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" with "[Pat.] Nov. 19 & Dec. 31, '95" patent dates. (The left side of the markings was stamped very lightly and is difficult to read.)

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

The patent dates refer to patents #550,025 and #552,325, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1894 and 1895 respectively.

The patent dates along with the use of the "Mossberg Wrench" company name and Attleboro location suggest a production date in the range of 1896-1902, before the move to Central Falls.


[Mossberg Model C Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 2. Mossberg Model C Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 2 shows a somewhat later Mossberg "C" bicycle wrench, stamped "Mossberg Wrench Co." and "Central Falls, R.I. U.S.A", with "Pat. Nov. 19 & Dec. 31, '95" on the lower line.

The overall length is 5.1 inches. The finish shows traces of nickel plating, although most has been lost due to wear and rust.

The first patent date refers to patent #550,025 filed by Frank Mossberg in 1894. The patent describes an adjustable wrench with a thin profile made possible by the laminated steel construction.

The later date refers to patent #552,325, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1895.

The location marking in Central Falls indicates production after the company's 1902 move from its original Attleboro location.


Early Model D Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg Model D Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 3. Mossberg Model D Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1897-1902.

Fig. 3 shows a Mossberg "D" bicycle wrench, stamped "Mossberg Wrench Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" with a "Pat. May 25, 97" patent date.

The overall length is 4.3 inches closed and 5.5 inches fully extended. The finish is nickel plating.

The patent date refers to patent #583,346, filed by S.W. Wardwell, Jr. in 1896.

The patent date and use of the "Mossberg Wrench" company name with the Attleboro location suggest a production date in the range of 1897-1902, before the move to Central Falls.


Early "Sterling" No. 1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrenches

The next two figures show early examples of the Sterling No. 1 bicycle wrench.

[Mossberg Sterling No. 1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 4. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1900.

Fig. 4 shows an early Mossberg "Sterling" [No. 1] 5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" with a "Pat. Nov. 13, 00" patent date.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is fully polished with nickel plating. (The highly polished finish made this tool difficult to photograph.)

The patent date corresponds to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and issued later that year.

The absence of an M-Diamond marking on this tool suggests a production date prior to the introduction of the trademark in November 1902. In addition, this wrench is not marked with the "No. 1" model number, a detail that suggests very early production.


[Mossberg Sterling No. 1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 5. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1900-1902.

Fig. 5 shows another early Mossberg "Sterling" No. 1 5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" with a "Pat. Nov. 13, 00" patent date.

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

The patent date corresponds to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and issued later that year.

The absence of an M-Diamond marking on this tool suggests a production date prior to the introduction of the trademark in November 1902.


"Sterling" No. 2 6.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg Sterling No. 2 6.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 6. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 2 6.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 6 shows a later Mossberg "Sterling" No. 2 6.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number, with "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" at the end of the shank.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is polished nickel, but with some loss due to wear and rust.

The wrench is also stamped with a "Pat. Nov. 13, 00" patent date, corresponding to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and issued later that year.


Early "Sterling" No. 3 8 Inch Bicycle or Auto Wrench

[Mossberg Sterling No. 3 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 7. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 3 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1900-1902.

Fig. 7 shows an early Mossberg "Sterling" No. 3 8 inch bicycle (or auto) wrench, stamped with "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" plus the "Pat. Nov. 13, '00" patent date.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is polished nickel.

The patent date corresponds to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and issued later that year.

The absence of an M-Diamond marking on this tool suggests a production date prior to the introduction of the trademark in November 1902.


"Sterling" No. 30 8 Inch Bicycle or Auto Wrench

[Mossberg Sterling No. 30 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 8. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 30 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 8 shows a Mossberg "Sterling" No. 30 8 inch bicycle (or auto) wrench, stamped with the M-Diamond logo above the model number. The reverse is stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" with "Pat'd. Nov. 13, 00", "Pat'd. Mar. 11, 02", and "Pat. Applied For" patent notices.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is polished nickel, with minor losses due to wear and rust.

The patent dates correspond to patents #661,810 and and #695,072, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and 1901, respectively.


"Sterling" No. 5 10 Inch Auto Wrench

[Mossberg Sterling No. 5 10 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 9. Mossberg "Sterling" No. 5 10 Inch Auto Wrench, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 9 shows a Mossberg "Sterling" No. 5 10 inch auto wrench, stamped with M-Diamond logos on either side of the "No. 5" model number, with "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A" at the end of the handle.

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

The wrench is also marked with a "Pat. Nov. 13, '00" patent date, which corresponds to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1900 and issued later that year.


"Diamond" No. 10 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg Diamond No. 10 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 10. Mossberg "Diamond" No. 10 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, 1902.

Fig. 10 shows an early Mossberg "Diamond" No. 10 5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with "Diamond" in a diamond-shaped outline on the front, with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" on the reverse. The reverse is also stamped with a patent notice "Patented Nov. 13, '00 ??? '02" below the other text. (The second date is not readable on this example but is known to be March 11, 1902.)

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to extensive rust and pitting.

The patent dates refer to patents #661,810 and #695,072, both of which describe methods of constructing adjustable wrenches of this design.

This wrench is not marked with the M-Diamond trademark generally found on Mossberg tools beginning in late 1902. The presence of the early 1902 patent date without the late 1902 trademark suggests production in mid 1902.


"Diamond" No. 11 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg Diamond No. 11 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 11. Mossberg "Diamond" No. 11 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 11 shows a Mossberg "Diamond" No. 11 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" with M-Diamond logos on each side, and with patent notations "Pat'd. Nov. 13, 00" and "Pat'd. Mar. 11, 02".

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

The patent dates refer to patents #661,810 and #695,072, both of which describe methods of constructing adjustable wrenches of this design.


No. 74 4.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg No. 746 4.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 12. Mossberg No. 74 4.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 12 shows a Mossberg No. 74 4.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "No. 74" with M-Diamond logos at each side, with "Man'fd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" below.

The overall length is 4.6 inches closed and 6.5 inches fully extended, providing a generous 2 inch maximum opening. The finish is nickel plating.


No. 76 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg No. 76 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 13. Mossberg No. 76 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 13 shows a Mossberg No. 76 6 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "76" with M-Diamond logos at each side, with "Man'fd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" at the right.

The overall length is 6.0 inches closed and 8.3 inches fully extended, providing a generous 2.3 inch maximum opening. The finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear.

The wrench is also marked with a "Pat. Nov. 13, '00" patent date, faintly visible at the lower right end of the body. This date refers to patent #661,810, filed by Frank Mossberg in September of 1900 and issued later that year.


"Alderman" 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg Alderman 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 14. Mossberg "Alderman" 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 14 shows a Mossberg "Alderman" 6 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Alderman" on the shank, with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" plus the patent dates "Pat'd. Nov. 13, 00" and "Pat'd. Mar. 11, 02" on the reverse.

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

The patent dates refer to patents #661,810 and #695,072, both of which describe methods of constructing adjustable wrenches of this design.


"National" No. 110 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg National No. 110 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 15. Mossberg "National" No. 110 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 15 shows a Mossberg "National" No. 110 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "National" with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" on the shank, and with the model number and M-Diamond logo on the fixed jaw.

The overall length is 5.5 inches. The finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.


"National" No. 120 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg National No. 120 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 16. Mossberg "National" No. 120 6 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 16 shows a Mossberg "National" No. 120 6 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "National" with an M-Diamond logo on each side, with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro Mass. U.S.A" stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to rust and wear.


A-1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg A-1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 17. Mossberg A-1 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 17 shows a Mossberg A-1 5 inch bicycle wrench, marked with the M-Diamond logo and patent notations "Pat. Nov. 13, 00 Mar. 11, 02".

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

The patent dates refer to patents #661,810 and #695,072, both of which describe methods of constructing adjustable wrenches of this design.


A-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg A-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 18. Mossberg A-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 18 shows a Mossberg A-2 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with two M-Diamond logos.

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


A-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench

[Mossberg A-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 19. Mossberg A-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench, ca. 1902+.

Fig. 19 shows a Mossberg A-9 9 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with the model number and two M-Diamond logos, with the patent notice "Pat. Nov. 13, 00 Mar. 11, 02" stamped below.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent dates refer to patents #661,810 and #695,072, both of which describe methods of constructing adjustable wrenches of this design.


F-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Mossberg F-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 20. Mossberg F-2 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 20 shows a Mossberg F-2 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with two M-Diamond logos and the patent notations "Pat. Nov. 13, 00 Mar. 11, 02".

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


K-8 8 Inch Bicycle or Auto Wrench

[Mossberg K-8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 21. Mossberg K-8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench, ca. 1905.

Fig. 21 shows a Mossberg K-8 8 inch bicycle or auto wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo, and with patent notations "Patd. Nov. 13, 00 Mar. 11, 02".

The overall length is 7.9 inches.

One unusual feature is that the wrench body appears to be constructed of a copper alloy, as can be seen in the bright areas where the greenish tarnish has been removed.


K-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench

[Mossberg K-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 22. Mossberg K-9 9 Inch Auto Wrench, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 22 shows a Mossberg K-9 9 inch auto wrench, stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with two M-Diamond logos bracketing the model number.

The overall length is 9.0 inches and the maximum opening is about 2.1 inches. The finish is plain steel with traces of nickel plating.


"Eagle" 6 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Mossberg Eagle 6 InchPipe Wrench]
Fig. 23. Mossberg Eagle 6 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1890s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 23 shows a Mossberg "Eagle" 6 inch pipe wrench, marked with "Eagle" forged into the upper jaw, with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." forged into the lower jaw. The reverse is marked with "Pat. Sept. 1, 1891" forged into the upper jaw.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent #458,934, filed by J.S. Barden in 1890 and issued on that date.


Sockets and Drive Tools

Mossberg was a pioneer in the development and production of sockets and drive tools, and their earliest product in this area was the "Auto-Cle" line of socket sets, first offered probably around 1905. Initially Mossberg was the contract manufacturer for the Auto-Cle line, but within a few years had purchased the rights to the patents and brand for the product line.

The sockets in the early Mossberg sets were made of pressed steel, and the drive ends were cleverly sized to allow being driven either on the outside (approximately 11/16 square), or from the inside as 1/2 square drive. This drive configuration quickly became a standard, and sockets from other early makers (such as Walden-Worcester) were generally interchangeable.

By 1912 Frank Mossberg had filed a patent for a reversible ratchet to drive the sockets, and the resulting socket sets with reversible ratchets became best sellers of their time.


Size Conventions for Pressed-Steel Sockets

Before proceeding to show examples of the socket sets, we'll first take a look at the somewhat odd size conventions used for pressed-steel sockets. This is an area that will probably cause as much confusion for modern readers as it likely did for early auto owners or "automobilists", as they were sometimes called.

Readers familiar with early Model T socket sets may have wondered about the numerous "oddball" socket sizes in 32nds, sizes such as 17/32 or 23/32 that are seldom seen today. Based on the socket sizes, you might have concluded that the early automobiles used a lot of strange fastener sizes.

However, if you check the open-end wrenches from the same time era, these tools don't include all of the opening sizes seen on sockets. (Keeping in mind that wrench openings were marked by a U.S.S. or S.A.E. size.) So if a Model T really used 17/32 or 23/32 nuts, why weren't these sizes available in open-end wrenches?

This discrepancy turns out to be due to pressed-steel socket sizes being specified as 1/32 oversize, apparently an allowance for the manufacturing tolerance. This means that a 17/32 pressed-steel socket would be specified for an (across-flats) 1/2 inch nut, for which a modern 1/2 socket would work fine. This same nut would use an open-end wrench marked as "1/4 U.S.S." or "5/16 S.A.E." under the old size conventions.

So in reality the Model T didn't have any 17/32 or 23/32 nuts. The early automobiles used a mix of fasteners with sizes following the U.S.S., S.A.E., or Hex Capscrew conventions, which use a few of the 32nd sizes, but the "strange" sizes appear only when the 1/32 oversize socket allowance is added. Open-end wrenches (and modern sockets) don't need to use an explicit oversize allowance, as the manufacturing tolerances allow for a small oversize to be hidden in the nominal size.

Table 2. Pressed-Steel Hex Socket Sizes for U.S.S., S.A.E., and Hex Capscrew Nuts

Socket Size
(Fraction)
Socket Size
(Decimal)
U.S.S. Bolt S.A.E. Screw Hex Capscrew Nut Size
(Fraction)
Nut Size
(Decimal)
15/32 0.469   1/4 1/4 7/16 0.437
17/32 0.531 1/4 5/16 5/16 1/2 0.500
19/32 0.594   3/8 3/8 9/16 0.562
5/8 0.625 5/16     19/32 0.594
21/32 0.656   7/16 7/16 5/8 0.625
23/32 0.719 3/8     11/16 0.687
25/32 0.781   1/2 1/2 3/40.750
13/16 0.812 7/16     25/32 0.781
27/32 0.844     9/16 13/16 0.812
29/32 0.906 1/2 9/16 5/8 7/8 0.875
31/32 0.969   5/8   15/16 0.937
1 Inch 1.000 9/16     31/32 0.969
1-1/32 1.031   11/16 3/4 1 Inch 1.000
1-3/32 1.094 5/8 3/4   1-1/16 1.063
1-5/32 1.156     7/8 1-1/8 1.125
1-9/32 1.281 3/4 7/8 1 1-1/4 1.250

To help further clarify the situation, we've added a table showing the recommended pressed-steel socket size for the commonly used fasteners, along with the corresponding across-flats nut (or bolt) size. The information in Table 2 is from a 1922 Marwedel catalog listing for Mossberg sockets, and the catalog clearly states that a 1/32 clearance will be added if the sockets are ordered by nut size.

Keep in mind that the above table applies only to pressed-steel sockets -- later sockets were made with a broaching or forging technology that didn't require such a large oversize allowance.


Auto-Cle Socket Sets

We'll begin this section with a look at the early "Auto-Cle" socket sets, which served as Mossberg's introduction to pressed-steel socket technology.

[1914 Advertisement for Mossberg Auto-Cle Socket Sets]
1914 Advertisement for Mossberg "Auto-Cle" Socket Sets. [External Link]

The Auto-Cle socket sets were based on patents issued in 1904 and 1905 to Camille Contal, a French engineer. The earlier patent #751,055 was filed by Contal in 1903 and issued on February 2, 1904. (The date of this patent is sometimes marked incorrectly on tools.) The later patent was a re-issue of the original, issued as #RE12,379 on August 15, 1905.

The French origin of the design provides the "key" to understanding the name given to the sets. The socket sets were originally named Auto-Clé, with the word "clé" meaning "key" in French -- i.e. the key to your auto. Some early advertisements for the sets correctly included the accent mark, but later it was corrupted into the somewhat puzzling Auto-Cle name.

Before Mossberg acquired the rights to the Auto-Cle line, the sets were produced and marketed by the Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company (Q.M.S.), a maker of hardware and tools located in New Jersey. It's currently an open question as to whether Mossberg served as the original contract manufacturer for the Q.M.S. company, possibly making the entire set, or at least the sockets. Auto-Cle sets are almost always found with Mossberg-marked sockets, and the other tools in the set were certainly well within Mossberg's manufacturing expertise. We're inclined to think that Mossberg was the maker of the sets all along, but will change this section as needed if new information is discovered.

The advertisement at the left appeared in the September 1914 issue of The Accessory and Garage Journal. The text notes that the sets had been selling for eight years, with "every sale ... backed by the Mossberg Guarantee", providing at least some evidence that Mossberg was the maker from the beginning.

After acquiring the rights to the Auto-Cle line in 1908, Mossberg continued to supply the sets to Q.M.S. for some years. In late 1909 Q.M.S. established a subsidiary division called the Motor Parts Company to handle all of their automotive specialties, and Auto-Cle sets sold after that time were marked with the Motor Parts name. Mossberg itself continued to sell the Auto-Cle sets for many years, and they were still listed in the catalogs at least into the early 1920s.


Mossberg "Auto-Cle" No. 1 Socket Set

[Mossberg Auto-Cle No. 1 Socket Set]
Fig. 24. Mossberg "Auto-Cle" No. 1 Socket Set, ca. 1909-1912.

Fig. 24 shows an early Mossberg "Auto-Cle" No. 1 socket set, consisting of a ratchet, extension, universal, and sockets in a wooden case.

The hex sockets in the set cover the range from 5/16 to 1 inch by 32nds (23 sizes), plus four additional sizes 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32, giving a total of 27 hex sockets. This particular selection of socket sizes became the de facto standard for "large" pressed-steel socket sets, and both Mossberg and other tool makers offered sets with these sizes for many years. (However, the rationale behind the selected sizes is a bit peculiar, as will be discussed at a later point.)

The set also includes three square sockets of sizes 13/32, 17/32, and 21/32, fitting square-head set screws of sizes 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8. In addition, the 17/32 square socket could be used as a connector for the 1/2-drive tools in the set.

This particular socket set was supplied to the Motor Parts division of the Q.M.S. company, as shown in the next figure.

[Detail for Cover of Auto-Cle No.1 Socket Set]
Fig. 25. Detail for Cover of Auto-Cle No.1 Socket Set, ca. 1909-1912.

Fig. 25 shows the Motor Parts Company logo on the top cover of the socket set, with "Auto-Cle" inside an oval design resembling an old-fashioned keyhole. Within the oval are the markings "Motor Parts Co." and "Plainfield, N.J.", with "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." below the oval. The markings are printed on (or possibly burned into) the wood cover, rather than being attached as a decal, as was commonly done for later Mossberg socket sets.


Mossberg 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets from "Auto-Cle" Socket Set

The Auto-Cle socket set was acquired with about a third of the sockets missing, but all of the remaining sockets (except one, possibly a later replacement) were marked with an older form of the Mossberg logo. This next figure shows some examples of the sockets.

[Mossberg 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets from Auto-Cle Socket Set]
Fig. 26. Mossberg 1/2-Drive Hex Sockets from "Auto-Cle" Socket Set, ca. 1909-1912.

Fig. 26 shows a group of three of the hex sockets from the Auto-Cle socket set, all stamped with the Mossberg M-Diamond logo on the base, with the fractional sizes stamped on a different side of the base. The sizes are, from left to right, 13/16, 27/32, and 7/8. (The selected sockets are the rightmost socket from the middle row and the left two sockets from the top row of the socket set photograph.)

Readers familiar with Mossberg sockets may notice the different style of marking on these sockets. The M-Diamond logo on the base is stamped with the diamond parallel to the axis of the socket, rather than in the transverse orientation found on later sockets. In addition, the logo is somewhat smaller, and the fractional size is stamped on a different side.


"Auto-Cle" 1/2-Drive Ratchet with Folding Handle

[Auto-Cle 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 27. Auto-Cle [Mossberg] 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 27 shows an early 1/2-drive Mossberg "Auto-Cle" ratchet with a folding handle, stamped "Auto-Cle" and "Made in U.S.A." on the barrel (see inset). The markings also include "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." with the patent dates "Feb. 5, 04" and "Aug. 15, 05".

The overall length is 9.6 inches, and the handle bar length is 6.5 inches. The finish is nickel plating.

The earlier patent date refers to patent #751,055, filed by Camille Contal in 1903 and issued on February 2 of 1904. (Note that the stamped date is incorrect.) The second patent date refers to the re-issue patent #RE12,379 issued in 1905.

This ratchet is shown included in the Auto-Cle socket set above, but was acquired separately from the set itself.


Mossberg 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension from "Auto-Cle" Socket Set

Although the Auto-Cle socket set wasn't advertised as "1/2 inch drive", all of the drive tools were in fact 1/2-drive and would even work with modern sockets. Early socket sets were generally regarded as self-contained tool collections, without regard to compatibility with other tools, but the fact that a very popular early set used 1/2 inch square drive must have helped establish that size as the common standard.

[Mossberg 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension from Auto-Cle Socket Set]
Fig. 28. Mossberg 1/2-Drive 10 Inch Extension, ca. 1909-1912.

Fig. 28 shows the Mossberg 10 inch extension from the Auto-Cle socket set, unmarked but believed to have been made by Mossberg.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The construction of the extension includes four stop tabs on each end, produced by a circular dimple on each side.


Mossberg Pressed-Steel Socket Sets

After getting its start with the "Auto-Cle" socket sets, Mossberg continued to develop and improve the pressed-steel socket technology. The introduction of the No. 350 ratchet in 1912 (patented in 1913) was a major improvement in ratchet technology. By 1912 Mossberg was offering an extensive selection of pressed-steel socket sets, with varying numbers of sockets and tools to fit every application and budget. Many of these sets became highly successful products and are still commonly found today, approaching 100 years later.

As the large number of socket sets can be confusing at times, we've added Table 3 below to summarize the various models. The socket set models were typically marked with a decal on either end of the box.


Table 3. Summary of Mossberg Standard Socket Set Models

Model First
Offered
Ratchet Universal Extension -------
Hex
Sockets
Square
-------
Plug
Notes
No. 1 1908 Auto-Cle No. 336 Yes 27 3 N/A Large "Auto-Cle" Set.
No. 2 1908 Auto-Cle No. 336 Yes 8 3 1 Small "Auto-Cle" Set.
No. 6 1910 N/A N/A N/A 7 N/A 1 Includes No. 310 folding handle. Available in leather case or wooden box.
No. 7 1912 N/A N/A N/A 14 N/A 1 Includes No. 320 Ell-handle and No. 340 Tee-handle.
Spark-plug socket omitted from early sets.
No. 8 1912 N/A N/A N/A 7 7 N/A Includes No. 320 Ell-handle and No. 340 Tee-handle.
No. 9 1912 No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 19 7 N/A Includes No. 101 offset screwdriver.
No. 10 1912 No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 19 N/A 2 Includes two screwdriver bits.
No. 11 1912 No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 14 N/A 1 Early sets omitted No. 336 universal and spark-plug socket.
Later sets added No. 101 offset screwdriver.
No. 12 1912 No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 7 7 1 Early sets omitted No. 336 universal and spark-plug socket.
Later sets added No. 101 offset screwdriver.
No. 13 1916? No. 355 N/A No. 351 14 N/A 1 Similar to No. 11, but with fewer tools and non-reversible ratchet.
No. 14 1913? No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 23 11 3 Mossberg's largest set. Includes No. 320 Ell-handle and No. 340 Tee-handle.
Also includes open-end wrenches, pliers, pipe wrench, and other tools.
No. 15A 1913? No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 7 2 1 Special Ford set. Includes special 19/32 oval socket.
No. 16 1915 No. 350 No. 336 No. 351 9 4 1 "Universal Small Car" set. Includes screwdriver bit.
No. 30 1916? No. 355 No. 336 No. 351 8 1 1 Lower cost Ford set. Includes non-reversible ratchet.
Includes special 19/32 oval socket.

Mossberg Early No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set (Leather Case Version)

This next figure shows an early Mossberg No. 6 pressed-steel socket set in a leather case. The No. 6 set was also available in a wooden box, an example of which will be shown in a later figure.

[Mossberg Early No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 29. Mossberg Early No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set (Leather Case Version), ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 29 shows an early Mossberg No. 6 socket set in a compact leather case, consisting of a No. 310 folding drive handle, seven hex sockets, and a spark-plug (deep) socket. The set specifications also call for two screwdriver bits, but these were missing when the set was acquired.

Although the model number is not marked on the set, the set was identified by a listing in Mossberg catalog No. 12 from 1910, and the tools in this set match the description in the catalog.

The socket sizes are, from right to left in the bottom row, 17/32, 19/32, 21/32, 23/32, 13/16, and 29/32. The two sockets resting on the lid are a 1-3/32 standard socket at the left and a 29/32 spark-plug socket at the right. All of the sockets are marked with the M-Diamond logo, and the axis of the diamond is parallel to the socket axis, a detail noted in other early production.

The only drive tool in the set is a 1/2-drive No. 310 Folding Tee Handle shown in greater detail below. (The No. 310 model number is not marked on the tool, but was found in a catalog reference.)

[Top View of Mossberg No. 6 Socket Set]
Fig. 30. Top View of Mossberg No. 6 Socket Set, ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 30 shows a top view of the early Mossberg No. 6 socket set. The black leather case is embossed with the familiar M-Diamond logo on the top, and the cover is secured by two folding clasps on the front. The case is held together by rivets.

The dimensions of the case are approximately 6.5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and 2.0 inches tall.


Early [No. 310] 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle

[Mossberg No. 310 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle]
Fig. 31. Mossberg [No. 310] 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle, ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 31 shows the 1/2-drive Mossberg [No. 310] folding Tee handle from the No. 6 socket set in the leather case. The shank is stamped "Man'f'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass." with M-Diamond logos on either side, and with a "Pat'd. Feb. 15-10" patent date below. Although not marked with a model number, this tool was identified as a No. 310 handle by a catalog reference.

The overall length is 6.0 inches folded and about 7.5 inches open. The finish is polished nickel plating.

The patent date refers to patent #949,083, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1909 and issued the following year.

In this early tool the drive stops are raised bosses in the center of the shank, rather than the pinched tabs used in later production.


[No. 310] 1/2-Drive Folding Offset Handle

The next figure shows another example of the No. 310 folding handle.

[Mossberg No. 310 1/2-Drive Folding Offset Handle]
Fig. 32. Mossberg No. 310 1/2-Drive Folding Offset Handle, ca. 1916 to 1920s.

Fig. 32 shows another somewhat later 1/2-drive Mossberg [No. 310] folding Tee handle, marked "Man'f'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass." with the M-Diamond logo, and with a "Pat'd. Feb. 15-10" patent date. As with the previous example, the model number is not marked and was identified by a catalog reference.

The overall length is 6.0 inches folded, and the finish appears to be a thin dark lacquer.

The patent date refers to patent #949,083, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1909 and issued the following year.

This folding handle is very similar to the one shown in the previous figure, but with a few minor differences. The drive stops are pinched tabs at the corners, instead of the raised bosses in the center of the shank. Also, the finish is lacquer rather than the heavy nickel plating of the earlier example.


Mossberg No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set (Wooden Box Version)

[Mossberg Early No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 33. Mossberg Early No. 6 Pressed-Steel Socket Set (Wooden Box Version), ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 33 shows an example of the Mossberg No. 6 socket set in the wooden box version, consisting of a No. 310 folding drive handle, seven hex sockets, one spark-plug socket, and two screwdriver bits. As with the previous example, the model number is not marked on the set, but the set is easily identified by the illustrations in the Mossberg catalogs.

The standard socket sizes are, in the middle from the left, 17/32 and 19/32, and in the back from the right, 21/32, 23/32, 13/16, 29/32, and 1-3/32. The spark-plug (deep) socket in the middle is a 29/32 size.

The two screwdriver bits are stored in holes between the sockets, near the right side.

The set is furnished in a wooden box with dimensions 6.8 inches wide by 3.8 inches deep by 2.5 inches high. No markings or decals were found on the box.


[No. 310] 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle from No. 6 Set

[Mossberg No. 310 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle]
Fig. 34. Mossberg [No. 310] 1/2-Drive Folding Tee Handle, ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 34 shows the 1/2-drive Mossberg [No. 310] folding Tee handle from the No. 6 socket set in the wooden box. The shank is stamped "Manf'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass." with M-Diamond logos on either side, and with a "Pat'd. Feb. 15-10" patent date below. Although not marked with a model number, this tool was identified as a No. 310 handle by a catalog reference.

The overall length is 6.0 inches folded and about 7.5 inches open. The finish is polished nickel plating.

The inset shows the hole in the shank designed to drive the screwdriver bits. The small cross-bar visible in the hole engages the half-round end of the screwdriver bit shank.

The patent date refers to patent #949,083, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1909 and issued the following year.


Mossberg Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 6 Set

[Mossberg Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 6 Set]
Fig. 35. Mossberg Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 6 Set, ca. 1910-1915.

Fig. 35 shows the three largest sockets from the Mossberg No. 6 socket set in the wooden box. The sizes are, from the left, 13/16, 29/32, and 1-3/32, and each socket is stamped with the fractional size and M-Diamond logo.

Note that the markings on the sockets appear on one face of the service opening, a less common marking style for Mossberg. More typically the markings were placed on the base (drive end) of the socket.


No. 7 Pressed-Steel Socket Set

[Mossberg No. 7 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 36. Mossberg No. 7 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 36 shows a Mossberg No. 7 pressed-steel socket set, consisting of a No. 320 Ell-handle, a No. 324 "Take-down" Tee-handle, 14 standard hex sockets with sizes ranging from 13/32 up to 1-3/32, and a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket. No ratchet was specified for this set.

The socket sizes from the front left are 13/32, 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, and 23/32, and from the back left are 25/32, 13/16, 27/32, 29/32, 1 inch, 1-1/32, and 1-3/32. All of the sockets are marked with the fractional size and Mossberg M-Diamond logo except for one, which is marked with just the size.

This set includes a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket, faintly visible hiding in the well between the tool holders, behind the take-down Tee handle. The spark-plug socket was omitted on earlier versions of this set.

The two drive tools in this set are unmarked, but were readily identified by catalog listings. Both tools use 1/2 square drive, the size required to drive the sockets from the inside.

The socket set box is marked with the M-Diamond logo on the inside of the lid, with the text "Made By Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, MAss. U.S.A." inside the diamond. The set is also marked with "No. 7" on the ends of the box (see next figure). This marking style was used on earlier Mossberg sets; later examples typically omitted the marking on the lid and placed decals on the ends of the box.

[End Marking Mossberg No. 7 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 37. End Marking of Mossberg No. 7 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 37 at the left shows the "No. 7" marking printed on the end of the Mossberg No. 7 socket set box. This type of marking indicates earlier production, as later socket sets were marked with a decal on the ends.

The No. 7 socket set was furnished in a wooden box with dimensions (in inches) 11.4 wide by 5.3 deep by 2.6 high.

The No. 7 socket set was listed as early as 1912 in the Mossberg catalog No. 14, where it was recommended for millwrights and factory service. The 1912 price was $3.40 for the set. The similar No. 8 socket set included the same drive tools, but with a mix of hex and square sockets.

By 1915 (or earlier) the No. 7 set had added a 29/32 spark-plug socket and was being recommended for "Automobile, Autoboat, and Aeroplane Work".


[No. 320] 1/2-Drive Ell-Handle

[Mossberg No. 320 1/2-Drive Ell-Handle]
Fig. 38. Mossberg No. 320 1/2-Drive Ell-Handle, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 38 shows the unmarked Mossberg [No. 320] 1/2-drive Ell-handle from the No. 7 set.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


No. 10 Pressed-Steel Socket Wrench Set

[Mossberg No. 10 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 39. Mossberg No. 10 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1918-1923.

Fig. 39 shows a Mossberg No. 10 pressed-steel socket set in a wooden box, consisting of a No. 350 ratchet, No. 351 extension, [No. 336] universal, 19 standard hex sockets (with several missing), and two spark plug (deep) sockets.

The specifications for the original set were checked in a 1922 catalog listing, which indicated that our set as acquired is reasonably complete, except for the missing sockets and a missing offset screwdriver. In addition, some of the sockets are later replacements.

The standard socket sizes (all hex) were 15/32, 1/2, 17/32, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, 11/16, 23/32, 25/32, 13/16, 27/32, 7/8, 29/32, 31/32, 1 inch, 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32. The set as pictured is missing the 15/32, 1/2, 27/32, and 1 inch sizes, and a 9/16 socket has been added.

The two spark plug sockets have sizes 29/32 and 1-5/32, and are shown in detail in the figures below.

The sockets in the set show a mix of marking styles, with some marked with both the fractional size and M-Diamond logo, but others marked with just the fractional size. The sockets marked with just the fractional size are presumed to be non-Mossberg replacements.

The figures below show the decals on the ends of the box. It's fortunate that there are two decals, since both of them have suffered varying amounts of wear and damage over the years.

[Decal from Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set]
Fig. 40. First Decal from Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set.
[Decal from Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set]
Fig. 41. Second Decal from Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set.

Using both examples to fill in for the missing areas, the upper part of the decal reads "No. 10 Socket Wrench Set" with the M-Diamond logo (in red) in the center. The lower part reads "Made by Frank Mossberg Co." with "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." (partially missing) at the bottom.

The No. 10 set was furnished in a wooden box with dimensions (in inches) 12.4 wide by 6.4 deep by 2.6 high.

The No. 10 socket set was listed as early as 1912 in the Mossberg catalog No. 14, where it is referred to as the "Universal Automobile Set". The early versions of this set included two screwdriver bits instead of an offet screwdriver, and the larger spark-plug socket was 1-1/8 instead of 1-5/32. The 1912 price was $8.00 for the set.


No. 350 11/16-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Mossberg No. 350 Ratchet]
Fig. 42. Mossberg No. 350 Ratchet, 1916+.

Fig. 42 shows the Mossberg No. 350 ratchet from the No. 10 socket set, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish appears to be nickel plating.

The ratchet is also marked with the patent notice "Pat. Nov. 11, 1913", which refers to patent #1,078,059, issued to Frank Mossberg and assigned to the company.

The large opening of the ratchet (approximately 11/16) is sized to drive the sockets from the outside, and is fitted with a friction ball to help secure the socket. This 11/16 drive size was a standard for the early pressed-steel socket sets, and the sockets and drive tools from all makers were generally interchangeable. Since the sockets could also be driven by the 1/2 square inside opening, the sockets could be regarded as both 11/16-drive and 1/2-drive.

In this example the ratchet body is held together with rivets, but earlier ratchets used screws to secure the two halves of the body.


No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension

[Mossberg No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension]
Fig. 43. Mossberg No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension.

Fig. 43 shows the Mossberg No. 351 9 inch extension included in the No. 10 set, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish appears to be nickel plating.

The extension has a distinctive design that makes use of the inner and outer drive capabilities of the sockets. The large end of the extension is sized like the socket drive ends, and the other end terminates in a 1/2-drive stud with a friction ball. This design allows several different usage patterns.

One typical usage would be to drive the large end of the extension directly with the ratchet, with the male end driving a socket from the inside. A second usage pattern would be needed to connect the double-male universal joint with the extension. For this case, the universal joint would be inserted in the socket and the large end of the extension, and the ratchet would then drive the male stud of the extension using another socket as a shim.


No. 336 Double-Male Universal

[Mossberg No. 336 Double-Male Universal]
Fig. 44. Mossberg No. 336 Double-Male Universal.

Fig. 44 shows the double-male universal from the No. 10 set, unmarked but identified as a Mossberg No. 336 in the catalogs.

The overall length is 3.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The male drive studs of the universal are 1/2 inch square, close enough to the industry standard to allow operation with modern sockets. The universal connects to the Mossberg sockets using the inside drive opening, and the connection to the No. 350 ratchet is made by inserting a spare socket as a shim.


402 29/32 Spark Plug Socket

[Mossberg 402 29/32 Spark Plug Socket]
Fig. 45. Mossberg 402 29/32 Spark Plug Socket, with Insets for Broach and Drive End.

Fig. 45 shows a Mossberg 402 29/32 spark plug socket, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." on one face, with the fractional size on another face.

The overall length is 3.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The insets show the hex opening and square drive ends.

This socket was acquired as part of the Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set shown above.


422 1-5/32 Spark Plug Socket

[Mossberg 422 1-5/32 Spark Plug Socket]
Fig. 46. Mossberg 422 1-5/32 Spark Plug Socket.

Fig. 46 shows a similar Mossberg 422 1-5/32 spark plug socket, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." on one face, with the fractional size on another face.

The overall length is 3.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This socket was acquired as part of the Mossberg No. 10 Socket Set shown above.


No. 11 Pressed-Steel Socket Set

[Mossberg No. 11 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 47. Mossberg No. 11 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 47 shows a Mossberg No. 11 pressed-steel socket set, consisting of a No. 350 ratchet, a No. 351 extension, 14 pressed-steel hex sockets, and one spark-plug socket.

The socket sizes from the front right are 13/32, 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, and 23/32, and from the back left are 25/32, 13/16, 27/32, 29/32, 1 Inch (missing), 1-1/32, and 1-3/32. The sockets are all marked on the base with the fractional size and M-Diamond logo, with both the size and logo stamped on the same face.

The spark-plug (deep) socket resting on the lid is a 29/32 size; normally this socket fits in the space below the ratchet.

The socket set box is marked with the M-Diamond logo on the inside of the lid, with the text "Made By Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." inside the diamond. The set is also marked with decals on the ends of the box, one of which was still legible and is shown in the next figure.

[End Decal for Mossberg No. 11 Socket Set]
Fig. 48. End Decal for Mossberg No. 11 Socket Set, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 48 shows the diamond-shaped decal on the end of the Mossberg No. 11 socket set, marked with "No. 11" and the M-Diamond logo printed in red. The text "Made by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." appears at the bottom, but is faded and difficult to read.

The No. 11 socket set was furnished in a wooden box with dimensions (in inches) 11.4 wide by 5.3 deep by 2.7 high.

The No. 11 socket set was listed as early as 1912 in the Mossberg catalog No. 14, where it was recommended for millwrights and factory service. The 1912 price was $4.50 for the set.

The specifications for the No. 11 set evolved slightly over time. By 1915 the initial 14 standard sockets had been expanded to include a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket, and by 1921 (or earlier) the set included a No. 336 universal joint and an offset screwdriver.

The similar No. 12 socket set included the same drive tools, but with a mix of hex and square sockets.


Early No. 350 11/16-Drive Reversible Ratchet

[Mossberg Early No. 350 11/16-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 49. Mossberg Early No. 350 11/16-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 49 shows the Mossberg No. 350 11/16-drive ratchet from the No. 11 socket set, stamped "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo, and with a "Pat. Nov. 11, 1913" patent date.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The patent date refers to patent #1,078,059, filed by Frank Mossberg in 1912 and assigned to the company.

Some details in the construction of this ratchet indicate a relatively early production date, probably in 1916 or earlier. In particular, the body is held together with two screws in the handle, rather than the rivets found in later examples. In addition, the drive gear uses a spring clip to retain the socket, rather than a detent ball. The illustrations in the 1915 Mossberg catalog show the use of screws in the ratchet handle at that time.

Assuming that this ratchet is the original tool for the socket set, the use of decal markings on the box is evidence of a somewhat later production date. When all of these factors are considered, a production estimate in 1915-1916 appears reasonable.


Early [No. 351] 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension

[Mossberg Early No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension]
Fig. 50. Mossberg Early No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 50 shows the unmarked Mossberg [No. 351] 11/16-drive 9 inch extension from the No. 11 socket set.

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

The extension is constructed from a metal tube with one end swaged to a square with the same size as the standard pressed-steel socket base. The other end is crimped around a 1/2 square drive stud, suitable for driving a socket from the inside of the base.

This extension is of relatively early production, as the drive stud uses a spring clip (now broken) to hold the socket, rather than the detent ball used in later production.


Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 11 Socket Set

[Mossberg Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 11 Socket Set]
Fig. 51. Mossberg Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 11 Socket Set, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 51 shows a group of three standard sockets from the Mossberg No. 11 socket set, each stamped with the fractional size and M-Diamond logo. The socket sizes are, from the left, 23/32, 25/32, and 13/16.

The finish is plain steel.

Note that the markings on these sockets have the size and logo stamped on the same face, and that the M-Diamond logos are transverse to the socket axis. On earlier sockets the logo was oriented parallel to the axis, and on some later sockets the size and logo were stamped on different faces.


No. 13 Pressed-Steel Socket Set

[Mossberg No. 13 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 52. Mossberg No. 13 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1918-1923.

Fig. 52 shows a Mossberg No. 13 pressed-steel socket set, consisting of a No. 355 ratchet, a No. 351 extension, 14 hex sockets, and one spark-plug socket.

The socket set box is marked with decals on the ends, one of which will be shown in a later figure. Unlike some earlier sets, the lid of this set is not marked with the Mossberg logo.

The socket sizes from the front right are 13/32, 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 5/8, 21/32, and 23/32, and from the back left are 25/32, 13/16, 27/32, 29/32, 1 Inch, 1-1/32, and 1-3/32. The sockets are all marked on the base with the fractional size and M-Diamond logo, with the size and logo stamped on different faces of the base.

The set also includes a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket, partially hidden under the ratchet.

[End Decal for Mossberg No. 13 Socket Set]
Fig. 53. End Decal for Mossberg No. 13 Socket Set, ca. 1918-1923.

Fig. 53 shows the diamond-shaped decal on the end of the Mossberg No. 13 socket set, marked with "No. 13" and "Socket Wrench Set" at the top, with the M-Diamond logo printed in red in the middle. The lower part of the decal is marked "Made by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A.", although parts of the text have been lost.

The No. 13 socket set was furnished in a wooden box with dimensions (in inches) 11.4 wide by 5.3 deep by 2.7 high.

The No. 13 set is very similar to the Mossberg No. 11 Socket Set, but substitutes the less expensive No. 355 non-reversible ratchet for the No. 350 ratchet.


No. 355 11/16-Drive (Non-Reversible) Ratchet

[Mossberg No. 355 11/16-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 54. Mossberg No. 355 11/16-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. 1918-1923.

Fig. 54 shows the 11/16-drive Mossberg No. 355 non-reversible ratchet from the No. 13 socket set, stamped "Manf'd By Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

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

The small inset shows a welded bead at the top of the ratchet, an improvement added to prevent separation of the body halves under high stress.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 21-tooth drive gear with an 11/16 square opening. The drive gear is fitted with a detent ball to help hold the socket, visible on the top wall in the photograph.


No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension

[Mossberg No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension]
Fig. 55. Mossberg No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension, ca. 1918-1923.

Fig. 55 shows the 11/16-drive Mossberg No. 351 9 inch extension from the No. 13 socket set, stamped with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with two M-Diamond logos (see composite inset).

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

The extension is constructed from a metal tube with one end swaged to a square matching the size of a standard socket base. The other end is crimped around a 1/2 square drive stud, to drive a socket from the inside of the base.

This extension is of later production, based on the use of a drive stud with a detent ball and the stamped markings on the tool.


No. 14 Pressed-Steel Socket Set

The Mossberg No. 14 socket set was the company's largest and possibly most popular set. In addition to a full complement of sockets and drive tools, this set also included open-end wrenches, pliers, and other miscellaneous tools.

The No. 14 set remained in production until the late 1920s and went through a number of evolutionary changes during its long production life. The most significant change was the introduction of a removable tray to hold the open-end wrenches and other miscellaneous tools, prior to which time the miscellaneous tools had been stored on the inside lid of the sets. Based on a review of catalogs and advertisements, the removable tray was introduced around 1918. Sets built before the removable tray can be recognized by the wooden block organizers on the lid, with small metal latches to hold the tools in place. Since the tray is sometimes missing from these old sets, the provision for a tray can be recognized by the wooden support ledges at the sides of the box.

Another notable change was the replacement of the No. 340 "take-down" Tee-handle used in earlier sets with the No. 330 fixed Tee-handle. This change is believed to have occurred slightly after the adoption of the removable tray. A more minor change was the replacement of the screwdriver bits in earlier sets with an offset screwdriver, also occurring around the introduction of the tray.

After this brief introduction, the figures below will first cover the contents of the earlier sets. As time allows, we hope to add an example of one of the later sets as well.

[Mossberg No. 14 Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 56. Mossberg No. 14 Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1916-1917.

Fig. 56 shows a Mossberg No. 14 pressed-steel socket set in the earlier version, with tool storage in both the bottom half and top lid of the wooden case.

The drive tools in the set consist of a No. 350 ratchet, No. 320 Ell-handle, No. 340 "Take-down" Tee-handle, No. 351 extension, and a No. 336 universal. The tools are shown in greater detail in a Fig. 58 below.

The standard sockets in the set include 23 hex sizes ranging from 5/16 to 1-9/32, plus 11 square sizes from 13/32 to 1-9/32. In addition, the set specifications include three spark-plug (deep) sockets with sizes 29/32, 1-1/32, and 1-5/32. The sockets in the set are listed in greater detail in Fig. 58 below.

The sockets are all stamped with the fractional size and M-Diamond logo, and most of the sockets have the markings stamped on one face of the base.

The set also specified three screwdriver bits, of which two are shown in the upper left corner of the bottom case.

The tools stored on the lid are described in detail in Fig. 57 below.

The No. 14 set was furnished in a sturdy wooden box made of chestnut lumber. The dimensions are 15.1 inches wide by 9.8 inches deep by 3.0 inches high.

This set was acquired with most of the tools and sockets present, but a few pieces were missing and have been filled in for the photograph. The universal and extension were restored from our inventory, and the No. 320 and No. 340 drive tools have been borrowed from the Mossberg No. 7 Socket Set shown in another figure.

Since the No. 14 set is a bit large to display in a single photograph, we've taken additional shots to show the top and bottom halves in greater detail, as shown in the next two figures.

[Detail of Lid Tool Storage for Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set]
Fig. 57. Detail of Lid Tool Storage for Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set, ca. 1916-1917.

Fig. 57 shows the tools stored on the lid of the No. 14 socket set.

At the far left is the No. 470 Alligator Wrench, called a "pipe wrench" by the catalog in a fit of marketing hyperbole.

The center section has five storage slots for open-end wrenches. From the top down the models and sizes are No. 210 (1/4x5/16), No. 224 (3/8x7/16, missing), No. 235 (1/2x9/16), No. 253 (5/8x3/4), and No. 275 (7/8x1). These five models were also available separately as Mossberg's No. 1 Open-End Wrench Set.

On the right side are the Cotter Pin Puller and a slot for the missing No. 100 combination pliers.

The tools are secured in the storage slots by rotating latches with a nicely embossed fleur-de-lis pattern.

[Detail of Bottom Half Storage for Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set]
Fig. 58. Detail of Bottom Half Storage for Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set, ca. 1916-1917.

Fig. 58 shows the bottom half of the No. 14 socket set in greater detail.

The drive tools in the lower right corner consist of (from the top down) a No. 350 ratchet, the handle for the No. 340 "Take-down" Tee-handle, a No. 351 extension, a No. 320 Ell-handle, and the drive bar for the No. 340 Tee-handle. The No. 336 universal appears to the left of the drive tools.

The sockets in the set include 23 hex sizes and 11 square sizes. The hex socket sizes are 5/16, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16, 15/32, 1/2, 17/32, 19/32, 5/8,21/32, 11/16, 23/32, 25/32, 13/16, 27/32, 7/8, 29/32, 31/32, 1 Inch, 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32.

The square socket sizes are, starting at the second from the left in the front row, 13/32, 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 21/32, 23/32, 25/32, 29/32, 1-1/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32.

The set specifications include three spark-plug (deep) sockets with sizes 29/32, 1-1/32, and 1-5/32, but the sizes shown are 29/32 (left) and 31/32 (right).


No. 30 Pressed-Steel Socket Wrench Set

The next two figures illustrate the Mossberg No. 30 socket set, a compact collection intended for Ford owners.

[Mossberg No. 30 Socket Set]
Fig. 59. Mossberg No. 30 Socket Set, ca. 1915-1917.

Fig. 59 shows a Mossberg No. 30 socket set in a cloth-covered wooden box, consisting of a No. 355 ratchet handle, No. 336 universal, No. 351 extension, and eleven pressed-steel sockets of various types. The set is marked on the top cover with the embossed (not printed) text "Guaranteed Socket Wrench Set", followed by the M-Diamond logo and model number, with "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." at the bottom.

The sockets in the bottom row begin at the left with a 19/32 square and a Ford special oval socket, followed by eight standard hex sockets with sizes 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 21/32, 23/32, 25/32, 29/32, and 31/32. The set also includes a 31/32 deep spark plug socket. All of the sockets are marked with the Mossberg M-Diamond logo and fractional size, except that the special oval socket omits the size marking.

[Top View of Mossberg No. 30 Socket Set]
Fig. 60. Top View of Mossberg No. 30 Socket Set, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1915-1917.

Fig. 60 shows a top view of the Mossberg No. 30 socket set, together with an inset showing the embossed marking on the ends of the set. Each end is marked with "No. 30 Socket Wrench Set" above the M-Diamond logo, with "Made By Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." at the bottom.

The dimensions of the box are 10.2 inches long by 3.3 inches wide by 2.8 inches high.

The ratchet in this set is marked with a patent pending notation (see figure below), suggesting that this set was among the earlier production of this model. The earliest known commercial reference to the No. 30 set is in a 1917 issue of The Fordowner, leading to an estimated production date of 1915-1917 for this set.

The No. 30 socket set was similar to Mossberg's earlier No. 15 (or 15A) sets, but included a non-reversible ratchet for slightly lower cost.


No. 355 11/16-Drive (Non-Reversible) Ratchet

[Mossberg No. 355 Ratchet]
Fig. 61. Mossberg No. 355 Ratchet, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 61 shows the Mossberg No. 355 non-reversible ratchet from the No. 30 set, stamped "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo, and with a "Pat. Pend." notice.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The No. 355 ratchet is similar to the well-known Mossberg No. 350 Ratchet, but is slightly shorter and does not have a reversing mechanism.

The patent corresponding to the pending status is probably patent #1,165,995, filed in 1915 and issued late in that year. This patent describes the construction of a simple and inexpensive ratchet and is best known for its use with the Mossberg 645 Ford Reverse and Brake Ratchet.

The identification of the patent for the No. 355 model is somewhat uncertain, as no examples of this ratchet are known to have a patent date marking. However, since the No. 355 ratchet was intended as a lower-cost model, and the ratchet is known to have been offered as early as 1916, the #1,165,995 patent seems to be the likely choice.

A later example of the No. 355 ratchet can be seen as the Mossberg No. 355 Ratchet from a No. 13 socket set.


[No. 351] 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension from No. 30 Set

[Mossberg No. 351 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension from No. 30 Set]
Fig. 62. Mossberg [No. 351] 11/16-Drive 9 Inch Extension from No. 30 Set, ca. 1915-1917.

Fig. 62 shows the 11/16-drive 9 inch extension from the No. 30 set, unmarked but identified as No. 351 in the catalogs.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is black paint.

This extension is very similar to the Mossberg No. 351 Extension in an earlier figure, but is unmarked and has a painted finish instead of nickel plating.


Pressed-Steel Hex Sockets from No. 30 Set

[Mossberg Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 30 Set]
Fig. 63. Mossberg Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 30 Set, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1915-1917.

Fig. 63 shows the five largest hex sockets from the Mossberg No. 30 set, each stamped with the fractional size and the M-Diamond logo. The socket sizes are, from the left, 21/32, 23/32, 25/32, 29/32, and 31/32.

The finish is black paint.

The inset at the top shows the M-Diamond logo stamped on the base of each socket. Note that the axis of the logo is perpendicular to the axis of the socket, a detail found on later Mossberg production.


General Service and Automotive Specialty Tools


Open-End Wrenches

Mossberg began offering open-end wrenches as early as 1910, with seven models listed in the catalog No. 12 from that year. The wrenches were offered under the title "Mossberg Double End Angle Wrenches", with sizes and models 1/4x5/16 (210), 3/8x7/16 (220), 1/2x9/16 (230), 5/8x3/4 (240), 7/8x1 (250), 1x1-1/16 (260), and 1-1/8x1-1/4 (270).

In later years the selection of sizes was increased substantially, and the model numbers were reworked to keep the standard double-open wrenches in the 2xx model series. For example, the 7/8x1 size was initially model number 250, but later became model number 275.

Mossberg open-end wrenches were constructed of stamped steel, then hardened and tempered. The 1910 catalog offered two finish options, semi-finished and polished nickel.


210 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 210 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 64. Mossberg No. 210 1/4x5/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 64 at the left shows a Mossberg No. 210 1/4x5/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 3.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench was acquired as part of a Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set shown in an earlier figure.


221 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 221 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 65. Mossberg No. 221 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 65 shows a Mossberg No. 221 5/16x13/32 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with the M-Diamond logo on each side of the model number.

The overall length is 3.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


232 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 232 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 66. Mossberg No. 232 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 66 at the left shows a Mossberg No. 232 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with the M-Diamond logo on each side of the model number.

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


234 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 234 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 67. Mossberg No. 234 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 67 shows a Mossberg No. 234 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with the model number and two M-Diamond logos.

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


235 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 235 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 68. Mossberg No. 235 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 68 shows a Mossberg No. 235 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with the model number and two M-Diamond logos.

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

Although acquired separately, this wrench was one of the models shown with the Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set in an earlier figure.


240 1/2x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 240 1/25/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 69. Mossberg No. 240 1/2x5/8 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 69 shows a Mossberg No. 240 1/2x5/8 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked "M'f'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number.

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


242 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 242 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 70. Mossberg No. 242 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 70 shows a Mossberg No. 242 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked "M'f'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The inset shows the rough edges of the wrench left by the stamping operation.


243 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 243 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 71. Mossberg No. 243 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 71 shows a Mossberg No. 243 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number.

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


253 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Mossberg No. 253 wrench model.

[Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 72. Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 72 shows a Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

This wrench is more finely finished than was typical for the Mossberg stamped wrenches. The edges have been ground to a slightly convex contour (see top inset), and the faces of the wrench have been polished.

This wrench was acquired as part of a Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set shown in an earlier figure.


[Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 73. Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 73 shows a Mossberg No. 253 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with M-Diamond logos on either side of the model number.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


260-A 5/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 260-A 5/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 74. Mossberg No. 260-A 5/8x15/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 74 shows a Mossberg No. 260-A 5/8x15/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


262 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 262 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 75. Mossberg No. 262 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 75 shows a Mossberg No. 262 11/16x25/32 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with the model number and two M-Diamond logos on the shank.

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


275 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 275 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 76. Mossberg No. 275 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 76 shows a Mossberg No. 275 7/8x1 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench was acquired as part of a Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set shown in an earlier figure.


715B 1/2x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 715B 1/2x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 77. Mossberg No. 715B 1/2x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 77 shows a Mossberg No. 715B 1/2x11/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Tappet Wrenches


201 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench

[Mossberg No. 201 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 78. Mossberg No. 201 3/8x7/16 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 78 shows a Mossberg No. 201 3/8x7/16 tappet wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Mossberg Tappet Set" and the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


204 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Mossberg No. 204 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 79. Mossberg No. 204 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 79 shows a Mossberg No. 204 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Mossberg Tappet Set" and the M-Diamond logo.

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


205 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Mossberg No. 205 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 80. Mossberg No. 205 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 80 shows a Mossberg No. 205 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Mossberg Tappet Set" and the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.


Other Wrench Styles


1235 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg No. 1235 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 81. Mossberg No. 1235 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 81 shows a Mossberg No. 1235 1/2x9/16 S-shaped wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with two M-Diamond logos flanking the model number, with "Made in U.S.A." below.

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


540 5/8 Single Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg 551 25/32 Single Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 82. Mossberg 550 5/8 Single Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 82 shows a Mossberg 540 5/8 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with two M-Diamond logos flanking the model number, with "M'f'd by Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


551 25/32 Single Open-End Wrench

[Mossberg 551 25/32 Single Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 83. Mossberg 551 25/32 Single Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 83 shows a Mossberg 551 25/32 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


470 Alligator Wrench

[Mossberg 470 Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 84. Mossberg 470 Alligator Wrench.

Fig. 84 shows a Mossberg 470 alligator wrench of stamped steel construction, stamped with two M-Diamond logos.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel, with minor pitting due to rust.

This tool was acquired as part of a Mossberg No. 14 socket set.


Cotter Pin Puller

[Mossberg Cotter Pin Puller]
Fig. 85. Mossberg Cotter Pin Puller.

Fig. 85 shows a Mossberg cotter pin puller, marked with two M-Diamond logos stamped on the shank.

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

This tool was acquired as part of a Mossberg No. 14 Socket Set shown in an earlier figure.


Fixed Socket Wrenches


Early 17/32x21/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 17/32x21/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench]
Fig. 86. Mossberg 17/32x21/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench, with Insets for Socket Detail, ca. 1910-1918.

Fig. 86 shows a Mossberg 17/32x21/32 double socket wrench with a Z-shaped handle, marked with the M-Diamond logo on the shank and sockets.

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

As can be seen from the photograph, this wrench was constructed by crimping two pressed-steel sockets to a bent steel handle.

This wrench was one of the tools included in the Mossberg No. 17 wrench kit for the Ford Model T, a set of five fixed socket wrenches in a canvas roll. The No. 17 set is listed for $2.00 in a 1916 Central Automobile Supply catalog.


Early 23/32x25/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 23/32x25/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench]
Fig. 87. Mossberg 23/32x25/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench, with Insets for Socket Detail, ca. 1910-1918.

Fig. 87 shows another example of the Z-shaped wrenches, a Mossberg 23/32x25/32 double socket wrench of pressed-steel construction, marked with the M-Diamond logo on the shank and sockets.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The 23/32 and 25/32 socket openings on this wrench were intended for servicing 11/16 and 3/4 nut sizes, respectively, as pressed-steel sockets were always specified 1/32 oversize. This wrench was one of the tools included in the Mossberg No. 17 wrench kit for the Ford Model T, a set of five fixed socket wrenches in a canvas roll. The No. 17 set was offered with a list price of $2.00 in the 1916 Central Automobile Supply catalog.


Early 19/32x19/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 19/32x19/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench]
Fig. 88. Mossberg 19/32x19/32 Z-Shaped Double Socket Wrench, with Insets for Socket Detail, ca. 1916-1918.

Fig. 88 shows another example of the Mossberg Z-shaped wrenches, a double socket wrench with 19/32 sockets of square and oval cross-section, stamped with the M-Diamond logo on the shank.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench was intended for servicing the Model T main bearings, which used oval-shaped nuts on earlier models and square nuts after around 1916.

This wrench was one of the tools included in the Mossberg No. 17 wrench kit for the Ford Model T, a set of five fixed socket wrenches in a canvas roll.

Mossberg 623 5/8 Socket Wrench

The next two figures show examples of the Mossberg 623 socket wrench, designed with an offset handle in order to service the infamous 4th connecting rod of the Model T.

[Mossberg 623 5/8 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 89. Mossberg 623 5/8 Socket Wrench, with Inset for Detail.

Fig. 89 shows a Mossberg 623 5/8 hex socket wrench with an offset curled-bar handle, designed for Model T connecting rod service. The wrench is marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A.", with "Made in U.S.A." and the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is a heavy nickel plating.

The offset handle was designed for clearance in connecting-rod applications.

[Mossberg 623 5/8 Connecting Rod Socket Wrench]
Fig. 90. Mossberg 623 5/8 Connecting Rod Socket Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 90 shows a later Mossberg 623 5/8 hex socket wrench, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 11.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The offset shank of this wrench was designed to clear obstacles when servicing the fourth connecting rod of the Model T Ford.


Mossberg 624 5/8 Ratcheting Socket Wrench

Our next figure shows the fancy version of a connecting-rod wrench, with a built-in ratchet for more convenient operation.

[Mossberg 624 5/8 Ratcheting Socket Wrench]
Fig. 91. Mossberg 624 5/8 Ratcheting Socket Wrench, with Inset for Top View.

Fig. 91 shows a Mossberg 624 5/8 ratcheting socket wrench, marked "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 10.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

The ratchet mechanism is similar to that used on older bit braces, with dual pawls alternately deactivated by a rotating ring. The selector ring actually has three modes of operation, with one position leaving both pawls engaged so that the socket is locked in place.

Mossberg 2149 3/4 Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 2149 3/4 Offset Socket Wrench]
Fig. 92. Mossberg 2149 3/4 Offset Socket Wrench, with Inset for Construction Detail.

Fig. 92 shows a Mossberg 2149 offset socket wrench with a 3/4 hex opening, stamped "Mossberg Corp." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is a heavy nickel plating.

The inset shows the hex opening forged into the handle.


Mossberg 630 (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 630 (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench]
Fig. 93. Mossberg 630 (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1915 to 1920s.

Fig. 93 shows a Mossberg 630 triple socket wrench with (measured) sizes (1/2x5/8)x5/8, stamped with the model number and two M-Diamond logos on the shank.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The Mossberg 630 triple socket wrench was a popular tool for Model T service, and the catalog recommended it for cylinder head bolts and rear axle housing nuts.

The Walden equivalent of this model can be seen as the Walden 1620 "Tomahawk" Triple Socket Wrench.


Specialty Tools


645 11/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench for Ford Reverse and Brake Bands

[Mossberg 645 11/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 94. Mossberg 645 11/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 94 shows a Mossberg 645 11/16 ratcheting box wrench intended for servicing the Model T reverse and brake bands. The handle is stamped "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo, and the application is noted as "For Ford Reverse & Brake Pedal Bands".

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

The wrench is also marked with a "Pat. Dec. 28, 1915" patent notice, which corresponds to patent #1,165,995. The patent describes the construction of a simple and inexpensive ratchet, as needed for the high-volume but cost sensitive Model T tools market.


No. 654 Valve Spring Lifter

[Mossberg No. 654 Valve Spring Lifter]
Fig. 95. Mossberg No. 654 Valve Spring Lifter, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1914 to 1920s.

Fig. 95 shows an early Mossberg No. 654 valve spring lifter, stamped "Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo, and with a "Pat. Jul. 28, 14" patent notice.

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

The patent date corresponds to patent #1,105,096, filed by S.C. North in 1912 and issued in 1914.


No. 655 Valve Spring Lifter

[Mossberg No. 655 Valve Spring Lifter]
Fig. 96. Mossberg No. 655 Valve Spring Lifter, with Inset Marking Detail.

Fig. 96 shows a Mossberg No. 655 valve spring lifter, stamped "M'F'D By Frank Mossberg Co." and "Attleboro, Mass. U.S.A." with M-Diamond logos on each side.

The overall length is 11.5 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear and rust.


Mossberg 631 Ratcheting Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 631 19/32x5/8 Ratcheting Double-Socket Wrench]
Fig. 97. Mossberg 631 19/32x5/8 Ratcheting Double-Socket Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 97 shows a Mossberg 631 double-socket ratcheting wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the M-Diamond logo. The socket sizes were measured as 19/32 and 5/8 (or possibly 21/32).

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is polished nickel plating.

The ratchet action can be reversed by using the rod extending from the handle. The rod is first pulled out slightly, and then turned to reverse the ratchet direction. Although the ratchet mechanism is fairly coarse with only 7 teeth, it still offers greater convenience than a fixed socket wrench.

The dual socket unit is held in place by a spring circlip, suggesting that the tool may have had interchangeable socket sizes available. (No catalog reference has been found yet for this model.)


Mossberg "Ford" 5-Z-161 11/16 Tee Socket Wrench

[Mossberg 5-Z-161 11/16 Tee Socket Wrench]
Fig. 98. Mossberg 5-Z-161 11/16 Tee Socket Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 98 shows a Mossberg 5-Z-161 11/16 hex Tee socket wrench made as a Ford service tool, stamped "5-Z-161" with the Ford script logo and M-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 12.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of metal plating.


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