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Packer Auto Specialty Company

The Packer Auto Specialty Company was incorporated in Chicago in 1912 as a maker of socket sets and automotive accessories. The company took its name from Eben R. Packer, an inventor with numerous patents for automotive tools and railroad equipment.

[1912 Notice for Packer Auto Specialty]
1912 Notice for Packer Auto Specialty. [External Link]

The small notice at the left was published on page 1099 of the May 9, 1912 issue of Automotive Industries and notes the founding of the company with $2500 of capital stock. The founders are listed as William Bangs, Laird Bell, and William C. Bayden.

[1913 Notice for Ray Socket Set]
1913 Notice for "Ray" Socket Set. [External Link]

The notice at the left appeared on page 1201 of the May 23, 1912 issue of The Automobile. The text describes an early "Ray" socket wrench set with a barrel-type ratchet and twelve sockets, and the illustration includes details of the ratchet construction. The company address is given as the Old Colony Building in Chicago.

A 1913 report from the Illinois Secretary of State listed the company's incorporation date as April 29, 1912.

[1917 Notice for Packer Auto Socket Set]
1917 Notice for Packer Auto Socket Set. [External Link]

The notice at the left appeared on page 46 of the January 1, 1917 issue of The Horseless Age and describes a Packer Auto "Ray" socket set in a roll-up canvas carrier.

Packer Auto Specialty remained in operation under this name until 1927, at which time it merged with two other companies to form a new corporation. A 1927 issue of American Exporter notes the three-way merger of Packer Auto Specialty, George H. Rives Manufacturing, and the Standard Motor Part Company to form the Auto Accessories Corporation of America. The notice offered copies of the new company's catalog listing their combined products, including "Ray" brand socket wrenches.


Trademarks

Packer Auto sold its products under the "Ray" trademark. This trademark is believed to have been issued on May 11, 1920 as #131,359; however, for some reason the document is not available from the USPTO and so has not been verified.


Ray (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench

[Ray 654 (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench]
Fig. 183. Ray 654 (1/2x5/8)x5/8 Triple Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 183 shows a Ray (1/2x5/8)x5/8 triple socket wrench, stamped with "Ray" and the fractional sizes on the shank.

The overall length is 10.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.


Page-Storms Drop Forge Company

The Page-Storms Drop Forge Company was founded in 1902 by Edward C. Page and Frank F. Storms, with operations in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The company operated primarily as a merchant drop forger, but also produced a line of open-end and pipe wrenches.

In 1919 Page-Storms was acquired by the Moore Drop Forging Company of nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.

[1919 Advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge]
1919 Advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge. [External Link]

The illustration at the left shows an advertisement for Page-Storms Drop Forge from the October 1919 issue of The American Drop Forger.


Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench for Crompton & Knowles

[Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 184. Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 184 shows a Page-Storms 3/4x13/16 open-end wrench made for Crompton & Knowles, stamped "Crompton & Knowles Loom Works" on the shank, with the PS-Oval logo on the reverse face.

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


Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench for Crompton & Knowles

[Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench]
Fig. 185. Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 Toolpost Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 185 shows a Page-Storms 7/16x1/2 toolpost wrench made for Crompton & Knowles, stamped "Crompton & Knowles Loom Works" on the shank, with the PS-Oval logo on the reverse face.

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


Palmer Brothers Company

The Palmer Brothers Company operated in Meadville, Pennsylvania and is currently known only for their "Welloct" brand of pliers of patented construction.


Palmer Brothers "Welloct" No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers

[Palmer Brothers Welloct No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers]
Fig. 186. Palmer Brothers "Welloct" No. 207 Slip-Joint Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 186 shows a pair of "Welloct" No. 207 slip-joint pliers, stamped "U.S. Pat. 2152563" near the pivot joint, with "Palmer Brothers" and "Meadville, PA." on the reverse.

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

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, with the dimple-like pattern on the handles somewhat similar to the well-known "Vacuum Grip" pattern.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,152,563, issued to Robert W. Palmer and John P. Palmer in 1939. The patent describes pliers made with a forged tab on one handle operating in a slot in the other handle, effectively providing a slip-joint function without using a special bolt.


Park Metalware Company

Park Metalware was a small tool maker operating in Orchard Park, New York. During the 1920s the company developed and patented a line of interchangeable open-end wrenches, and produced other tools including the adjustable drain-plug wrench shown below.

Park sold its tools under the XCEL brand, and later used the brand name Xcelite for a line of screwdrivers and nut drivers. The Xcelite brand continues today as part of the Cooper Tools conglomerate.

Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench

[Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench]
Fig. 187. Park Metalware Adjustable Drain-Plug Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 187 shows a Park adjustable socket wrench for drain-plug service, marked "Park Metalware Co." and "Orchard Park, N.Y. U.S.A." on the rotating handle, though the markings are very faint due to wear and rust.

The overall length (when retracted) is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked on this example, this wrench design is covered by patent #1,639,831, issued to J. Zilliox in 1927.

Readers familiar with our Blackhawk article will undoubtedly recognize the similarities between this tool and the Blackhawk 151 "Adjusto" Wrench shown in that article. The Park tool preceded the Blackhawk model by some number of years, and clearly must have influenced the Blackhawk design.


Peerless Wrench Company

The Peerless Wrench Company was founded in 1919 and operated in Providence, Rhode Island. Based on a published report by the Rhode Island Secretary of State, the founders were Anthony M. Cunha, Florence E. Allen, and William D. Whipple, and the company's certificate of incorporation was issued on July 21, 1919. The stated business activities were manufacturing, buying, and selling of wrenches, tools, and other metal products.

Aside from the incorporation notice, we haven't been able to find many published references to Peerless Wrench, suggesting that the company probably had a relatively short life.

The company's most notable product was a distinctive rotating-head ratchet, for which Anthony M. Cunha had received patent #1,307,485 in 1919. In addition to the rotating head, the ratchet also incorporated an advanced progressive-engagement pawl mechanism. This innovative design was an milestone in the development of ratchets, and influenced later (and better known) models such as the OTC H-160 Flex Ratchet and S-K Roto-Ratchet.

In the late 1920s the Apco-Mossberg company offered its own version of the Peerless ratchet as a Ford connecting rod wrench. The Apco-Mossberg version of the ratchet has "APCO" instead of "Peerless" forged into the handle.


Peerless Wrench 1/2-Hex Drive Rotating-Head Ratchet

[Peerless 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet]
Fig. 188. "Peerless" 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 188 shows a 1/2-hex drive Peerless Wrench rotating-head ratchet of the Cunha patented design, marked with the patent notice "Pat'd June 24, 1919 March 1, 1921" forged into the shank. The rotating head is fitted with a hex drive stud that can be pushed through to reverse the operation.

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

The first patent date refers to patent #1,307,485, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1918 and issued in 1919.

The second date refers to patent #1,370,194, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1919 and issued in 1921. This later patent described a removeable accessory handle that could be added to the base ratchet to form a Tee handle.

This ratchet was acquired as part of a "Service" socket set in a metal case, but this tool was the only marked piece in the set. The generic markings of the set suggest that it was made as contract production for another company, possibly a large retail operation.


APCO Cunha Patent 1/2-Hex Drive Rotating-Head Ratchet

[APCO 1/2-Hex Drive Cunha Patent Ratchet]
Fig. 189. APCO Cunha Patent 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. Late 1920s.

Fig. 189 shows the APCO version of the Cunha patent rotating-head ratchet, marked with "APCO" forged into the shank, with "Pat'd June 24, 1919 March 1, 1921" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent #1,307,485, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1918 and issued in 1919.

The second date refers to patent #1,370,194, filed by A.M. Cunha in 1919 and issued in 1921. This later patent described a removeable accessory handle that could be added to the base ratchet to form a Tee handle.


Rex Wrench Company

The Rex Wrench Company was the maker of distinctive "T-Socket" wrench sets with interchangeable sockets or wrench heads. A 1909 edition of the Motor Cyclopedia listed the company as a maker of socket wrenches with an address at 184 Summer Street, Boston, and with J. Frank Torbert as the company president. A 1909 report from the Massachusetts Tax Commissioner gives December 11, 1907 as the certification date for the corporation.

The Rex Wrench tools were based on patent #820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands in 1904 and issued on May 8, 1906. The patent document clearly illustrates the operation of a Tee handle with insertable socket heads, with the connection to the handle allowing several angular offsets.

The Rex Wrench Company had only a relatively short life, as the corporation was dissolved in 1916, according to a 1916 report of Special Acts by the General Court of Massachusetts.

[1909 Advertisement for Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set]
1909 Advertisement for Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set. [External Link]

The advertisement at the left was published on page 262 of the June 1, 1909 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal. The illustration shows their "Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set" on top, with a set of open-end wrenches partially visible on the bottom. The text notes that the tools are drop forged from carbon steel.

[1909 Advertisement for Rex T-Socket Wrench Set]
1909 Advertisement for Rex Wrench Set. [External Link]

Another advertisement for Rex Wrench sets can be seen at the left, with this one published on page 23 of the July 9, 1909 issue of The Horseless Age. The text describes the Rex Wrench set and illustrates a set with open-end wrench heads. The wrench heads (or other attachments) all have an integral hook-shaped drive tang which fits into a special Tee handle.


Rex Wrench "T" Adjustable Socket Wrench Set

[Rex Wrench T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set]
Fig. 190. Rex Wrench "T" Adjustable Socket Wrench Set, ca. 1907-1916.

Fig. 190 shows a Rex Wrench "T" socket wrench set, consisting of a Tee handle, crossbar, eight hex socket heads, an open-end wrench head, and a screwdriver head.

The inside of the lid is marked "Rex T Adjustable Socket Wrench Set" in a curved arc, with "Patented May 8th, 1906" just below, and with "Made by Rex Wrench Co." and "Boston, Mass." at the bottom.

The patent date refers to patent #820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands 1904 and issued in 1906.


Rex Wrench Tee Handle from "T" Adjustable Set

[Rex Wrench Tee Handle]
Fig. 191. Rex Wrench Tee Handle from "T" Adjustable Set, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1907-1916.

Fig. 191 shows the Rex Wrench Tee handle from the "T" adjustable set, stamped with a "Pat'd. May 6, '06" patent date on the reverse.

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

The upper inset shows the construction of the drive head. The cross-bar serves to retain the socket or wrench head in the drive end, and the spring-loaded plunger holds the head in the desired position.

The patent date refers to patent #820,185, filed by J.W. Edmands 1904 and issued in 1906.


Richards Manufacturing Company

The Richards Manufacturing Company was founded in Aurora, Illinois and was in operation by 1904 or earlier. The company's earliest products included ball-bearing door hangers and foot-powered grindstones, but their best known product was probably the "Wizard" adjustable ratchet wrench, which was in production by 1908.

In 1910 Richards Manufacturing merged with the Wilcox Manufacturing Company to form the Richards-Wilcox Manufacturing Company. The combined companies produced several types of wrenches in addition to the "Wizard" wrench, including a "Shark" adjustable pipe wrench, a "Yankee" monkey wrench, and various farm implement wrenches.

Interestingly, Richards-Wilcox remains in business today as a maker of overhead conveyor systems and door hardware, and readers can visit their web site at Richards-Wilcox for more information.

[1909 Advertisement for Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench]
1909 Advertisement for Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench. [External Link]

The advertisement at the left appeared in the January 1909 issue of The American Blacksmith and shows an illustration of the Wizard wrench. A separate notice in the same publication describes the advantages of the wrench and claims that several thousand wrenches had been sold by that time.

Richards "Wizard" Adjustable Ratchet Wrench

[Richards Wizard Adjustable Ratchet Wrench]
Fig. 192. Richards "Wizard" Adjustable Ratchet Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side Views, ca. 1908-1910.

Fig. 192 shows a Richards "Wizard" adjustable ratchet wrench, stamped with "The Richards Mfg. Co." and "Aurora, Ill." on the face, with "Patented May 21, '07" and "Other Pats Pending" patent notices.

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

The patent date refers to patent #854,174, filed by J.N. Noyer in 1906 and issued 1907.


Ridge Tool Company

The Ridge Tool Company is best known as the maker of Ridgid brand pipe wrenches.

Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 193. Ridgid 10 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 193 shows a Ridgid 10 inch pipe wrench, marked "Trade Mark" and "Pat. 1727623", with "The Ridge Tool Co." and "Elyria, O. U.S.A." on the reverse.

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

This wrench is covered by patent #1,727,623, issued to W.O. Thewes in 1929.

Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench

[Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 194. Ridgid 6 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 194 shows a somewhat later Ridgid 6 inch pipe wrench, marked with the Ridgid trademark and "Pat. 1727623", with "Ridge Tool Co." and "Elyria, O. U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.5 inches closed and 6.5 inches fully extended. The finish is the familiar red paint.

Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

Some readers may be surprised to learn that Ridge Tool also made Stillson-pattern pipe wrenches. The next figure shows an example, not marked with a company name but identified via the patent marking.

[Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 195. Ridge Tool 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench.

Fig. 195 shows a Stillson-pattern 8 inch pipe wrench, marked "Improved Stillson" and "Made in U.S.A" in forged raised letters, and with a "Pat. No. 2076830" patent notice.

The overall length is 7.0 inches closed and 8.1 inches fully extended, and the finish is red paint.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,076,830, issued to W.O. Thewes in 1937 with assignment to Ridge Tool.

Ritco 1033C Open-End Wrench

Ridge Tool is best known for their Ridgid trademark, but the company also sold tools under the "Ritco" brand.

[Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 196. Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 196 shows a Ritco 1033C 15/16x1 open-end wrench, stamped with the Ritco logo on the face. The shank is marked with "Chrome Alloy" in forged raised letters, with "Made in U.S.A" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Robert Wrench Company

The Robert Wrench Company was a short-lived tool company operating in New York City, known primarily as the maker of a patented self-adjusting pipe wrench. The wrench patent was issued to Frederic P. Robert in 1922, but by 1926 the patents and production of Robert Wrench had been acquired by the Hoe Corporation.


Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 197. Robert Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 197 shows a Robert self-adjusting pipe wrench, with forged-in markings "Patented & Patents Pending" on one side, and with "Robert Wrench Co. N.Y." on the reverse.

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

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


Rogers, Printz & Company

Rogers, Printz & Company was a maker of wedge-adjusting wrenches, founded around 1909 in Warren, Pennsylvania. The company's products were based on patents by John R. Long, initially on the earlier patent #890,146, filed in 1908 and issued on June 9, 1908. Later products used patent #955,974, filed in 1909 and issued on April 26, 1910.

Similar wedge-adjusting wrenches based on the Long patents were later made by the Standard Wrench & Tool Company.


Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench

[Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 198. Rogers Printz 4 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1908-1909.

Fig. 198 shows an early Rogers Printz 4 inch wedge-adjusting bicycle wrench, produced as a souvenir for the Hudson-Fulton event of September 1909. The wrench is stamped "Souvenir Hudson-Fulton Celebration" and "New York, Sept. 25, '09" on the front, with "Mfg'd By Rogers, Printz & Company" and "Warren, PA." on the back, along with a "Pat'd June 9, 1908" patent date.

The overall length is 4.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent #890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908 and issued later that year.

The markings on this wrench for both the patent date and the souvenir event date indicate a manufacturing date between June 1908 and September 1909, a fairly precise estimate for a tool more than 100 years old.

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration was an event commemorating the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson river, together with the (approximate) 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton's successful demonstration of a steamboat on the Hudson river. Further information on this event can be found in an article on Robert Fulton published in the September 25, 1909 edition of Scientific American.


Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench

[Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 199. Rogers Printz 8 Inch Wedge-Adjusting Bicycle Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1910+.

Fig. 199 shows a Rogers Printz 8 inch wedge-adjusting bicycle wrench, marked with "Rogers Printz & Company" and "Warren PA." forged into the handle, with "Drop Forged Steel" forged into the reverse. The sliding sheath is stamped with "FitZAll" and "Trade Mark" in a diamond outline, along with a "Patented June 9, 1908 Apr. 26 1910" patent notice.

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

The first patent date refers to patent #890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908 and issued later that year. The second patent date refers to patent #955,974, filed by J.R. Long in 1909 and issued in 1910.


W.E. Rosel Company

The W.E. Rosel Company was a maker of automotive specialty tools operating in Columbus, Ohio. The company is currently known only for its "5 In 1" tool, which combined a spark-plug wrench, alligator wrench, and gap-setting gauge.


Rosel "5 In 1" Specialty Wrench

[Rosel 5 In 1 Specialty Wrench]
Fig. 200. Rosel "5 In 1" Specialty Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1919 to Early 1920s.

Fig. 200 shows a Rosel "5 In 1" specialty wrench, marked with "W.E. Rosel" and "Col. O." cast into the shank, with "5 In 1 Tool" and "Pat July 22 1919" cast into the reverse.

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

The patent date refers to design patent #D53,641, filed by W.E. Rosel in 1919 and issued later that year.


Scholler Manufacturing Company

The Scholler Manufacturing Company operated in Buffalo, New York as a maker of adjustable wrenches and possibly other tools. Published references indicate that the company was in operation during the 1916-1918 time frame, but otherwise we don't have any specific information for the company.


Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 202A. Scholler 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 202A shows a Scholler 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the Scholler name forged into the handle, with "Scholler Mfg. Co. Inc." and "Buffalo N.Y." forged into the reverse.

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

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thick head and stepped rectangular keyway.


Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 202B. Scholler 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 202B shows a Scholler 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked with the Scholler name forged into the handle, with "The Scholler Mfg. Co." and "Buffalo N.Y." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.3 inches. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thick head and stepped rectangular keyway.


William Schollhorn Company

The William Schollhorn Company of New Haven, Connecticut was a well-known maker of parallel-jaw pliers and other tools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was incorporated in 1891 and remained active through the first part of the 20th century, and was eventually acquired by the Sargent Company in 1948.

Schollhorn is probably best known for its distinctive parallel-jaw pliers, produced under the numerous patents issued to W.A. Bernard. These pliers featured precisely-formed sheet metal handles with embossed designs, a type of construction that offered lighter weight and lower cost than comparable forged handles.


Schollhorn "Bernard" 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers with Cutters

[Schollhorn Bernard 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers]
Fig. 203. Schollhorn Bernard 4 Inch Parallel-Jaw Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail.

Fig. 203 shows a pair of Schollhorn "Bernard" 4 Inch parallel-jaw pliers with cutting blades on the side. The pliers are stamped "W. Schollhorn Co." and "New Haven, Conn." around the pivot, with "Made in U.S.A." above and "Pat. 6-17-1913" below. (The Schollhorn name is partially obscured by rust.)

The handles are also stamped "Bernard" in a center panel, a reference to the inventor of these and many other similar models.

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

The patent date refers to patent #1,064,956, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1907 but not issued until 1913. The patent describes a method of forming sheet-metal handles for pliers.


Schollhorn "Ideal" Lineman's Pliers

[Schollhorn Ideal Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 204. Schollhorn Ideal Lineman's Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 204 shows a pair of Schollhorn "Ideal" lineman's pliers, stamped "W. Schollhorn Co." and "New Haven, Conn." around the pivot. The handle has a patent notice "Pat. May 2, 1905 Apr. 2, 1907" stamped on the side, and the other handle is stamped "Ideal".

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

The first patent date refers to patent #788,575, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1904 and issued in 1905.

The second date corresponds to patent #848,877, filed by W.A. Bernard in 1905 and issued in 1907.


O.P. Schriver & Company

O.P. Schriver & Company was a maker of pumps and other hardware items operating in Cincinnati, Ohio. A 1906 issue of the Hardware Dealer's Magazine noted the company as a maker of wire cloth and netting, and a 1907 report by the Ohio Secretary of State listed the company's products as "Pumps, etc.", with a capital stock of $20,000. The company's earlier address appears to have been at 208 Elm Street in Cincinnati, but by 1914 the address was being reported as 621 East Pearl Street. A 1918 bulletin by the Industrial Commission of Ohio reported a total of 25 employees at that time.

In later years the company produced a line of chain repair pliers described by patent #1,320,547, issued in 1919 to E.P. Happensack and assigned to the company.


Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers

The next two figures show examples of the Schriver IXL 7 inch pliers, with minor differences in the forged-in markings.

[Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 205. Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers, With Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 205 shows a pair of Schriver IXL 7 inch chain repair pliers, marked with "IXL Chain Plier Patented" and "Malleable Iron" forged into the handles, with "OP Schriver Co. Cin. O." and "1320547" forged into the undersides.

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is plain steel with traces of a coppery paint, although it's not known whether the paint is original.

The pliers are marked with patent #1,320,547, filed by E.F. Happensack in 1919 and issued later that year.

[Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers]
Fig. 206. Schriver IXL 7 Inch Chain Repair Pliers, With Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 206 shows another similar pair of Schriver IXL 7 inch chain repair pliers, marked with "IXL Chain Plier Patented" and "Malleable Iron" forged into the handles, with "OP Schriver Co." and "Cin. O." forged into the undersides.

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

The "Patented" marking refers to patent #1,320,547, filed by E.F. Happensack in 1919 and issued later that year.


R.F. Sedgley, Inc.

R.F. Sedgley, Inc. was founded by the eponymous Reginald F. Sedgley, an inventor with several patents for ratchet wrenches and socket-related tools. The company was located in Philadelphia and probably began operations around 1917.

R.F. Sedgley's best-known products were the line of "HEXALL" brand socket sets, which were offered by a number of industrial distributors in the years before and shortly after 1920.


Sedgley "Hexall" 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet

[R.F. Sedgley Hexall 1/2-Dex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 207. R.F. Sedgley "Hexall" 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1917-1920.

Fig. 207 shows a 1/2-hex drive Sedgley "Hexall" ratchet, marked with "Ratchet Socket Wrench" and "Pat. May 1, 1917" forged into the handle. The reverse is marked "Forged Steel" with "R.F. Sedgley, Inc." and "Phila. PA. U.S.A.", plus another "Hexall" marking.

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

The patent date refers to patent #1,224,223, filed in 1917 by R.F. Sedgley and issued in the same year.


Simplex Wrench Company

The Simplex Wrench Company is known primarily for their distinctive open-end wrenches with stepped sizes and a ratcheting action. These wrenches were offered by Snap-On in their Motor Tool Specialty catalogs of the mid 1920s, giving the company a national footprint for sales.


Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of the Simplex No. 11 wrench, with differences in the markings and alloy steel content.

[Simplex No. 11 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 208. Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 208 shows a Simplex No. 11 ratcheting open-end wrench with depressed panels and numerous forged-in markings. The front is marked "Simplex Ratchet" with "Chrome Vanadium", and the reverse shows "Simplex Wrench Co N.Y." plus patent notices and "Fastnut License".

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel with a few traces of the original nickel plating.

The first patent notice states "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and refers to patent #1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. A second notice states "Other Patents Pending", but the corresponding patents have not yet been found.

[Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 209. Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 209 shows another Simplex No. 11 7/16x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 11 Simplex Ratchet" and "Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the S.A.E. sizes forged into the shank. The reverse side has "Simplex Wrench Co N.Y." plus "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" forged into the panel, with "Fastnut License" and "S.A.E." near the ends.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The patent date refers to patent #1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent #1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are marked "S.A.E. 7/16 1/2-5/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 5/8, 3/4, and 15/16 respectively. The smaller (right) end opening sizes are marked "S.A.E. 1/4 5/16-3/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16 respectively.


Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 210. Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 210 shows a Simplex No. 12 1/2x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 12 Simplex Ratchet" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the front panel, with "S.A.E." and "0" forged at the ends of the shank. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "S.A.E." forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent #1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent #1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

This wrench is unusual in not having the opening sizes forged into the shank. The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are 3/4 and 15/16, and for the smaller (right) end are 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8.


Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 211. Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1924-1927.

Fig. 211 shows a Simplex No. 13 1/2x3/4 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 13 Simplex Ratchet" and "Hi-Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the (S.A.E.) size ranges forged into each end. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "Reilly License" forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The patent date refers to patent #1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922. The pending status refers in part to patent #1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925 and issued in 1927.

The opening sizes for the larger (left) end are marked "S.A.E. 7/16-1/2", corresponding to across-flats sizes 5/8 and 3/4 respectively. The smaller (right) end opening sizes are marked "S.A.E. 5/16-3/8", corresponding to across-flats sizes 1/2 and 9/16 respectively.


Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

[Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 212. Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1927+.

Fig. 212 shows a Simplex No. 14 1/2x15/16 ratcheting open-end wrench, marked with "No. 14 Simplex Ratchet" and "Nickel Molybdenum" forged into the front panel, with the size ranges forged into each end. The reverse panel is marked "Pat. Jan. 1, 1924 & April 27, 1927" and "Other Patents Pending" with "Simplex Wrench Co. N.Y." near the bottom, with "Fastnut License" and "Reilly License" forged near the ends.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent #1,479,772, filed by W.H. Cook in 1922.

The second patent date was apparently intended to refer to patent #1,624,508, filed by F.C. Reilly in 1925, but issued on April 12, 1927 rather than the April 27 date marked on the wrench. (It's not uncommon to find an incorrect patent date on a tool.)

The stepped openings allow the wrench to handle the three nut sizes 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8 on the small end, and two sizes 3/4 and 15/16 on the large end.


Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench

Later production of the Simplex wrenches was marked with the Frank C. Reilly Ltd. company name and used a patent by Reilly.

[Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 213. Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 Ratcheting Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, 1935.

Fig. 213 shows an example of the Reilly production, a Simplex No. 9 5/16x1/2 ratcheting open-end wrench. The wrench is marked with "No. 9 Simplex Ratchet" forged into the front panel, with "Reilly License" and "Fastnut License" forged into the shank. The reverse is marked with "Patent No. 1624508 Other Patents Pending" and "Frank C. Reilly Ltd. N.Y." forged into the depressed panel.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,624,508, issued to F.C. Reilly in 1927. The patents corresponding to the pending status (if issued) are not known.

The stepped openings allow the wrench to handle the sizes 5/16 and 3/8 on the small end, plus sizes 7/16 and 1/2 on the large end.

The front panel of this wrench is also marked with a forged-in code "L:M" which closely resembles a Bonney date code. (Bonney is known to have done contract production for other companies.) Assuming that this is a Bonney date code, it would likely indicate production in 1935.


H.D. Smith Company

The H.D. Smith Company was founded in 1855 in Plantsville, Connecticut. The company operated as a foundry and merchant drop-forger, and in the latter role was possibly the first of many such businesses.

After 1900 tool production became an important part of the company's business, and their best known products became a line of wood-handle tools sold under the "Perfect Handle" brand.


H.D. Smith 660-6 "Perfect Handle" Screwdriver

[H.D. Smith 660-6 Perfect Handle Screwdriver]
Fig. 214. H.D. Smith 660-6 "Perfect Handle" Screwdriver, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 214 shows an H.D. Smith 660-6 flat-tipped screwdriver, marked with the S-Circle logo forged into one side, with "Improved" and "660" plus "Pat Ap'l'd For" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" 8 Inch Monkey Wrench

[H.D. Smith Perfect Handle 8 Inch Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 215. H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" 8 Inch Monkey Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Early 1900s.

Fig. 215 shows an H.D. Smith 8 inch monkey wrench, stamped on the shank with "The H.D. Smith & Co." and "Perfect Handle" in circular arcs, with patent dates and "Made in U.S.A." in the center. (The markings are partially obscured by the moving jaw.)

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

The patent dates are marked "Pat'd Oct. 30-1900 Jan. 15-1901 Feb. 26-1901", with the first date corresponding to design patent #D33,468, issued to Amos Shepard on October 30, 1900. This patent shows a design for the body and handle of a wrench very similar to the present item.


H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" 14 Inch Pipe Wrench

[H.D. Smith Perfect Handle 14 Inch Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 216. H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" 14 Inch Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1914 to 1920s.

Fig. 216 shows an H.D. Smith 14 inch pipe wrench, marked with "Perfect Handle" and "Patented" forged into the shank, with "The H.D. Smith & Co." and "14 In." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 13.4 inches closed and 15.4 inches fully opened. The finish is plain steel.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,122,335, filed by W.S. Thomson in 1913 and issued in 1914. The patent illustration shows a pipe wrench closely resembling the present example.


H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" [No. 650] Valve Spring Lifter

[H.D. Smith Perfect Handle No. 650 Valve Spring Lifter]
Fig. 217. H.D. Smith "Perfect Handle" [No. 650] Valve Spring Lifter, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1910-1920.

Fig. 217 shows an H.D. Smith valve spring lifter of a unique design, employing a hook and chain to provide the fulcrum for the lever. The lever is marked with "The H.D. Smith Co." and "Made in Plantsville, Conn, U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Perfect Handle" and "Patented" forged into the reverse. The forged hook is also marked, with the same company information on one side and "Drop Forged" on the reverse (not shown).

The overall length of the lever is 12.7 inches, and the maximum length of the chain and hook is 17.5 inches. The finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with a model number, this tool is listed as No. 650 in a 1916 J.M. Waterston tool catalog.

The operation of this tool may not be immediately apparent due to its unusual design. The point of the large hook is first placed in a suitable depression on the top of the engine block, with the chain hanging over the side near the valves. With the small "S" hook removed from the end, the chain is then passed through one of the holes in the lever arm, and the "S" hook is inserted below to set the fulcrum at a suitable point. The valve spring can then be lifted using the lever handle.


H.D. Smith Offset Combination Pliers

[H.D. Smith Offset Combination Pliers]
Fig. 218. H.D. Smith Offset Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1917-1930.

Fig. 218 shows a pair of H.D. Smith offset combination pliers, stamped on the reverse with "The H.D. Smith & Co." and "Plantsville, Conn.", plus two patent dates and a small "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

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

The first patent date "Pat. June 9, 1914" refers to design patent #D45,919, filed by W.S. Thomson in 1913. The second date "Pat. Feb. 20, 1917" refers to patent #1,216,886, also filed by W.S. Thomson in 1913, but not issued until 1917.


Standard Wrench & Tool Company

The Standard Wrench & Tool Company was a maker of adjustable wrenches and pipe wrenches operating in Providence, Rhode Island. The dates of operation for the company are a bit uncertain, but it appears in published lists of corporations from 1911 through at least 1918. The February 8, 1912 issue of The Automobile includes a description of the FITZALL wedge-adjusting wrench on page 453, with an illustration on the previous page.

Some of the company's products were based on patents for wedge-adjusting wrenches issued to John R. Long, as illustrated in the following figure.


Standard Wrench "FITZALL" Wedge-Adjusting Wrench

[Standard Wrench FITZALL Wedge-Adjusting Wrench]
Fig. 219. Standard Wrench FITZALL Wedge-Adjusting Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1910-1920.

Fig. 219 shows a Standard Wrench "FITZALL" wedge-adjusting nut wrench, marked with "Standard Wrench & Tool Co." and "Providence R.I. U.S.A." forged into the shank. The adjusting sleeve is stamped "Trade FITZALL Mark" inside a diamond outline, with "Patented June 9, 1908 Apr. 26, 1910" below (see inset). The reverse shank is also marked "Drop FOrged Steel' (not shown).

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

The first patent date refers to patent #890,146, filed by J.R. Long in 1908. The second patent date refers to patent #955,974, filed by J.R. Long in 1909.


L.S. Starrett Company

The L.S. Starrett Company is an important maker of machinist's tools and precision measuring instruments, continuing in operation from its founding in 1880 to the present day. The company was founded by Laroy S. Starrett in Athol, Massachusetts.

Starrett Catalogs

Starrett has published many catalogs during its long years of operations. Although the earlier catalogs were often printed without a publication date, the effective date of publication can be estimated using printed advertisements for the various catalog editions. Starrett was a frequent advertiser in magazines and trade journals such as Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and the Machinists Monthly Journal.

Some of the catalog editions noted in advertisements include No. 18 in 1910, No. 19 in 1912, No. 20 in 1913, No. 21 in 1917, No. 22 in 1921, No. 23 in 1926, No. 24 in 1928, and No. 25 in 1930.


Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers

[Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 220. Starrett No. 1-7 Compound Action Cutting Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Jaw Detail.

Fig. 220 at the left shows a pair of Starrett No. 1-7 compound action cutting pliers, stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." on the upper arm, with the model number on one handle. The cutter inserts are marked "For Music Wire", as seen in the lower inset.

The overall length is 7.0 inches. The finish is polished steel, possibly with a thin nickel plating.


Socket Sets

Starrett was also a producer of socket sets intended for automotive service or general maintenance. Only a single standard model was available, the No. 443-A socket set, which included a ratchet, an extension, a universal, a selection of sockets, and a "packer drill" attachment. (The set could also be ordered as the No. 443-B variation without the drill attachment.)

The Starrett socket sets used pressed-steel sockets, making them similar in appearance to the familiar Mossberg or Walden sockets. However, Starrett used a non-standard design with a narrow 5/8 square base for the sockets, making them incompatible with the sockets produced by Mossberg and the rest of the industry. As a result of the narrow base, Starrett sockets could not be driven from the inside with a standard 1/2 square drive stud.

The Starrett No. 443 socket sets were probably first produced around 1911, the date of the patent filing for the ratchet supplied with the sets. Our earliest catalog reference for the set is from Starrett catalog No. 20, published around 1913.

We have several examples of the L.S. Starrett socket sets and are currently preparing them for display.


Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set Ratchet

[Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set]
Fig. 221. Starrett No. 443-A Pressed-Steel Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 221 shows an early Starrett No. 443-A socket set in sturdy wooden box. The drive tools consist of a No. 443 ratchet, an extension, a universal, and a drilling attachment, plus a few miscellaneous items. The generous collection of sockets includes 27 standard hex sockets, two square sockets, and one spark-plug (deep) socket.

The standard hex sockets include the 23 sizes from 5/16 to 1 inch by 32nds, plus the four larger sizes 1-1/32, 1-3/32, 1-5/32, and 1-9/32. The sockets are all marked with the fractional size and the Starrett S-Circle logo. The set as shown is missing the 11/16 and 11/32 sockets.

The square sockets in the set have sizes 13/32 and 21/32, of which one (the 21/32) is missing in this example. The spark-plug socket (near the center of the set) has size 29/32.

When considering the sizes in the socket set, keep in mind that Starrett pressed-steel socket sizes were specified as 1/32 oversize, as was the case with Mossberg and other brands of pressed-steel sockets. A discussion of this confusing convention can be found in the section on Size Conventions in our article on the Frank Mossberg Company.

Fig. 222 at the left shows a more detailed view of the lower compartment of the socket set. The top two rows hold the majority of the hex sockets, followed by a row with the remaining three hex sockets at the left, a 29/32 spark-plug (deep) socket in the center, and a universal joint at the right.

The next row down has pegs for two square sockets (one is missing) at the left, with a circular knob in the center and the packer drill attachment at the right.

[Detail for Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set]
Fig. 222. Detail for Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

The circular knob is referred to as a "thrust plug" in later catalogs, but is not listed in Starrett catalog No. 20. The thrust plug could be inserted in the drive end of a socket or extension to provide a smooth surface for exerting palm pressure.

The tools at the bottom of the photograph are the No. 443 ratchet and a 6 inch extension. The ratchet in the set is marked "Pat. Applied For", a reference to patent #1,167,948, filed in 1911 by L.S. Starrett et al and issued in 1916.

Since later ratchets are known to have been marked with the patent date, the pending status for this ratchet suggests that this is an early set, probably made between 1913 and 1915. Earlier sets made from 1911 to 1913 probably did not include the thrust plug piece, based on its omission from catalog No. 20.

[Top Cover of Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set]
Fig. 223. Top Cover of Starrett No. 443-A Socket Set, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 223 shows the top cover of the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, marked with a decorative "Starrett Tools" decal in the center.

The dimensions of the box are 14.0 inches wide by 8.1 inches deep by 3.5 inches high.


Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchets

The next two figures show examples of the Starrett No. 443 ratchet, beginning with the ratchet from the early set.

[Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 224. Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1911-1915.

Fig. 224 shows the Starrett No. 443 ratchet from the early No. 443-A socket set, stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." on the head, with "Pat. Applied For" below.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The pending status refers to patent #1,167,948, filed by L.S. Starrett et al in 1911 and issued in 1916.

[Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 225. Starrett No. 443 5/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1916-1920.

Fig. 225 shows a later Starrett No. 443 ratchet from a No. 443-B socket set. The head is stamped "The L.S. Starrett Co." and "Athol, Mass. U.S.A." with a "Patented Jan. 11, 1916" patent notice.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The patent date refers to patent #1,167,948, filed in 1911 by L.S. Starrett et al.


Starrett 6 Inch Extension from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 226. Starrett 6 Inch Extension from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Construction Detail, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 226 shows the unmarked 6 inch extension from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set.

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


Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets]
Fig. 227. Starrett Pressed-Steel Sockets from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Construction Detail, ca. 1913-1915.

Fig. 227 shows a group of three hex sockets from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, each stamped on the base with the fractional size and S-Circle logo.

The socket sizes are, from the left, 3/4, 25/32, and 13/16. The finish is plain steel.


Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set]
Fig. 228. Starrett Screwdriver Bit from No. 443-A Set, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 228 shows the unmarked screwdriver bit from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, consisting of a square shank with a spring clip riveted in the center. The shank of the bit is approximately 13/32 square, the size required to fit in the drive end of a socket, i.e. with the socket used as a bushing.

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

Storage for the screwdriver bit was provided by a wooden bracket on the inside of the lid, as seen in the Starrett No. 443-A Set photograph above.


Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set]
Fig. 229. Starrett Thrust Plug from No. 443-A Set, with Insets for Side and Top Views, ca. 1915-1916.

Fig. 229 shows the unmarked thrust plug from the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set, designed to fit into the drive end of the Starrett sockets. The shank is flattened on one side with a spring clip on the opposite side.

The overall height is 1.0 inches, and the diameter of the top is 0.96 inches. The finish is plain steel.


Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment from No. 443-A Set

[Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment]
Fig. 230. Starrett 5/8-Drive Drill Attachment from No. 443-A Set.

Fig. 230 shows the unmarked drill attachment shown with the early Starrett No. 443-A socket set. The drill attachment consists of a 5/8-drive adapter threaded to screw into the knurled body, and the drive end of the adapter has a tapered square opening (not shown) for holding the drive stud of an older-style drill bit.

The overall length is 5.1 inches in the retracted position. The finish is plain steel.


St. Pierre Chain Corporation

The St. Pierre Chain Corporation was founded in Worcester (Massachusetts) in 1920 as a maker of tire chains. The founder was Henry St. Pierre, an inventor from Vermont who had created an improved type of tire chains. The company later added automotive service tools and chain-repair tools to its product line, and later still began making pitching horseshoes for the game of horseshoes.

The company is continues in operation today as the St. Pierre Manufacturing Corporation, and interested readers can visit their web site at www.stpierreusa.com for further information. Our coverage here will focus on their automotive service tools, and we have a number of examples of pliers, wrenches, and chain-related tools to show.


St. Pierre [No. 1] Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 231. St. Pierre [No. 1] Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 231 shows an early pair of St. Pierre [No. 1] chain-repair pliers, marked with "St. Pierre" and "Worcester Mass U.S.A." forged into one handle, with "Pat Pending" forged into the reverse. No model number was marked on this example, but this model is marked as "No. 1" in the next figure.

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

The patent pending status corresponds to the patent #1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928.


St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 231B. St. Pierre No. 1 Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 231B shows another pair of St. Pierre No. 1 chain-repair pliers, with forged-in markings for the company name and "Worcester Mass U.S.A." near the pivot, and with the model number and a "Pat Pending" notice on the reverse.

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

The pliers are also marked with the M-Circle logo of the Moore Drop Forging Company, indicating that these pliers were made by Moore.

The patent pending status corresponds to the patent #1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928.


St. Pierre 11 Inch Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers

[St. Pierre Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers]
Fig. 232. St. Pierre Compound-Leverage Chain-Repair Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1929 to 1930s.

Fig. 232 shows a pair of St. Pierre 11 inch compound-leverage chain-repair pliers, marked with "Pat. No. 1657978-1658995-1710554" forged into the handle. Although not marked with the company name, the pliers can be identified by the patent markings and resemblance to the St. Pierre No. 1 pliers.

The overall length is 10.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The first patent number listed on the handle is #1,657,978, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1925 and issued in 1928. The second patent number listed is #1,658,995, filed by J.N. MacDonald in 1925 and issued in 1928. The third patent number listed is #1,710,554, filed by H. St. Pierre in 1926 and issued in 1929.


St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Terminal Box Wrench]
Fig. 233. St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 233 shows a St. Pierre 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped "Chrome Alloy" on the shank, with "St. Pierre" on the reverse.

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


St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench

[St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 234. St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 234 shows a St. Pierre 9/16x5/8 battery terminal box-end wrench, stamped with "St. Pierre" and "Worcester, Mass." on the shank.

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


Superior Wrench Company

The Superior Wrench Company was a maker of self-adjusting pipe wrenches operating in Marshalltown, Iowa. The company was founded in 1909 as the Lake Superior Wrench Company in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, but by 1910 had moved to the Iowa location. The company name was later simplified by dropping the leading "Lake".

The company's best known product was a self-adjusting pipe wrench described by the Munro 1909 #933,096 and Boulieu 1910 #972,052 patents.

[1909 Advertisement for Superior Wrench]
1909 Advertisement for Lake Superior Wrench Co. [External Link]

The early advertisement at the left appeared in a 1909 issue of Technical World Magazine and refers to the tool as an "Automatic Auto Wrench". The ad offers the 12 inch model for $1 prepaid, or a set of four wrenches with sizes from 6 to 16 inches for just $3 prepaid.

At this time the company was still the Lake Superior Wrench Company, and the address is listed as 124 Maple Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

A brief article in the March, 1910 issue of Hardware Dealer's Magazine describes the operation and advantages of the wrenches, and an illustration shows models available from 6 inches up to 20 inches.


Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 235. Lake Superior 6 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, 1910.

Fig. 235 shows an early Lake Superior 6 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, stamped "Lake Superior Wrench Co." and "Sault Ste. Marie, Mich." on the handle. The wrench is also marked with a patent notice "Patented U.S.A. Oct. 4-10 Canada July 12-10" stamped between the swing arms.

The overall length is 5.4 inches with the jaw retracted, and the maxiumum opening is 0.75 inches. The finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The first patent date refers to patent #972,052, filed by J. Boulieu in 1909 and issued in 1910.

The markings for the 1910 patent date and earlier company location indicate production in 1910.


Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 236. Lake Superior 16 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1909-1910.

Fig. 236 shows an earlier Lake Superior 16 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Lake Superior Wrench Co." and "Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan" forged into the handle, and with a "Pat. Pend." patent notice stamped between the swing arms.

The overall length is 16.0 inches with the jaw retracted and 17.5 inches fully extended. The maxiumum opening is approximately 2.0 inches.

The finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The pending status refers to patent #972,052, filed by J. Boulieu in 1909 and issued in 1910.


Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 237. Superior 12 Inch Self-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1910-1920.

Fig. 237 shows a later Superior 12 inch self-adjusting pipe wrench, marked with "Superior Wrench Company" forged into the handle.

The overall length is 12.0 inches with the jaw retracted, and the maxiumum opening is 1.3 inches. The finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.


H.B. Todd Patent Nippers

In 1876 Henry B. Todd received patent #182,615 for end nippers with replaceable cutting edges. The Todd design became very popular and remained in production for many years, with the nippers typically marked "Todd" but without a clear maker's name.


Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers

[Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers]
Fig. 238. Todd No. 4 8 Inch End Nippers, with Insets for End and Side View.

Fig. 238 shows a pair of Todd No. 4 8 inch end nippers, stamped "Made in U.S.A." with an "E" code and hex logo.

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

Although not marked with a patent notice, these nippers are described by patent #182,615, filed in 1876 by H.B. Todd and issued later that year.


Tower & Lyon Company

Tower & Lyon was a tool maker in New York city, active between 1884 and 1916. The company produced a wide variety of wrenches, including adjustable bicycle wrenches and pipe wrenches.


Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench

[Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 239. Tower & Lyon Baxter Patent Adjustable Wrench.

Fig. 239 shows a Baxter patent adjustable wrench, marked "T. & L." with "Baxter's Pat." above but partially obscured. The "T. & L." marking is presumed to indicate to Tower & Lyon, a well-known maker of adjustable wrenches in the late 19th century.

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

The patent notice refers to patent #84,605, issued to William Baxter in 1868. Wrenches of this design were first produced by the Baxter Wrench Company, and then later by Green, Tweed, & Company.

The adjusting screw in the center has threaded studs of opposite pitch on each end, moving the two wrench sections to adjust the openings at each end.


United Shoe Machinery Corporation (USMC)

The United Shoe Machinery Corporation was a major manufacturer of production machinery for the shoe making industry. Formed in 1899 by a merger of three companies, USMC became the dominant supplier of shoe making machinery in the United States.

In addition to producing machinery, the company was also a maker of wrenches and other tools, probably primarily for repair and maintenance of its own equipment.

Tool Identification

Tools produced by USMC can be identified by the distinctive USMC-Script logo, typically forged into the tool. Note though that as the initials "USMC" are more famously associated with the U.S. Marine Corps, tools produced by United Shoe Machinery may sometimes be mistakenly considered as contract production for the military.


USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 240. USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 240 shows a USMC 241H 3/8x5/8 open-end wrench, marked with the USMC-Script logo forged into the shank, and with the model number stamped on the reverse face.

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 241. USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 241 shows a USMC 642H 11/16x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with the USMC-Script logo forged into the shank.

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


Vanadium Tool Company

The Vanadium Tool Company was a maker of hand-forged alloy steel tools located in Athens, Ohio. The company was founded around 1945 by the Harmon family and remained in operation until at least the mid 1970s. In 1969 the company was purchased by Alexander T. Topping, formerly the vice president of marketing for S-K Wayne Tools. (The change of ownership was noted in a 1969 issue of the Hardware Retailer publication.)

A company catalog from the mid 1950s notes that their production process uses Bradley power hammers to shape the tools, and claims that the process produces tougher steel than the common faster production methods, apparently a reference to drop-forging. The tools available at this time included a variety of chisels, punches, scrapers, and screwdrivers, as well as wrenches in open-end, box-end, and combination styles.

A later catalog No. 271 from 1971 offers a similar collection of tools, but with the addition of metric sizes in combination wrenches, plus a line of angle-head open-end wrenches with 15 and 60 degree offsets. The inside front cover of the catalog notes that the company had been making tools for more than 25 years, providing us with a mid-1940s estimate for the founding date. This catalog was received with a separate price list No. U-173 dated January 15, 1973.

The later catalog also provides the specific alloy steels used for the tools, with AISI 6150 alloy steel used for the chisels, punches, and screwdrivers, and AISI 4140 alloy used for the wrenches.


Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 242. Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 Combination Wrench.

Fig. 242 shows a Vanadium Tool C-6 3/8 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

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


Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 243. Vanadium Tool 7/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 243 shows a Vanadium Tool 7/8 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 11.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 244. Vanadium Tool 15/16 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 244 shows a Vanadium Tool 15/16 combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

The overall length is 12.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Vanadium Tool CF-10 Offset Combination Wrench

[Vanadium Tool CF-10 5/8 Offset Combination Wrench]
Fig. 245. Vanadium Tool CF-10 5/8 Offset Combination Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 245 shows a Vanadium Tool CF-10 offset combination wrench, marked "Vanadium Tool Co." on the shank.

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


Vandegrift Manufacturing Company

The Vandegrift Manufacturing Company was a maker of nut and pipe wrenches, founded by Theodore F. Vandegrift and operating in Shelbyville, Indiana. The company was active from around 1891 through at least 1905. Many (if not all) of the company's products were based on patents issued to Vandegrift.

Some Vandegrift wrenches were made under contract for various farm machinery companies, and these tools may be marked with names such as International Harvester or McCormick.


Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench

[Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 246. Vandegrift No. 5 Monkey Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1897-1905.

Fig. 246 shows a Vandegrift No. 5 monkey wrench, marked with a number "5" and the patent notice "Pat. Sep 7 97" cast in the handle.

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

The patent notice corresponds to patent #589,765, issued to T.F. Vandegrift in 1897.


Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Company


Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers

[Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers]
Fig. 247. Vaughan & Bushnell 8 Inch Button's Pattern Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Detail.

Fig. 247 shows a pair of Vaughan & Bushnell 8 inch Button's Pattern Pliers, stamped with "Vau???Bushn??" faintly visible on one handle (see middle right inset).

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

Button's Pattern pliers were first produced by J.M King & Company in the late 1860s and became one of the most popular styles of wire-cutting pliers. The Vaughan & Bushnell Button's pliers shown here are very similar to the J.M. King models.


Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller

[Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller]
Fig. 248. Vaughan & Bushnell Cotter Pin Puller, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 248 shows a Vaughan & Bushnell cotter pin puller, stamped "Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg. Co." on the side.

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


Vim Tool Company

The Vim Tools Company operated in Minneapolis, Minnesota beginning in the 1920s or earlier. The company produced a variety of general purpose and specialized automotive service tools.


Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 249. Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 249 shows a Vim V-3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Vanadium Tappet" with the "VIM" name on the shank. The fractional sizes are stamped on the faces, with the model number on the reverse face.

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


Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 250. Vim 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 250 shows a Vim 11/16x3/4 offset box wrench, marked only with the "VIM" name and fractional sizes.

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


Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers

[Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers]
Fig. 251. Vim 216 Wheel Weight Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 251 shows a pair of Vim 216 wheel weight pliers, designed for installing and removing weights during tire balancing. The handle is stamped "Vim" with the model number.

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


Vulcan Manufacturing Company

The Vulcan Manufacturing Company operated in Winona, Minnesota and is currently known only by the wrench in the next figure. We hope to add more information for the company in the future.


Vulcan Manufacturing "Largrip" Adjustable Wrench

[Vulcan Manufacturing Largrip 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 252. Vulcan Manufacturing "Largrip" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 252 shows a Vulcan Manufacturing 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Largrip" and "Pat Pend" forged into the shank, and with "Vulcan Mfg Co" and "Winona Minn" on the reverse.

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

This wrench is unusual in having a rectangular keyed slot, instead of the more common round keyway.


Wakefield Wrench Company

The Wakefield Wrench Company was an early maker of adjustable wrenches operating in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company began operations in the 1890s and took its name from the principal, J.E. Wakefield, an inventor of some note. In later years the company was run by Clarence E. Wakefield, the son of the founder.

Some Wakefield tools were marked with the "Wizard" brand, apparently an unregistered mark which could be confused with the later Wizard trademark registered by Western Auto Supply.


Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench

[Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 253. Wakefield No. 3 Quick-Adjusting Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1890s to Early 1900s.

Fig. 253 shows a Wakefield No. 3 quick-adjusting pipe wrench, stamped with "The Wakefield Wrench" and "Worcester, Mass." on the upper jaw, and with the "No. 3" model number on the lower handle. The reverse jaw is stamped with "Pat. June 30, 91" and "Other Pat's Pending" patent notices, as shown in the lower inset.

The overall length is 16.0 inches fully extended, and the maximum opening is 2.3 inches.

The finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent #454,893, filed by J.E. Wakefield in 1890 and issued in 1891.


Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 254. Wakefield 5 Inch Bicycle Wrench.

Fig. 254 shows a Wakefield 5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped "Wakefield Wrench" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.4 inches. The finish is plain steel with pitting due to rust, but the original finish may have been nickel plating.


Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 255. Wakefield No. 8 8 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1900.

Fig. 255 shows a very early Wakefield No. 8 bicycle wrench, marked "Wakefield Wrench" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A.", with "Pat. Sept. 4, 1900" on the reverse (see inset). The overall length (fully extended) is 8.0 inches.

The date marked on the tool refers to patent #657,326, which was issued to J.E. Wakefield. The patent describes the construction of the wrench, and the most notable feature is the handle tube drawn from a single sheet of steel.

Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench

[Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 256. Wakefield 10 Inch Nut & Pipe Wrench, ca. 1908-1920.

Fig. 256 shows a Wakefield 10 inch "Nut & Pipe" adjustable wrench, marked "Wakefield Wrench" and "Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." with a "Pat. May 5, 1908" patent notice.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet

[Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 257. Wakefield No. 24 1/2-Hex Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 257 shows a Wakefield No. 24 1/2-hex drive ratchet handle, marked "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." with "Pat. Jul 12 1910" and "Pats. Pending" on the reverse. The overall length is 7.0 inches.

A patent search found this tool described by patent #963,895, issued to H.L. Houghton on the cited date. The patent corresponding to the pending status has not yet been found.


Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench

[Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench]
Fig. 258. Wakefield No. 19 9 Inch Monkey Wrench, ca. 1922-1930.

Fig. 258 shows a somewhat uncommon Wakefield No. 19 monkey or auto wrench, marked "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." and "Pat'd. Nov. 14 1922". The overall length is 9.1 inches.

The cited patent date refers to patent #1,435,548, issued to J.F. Oliver and J.P. Fleming, and assigned to Clarence E. Wakefield.


Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 259. Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 259 shows a Wakefield No. 45 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

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


Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 260. Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 260 shows a Wakefield No. 55 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench of stamped steel construction, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 5.8 inches.


Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 261. Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 261 shows a Wakefield No. 70 3/4x25/32 open-end wrench, marked with "Wakefield" and "Made in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A." stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 7.8 inches.


Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench

Wakefield sometimes used the "Wizard" brand for its products, as the next figure illustrates.

[Wakefield Wizard No. 34 1/2x9/16 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 262. Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 1/2x9/16 Nut-and-Tap Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 262 shows a Wakefield "Wizard" No. 34 open-end wrench in the nut-and-tap style, stamped "Made in Worcester, Mass, U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 4.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The square opening in the center allowed the wrench to be used as a (threading) tap handle, and this style was commonly called a "Nut and Tap" wrench. The center hole was also typically used with a bolt for holding sets of wrenches.

An example of Nut-and-Tap wrenches from another maker can be seen as the Indestro Nut-and-Tap Wrench Set.

Wakefield's use of the "Wizard" brand should not be confused with later (and better known) use by the Western Auto Supply Company.


Walworth Manufacturing Company

The Walworth Manufacturing Company was a maker of pipe wrenches and other plumbing tools operating in Boston, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1852 as J.J. Walworth & Company and later incorporated as Walworth Manufacturing in 1872. The founder was James J. Walworth, who served as company president until 1890.

Walworth Manufacturing is most famous as the original maker of the Stillson pipe wrench, named after its inventor Daniel Stillson, who was an employee of the company at the time. The original Stillson design was covered by patent #95,744, filed by Daniel Stillson in 1869 and issued later that year.


Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench

[Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 263. Walworth 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Revderse Detail.

Fig. 263 shows a Walworth 10 inch Stillson pipe wrench, marked with "Stillson" and "Registered Trade Mark" in a diamond logo forged into the shank, with "Walworth Mfg. Co." and "Boston, U,.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches closed and 10.8 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.


Waymoth Corporation

The Waymoth Corporation of Pawtucket, Rhode Island is known only as a maker of cutting pliers, as shown in the next figure.


Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 264. Waymoth No. 2 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 264 shows a pair of Waymoth No. 2 6 inch diagonal cutters, marked "The Waymoth Corp." and "Pawt. R.I." around the pivot.

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


Whitman & Barnes Manufacturing Company

Whitman & Barnes (W&B) was a well-known tool maker active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was founded in 1877 by the merger of the Whitman & Miles Company with George Barnes & Company, and initially operated as a maker of knives.

[W&B 5 Inch Alligator Wrench]
1909 Advertisement for Whitman & Barnes Twist Drills. [External Link]

The company acquired the Acme line of monkey wrenches from the Capital Manufacturing Company in 1893. In subsequent years the company expanded its wrench business with various models of bicycle wrenches, pipe wrenches, fixed and adjustable alligator wrenches, auto wrenches, and other tools. One of their best known products was the line of "Bull Dog" alligator wrenches, produced in a range of sizes.

Twist drills were another important product of W&B. The illustration at the left shows an advertisement for twist drills published in the December 2, 1909 issue of The Iron Age.

In 1920 the drop-forge and wrench operations of Whitman & Barnes were acquired by the J.H. Williams company, and the W&B president A.D. Armitage became a vice-president of J.H. Williams. Some of the W&B product lines (e.g. monkey wrenches and alligator wrenches) continued in production by Williams.


W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench

[W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 265. W&B No. 1 Alligator Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 265 shows a W&B No. 1 alligator wrench, stamped with the W+B-Diamond logo and "Made in U.S.A." on one side, with the model number on the reverse.

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


W&B 5 Inch Double-Ended Alligator Wrench

[W&B 5 Inch Alligator Wrench]
Fig. 266. W&B 5 Inch Alligator Wrench.

Fig. 266 shows a W&B 5 inch double-ended alligator wrench, stamped with the WBCo-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." in the center.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench

[W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench]
Fig. 267. W&B 5.5 Inch Bicycle Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 267 shows a W&B 5.5 inch bicycle wrench, stamped with the WBCo-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The prominent grooves in the shank give the wrench a distinctive appearance, but the intent appears to be cosmetic rather than functional.


W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 268. W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 268 shows a W&B No. 27 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Made in U.S.A." and the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the shank.

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

The insets show the reverse face markings "3/8" and "5/16", references to the older U.S.S. size convention.


W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench

[W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench]
Fig. 269. W&B No. 287 19/32 Single-Open Toolpost Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 269 shows a W&B No. 287 19/32 single-open toolpost wrench, marked with the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the head, with the model number forged into the reverse.

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


Whitman & Barnes No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench

[W&B No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench]
Fig. 270. W&B No. 478 1/2 Open-End Spud Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 270 shows a W&B No. 478 1/2 single open-end wrench with a spud handle, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the W+B-Diamond logo forged into the shank.

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


T. Williams Company (England)

The T. Williams Company is a British maker of wrenches and other forged tools, most frequently found as the "Superslim" brand. Currently we don't have any additional information on the company, but hope to expand this section in the future.

Tools made by T. Williams are generally marked with a forged-in logo showing a "T/W" in a circle.


Superslim 1/2x9/18 Open-End Wrench

[Superslim 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 271. Superslim 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 271 shows a Superslim 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench, marked with the fractional sizes and "AF" forged into the shank, with "Made in England" and the T/W logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 272. Superslim 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 272 at the left shows a Superslim 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with the fractional sizes and "AF" forged into the shank, with "Made in England" and the T/W logo forged into the reverse.

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


Winner Tool Company

The Winner Tool Company operated in Puyallup, Washington as the maker of a patented plier-wrench.


Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier Wrench

[Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier-Wrench]
Fig. 273. Winner Tool 8 Inch Plier-Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1920s.

Fig. 273 shows a Winner Tool 8 inch plier-wrench, marked with "Winner Tool Co." and "Puyallup, Wash." forged into the shank, with "Plier Wrench" plus "Patd. Mar. 7, 1922" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent date refers to patent #1,408,524, filed by W.T. Long in 1921 and issued in 1922, with assignment to the Usona Manufacturing Company.


Wright Wrench Manufacturing Company

The Wright Wrench Manufacturing Company was founded in Canton, Ohio as a maker of quick-adjusting nut wrenches. The company probably began operations around 1909, and the founder is presumed to have been James F. Wright, an inventor whose patents formed part of the basis for the company's products.

[1909 Notice for Wright Quick-Adjusting Wrench]
1909 Notice for Wright Quick-Adjusting Wrench. [External Link]

The illustration at the left, published in the 1909 Volume 24 of The Horseless Age, shows the construction of the Wright quick-adjusting wrench, and a brief note in the text describes the operation and advantages of the wrench.

In 1909 the company began operating an additional facility in Tacoma, Washington, and later wrench production was typically marked with either the Canton or Tacoma location.

In 1910 the company name was changed to the Wright Wrench & Forging Company, and the company introduced a line of quick-adjusting pipe wrenches, based on a later patent by James F. Wright.


Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench

[Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench]
Fig. 274. Wright Wrench 8 Inch Quick-Adjusting Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 274 shows a Wright Wrench 8 inch quick-adjusting nut wrench, marked with "Steel Forging" and "Pat 3-04 - 1-09" forged into the shank, with "Wright Wrench Co." and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

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

The patent notice is a bit tricky to interpret, as it provides the month and year for two separate patent dates. The first date refers to patent #754,633, filed by L. Ash and H.B. Stewart in 1903 and issued on March 15, 1904. The second date refers to patent #910,890, filed by J.F. Wright in 1907 and issued on January 26, 1909.


Zim Manufacturing Company

Zim Manufacturing is a maker of automotive specialty tools based in Chicago, Illinois. The company began operations in the 1920s (or earlier) and is probably best known for their automotive valve service tools.


Zim Valve Adjusting Tool

[Zim Valve Adjusting Tool]
Fig. 275. Zim Valve Adjusting Tool, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 275 at the left shows a Zim valve adjusting tool, consisting of a 9/16x5/8 stamped-steel box wrench fitted with a retractable screwdriver. The tool is stamped "Zim Mfg. Co. Chicago" and "Made in U.S.A." on the arm.

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

In operation, the swinging arm is positioned over the desired wrench opening and then secured with the thumbscrew. The wrench then loosens the valve lock nut while the tappet is adjusted with the screwdriver, and the nut is tightened when the correct setting is reached.

This tool is virtually identical to the New Britain Valve Adjusting Tool shown in our article on the New Britain Machine company.


References and Resources

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


Patent and Trademark Information

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


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