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Other Early Tools

The previous sections have covered sockets and drive tools in the heavier 1/2 and 5/8-drive sizes, as these were the main products for the early Snap-On Wrench Company. But as their business developed, Snap-On found that customers were requesting other tools as well -- open-end wrenches, smaller drive sizes, specialty tools, and even fixed socket wrenches.

In this section we'll look at some of these other types of tools, including 9/32-drive, 3/8-drive, fixed socket wrenches, and specialty wrenches. The next section will then cover Blue Point tools.


9/32-Drive Tools

Sockets and drive tools in the "Midget" 9/32-drive size were introduced around 1925, and initially were offered only in the No. 55 set. As far as is known, Snap-On was the originator of this drive size, but several other companies eventually followed them in producing 9/32-drive tools.


M-3 9/32-Drive Tee Handle

[Snap-On Model M-3 T-Handle]
Fig. 55. 9/32-Drive T-Handle Spinner, Catalog Model No. M-3.

Fig. 55 shows a 9/32-drive Tee handle spinner marked with just "Snap-On".

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and no date code was marked.

This model uses ball-stops to secure the rotating grip, but has no stops at all on the drive end, just a detent ball. The tool is finished with a thin plating that appears to be nickel.

M-5 9/32-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Snap-On M-5 9/32-Drive M-5 Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 56. Snap-On [M-5] 9/32-drive Sliding Tee Handle.

Fig. 56 shows a 9/32-drive Tee Slider marked with just "Snap-On".

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and no date code was found.

No. 55 9/32-Drive Socket Set

[Snap-On No. 55 9/32-Drive Socket Set]
Fig. 57. Snap-On No. 55 9/32-Drive Socket Set, 1929.

Fig. 57 shows a Snap-On 9/32-drive No. 55 socket set in its metal box. The set consists of six 12-point sockets in sizes from 1/4 to 7/16, two 8-point sockets of sizes 1/4 and 5/6, a sliding Tee handle, and a Tee handle spinner. (The original set may have included a ratchet as well.)

All of the sockets are marked with a date code for 1929 except for one 1930, possibly a replacement.

[Top Cover of Box for No. 55 Socket Set]
Fig. 58. Top Cover of Box for No. 55 Socket Set.

The cover of the box is shown in Fig. 58 at the left, with the raised embossed letters for "Snap-On Socket Wrenches". Most of the black enamel has worn off the top, allowing some rust to form, but it's otherwise in good shape.

Black was apparently the standard color for these sets from 1927 on, but the 1926 catalog offered them with green enamel.


3/8-Drive Tools

Snap-On first offered 3/8-drive tools as the "Ferret" line in their 1927 catalog. The initial selection included an offset handle, a long T-handle, a speeder, an extension, five sockets, and a 1/2- to 3/8-drive adapter plug for the No. 7 ratchet.


Snap-On F-3 3/8-Drive Sliding Tee Head and Crossbar

[Snap-On 3/8-Drive F-3 Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 59. Snap-On 3/8-Drive F-3 Sliding Tee Head and Crossbar, with Inset for Date Code, 1928.

Fig. 59 shows an early 3/8-drive Snap-On F-3 sliding Tee head with its crossbar, marked "No. F-3" with the Snap-On logo, and with a date code "-8" for 1928.

The overall length of the Tee head and drive shaft is 12.0 inches, and the length of the crossbar is 6.4 inches. The diameter of the drive shaft is approximately 7/16 inch (measured at 0.43); on later models, this was increased to 1/2 inch.

The inset shows a close-up of the date code on the reverse. The "8" digit is only partially stamped, but still readable.

The model F-3 Tee handle was referred to as a "Long tee and ell handle" in the 1927 catalog, but later catalogs called it a "Speed Tee", a snappier-sounding name. It remained in production at least through 1939, and we'll show a later model at some point.


Snap-On F-4 3/8-Drive Speeder

[Snap-On 3/8-Drive F-4 Speeder]
Fig. 60. Snap-On 3/8-Drive Speeder, Catalog Model F-4, with Inset for Detail, ca. 1927-1930.

Fig. 60 shows a Snap-On 3/8-drive speeder identified as catalog model F-4, marked "Milwaukee, U.S.A." and with the Snap-On logo.

The overall length is 15.6 inches.


Snap-On F-6 3/8-Drive Extension

[Snap-On F-6 3/8-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 61. Snap-On F-6 3/8-Drive 6 Inch Extension, with Inset for Date Code, 1929.

Fig. 61 shows a Snap-On F-6 3/8-drive 6 inch extension, marked with the model number and Snap-On logo, and with a date code for 1929 on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches.


Fixed Socket Wrenches

Although Snap-On socket wrench products were intended to replace the older fixed socket wrenches, eventually the company produced a few specialty tools of the fixed-socket type.

Snap-On F-1416 "Hammerhead" Fixed Socket Wrench

[Snap-On 7/16x1/2 Hammerhead Wrench]
Fig. 62. Snap-On 7/16x1/2 Hammerhead Wrench, Catalog Model F-1416, 1928-1930.

Fig. 62 shows a Snap-On "Hammerhead" double-socket wrench in size 7/16x1/2, marked "Snap-On" on each socket, but without a model number. The overall length is 6.2 inches.

The sockets have straight walls and 12-point broachings, but were made by the older method of boring a recess below the broached area.

Based on the catalog listings for other Hammerhead wrenches, this would have been a model F-1416.

Snap-On F-2224 "Hammerhead" Fixed Socket Wrench

[Snap-On 11/16x3/4 Hammerhead Wrench]
Fig. 63. Snap-On 11/16x3/4 Hammerhead Wrench, Catalog Model F-2224, with Inset for Broaching, 1929.

Fig. 63 shows another Snap-On Hammerhead wrench, this one with size 11/16x3/4 and marked "Snap-On" without a model number. The overall length is 7.7 inches.

The shank is marked with a "-9" date code, indicating production in 1929.

Based on the catalog listings for other Hammerhead wrenches, this would likely have been a model F-2224.

Snap-On 2501 "Buick Special" Fixed Socket Wrench

By 1926 Snap-On had begun offering four models of "Buick Special Wrenches", a series of fixed socket wrenches with each tool designed for a specific Buick service application. The wrenches were given model numbers 2501 through 2504, and each model had a particular handle shape and socket size to allow access to partially obscured bolts.

The Buick Special wrenches were made of chrome vanadium steel and featured double-hex (12-point) socket broachings to reduce the minimum angular clearance. These special wrenches came out before Snap-On had introduced double-hex broachings to its line of interchangeable sockets, so that these fixed socket wrenches could be regarded as the vanguard of double-hex broachings.

[Snap-On 2501 3/4 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 64. Snap-On 2501 3/4 Socket Wrench, with Inset for Detail, 1927.

Fig. 64 shows a Snap-On 2501 3/4 specialty socket wrench for Buick engine-bolt applications. The wrench is marked "Snap-On Milwaukee U.S.A." and bears a date code of "-7", indicating production in 1927.

The overall length is 14.5 inches.

The model 2501 wrench was designed for servicing the side and front engine base bolts on the Buick Master Six automobile.

Snap-On 2503 "Buick Special" Fixed Socket Wrench

[Snap-On 2503 5/8 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 65. Snap-On 2503 5/8 Socket Wrench, with Insets for Detail, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 65 shows a Snap-On 2503 5/8 specialty socket wrench for Buick engine-bolt applications. The shank is stamped "Snap-On Milwaukee U.S.A." with the 2503 model number, and no date code marking was found on this example.

The overall length is 14.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel with a few traces of nickel plating.

The model 2503 wrench was designed for servicing the side engine base bolts on the Buick Standard Six automobile.

Snap-On 2512 Chevrolet Main-Bearing Wrench

The year 1927 marked the first time that Snap-On had offered box-end wrenches, and although most of the models were listed under the Blue Point Boxocket brand, one double-box wrench was listed as a Snap-On tool. This tool was the model 2512 wrench, intended for Chevrolet main-bearing service jobs.

[Snap-On 2512 13/16x7/8 Box-ENd Wrench]
Fig. 66. Snap-On 2512 13/16x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1925-1928.

Fig. 66 shows a Snap-On 2512 13/16x7/8 offset box-end wrench, marked "2512 Snap-On" in forged raised letters, and with the fractional sizes marked in raised letters as well.

The overall length is 13.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating its distinctive design with angled and offset box ends. The box ends are actually only slightly offset, but the steeper than normal angle provides extra clearance.


Blue Point Tools

As their business grew and customers began requesting other types of tools, Snap-On decided to establish a second line of tools to meet the demand. By September 15, 1923 the Blue Point Tool Company had been formed in Chicago and the name "Blue Point" was being marked on tools. This date comes from the first use date listed on a 1929 trademark application for "Blue Point", which listed the company address as 14 East Jackson Street in Chicago. (Blue Point Tool seems to have shared the address of Snap-On's distribution company, the Motor Tool Specialty Company of Chicago.) Joseph Johnson signed the trademark application as the Treasurer for the company.

In the beginning Blue Point relied primarily on outside contractors to produce tools to its specifications, using the production facilities of various tool companies in Chicago and other areas. Establishing the identity of these contract companies would be of considerable interest to Snap-On and Blue Point collectors, but this has proven to be difficult for various reasons.

At the present time only two companies are known to have produced tools for Blue Point: the Forged Steel Products Company of Newport, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee Tool & Forge (MTF) of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The former company is the well-known maker of "Vacuum Grip" pliers sold by Snap-On, but also supplied forging facilities for production of Blue Point tools in the mid 1920s. The latter company was identified recently by the fortuitous acquisition (by another collector) of a tool roll identifying MTF as the maker of "Milwaukee Blue Points" tools for the Motor Tool Specialty Company. Interested readers may wish to see our articles on the Forged Steel Products Company and Milwaukee Tool & Forge for more information on these companies.

By 1926 a wide variety of tools were being offered under the Blue Point name, including wrenches, chisels, punches, hammers, and specialty tools. "Boxocket" box-end wrenches followed in 1927, and new styles of Obstruction and ignition wrenches were introduced in 1928.

Blue Point or Blue Points?

Although the catalogs called them "Blue Point" tools, they also showed a logo with the wording "Blue Points Chicago" between two pointed arrows. Apparently some of their contract manufacturers took this literally and marked the tools with "Blue Points" or "Blue Points Chicago", sometimes with the arrow logos. Eventually the naming was decided in favor of plain "Blue Point", but some Blue Point tools were still being marked "Blue Points Chicago" possibly as late as 1929.


Blue Point No. 610 Pin Punch

Our first example for this section will be an early pin punch with an unusual marking.

[Blue Point [No. 610] 5/16 Pin Punch]
Fig. 67. Blue Point [No. 610] 5/16 Pin Punch, ca. mid 1920s.

Fig. 67 at the left shows a Blue Point 5/16 pin punch with "Milwaukee Blue Points" stamped on the octagonal shank. The model number is not marked, but the punch was identified as a No. 610 by the catalog.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Milwaukee Blue Points Tool Roll

The "Milwaukee" marking paired with "Blue Points" is unusual, and appears to indicate that at least some of the early Blue Point production was based in Milwaukee. This in fact proved to be the case, as the maker of this tool has recently been identified as the Milwaukee Tool & Forge Company (MTF) of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Chisels and punches like this example were supplied by MTF in tool rolls marked "Milwaukee Blue Points".

[Closeup of Milwaukee Blue Points Tool Roll]
Fig. 68. Closeup of Milwaukee Blue Points Tool Roll. [Photo Credit: RJ]

Fig. 68 shows a closeup of the markings on a canvas tool roll, identifying the Milwaukee Tool & Forge Company as the producer of "Milwaukee Blue Points" tools. This tool roll was recently found by another collector, and although it no longer contained the original tools, the tools would likely have included chisels and punches similar to the example in the previous figure.

This tool roll is a good reminder of how the timely finding of a tool or related artifact can help fill in a missing piece of history. If any readers have information to help identify producers of Blue Point tools, please let us know via the "Contact Us" link on any page.


Open-End Wrenches

Blue Point open-end wrenches were offered in a "Number Series" with the fractional sizes (in 32nds) serving as the model number. For example, the popular 9/16x5/8 size became the model No. 1820 wrench.

These early wrenches can be found in a wide range of production and marking styles, suggesting that Blue Point used a number of different contract manufacturers for production.


Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrenches

[Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 69. Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 69 shows a Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench, marked with the model and sizes forged into the shank, and with "Blue Points-Chicago" forged into the reverse. (The inset shows the text in its original orientation.)

The overall length is 5.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some loss due to wear and rust.


The next figure shows an example of a "Blue Points Chicago" wrench with stamped rather than forged-in markings.

[Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 70. Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 70 shows a Blue Point No. 1416 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench, stamped "Blue Points-Chicago" on the shank, with a very faint arrowhead visible at the right.

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


Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrenches

[Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 71. Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 71 shows a Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, marked with the model number forged into the shank, and with "Blue Points-Chicago" forged into the reverse. (The inset shows the text in its original orientation.)

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is nickel plating, though much has been lost due to wear and rust.


[Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 72. Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 72 shows another Blue Point No. 1820 open-end wrench, marked with "Blue Points-Chicago" forged into the shank, with the model number stamped on the reverse face.

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is nickel plating, but with extensive losses due to wear and rust.

[Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 73. Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 73 shows a Blue Point No. 1820 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench, stamped on the shank with "Blue Points" and "Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 6.9 inches. The finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.


Blue Point No. 2024 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Blue Point No. 2024 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 74. Blue Point No. 2024 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 74 shows a Blue Point No. 2024 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, stamped on the shank with "Blue Points" and "Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 7.4 inches.

The original finish on this wrench has been lost due to rust.


Blue Point No. 2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Blue Point No. 2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 75. Blue Point No. 2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 75 shows a Blue Point No. 2225 11/16x25/32 open-end wrench, marked with the model number forged into the shank, and with "Blue Points-Chicago" forged into the reverse. (The inset shows the text in the original orientation, rather than reversing it for display.)

The overall length is 8.0 inches.

The finish is a heavy nickel plate, now worn off of the right hand face.


Blue Point No. 2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Blue Point No. 2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 76. Blue Point No. 2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 76 shows a Blue Point No. 2428 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Blue Points-Chicago" forged into the shank, and with the model number stamped on one face.

The overall length is 8.7 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to extensive rust.


Blue Point No. 3034 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench

[Blue Point No. 3034 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 77. Blue Point No. 3034 15/16x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 77 at the left shows a Blue Point No. 3034 15/16x1-1/16 open-end wrench, stamped on the shank with "Blue Points" and "Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 10.9 inches. The finish is a heavy nickel plate, with some losses due to rust.


Blue Point No. 2832 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench

The next example shows a later style with forged-in markings, but as "Blue Point" instead of "Blue Points Chicago".

[Blue Point No. 2832 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 78. Blue Point No. 2832 7/8x1 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 78 shows a Blue Point No. 2832 7/8x1 open-end wrench, marked with "Blue Points" between two arrowhead symbols forged into the shank.

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


Tappet Wrenches

Blue Point introduced tappet wrenches sometime before 1926. Their early style of tappet wrench featured two different opening sizes, with one end straight and the other end offset at an angle. Each wrench had a corresponding model with the sizes exchanged, so that the pair of wrenches would provide both a straight and angled opening of each size.


Blue Point Early [T]1416 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point Early T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 79. Blue Point Early T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 79 shows a Blue Point [T]1416 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" on the face, with two arrowhead symbols above and below.

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

The stamped marking on this wrench closely resembles the Blue Points logo printed in the catalogs, with the text set at an angle and the two arrowheads appearing above and below.

An interesting detail to note with this example is that the model number is actually marked as "No. 1416" rather than "T1416". The T1416 number matches the catalog numbers for tappet wrenches, and marked number would conflict with the model number of the standard open-end wrenches.


Blue Point T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench

The next two figures show a matching pair of tappet wrenches, models T1416 and T1614.

[Blue Point T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 80. Blue Point T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s.

Fig. 80 shows a Blue Point T1416 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, stamped on the shank with "Blue Points - Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

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

In this model the small opening (7/16) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T1614 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point Early T1614 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 81. Blue Point Early T1416 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench, ca. Late 1920s.

Fig. 81 shows the matching model for the T1416, a Blue Point T1614 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, stamped on the shank with "Blue Points - Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 7.9 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear and rust.

In this model the large opening (1/2) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T1816 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point T1816 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 82. Blue Point T1816 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 82 shows a Blue Point T1816 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, marked with "Blue Point" and two arrowhead symbols forged into the shank.

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

In this model the large opening (9/16) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrenches

The next two figures show examples of similar model T2018 tappet wrenches, but with differences in the marking style.

[Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 83. Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 83 at the left shows a Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench, marked "Blue Point" in forged raised letters between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish appears to be nickel plating.

In this model the large opening (5/8) is on the straight (non-offset) end.

[Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 84. Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 84 at the left shows a Blue Point T2018 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench, stamped "Blue Points-Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 8.0 inches. The finish appears to be nickel plating, though much has been lost due to wear.

In this model the large opening (5/8) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T2224 11/16x3/4 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point T2224 11/16x3/4 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 85. Blue Point T2224 11/16x3/4 Tappet Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 85 shows a Blue Point T2224 11/16x3/4 tappet wrench, marked with "Blue Points-Chicago" and two arrowhead symbols forged into a depressed panel.

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

In this model the small opening (11/16) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T2826 13/16x7/8 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point T2826 13/16x7/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 86. Blue Point T2826 13/16x7/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 86 shows a Blue Point T2826 13/16x7/8 tappet wrench, stamped "Blue Points-Chicago" with arrowhead symbols on either side, plus a "PAT. APL'D" patent notice.

The overall length is 8.4 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most has been lost due to rust.

In this model the large opening (7/8) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point T3230 15/16x1 Tappet Wrench

[Blue Point T3032 15/16x1 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 87. Blue Point T3230 15/16x1 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 87 shows a Blue Point T3032 15/16x1 tappet wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" on the face with arrowhead symbols above and below.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating with some losses due to wear.

The stamped marking on this wrench closely resembles the Blue Points logo printed in the catalogs, with the text set at an angle and the two arrowheads appearing above and below.

In this model the small opening (15/16) is on the straight (non-offset) end.


Blue Point LT16 Tappet Wrench

The next several figures show examples of single-ended tappet wrenches.

[Blue Point LT16 1/2 Long Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 88. Blue Point LT16 1/2 Long Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 88 shows another style of tappet wrench, a Blue Point LT16 1/2 long single-ended tappet wrench, stamped "Blue Points" and "Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 13.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Blue Point 1/2 Long Tappet Wrenches

[Blue Point 1/2 Inch Long Tappet Wrenches]
Fig. 89. Blue Point 1/2 Inch Long Tappet Wrenches, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 89 shows a pair of Blue Point long single-ended tappet wrenches of size 1/2, marked "Blue-Point" in raised letters.

The overall length is 13.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Obstruction Wrenches

The 1928 Snap-On catalog introduced a new type of specialized open-end wrench to the Blue Point product line. Termed "Right Angle Wrenches" in the catalog, these wrenches were in a style generally called obstruction wrenches by other makers, and were designed for access to tight places. As the name suggests, the wrench openings were set at nearly right angles to the shank.


Blue Point R1416 7/16x1/2 Obstruction Wrench

[Blue Point R1416 7/16x1/2 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 90. Blue Point R1416 7/16x1/2 Obstruction Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 90 shows a Blue Point R1416 7/16x1/2 obstruction wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

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


Blue Point R1820 9/16x5/8 Obstruction Wrench

[Blue Point R1820 9/16x5/8 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 91. Blue Point R1820 9/16x5/8 Obstruction Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 91 shows a Blue Point R1820 9/16x5/8 obstruction wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 6.4 inches. The original finish appears to have been nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear and rust.


Blue Point R2226 11/16x13/16 Obstruction Wrench

[Blue Point R2226 11/16x13/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 92. Blue Point R2226 11/16x13/16 Obstruction Wrench, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 92 shows a Blue Point R2226 11/16x13/16 obstruction wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols, followed by a "Pat. Apl'd For" patent notice.

The overall length is 7.5 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most of the finish has been lost due to wear and rust.


Blue Point R2428 3/4x7/8 Obstruction Wrench

[Blue Point R2428 3/4x7/8 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 93. Blue Point R2428 3/4x7/8 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1926-1929.

Fig. 93 shows a Blue Point R2428 3/4x7/8 obstruction wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols, with "Blue Points Chicago" and "Pat. Apl'd For" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.5 inches. The original finish was nickel plating, but most of the finish has been lost due to the extensive rust and pitting.


Brake Wrenches

Another new tool first offered in the 1928 Snap-On catalog was a style of brake wrench designed for servicing Lockheed brakes. The wrench design featured two equal-sized openings set at different angles, with one end offset at 22.5 degrees and the other at 60 degrees.

In 1928 the brake wrench was available in a single model, the No. 51 wrench with a 5/8 opening. By 1929 the line had been expanded to a 51xx model series, with the final two digits encoding the size in 32nds.

The 51xx series was produced only briefly, as by 1931 it had been superseded by a 52xx series of a similar design, but with different offset angles.


Blue Point 5118 Brake Wrench

[Blue Point 5118 9/16x9/16 Brake Wrench]
Fig. 94. Blue Point 5118 9/16x9/16 Brake Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1929.

Fig. 94 shows a Blue Point 5118 9/16x9/16 brake wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols. The model number is stamped on one face, with the sizes stamped on the reverse faces.

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


Blue Point 5120 5/8x5/8 Brake Wrench

[Blue Point 5120 5/8x5/8 Brake Wrench]
Fig. 95. Blue Point 5120 5/8x5/8 Brake Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1929.

Fig. 95 shows a Blue Point 5120 5/8x5/8 brake wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" on the shank. The model number is stamped on one face, with the sizes stamped on the reverse faces.

The overall length is 6.2 inches. The finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.


Ignition Wrenches

The 1928 Snap-On catalog also introduced a new style of miniature wrenches under the heading "Ignition and Carburetor Wrenches". The wrench design featured two equal openings, with one straight and the other set at a 90 degree angle, and eight models were offered: Nos. 732 (7/32), 1564 (15/64), 416 (1/4), 516 (5/16), 616 (3/8), 716 (7/16), 816 (1/2), and 916 (9/16). (The Nos. 816 and 916 models were apparently available only in 1928, as they weren't listed in the 1929 catalog.)

The next several figures will show examples of these early Blue Point ignition wrenches.


Blue Point No. 732 Ignition Wrench

[Blue Point 732 7/32x7/32 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 96. Blue Point No. 732 7/32x7/32 Ignition Wrench, ca. 1928-1930.

Fig. 96 at the left shows a Blue Point No. 732 7/32x7/32 ignition wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

The overall length is 2.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.


Blue Point No. 416 Ignition Wrench

[Blue Point No. 416 1/4x1/4 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 97. Blue Point No. 416 1/4x1/4 Ignition Wrench, ca. 1928-1930.

Fig. 97 shows a Blue Point No. 416 1/4x1/4 ignition wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

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


Blue Point No. 616 Ignition Wrench

[Blue Point 616 3/8x3/8 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 98. Blue Point No. 616 3/8x3/8 Ignition Wrench, ca. 1928-1930.

Fig. 98 shows a Blue Point No. 616 3/8x3/8 ignition wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

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


Blue Point No. 816 Ignition Wrench

[Blue Point 816 1/2x1/2 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 99. Blue Point No. 816 1/2x1/2 Ignition Wrench, 1928.

Fig. 99 shows an early Blue Point No. 816 1/2x1/2 ignition wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols.

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


Blue Point No. 916 Ignition Wrench

[Blue Point 916 9/16x9/16 Ignition Wrench]
Fig. 100. Blue Point 916 9/16x9/16 Ignition Wrench, 1928.

Fig. 100 at the left shows an early Blue Point No. 916 9/16x9/16 ignition wrench, stamped "Blue Points Chicago" between two arrowhead symbols. (The first digit of the model number is very difficult to read, but the model would be No. 916 based on the size.)

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


The Blue Point Boxocket Trademark

In 1927 Blue Point registered the trademark "Boxocket" and used it initially for a new line of 12-point box-end wrenches. The first Boxocket wrenches were of a new single-offset style, which featured two box openings of the same size, with one end offset and the other straight. The Blue Point single-offset wrenches were first offered in the 1927 catalog, and the style may have originated with Blue Point; other manufacturers are known to have made single-offset wrenches, but no production earlier than 1927 has been found.

The Boxocket trademark was later extended to another new style of wrench, a partially-open design with broached teeth dubbed "Water Pump" wrenches. We'll look at the Water Pump Boxockets later, but will first examine the single-offset box wrenches.

Blue Point X-16 Single-Offset Box Wrench

[Blue Point X-16 1/2x1/2 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 101. Blue Point X-16 1/2x1/2 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Detail, 1929.

Fig. 101 shows an example of this new wrench style, a Blue Point X-16 1/2x1/2 single-offset box wrench marked "Boxocket". The overall length is 8.9 inches, and a few traces of the original nickel plate finish can be seen.

The upper inset shows a side view to illustrate the single-offset style.

The lower inset shows the reverse side with the date code marked as "-29". Blue Point tools from the 1920s frequently show the date code as two digits, rather than the single digit used for Snap-On items.

Single-offset wrenches were produced by a number of other manufacturers, including Armstrong, Blackhawk, Bonney, Mossberg, Walden, and Williams. Examples of these other wrenches include the Blackhawk 2924, Bonney 2832, APCO-Mossberg 976, Walden-Worcester 2114, and Williams 8140.


Early Blue Point X-18 Single-Offset Box-End Wrench

[Blue Point X-18 9/16x9/16 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 101B. Blue Point X-18 9/16x9/16 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1927-1928.

Fig. 101B shows an early Blue Point X-18 9/16x9/16 single-offset box wrench, stamped "Blue Point" and "Boxocket" with the size and model number.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This example has a rather deep offset measured at about 1.4 inches. Note that the box ends of this wrench are larger than normal, with the box height matching the full diameter of the shank. Note also that the box on the straight end (right side) is butted against the shank, without the typical narrowed transition, giving the wrench a somewhat primitive appearance.


Blue Point X-20 Single-Offset Box Wrenches

The next several figures show early examples of the Blue Point X-20 wrench, with differences in the date code and construction.

[Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 102A. Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Detail, ca. 1927-1928.

Fig. 102A shows an early Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 single-offset box wrench, stamped "Blue Point" and "Boxocket" with the size and model number.

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

This example has a rather deep offset measured at about 1.5 inches. Note that the box ends of this wrench are larger than normal, with the box height matching the full diameter of the shank. Note also that the box on the straight end (right side) is butted against the shank, without the typical narrowed transition, giving the wrench a somewhat primitive appearance.

This wrench is not marked with a date code, but is believed to be among the earliest examples of this model.


[Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 102B. Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1928.

Fig. 102B shows another Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 single-offset box wrench, stamped "Blue Point" and "Boxocket" on the shank, with a "6-28" date code for 1928 on the reverse.

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

This example also has a rather deep offset measured at about 1.4 inches. Note though that the box ends are smaller than the previous figure, and that the shank is thinner at the junction with the box end.

[Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 102C. Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Detail, 1928.

Fig. 102C shows a third example of the Blue Point X-20 5/8x5/8 single-offset box wrench, stamped "Blue Point" and "Boxocket" on the shank, and with a date code of "6-28" for 1928.

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

This wrench has a shallower offset than the previous two figures and is more typical of the later construction for this series. A later version of this model can be seen as the Later Blue Point X-20 Wrench.

Blue Point XS-1820 Short Double-Offset Box Wrench

Shortly after the introduction of the single-offset box wrenches, Blue Point added another style, the short double-offset XS- series of box wrenches. These wrenches were referred to as the "Dwarf Boxocket" series, and were available by 1928.

[Blue Point XS-1820 9/16x5/8 Short Double-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 103. Blue Point XS-1820 9/16x5/8 Short Double-Offset Box Wrench, with Inset for Date, 1929.

An example of the "Dwarf Boxocket" short offset box wrenches is shown in Fig. 103, a Blue Point XS-1820 9/16x5/8 wrench marked "Blue Point Boxocket", with a "-29" date code for 1929 on the reverse.

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

Blue Point W-750 5/8x5/8 Specialty Box Wrench

Blue Point also produced box wrenches for various specialty applications, as the next two figures illustrate.

[Blue Point W-750 5/8x5/8 Specialty Box Wrench]
Fig. 104. Blue Point W-750 5/8x5/8 Specialty Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 104 shows a Blue Point W-750 5/8x5/8 offset box wrench, produced for an aircraft engine service application. The shank is stamped "Blue Point Boxocket" with the W-750 model number and a "-29" date code for 1929 (see insets).

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

This wrench was part of a group of special aircraft tools offered by Snap-On, and the 1933 catalog lists this wrench for servicing the cylinder base nuts of a Curtis Motors R-600.

Blue Point S-7561 11/16 Specialty Single-Box Wrench

[Blue Point S-7561 11/16 Specialty Single-Box Wrench]
Fig. 105. Blue Point S-7561 11/16 Specialty Single-Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 105 shows a Blue Point S-7561 11/16 single-box wrench, stamped on the shank with the S-7561 model number and fractional size, and with a "-29" date code for 1929 (see upper inset). The "Blue Point" marking has been obscured due to damage on the shank, but part of the "B" and "E" are visible to the right of the 11/16 size marking.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Currently we don't have a catalog reference for this model and so are unsure of the intended application. This particular example is not in very good condition, and in fact it appears that the wrench may have been straightened from an original offset form.

Blue Point S-9854 7/8x15/16 Buick Special Box Wrench

[Blue Point S-9854 7/8x15/16 Buick Special Box Wrench]
Fig. 106. Blue Point S-9854 7/8x15/16 Buick Special Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 106 shows a Blue Point S-9854 7/8x15/16 single-offset box wrench designed for Buick service applications. The shank is stamped "Blue Point Boxocket" with the model and fractional sizes, and with a "-29" date code for 1929 on the reverse (see lower inset).

The overall length is 15.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Blue Point S-9856 7/8x31/32 Buick Special Box Wrench

[Blue Point S-9856 7/8x31/32 Buick Special Box Wrench]
Fig. 107. Blue Point S-9856 7/8x31/32 Buick Special Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 107 shows a Blue Point S-9856 7/8x31/32 single-offset box wrench designed for Buick service applications. The shank is stamped "Blue Point Boxocket" with the model and fractional sizes, and with a "-29" date code for 1929 on the reverse (see lower inset).

The overall length is 19.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Heavy-Duty Wrenches

By 1929 (or possibly earlier) Blue Point was offering a heavy-duty series of single-ended "Boxocket" wrenches.


Blue Point 158 1-13/16 Heavy-Duty Single-Box Wrench

[Blue Point 158 1-13/16 Single-Box Wrench]
Fig. 108. Blue Point 158 1-13/16 Single-Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1929.

Fig. 108 shows a Blue Point 158 1-13/16 heavy-duty single-box wrench, marked with "Patent Appd For" and "Blue Point Boxocket Chicago Ill" forged into the shank, with the model number and size stamped near the box end. The reverse shank is stamped "29" date code for 1929 (see lower inset).

The overall length is 13.3 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


Waterpump Wrenches

In 1928 (or possibly 1929), Blue Point extended its "Boxocket" trademark to a new type of open wrench with broached teeth, dubbed "Water Pump" wrenches after the primary application. These wrenches were based on the Gillett 1927 patent #1,626,809, which was later reissued in 1929 as patent #RE17,417, with assignment to Blue Point.

Blue Point waterpump wrenches were produced from around 1928 through 1939, although for some reason they appear only sporadically in the Snap-On catalogs.

The waterpump wrenches are generally marked with either "Patent Appl'd For" or "Patd. Re. No. 17417" forged into the shank, although sometimes the second notice is stamped on the back. Normally when a patent applied (or equivalent) notice is marked on a tool, we would expect the production date to lie between the filing and issue dates of the patent. However, estimating the manufacturing date for the waterpump wrenches has turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected.

The problem is that Blue Point appears to have continued using the "Patent Appl'd" forging dies for long after the patent was issued, possibly because the production volume was relatively low and the dies didn't wear out.


Blue Point 936 Waterpump Wrench

[Blue Point 936 1-1/8 Water Pump Wrench]
Fig. 109. Blue Point 936 1-1/8 Water Pump Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, 1929.

Fig. 109 shows a Blue Point 936 1-1/8 waterpump wrench, marked with "Patent Appl'd For" and "Blue Point Boxocket Chicago Ill" forged into the shank, and with a "-29" date code stamped on the reverse.

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

The faces and edges of this example have been ground smooth, although not polished. The date code on this example indicates that grinding operations had been added to the production by 1929.


Blue Point 938 Waterpump Wrench

[Blue Point 938 1-3/16 Water Pump Wrench]
Fig. 110. Blue Point 938 1-3/16 Water Pump Wrench, ca. 1928-1929.

Fig. 110 at the left shows a slightly earlier model, a Blue Point 938 1-3/16 waterpump wrench, marked "Blue Point Boxocket Chicago Ill" and "Patent Appl'd" in raised letters.

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

The faces and edges of this example have been ground smooth, although not polished.


Blue Point 940 Waterpump Wrench

[Blue Point 940 1-1/4 Water Pump Wrench]
Fig. 111. Blue Point 940 1-1/4 Water Pump Wrench, ca. 1928-1929.

Fig. 111 shows an early Blue Point 940 1-1/4 waterpump wrench, marked with "Patent Appl'd" and "Blue Point Boxocket Chicago Ill" forged into the shank.

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

The surfaces on both sides of this wrench (including the faces) have been left with a rough forged finish, and the edges show marks left by the trimming die. These details suggest an early production date for this example, as later wrenches generally have the edges and faces ground smooth.

This wrench and the one in the previous figure were likely forged by the same die, based on a careful examination of the markings in the depressed panel.


Blue Point 946 Waterpump Wrench

[Blue Point 946 1-7/16 Water Pump Wrench]
Fig. 112. Blue Point 946 1-7/16 Water Pump Wrench, ca. 1928-1929.

Fig. 112 shows an early Blue Point 946 1-7/16 waterpump wrench, marked with "Patent Appl'd For" and "Blue Point Boxocket Chicago Ill" forged into the shank.

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

The surfaces on both sides of this wrench (including the faces) have been left with a rough forged finish, and the edges show marks left by the trimming die. These details suggest an early production date for this example, as later wrenches generally have the edges and faces ground smooth.


That completes our presentation of the Snap-On and Blue Point tools of the 1920s. Readers interested in further information can refer to our article Snap-On and Blue Point: 1930s to 1950s.


References and Resources

The photographs and observations in these pages are of items from the Alloy Artifacts collection.


Catalog Coverage

Product information was obtained from the Snap-On catalog "A" (reprint) of 1923, and from the 1926 and 1927 catalogs of the Motor Tool Specialty Company, Snap-On's distributor in Chicago.


Patents and Trademarks

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


Feedback

If any readers have additional information regarding early Snap-On and Blue Point tools, 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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