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Adjustable Wrenches

Although Williams had produced various types of adjustable wrenches early in its history, the company waited until the mid 1930s to offer the popular Crescent-style adjustable wrenches. The Williams adjustables closely resembled the Crescent-style wrenches from other tool companies, but incorporated at least one significant change to the construction.

In the Williams adjustable wrenches, the keyway for the sliding jaw (and the jaw itself) is made with a flat top, instead of the typical rounded top. The flat top helps to minimize lateral forces when under heavy load, forces that could otherwise distort and damage the wrench. This design is described by patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.

The 1937 Williams catalog offers adjustable wrenches in both alloy steel and carbon steel, and in sizes from 4 to 12 inches. Williams used the trademark "Superjustable" for the alloy steel models, while the carbon steel wrenches were marked "Williams' Adjustable". (The "Superjustable" trademark was actually registered in the early 1920s, but was used at that time for clamps rather than wrenches.)

By 1940 the Williams catalog had extended the available sizes up to 18 inches, but interestingly the larger models were footnoted as being of "Diamond" brand, a reference to the wrenches from the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company. The carbon steel models had been discontinued by 1945, and by 1950 Williams had extended the available sizes up to 24 inches and brought the production in-house.

In the 1950s Williams brought back the carbon steel adjustable wrench models, using a slightly different design with a raised ring around the hanging hole. These revised carbon-steel models were available only briefly though, as by 1960 they had been superseded by an industrial finish version of the standard "Superjustable" line. Apparently by this point in time the cost difference between carbon and alloy steel was not enough to justify two separate product lines, making it more attractive to offer two finish options.

By 1968 Williams had assigned model numbers to the Superjustable wrench series. The standard chrome-plated wrenches were given an "AP" prefix followed by the nominal size, for example AP-8 for an 8 inch wrench. The industrial (black) finish models were given an "AB" prefix. It appears that by this time the markings were stamped rather than forged-in, so that the chrome and black models could be forged with the same dies.

Shortly after the advent of model numbers Williams made one further minor change to the wrench design. The hanging hole on wrenches 12 inches and under was given a raised ridge, similar to what had been done for the second-generation carbon-steel models. (Wrench sizes 15 inches and up were unchanged.) The raised ridge is first illustrated in the catalogs around 1970, though it's possible that the change occurred with the switch to stamped markings.


Early Adjustable Wrenches


Early Carbon Steel 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

We'll begin this section with an example of the carbon steel adjustable (rather than "Superjustable") wrenches.

[Williams 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 450. Williams 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1944.

Fig. 450 shows a Williams 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked "Williams' Adjustable" with the W-Diamond logo in forged raised letters, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the maximum opening is approximately 1 inch. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the general construction and the flat-topped keyway. The head thickness was measured at 0.55 inches.


Early "Superjustable" 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

The next several figures show examples of early "Superjustable" wrenches.

[Williams 4 Inch Superjustable Wrench]
Fig. 451. Williams 4 Inch "Superjustable" Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1947.

Fig. 451 shows an early Williams 4 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Superjustable" and "Alloy V" forged into the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in W-Diamond logo at the left.

The overall length is 4.2 inches with a maximum jaw opening of 0.5 inches.

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

The W-Diamond logo on this example indicates a likely manufacturing date in the range 1935-1947.


Early "Superjustable" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams 8 Inch Superjustable Wrench]
Fig. 452. Williams 8 Inch "Superjustable" Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1947.

Fig. 452 shows an early Williams 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked "Superjustable" with "Patd in U.S.A." and "Alloy" forged into the shank, with the W-Diamond logo followed by "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse. The shank also has a "V" code stamped near the "Alloy" marking.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum jaw opening is 1.0 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.49 inches.

The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thin construction.

The W-Diamond logo on this example indicates a likely manufacturing date in the range 1935-1947.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.


Early "Superjustable" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams 10 Inch Superjustable Wrench]
Fig. 453. Williams 10 Inch "Superjustable" Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1935-1947.

Fig. 453 shows an early Williams 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked "Superjustable" with "Patd in U.S.A." and "Alloy V" in raised letters. The reverse is marked with the W-Diamond logo followed by "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Drop-Forged in U.S.A.", all in forged raised letters.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the maximum jaw opening is 1.2 inches. The finish was originally chrome plating, but most has been lost due to extensive rust and pitting, plainly visible in the photograph.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the relatively thin construction. The head thickness was measured at 0.56 inches.

The W-Diamond logo on this example indicates a likely manufacturing date in the range 1935-1947.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.


Second-Generation Carbon Steel Adjustable Wrenches

In the 1950s Williams resumed production of carbon steel adjustable wrenches, but in a slightly different design with a raised ring around the hanging hole. These second-generation carbon-steel models were available only briefly though; by 1960 they had been superseded by an industrial finish version of the standard "Superjustable" line.


Later Carbon Steel 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 454. Williams 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 454 shows an example of the later carbon steel models, a Williams 4 inch adjustable wrench marked with "Adjustable" and "Patd. U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Drop-Forged" on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the maximum opening is approximately 0.5 inch. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the general construction and the flat-topped keyway.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.


Later Carbon Steel 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 455. Williams 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 455 shows a later Williams 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Adjustable" and "Patd. U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Drop-Forged" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the maximum opening is approximately 0.8 inch. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the general construction and the flat-topped keyway.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.


Later Carbon Steel 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 456. Williams 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 456 shows another second-generation carbon steel wrench, a Williams 8 inch adjustable wrench. The wrench is marked with "Adjustable" and "Patd. in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Drop-Forged" (partially obscured by a brazing accident) forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is approximately 1.0 inch. The finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, illustrating the general construction and the flat-topped keyway.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.


Later "Superjustable" Adjustable Wrenches


"Superjustable" 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams Superjustable 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 457. Williams "Superjustable" 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1967.

Fig. 457 shows another example of the Superjustable series, a Williams 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked "Superjustable" with "6 In." and "U.S.A." forged into the shank, and with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the maximum jaw opening is 0.8 inches. The finish is plain steel.


"Superjustable" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams Superjustable 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 458. Williams "Superjustable" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1967.
[Box for Williams 10 Inch Superjustable Wrench]
Fig. 459. Box for Williams 10 Inch Superjustable Wrench, with Inset for End View.

Fig. 458 shows a Williams "Superjustable" 10 inch adjustable wrench, marked "Superjustable" with "Patd. in U.S.A." and "10 In." forged into the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." plus "Drop-Forged" and "Alloy =" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 10.2 inches and the maximum jaw opening is 1.2 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.58 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with highly polished faces.

The patent notice refers to patent #2,112,840, filed by F.A. Haist in 1935 and issued in 1938.

This wrench was acquired in nearly new condition in its original box. Fig. 459 shows the box for the Williams 10 Inch "Superjustable" wrench.


AP-4 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

The next several figures show later examples of the Superjustable wrench line with AP- or AB-series model numbers, and with markings stamped instead of forged into the shank. Note also that the hanging hole now has a raised ridge around it.

[Williams AP-4 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 460. Williams AP-4 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 460 shows a Williams AP-4 "Superjustable" 4 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Superjustable U.S.A." on the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." on the reverse. The reverse shank also has a forged-in "L" code near the hanging hole.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.5 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


AP-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams AP-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 461. Williams AP-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 461 shows a Williams AP-8 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Superjustable" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in code "L" near the hanging hole.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench to illustrate the slim profile. The square shoulder of the sliding jaw can be seen on close examination.


AB-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams AB-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 462. Williams AB-8 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 462 shows a Williams AB-8 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Superjustable" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is black oxide.

The thin profile of the wrench can be seen in the top inset, and the maximum head thickness was measured at 0.49 inches. Note also that the edge of the handle shows a ridge from the trimming operation, a cost-saving measure appropriate for this industrial-finish model.


AP-10 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams AP-10 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 463. Williams AP-10 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 463 shows a Williams AP-10 10 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Superjustable" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in code "L" near the hanging hole.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.3 inches, a fairly wide jaw opening for this wrench size. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


AP-12 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Williams AP-12 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 464. Williams AP-12 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 464 shows a Williams AP-12 12 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Superjustable" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.4 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.73 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


APL-6 Locking Adjustable Wrench

In addition to its basic models, Williams offered a locking adjustable wrench based on a simple sliding pin mechanism.

[Williams APL-6 6 Inch Locking Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 465. Williams APL-6 6 Inch Locking Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

An example of a locking model is shown in Fig. 465, a Williams APL-6 6 inch adjustable wrench marked "Superjustable" and "Made in U.S.A." on the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse also has a forged-in code "L" near the hanging hole.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.7 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The locking mechanism is covered by patent #2,719,449, issued to W.J. Johnson in 1955.


General Service and Specialty Tools

In addition to its broad line of wrenches and sockets, Williams produced a wide range of tools for industrial service, plus specialty tools for automotive, refrigeration, and other applications. Some of these tools were also marked as part of the "Superrench" line.


Automotive Specialty Tools


1021S 1/4x5/16 Brake Wrench

[Williams 1021S 1/2x5/16 Brake Wrench]
Fig. 466. Williams 1021S 1/4x5/16 Brake Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1954.

Fig. 466 shows a Williams 1021S 1/4x5/16 brake wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the Williams logo on the face. The shank has forged-in markings "Superrench" on the front, with an II" code and "Alloy" on the reverse.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


1516 "Steeldraulic" Brake Pliers

[Williams 1516 Steeldraulic Brake Pliers]
Fig. 467. Williams 1516 "Steeldraulic" Brake Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 467 shows a pair of Williams 1516 "steeldraulic" brake pliers, marked with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo forged into the handle.

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

The inset shows the stop-boss forged into one handle, to limit the closing travel.


1959 Starter & Manifold Box-End Wrench

[Williams 1959 9/16x5/8 Starter & Manifold Box Wrench]
Fig. 468. Williams 1959 9/16x5/8 Starter & Manifold Box Wrench, with Insets for Marking Detail, 1934.

Fig. 468 shows a Williams 1959 9/16x5/8 halfmoon box-end wrench, a style designed primarily for starter and manifold service. The shank has stamped markings for the W-Diamond logo and "Superrench" trademark, with "Chrome-Alloy" stamped on the reverse. The shank also has a forged-in code "JZ.." visible at the right and as a close-up in the lower inset.

The model 1959 wrench is not listed in the 1933 Williams catalog, but is shown in a 1937 A-409 update catalog, where it is recommended for starter and manifold nuts.

The distinctive forged-in code on this example is of particular interest, as it positively identifies the wrench as production by Bonney Forge & Tool, making this an uncommon example of contract production for Williams. The forged-in code is actually the Bonney Date Code for the wrench, and in this case the code indicates a manufacturing date of 1934. The equivalent Bonney tool is the model 2881 wrench, which at that time would have been marked with "Bonney" and "Chrome Vanadium" forged into the shank. A close look at the Williams photograph shows that the shank has been ground flat on either side of the stamped markings, in order to remove the original forged markings.


1960 Starter & Manifold Box-End Wrench

[Williams 1960 9/16x5/8 Starter & Manifold Box Wrench]
Fig. 469. Williams 1960 9/16x5/8 Starter & Manifold Box Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail, ca. 1940+.

Fig. 469 shows an example of a Williams specialty tool, a Williams 1960 9/16x5/8 halfmoon box-end wrench intended for starter and manifold service. The shank has stamped markings for "Superrench" and the W-Diamond logo, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse shank also has a small forged-in number "8742" shown in the left inset, although the digits are blurred and difficult to read.

The model 1960 wrench is not listed in the 1937 catalog, but is shown in the 1940 and later catalogs at least through 1950. The wrench is recommended for starter and manifold nuts on Chrysler and Dodge automobiles, and on DeSoto through 1940.

The forged-in "8742" marking indicates the use of AISI 8742 steel, an alloy with nickel, chromium, and molybdenum frequently used tool applications. The "8742" marking (or other numbers for similar steels) has been observed fairly frequently on Herbrand tools, suggesting that this wrench may have been made for Williams by Herbrand. The Herbrand 2146 Starter and Mainfold Wrench is very similar in design to this example, and other Herbrand half-moon wrenches such as the Herbrand 1940 Wrench have been noted as using AISI 8742 steel.


S-231 7/16x7/16 Double-Ended Hex Socket Wrench

[Williams S-231 7/16x7/16 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 470. Williams S-231 7/16x7/16 Socket Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 470 shows a Williams S-231 7/16x7/16 double-ended hex socket wrench, stamped "Superrench" and "Forged in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The wrench has an overall length of 11.2 inches, with a length of 10.6 inches for the long arm. The finish is chrome plating with polished sockets.


SV-244 1/2x1/2 Single-Offset Box Wrench

[Williams SV-244 1/2x1/2 Single-Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 471. Williams SV-244 1/2x1/2 Single-Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1937-1939.

Fig. 471 shows a Williams SV-244 1/2x1/2 single-offset box wrench with a round shank, stamped "Superrench" and "Forged in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 9.3 inches and the offset depth is 2.3 inches. The finish is chrome plating.

The 1937 Williams catalog listed this as a new wrench model for servicing the distributor on 1937 Ford V-8 automobiles, and later catalogs (through 1945) listed it for 1937-1942 Ford and Lincoln Zephyr automobiles. This particular example has a transitional marking style between the older Duo-Hex and later oval style box wrenches, suggesting a production date from 1937-1939.


1981 Double-Ended Hex Socket Wrench

[Williams 1981 9/16x9/16 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 472. Williams 1981 9/16x9/16 Socket Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Reverse Detail, ca. 1934-1936.

Fig. 472 shows a Williams 1981 9/16x9/16 double-ended hex socket wrench, intended primarily for connecting-rod service on Ford V8 engines. The shank is stamped "Chrome-Molybdenum" on one side, with the "Superrench" trademark and W-Diamond logo on the reverse.

The wrench has an overall length of 12.0 inches, with a length of 11.5 inches for the long arm. The finish is chrome plating with polished sockets.

The model 1981 wrench has an interesting history. This model was available as early as 1931 in a slightly shorter version with a 10 inch arm, and at that time was described as a brake wrench for Bendix brakes. By 1937 the arm length had been increased to 11.5 inches and the model number updated to 1981-A, with the primary application listed as servicing connecting rods for Ford V8 engines. The catalog illustration at that time shows the sockets with a distinctive tapered form.

The present example is unusual in bearing the older model number but with the later specifications, suggesting a likely production date in the mid 1930s.


1983 3/16x1/4 Brake Wrench

[Williams 1983 3/16x1/4 Brake Wrench]
Fig. 473. Williams 1983 3/16x1/4 Brake Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 473 shows a Williams 1983 3/16x1/4 brake wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the model number on the other end (see lower inset). The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark in forged raised letters, with "Alloy" and a "V" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is gray paint.


1984X 7/16x1/2 Double-Square Brake Wrench

[Williams 1984X 7/16x1/2 Double-Square Brake Wrench]
Fig. 474. Williams 1984X 7/16x1/2 Double-Square Brake Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 474 shows a Williams 1984X 7/16x1/2 double-square box wrench for Ford brake service. The wrench is marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the shank, with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo stamped at the left. The reverse is marked with "Chrome-Molybdenum" forged into the shank, with the fractional sizes stamped at each end (see lower inset).

The overall length is 11.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This wrench was designed to service the brakes on Ford model "A" cars and model "AA" trucks. Similar wrenches were available from a number of other manufacturers, and examples can be seen as the Bonney 2857 Brake Wrench, Duro-Chrome 268 Brake Wrench, and Herbrand 2333 Brake Wrench.


1985 5/8 Short Brake Wrench

[Williams 1985 5/8 Short Brake Wrench]
Fig. 475. Williams 1985 5/8 Short Brake Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 475 shows a Williams 1985 5/8 short brake wrench, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face (upper inset), with the model number and size on the opposite face. The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark in forged raised letters, with "Chrome-Molybdenum" on the reverse.

The overall length is 3.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


1990 "Special" (A183907) 1/2x9/16 Brake Wrench

[Williams 1990 Special (A183907) 1/2x9/16 Brake Wrench]
Fig. 476. Williams 1990 "Special" (A183907) 1/2x9/16 Brake Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 476 shows a Williams 1990 "Special" 1/2x9/16 brake wrench with a dual marking as model A183907. The face is stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one end, with the standard 1990 model on the other end, and the shank is stamped with "A183907" and the "Superrench" trademark. The reverse side is stamped "Special" on the face with "Chrome-Alloy" on the shank.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is gray paint.

Currently we do not have any specific information for this wrench, but believe that it's likely a military special order item from the 1942-1945 wartime era. The gray paint and semi-finished faces strongly suggest wartime production, and the A183907 marking is likely the model number for a specific maintenance tool. (The standard 1990 model was a 5/8x5/8 brake wrench.)


1997 "Superrench" Offset Screwdriver

[Williams 1997 Superrench Offset Screwdrivder]
Fig. 477. Williams 1997 "Superrench" Offset Screwdriver, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 477 shows a Williams 1997 offset screwdriver, marked with the "Superrench" trademark and model number forged into one side, with "Alloy" and the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse. A forged-in "V" code also appears on the reverse shank.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.


1998A "Superrench" Brake Spoon

[Williams 1998A Superrench Brake Spoon]
Fig. 478. Williams 1998A "Superrench" Brake Spoon, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 478 shows a Williams 1998A "Superrench" brake-adjusting spoon, marked "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo, and with the "Superrench" trademark in raised letters. The reverse is marked "Chrome-Alloy" in raised letters, as seen in the lower inset.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


1998B "Superrench" Brake Spoon

[Williams 1998B Superrench Brake Spoon]
Fig. 479. Williams 1998B "Superrench" Brake Spoon, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 479 shows a Williams 1998B "Superrench" brake-adjusting spoon, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A." logo and model number, and with the "Superrench" trademark in raised letters. The reverse is marked "Alloy" in raised letters, as seen in the lower inset.

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


No. 1999 "Multisocket" Eight-In-1 Socket Wrenches

The next several figures show examples of the Williams No. 1999 eight-way socket wrench, a distinctive tool with rotating socket clusters on each end.

[Williams No. 1999 Multisocket Eight-In-1 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 480. Williams No. 1999 "Multisocket" Eight-In-1 Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 480 at the left shows an earlier Williams No. 1999 eight-way socket wrench, with "Williams Multisocket" and the W-Diamond logo forged into the shank. The reverse shank has forged-in markings "Forged in U.S.A." and "Chrome-Molybdenum", plus a "Pat. Pendg." notice.

The socket sizes are 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 19/32 on the small head, with 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, and 7/8 on the large head. The sizes are marked on the edge of each opening, as can be seen in the upper inset.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating. The chrome plating is unusual for this model, as the Williams catalogs from 1931 through 1950 consistently report the finish as cadmium plating.

The patent pending notice refers to patent #1,811,137, filed by W.C. Kress in 1930, and issued in 1931 with assignment to J.H Williams.


[Williams No. 1999 Multisocket Eight-In-1 Socket Wrench]
Fig. 481. Williams No. 1999 "Multisocket" Eight-In-1 Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 481 shows another example of the Williams No. 1999 wrench, believed to be somewhat later than the previous figure. The shank has forged markings "Williams Multisocket" with the W-Diamond logo and a small "T" code can be seen to the right of the logo. The reverse shank has forged-in markings "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." and "Chrome-Alloy Sockets", plus a "Pat. Pend'g." notice.

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

The patent pending notice refers to Kress 1931 patent #1,811,137.

The socket sizes are not marked on this example, but the sizes are the same as in the previous figure.

Although the above two examples are very similar, there are some differences worth noting. The "Chrome-Molybdenum" marking on the first tool has become "Chrome-Alloy Sockets" on the second, suggesting that the specifications had been relaxed a bit. Apparently only the sockets now needed to be chrome alloy, and not necessarily chrome-molybdenum.

Other minor changes in markings -- the small "T" code, and the use of "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." instead of "Forged in U.S.A." -- indicate at least that the forging dies had been updated, possibly for use at a different factory.

More significant though is the detail that didn't change: even though these examples were probably made some years apart, both are still marked with a patent pending status. Typically a company would mark their products "Patented" after the patent had been issued, possibly with a patent date or number as well. But after reviewing these examples, plus photographs of perhaps ten additional examples of the No. 1999 wrenches, all of them were marked with the "Pat. Pendg." notation.


No. 1999 "Multisocket" Eight-In-1 Socket Wrench, Raised Panel Version

In the 1950s Williams redesigned the Multisocket wrench with a raised panel forging, similar to the stylistic make-over given to the other wrench lines.

[Williams No. 1999 Multisocket Eight-Way Socket Wrench]
Fig. 482. Williams No. 1999 "Multisocket" Eight-Way Socket Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1955.

Fig. 482 at the left shows a Williams No. 1999 eight-way socket wrench in the raised panel style, stamped "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Forged U.S.A." on the raised panel, with "Multisocket" on the reverse.

As with the earlier models, the socket sizes are 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 19/32 on the small head, with 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, and 7/8 on the large head.

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

No patent notice is marked on this example, but the wrench follows the same design described by patent #1,811,137.

The raised panels on this model first appeared in the 1950s, probably around the same time as the panelled designs for the Superrench line. Chrome plated finishes for this model were also introduced in the 1950s; up until at least 1950, the model 1999 wrenches were specified with cadmium plated finishes.


1232A 1-1/32 Thin Single-Open Waterpump or Aircraft Wrench

[Williams 1232A 1-1/32 Single-Open Wrench]
Fig. 483. Williams 1232A 1-1/32 Single-Open Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, 1943.

Fig. 483 shows a Williams 1232A 1-1/32 thin single-open wrench with a 30-degree offset, stamped with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the face, with the model number on the shank. The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "DU.." visible at the end of the handle.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This style of thin single-open wrench was first introduced by Bonney in the 1920s as a waterpump packing nut wrench, and these wrenches later became popular for aircraft service applications.

Readers familiar with Bonney will recognize the forged-in code as a Bonney date code, indicating that this example was contract production by Bonney. The "U" year code and plain finish indicate production in 1943. More information and examples of these wrenches can be found in our article on Bonney Waterpump Wrenches.

Williams was not known to have offered this style of wrench before this example turned up, and we're glad to be able to display it in the Alloy Artifacts collection. If any readers have further information on these wrenches, please send us an email.


S-60C 1/2-Drive Stud Extractor

[Williams S-60C 1/2-Drive Stud Extractor]
Fig. 484. Williams S-60C 1/2-Drive Stud Extractor, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 484 shows a Williams S-60C 1/2-drive stud extractor of the eccentric cam type, marked "U.S.A." with the Williams logo.

The diameter of the body is 2.0 inches, and the overall height is 2.5 inches. The finish is chrome plating.

The right inset shows a top view of the body. Two holes of different diameters are provided, in order to handle studs of various sizes.

One interesting feature of this design is that the eccentric cam is secured to the drive shaft only by a detent ball, allowing it to be easily removed for cleaning or replacement.


Refrigeration Specialty Tools

Refrigeration service was a specialty field that hadn't existed at all much before the late 1920s, but which grew rapidly in the 1930s and beyond. Williams was offering specialty tools for refrigeration applications at least as early as 1933, with its R-19A refrigeration socket set, and selection was expanded in later years.


F-50A Refrigeration Ratchet

The next two figures show examples of the Williams F-50A/B-50A refrigeration ratchets, adapted from the standard F-50/B-50 ratchets.

[Williams F-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 485. Williams F-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1933-1936.

Fig. 485 shows a Williams F-50A 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the face. The shank is marked with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." forged into the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." plus the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.

The ratchet body is basically identical to the Williams F-50 3/8-drive ratchet. The standard model has been adapted for refrigeration service by fitting it with a 1/4 drive gear and by broaching the handle end with a 1/4 square opening.


B-50A Refrigeration Ratchet

[Williams B-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 486. Williams B-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1936-1947.

Fig. 486 shows a Williams B-50A 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the reverse face. The shank is marked with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." forged into the front, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

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

The ratchet body is basically identical to the Williams B-50 ratchet, which is normally configured as a 3/8-drive model. The standard model has been adapted for refrigeration service by fitting it with a 1/4 drive gear and by broaching the handle end with a 1/4 square opening.


MR-51 Refrigeration Ratchet

[Williams MR-51 Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 487. Williams MR-51 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 487 shows a Williams MR-51 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face, and with "J.H. Williams & Co." forged into the shank.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism is an open design with a 24-tooth drive gear, and the reversible pivoting pawl has two contact teeth on each side. The handle is equipped with broached openings for 3/16 square, 1/4 square, 5/16 square, and 1/2 hex.

This tool is also marked with a "Patd." patent notice forged into the shank, but the corresponding patent is not known at this time.


R-19A Refrigeration Socket Set

The R-19A socket set was one of the earliest refrigeration service items offered by Williams. The set offered a mix of standard and specialty sockets along with a ratchet, sliding Tee-handle, extensions, and drive adapters.

[Williams R-19A Refrigeration Socket Set]
Fig. 488. Williams R-19A Refrigeration Socket Set, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 488 shows a Williams R-19A 1/4-drive socket set for refrigeration applications, consisting of 1/4-drive tools and a mix of standard and specialty sockets.

The drive tools in the set are based on 1/4-drive and consist of an MR-51 refrigeration ratchet, NM-20A sliding Tee handle, M-115 6 inch extension, ratchet plug (a replacement), and BM-150 3/8-drive adapter.

[Top Cover of Williams R-19A Socket Set]
Fig. 489. Top Cover of Williams R-19A Socket Set, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 489 shows the top cover of the Williams R-19A socket set. The decal on the top is marked with the "Williams Supersocket" logo and the "R-19A" model number, with "J.H. Williams & Co. Buffalo, N.Y." and "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

The dimensions of the box are 8.1 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep by 1.3 inches high. The finish is gray paint.


1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

In the late 1940s Williams began offering a combined open-end and flare-nut wrench style, with both ends of the same size. Typically these were used for refrigeration or hydraulic line applications, where the better grip of the flare-nut opening helped avoid damage to softer fittings. The wrenches were given model numbers in a 13xx series in sizes ranging from 3/8 (1312) up to 1-1/16 (1334).

Initially the wrenches were designed with 12-point flare openings for all sizes, but by the mid 1950s Williams was using 6-point flare openings. The model numbers were not updated for this change to the specification, so it's possible to find both 6-point and 12-point wrenches with the same model number.

[Williams 1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 490. Williams 1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 490 shows a Williams 1316 1/2 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the W-Diamond logo and "U.S.A" on the face. The shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side, with "Alloy" and a "B" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.3 inches. The finish is chrome plating, but much of the chrome has worn off to reveal the copper underplating.

The W-Diamond and "U.S.A." face marking is a variant of the "Williams U.S.A." logo used for smaller wrenches. The face marking and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate a production date in the late 1940s to early 1950s, before the advent of the raised-panel shank style.


1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 491A. Williams 1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 491A shows a Williams 1324 3/4 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the front, with "Alloy" and a "B" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Williams U.S.A." logo on the face indicates production in 1947 or later, and the 6-point flare opening indicates production in the mid 1950s.


1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 491. Williams 1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 491 shows a Williams 1324 3/4 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the front, with "Alloy" and a "B" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Williams U.S.A." logo on the face indicates production in 1947 or later, and the 6-point flare opening indicates production in the mid 1950s.


1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 492. Williams 1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 492 shows a Williams 1328 7/8 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side, with "Alloy" and a "V" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The Williams logo on the face and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate a production date in the late 1940s to early 1950s, before the advent of the raised-panel shank style.


1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 493. Williams 1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 493 shows a Williams 1334 1-1/16 combination-flare wrench for refrigeration or hydraulic line applications. The wrench is stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face, and the shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side and "Alloy" on the reverse. (The face logo from this wrench served as the example for this style, shown on the first page of this article.)

The overall length is 10.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The Williams logo on the face and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate production before the advent of the raised-panel shank style, and the 6-point flare opening suggests a date in the mid 1950s.

This wrench was obtained as a "New Old Stock" item and appears to have never been used or even handled much; the satin chrome finish on the shank was still rough to the touch.


1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, Flat-Shank Style

The next two figures show examples of later combination open and flare wrenches in the flat-shank style.

[Williams 1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 494. Williams 1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 494 shows a later Williams 1312 3/8 combination-flare wrench in the flat-shank style, stamped "Superrench" and "U.S.A" on one side, with the Williams logo and fractional sizes on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, Flat-Shank Style

[Williams 1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 495. Williams 1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 495 shows a Williams 1318 9/16 combination-flare wrench in the flat-shank style, stamped "Superrench" and "U.S.A" on one side, with the Williams logo and fractional sizes on the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in "B" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


General Service Tools


No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

[Williams No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 496. Williams No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 496 shows a pair of Williams No. 76 6 inch needlenose pliers with side-cutters, marked "Made U.S.A." near the pivot, and stamped "V" on the underside of the handles (see lower inset).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers

[Williams PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers]
Fig. 497. Williams PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 497 shows a pair of Williams PL-6 6 inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "U.S.A." near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the embossed gripping pattern on the handles. The handle pattern is easily recognized as the familiar Crescent Tool "Checkerdot" design, indicating that Crescent was likely the contract maker of these pliers. An example of the "Checkerdot" pattern on Crescent pliers can be seen as the CeeTeeCo 8 Inch Combination Pliers.


PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

[Williams PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 498. Williams PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 498 shows a pair of Williams PL-16 6 inch thin-nose combination pliers, stamped "U.S.A." near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the thin nose construction and the embossed pattern on the handles. The handle pattern is easily recognized as the familiar Crescent Tool "Checkerdot" design, indicating that Crescent was likely the contract maker of these pliers. The equivalent Crescent model can be seen as the Crescent L-26 Thin-Nose Combination Pliers.


1515 Snap-Ring Pliers

[Williams 1515 Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 499. Williams 1515 Snap-Ring Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 499 shows a pair of Williams 1515 snap-ring pliers, stamped with "Williams U.S.A." logo and model number near the pivot.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


1520 Waterpump Pliers

[Williams 1520 Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 500. Williams 1520 Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1947.

Fig. 500 shows a pair of Williams 1520 waterpump pliers with a distinctive gripping pattern on the handles, marked only with the model and Williams logo.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The model 1520 pliers were available by 1937 or earlier, as this model is listed in a Williams catalog from that year. The 1947 Williams catalog mentions the use of the distinctive diamond gripping pattern seen on the handles of these pliers.


472 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner

[Williams 472 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner]
Fig. 501. Williams 472 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 501 shows a Williams 472 adjustable spanner with a 1-1/4 to 3 inch capacity, marked "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. (The upper inset has been rotated for readability.)

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.


1472 "Superrench" 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner

Williams also produced an alloy steel version of its adjustable spanners as part of the Superrench line, as illustrated in the next figure.

[Williams 1472 Superrench 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner]
Fig. 502. Williams 1472 "Superrench" 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 502 shows a Williams 1472 "Superrench" adjustable spanner with a 1-1/4 to 3 inch capacity, stamped with "The Superrench" and "Alloy" on the front, with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the reverse. The handle is marked with the size range and "Adjustable Spanner" forged into the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse. (The upper inset has been rotated for readability.)

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


483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner

[Williams 483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner]
Fig. 503. Williams 483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 503 shows a Williams 483 adjustable face spanner in the 3 inch size. The arms have forged-in markings "No. 483 Adjustable Face Spanner" on one, with forged-in markings "J.H. Williams & Co." and "U.S.A." plus the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse is also marked "3 Inch Size", as seen in the inset.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the pin diameter is 0.24 inches. The finish is black paint.

A forged-in code "T" can be seen on the arms at the right of the depressed oval.


807 Single-Box Wrench

[Williams 808 1-1/16 Single-Box Wrench]
Fig. 504. Williams 807 1-1/16 Single-Box Wrench.

Fig. 504 shows a Williams 807 1-1/16 single-box wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A" with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is black paint.


8808 Slugging Wrench

[Williams 8808 1-1/4 Slugging Wrench]
Fig. 505. Williams 8808 1-1/4 Slugging Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 505 shows a Williams 8808 1-1/4 slugging wrench, marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel

[Williams C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel]
Fig. 506. Williams C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel.

Fig. 506 shows a Williams C-98 1 inch wood chisel, stamped "USA" on the shank.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is black paint.


Contract Production

In this section we'll look at some examples of tools produced by Williams but marked with a customer's brand, or at least not marked with one of the standard Williams tool lines.


The "Volume" Line

Although the most of the Williams alloy-steel wrenches were marked as part of the Superrench line, some such tools were marked for other product lines. One of these was the so-called "Volume" line, a series of wrenches, sockets, and drive tools apparently intended for the automotive service market.

The existence of the Volume line was discovered in a 1933 Ducommun industrial supply catalog, which lists a number of open-end wrenches under this brand. The Volume open-end wrenches were given industry-standard model numbers with an "A" prefix, and were offered at about half of the price of an equivalent Superrench model.

Some of the Volume line was marked with the W-Diamond or other Williams logos, but the sockets and drive tools were marked with the Volume brand with no Williams-specific markings. In the absence of any Williams markings, these tools might be considered "mystery brands" with unknown makers.


A723 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 507. Williams A723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 507 at the left shows an example of a wrench in the Volume line, a Williams A723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, with the face marked "Chrome-Molybdenum" and "Made U.S.A." with W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


A27C Open-End Wrench

[Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 508. Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 508 shows a Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped "Chrome-Molybdenum" and "Forged in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


A731A Open-End Wrench

[Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 509. Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 509 shows a Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face, and with "Chrome-Molybdenum" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


A90 Tappet Wrench

[Williams A90 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 510. Williams A90 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 510 shows a Williams A90 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, marked "Special-Tappet-Alloy" on the shank, with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the face.

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

This wrench was previously thought to be a very early alloy-steel tool, produced before the "Superrench" trademark was registered. However, this style of tappet wrench is illustrated in a 1933 Ducommun catalog, and the catalog clearly shows the "Special Tappet Alloy" marking. The "A" prefix to the model number indicates that it was probably part of the Volume line of tools.


"A"-Series 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrenches

In the later continuation of the Volume "A" series the wrenches were marked simply with an "A" and the fractional sizes. The next several figures show examples of the later Volume line.

[Williams A 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 511. Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 511 shows a Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, stamped with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on one face, with "A" on the other end. The reverse shank is marked with a forged-in "V" code at the left, and the reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

[Williams A 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 512. Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 512 shows another example of the Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face, with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse shank is marked with a forged-in "II" code at the right, and the reverse faces (not shown) are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.

"A"-Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 513. Williams "A" 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 513 shows a Williams "A" 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face, with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, as shown in the inset.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.


"A"-Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 514. Williams "A" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 514 shows a Williams "A" 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse faces (not shown) are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench. Note that some shear marks from the trimming operation are still visible.


Plain Series 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench

The next several figures show examples of Williams open-end wrenches with even more minimal markings, which we'll call the "Plain Series" for lack of a better term.

Although we don't have any specific information regarding the intended application for these wrenches, the minimal markings and simple finish suggest that they might have been production for vehicle toolkits.

[Williams Plain Series 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 515. Williams "Plain Series" 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 515 shows a Williams 9/16x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the fractional sizes stamped on the reverse (not shown).

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


Plain Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Williams Plain Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 516. Williams "Plain Series" 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 516 shows another example of the "Plain Series" wrenches, a Williams 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face. The fractional sizes are stamped on the reverse faces, as shown in the insets.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Plain Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Williams Plain Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 517. Williams "Plain Series" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 517 shows a Williams 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces (see insets).

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


Volume 1/2-Drive VS-1220 Socket

The next figures show examples of the sockets and drive tools in the Volume line, all marked with the Volume brand but with no other Williams-specific markings. The model numbers for these tools are similar to the corresponding Williams part numbers, but with a "V" prefix.

[Volume VS-1220 5/8 Socket]
Fig. 518. Volume VS-1220 5/8 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 518 shows a 1/2-drive Volume VS-1220 5/8 socket, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the Volume name and model.

The design of this socket includes a wide groove in the base, basically identical to the design used by Williams for its ST-series sockets from about 1935 through 1947. (See for example the Williams ST-12xx "Wide-Groove" Sockets.)


Volume 3/8-Drive VB-15 Speeder

[Volume VB-15 3/8-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 519. Volume VB-15 3/8-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 519 shows a 3/8-drive Volume VB-15 speeder, stamped "Made U.S.A." on the bend of the handle.

The speeder has a throw of 3.5 inches and an overall length of 16.2 inches. The finish is cadmium plating, but with a chrome-plated end piece.


Volume 3/8-Drive VB-51 Ratchet

[Volume VB-51 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 520. Volume VB-51 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 520 shows a 3/8-drive Volume VB-51 reversible ratchet, marked with "VB-51 Volume" and "Pat'd." forged into the handle, and with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This ratchet is very similar in design to the Williams B-51 Ratchet, as can be seen by comparison. The patent notice corresponds to the Kress 1934 patent #1,957,462.


Volume 3/8-Drive VB-12xx Sockets

[Volume VB-12xx 3/8-Drive Sockets]
Fig. 521. Volume VB-12xx 3/8-Drive Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 521 shows a group of three 3/8-drive Volume VB-12xx sockets, each marked "Made U.S.A." with the Volume brand and model number.

The models and sizes are, from the left, VB-1214 (7/16), VB-1218 (9/16), and VB-1224 (3/4).


Craftsman Production

J.H. Williams produced some tools for the Sears Craftsman line, and we'll show various examples in this section.


Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench

[Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench]
Fig. 522. Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1954-1968.

Fig. 522 shows a Craftsman 8-In-1 multi-socket wrench, marked with the Craftsman double-line logo on the raised panel, and with the fractional sizes and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The socket sizes are 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 19/32 on the small head, with 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, and 7/8 on the large head.

A close comparison with the Williams No. 1999 Multi-Socket Wrench showed that the tools are virtually identical except for markings, confirming that Williams was the contract manufacturer for Sears for this tool.

The Craftsman 8-In-1 wrench was first introduced in the 1954 catalog at a price of $3.98. By 1957 the price had been reduced to $2.98, and the 8-In-1 model remained available at least through 1968, with the price gradually rising to $3.99 in 1968.


Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

The next two figures show examples of Williams adjustable wrenches produced for the Craftsman brand.

[Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 523. Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968-1972.

Fig. 523 shows a Craftsman 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Forged" on the front with "Made in U.S.A." and "JW - Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse shank also shows a forged-in code "L" next to the hole.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.50 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench, and a close look shows the square shoulder for the sliding jaw and keyway. The square shoulder was a patented feature of the J.H. Williams adjustable wrenches, and is not known to have been used by any other manufacturers.

This wrench can be identified as Williams' production by the square-shouldered keyway, and the stamped "JW" code further confirms the maker. The forged-in "L" code has also been observed on J.H. Williams wrenches; see for example the Williams AP-8 "Superjustable" Wrench.

This particular wrench is believed to have been purchased new in the late 1960s to early 1970s, a time before Craftsman began marking model numbers on its tools. The next figure shows a similar wrench with a Craftsman model number.


Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 524. Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 524 shows a somewhat later example of Williams' production, a Craftsman 44604 10 inch adjustable wrench. The shank is stamped "Forged" on the front with "Made in U.S.A." and "JW - Alloy" on the reverse, and a forged-in code "L" appears on the reverse as well.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.2 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.60 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench, with the square shoulder visible on the sliding jaw and keyway.

References and Resources

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


Catalog Coverage

J.H. Williams published many catalogs over its long history, and fortunately the catalogs were printed in sufficient quantity so that even the older ones are still relatively available. Major catalog editions were published every few years or so, and update booklets were printed as often as needed to keep up with changes.

However, the catalog numbering system changed over the years, making it a bit confusing to keep track of the numerous publications. So to help organize the material, we've arranged our catalog resources into the table below, sorted by issue date.

PublicationTitleDateFormatNotes
10th Edition Drop-Forgings 1901 Booklet  
14th Edition Superior Drop-Forgings 1909 Booklet  
15th Edition Tools of Industry 1912 Booklet Lists "Vulcan Auto Tool"
17th Edition Superior Drop-Forgings 1919 Booklet Notes Buffalo factory established 1914. Headquarters still in Brooklyn.
19th Edition Superior Drop-Forgings 1924? Booklet Includes alloy steel tappet wrenches in models 90, 92, 94, and 96. 192 pages.
20th Edition Tools of Industry 12/26 Booklet "Superrench" section printed on blue paper. Also includes revision of "Superrench"
section dated 11/01/1927, notes change to chrome-nickel finishes. 200 pages.
A-341 Superrench 11/27 Booklet Update booklet
A-237 Structural Wrenches 04/29 Booklet Update booklet
A-373 Supersocket Wrenches 10/30 Booklet Update booklet. Earliest known catalog listing sockets and drive tools.
Drive sizes 5/16 hex, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 square, and 1 inch hex.
A-373 Supersocket Wrenches 06/31 Booklet Update booklet. Eight-in-One "Multisocket" wrench available.
A-341 Superrench 07/31 Booklet Update booklet
A-373 Supersocket Wrenches 01/33 Booklet Update booklet. S-51 "Superratchet" available
A-341 Superrench 02/33 Booklet Update booklet
21th Edition Tools of Industry 02/33 Full-size216 pages
A-409 Superrenches and Supersockets 04/37 Booklet Update booklet. Angled "Duohex-Box" wrenches available.
Adjustable wrenches available.
1937 Edition Tools of Industry 06/37 Half-size Industrial Edition. X-series 1 inch hex drive still available. 154 pages.
A-409 Superrenches and Supersockets 03/40 Booklet Update booklet. NX-series 1 inch square drive available.
Sockets and tools in 9/32-drive still available.
A-409 Superrenches and Supersockets 05/41 Booklet Update booklet. Sockets and tools in 1/4-drive available, replacing 9/32-drive.
A-409 Superrenches and Supersockets 11/45 Booklet Update booklet
Industrial Edition Tools of Industry 5/47 Full-size "Williams U.S.A." logo shown on wrench faces. 143 pages.
A-50 Superrenches and Supersockets 05/47 Half-Size "Williams U.S.A." logo shown on wrench faces.
A-50 Superrenches and Supersockets 04/49 Half-Size Socket sets now S-1, S-2, etc.
1950 Edition Tools of Industry 01/50 Full-size170 pages
A-100 Impact Supersockets 10/50 Full-size15 pages
A-100 Impact Supersockets 10/51 Full-size 27 pages
A-50 Superrenches and Supersockets 03/52 Half-Size Lists new "Streamlined" design of ribbed-style open-end wrenches.
No. 302 Tools of Industry 1956? Full-size Shows box-end and combination wrenches with raised panels. 72 pages.
No. 503 Tools of Industry 1959 Half-size Williams Division of United-Greenfield Corporation.
Open-end and combination wrenches in flat-shank design. 97 pages.
No. 504 Tools of Industry 1960 Half-size Box-end wrenches in flat-shank design. 97 pages.
No. 505 Toolpower for Industry 1963 Half-size "Superjustable" wrenches available in industrial finish.
H-51A ratchet head available. 97 pages.
No. A-64 Vulcan Tools 1964? Full-size 88 pages.
No. 306 Toolpower Catalog 1968 Full-size Notes use of cold-forming process ("Impact Extruded") for making sockets.
Adjustable wrenches in AP- (chrome) and AB- (industrial) series. 104 pages.
No. 307 Toolpower Catalog 1970? Full-size Williams now part of United-Greenfield Division of TRW.
Adjustable wrenches with raised ridge around hanging hole. 109 pages.
No. 507 Toolpower Catalog 1970? Half-size 129 pages.
No. 308 Toolpower Catalog 1974? Full-size No cross-bar hole on 1 inch drive sockets. 121 pages.
No. 309 Toolpower Catalog 1978 Full-size J.H. Williams Division of TRW. 129 pages.

Industrial Distributors

Williams tools were offered by many industrial and automotive supply companies, and the catalogs from these companies provide valuable references for Williams tools. The list below includes some of the catalogs that have proven to be useful, but there are likely many more as well.

  • Dunham, Carrigan Catalog No. 73. The 1925 catalog No. 73 from the Dunham, Carrigan & Hayden Company shows six pages of Williams tools, beginning on page 220. The listings (all for wrenches) show only carbon-steel tools, with the exception of four alloy-steel tappet wrenches, models 90, 92, 94, and 96.

  • Channon Catalog No. 101. The 1930 catalog No. 101 from the H. Channon Company lists a wide variety of Williams tools, including "Superrench" open-end and tappet wrenches, carbon steel wrenches, and automotive wrench sets. One of the more interesting items listed is the "Combination Electrical Set 287", a set of midget Superrenches plus eight small hex-drive sockets, a sliding T-handle, and a rotating-grip extension. This is the earliest known catalog listing for interchangeable sockets from Williams; even more interesting, the model numbers and illustrations of the T-handle and extension exactly match the Husky Wrench L-2 T-Handle and Husky Wrench L-147 Rotating-Grip Extension.

  • Ducommun Catalog "H". The 1933 catalog "H" from the Ducommun Corporation lists a variety of Williams tools, including the "Superrench" line in open-end, obstruction, and box-end styles.

  • Channon Catalog No. 102. The catalog No. 102 from the H. Channon Company (undated but from around 1936) lists a variety of Williams tools, including the only known descriptions of the M-310 and B-315 socket sets. The product lines include "Superrench" open-end, tappet, and box-end wrenches, carbon steel wrenches, automotive wrench sets, and socket tools from 9/32-drive up to 1 inch hex drive. A hint for the publication date is provided on page 199, which mentions the use of the Williams SD-1228T socket for Buick cars up to 1936.

    Another listing unique to this catalog is the "Cromal" second-line of box wrenches, not specifically marked as Williams but appearing in the middle of the section. The wrenches were offered in four sets, Nos. 176, 185, 186, and 193, and were described as chrome-alloy steel with cadmium plating.


Patents and Trademarks

Patent and trademark 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 J.H. Williams, 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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