Hand Tool Manufacturers H - K

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H. D. Smith Co.

H. D. Smith Co. (Plantsville, CT) - Most sources identify 1850 as the formation year for this company.  However, we have not yet been able to locate any source documentation to support this.  This company did not start producing traditional hand tools until right around the turn of the 20th century.  Beginning in 1872, William S. Ward was a very active inventor for the company.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Perfect Handle (Screwdrivers, Pipe Wrenches)
    • Sharpenezy (Chisels)
    • Gittatit (Pliers)
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    Hacheney Wrench Company

    Hacheney Wrench Company, Inc. (Portland, OR) - Incorporated 12/31/1924 by Frank C. Frey, William Caldwell, and Frank C. Hacheney.  Notable is the capital at $1M although, we believe this is a misprint and capital was $100,000 based on other sources.  This company is listed in a manual of defunct securities, having folded in 1935.

    Frank Hacheney Notable Patents:

    Hall's Sons, Samuel

    Samuel Hall's Sons. (New York, NY) -

    DATAMP Patents for Charles Hall

    Hall, Chas. E. Company

    Chas. E. Hall Co. (Buffalo, NY) ​- The 4/8/1907 edition of The Buffalo Commercial announces that The Union Manufacturing & Specialty Company, formed in 1901 to manufacture machine tools, will change it's name to the Charles E. Hall Company on 5/15/1907.  William H. Crosby - Pres. (also Pres. of The Crosby Company), C. R. Hatch - Sec., Charles E. Hall - VP.  In the 1909 Buffalo City Directory, Mr. Hall is listed as Treasurer and GM.

    Union Manufacturing & Specialty Company (Buffalo, NY) - Incorporated 7/5/1901 to manufacture machine tools by W. H. Crosby, W. H. Crosby, W. H. Hill, and A. D. Dana.

    In 1914, the Chas. E. Hall Company was acquired by Barcalo Manufacturing Co.


    1908 advertisement.

    • Hall (Wrenches)
    Image Description: 

    Image from the 1908 Buffalo City Directory


    Handee Wrench Company

    Handee Wrench Company (Mansfield, OH) - ca. 1918 for receivership - it appears this company lasted until ca. 1923 and sold the original "dogbone" wrench.  The engineers involved appear to be John and Henry Kaercher, who immigrated from Germany ca. 1912.  We were undable to locate a patent.

    Harold King Wrench Company

    Harold King Wrench Company (Indianapolis, IN) - Incorporated 8/9/1916 by Harold King, M. King, and M. King.

    Harold King appears to have had 3 patents for Pipe Wrenches:

    Harris & Reed Manufacturing Co.

    Harris & Reed Manufacturing Co. (Chicago, IL)​ - According to the short biography linked below, this company was organized as the Onward Company in the late 1890's, and succeeded by Harris & Reed in 1908 by Elijah T. Harris. 

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Harris & Reed (DOE Wrenches)

    Harris & Reed Patents

    Here is some portion of history of the company, laying out the history of Elijah Harris who is President of the company at the time of this publication in 1909.


    Harrold Tool Co. / Harrold Tool & Forge Co. / H. J Harrold Tool Co.

    According to the article in Image 1 below, The Harrold Tool & Forge Company was founded sometime in 1914 by H. J. Harrold and Howard R. Orr.  By September of 1916, they had outgrown the capacity of their facility, reincorporated as The Harrold Tool Company, and were building a new factory.  Along with the two founders, incorporators of the new company included: Samuel Harrold (A founder of the Crescent Machine Company), Thomas E. Hyland, and Lester Redfoot.  We believe Samuel Harrold passed away in 1924.  Elmer Harrold was also involved with the Crescent Machine Co., as well as the Buckeye Tool Co. of Leetonia, OH.

    In September of 1920, Iron Trade Review reports The Harrold Tool & Forge has doubled it's capital stock in order to expand it's facilities.

    In late 1947 or early 1948, the company was sold to Emil Dubeck of Warren, OH.  It continued operations as Harrold Tool Co. in Columbiana.

    In October of 1977, Harrolds was sold to The Budd Co.  The report notes that it will be run by another subsidiary of Budd, Woodings-Verona Tool Workers, Inc. of Verona, PA.

    Associated History:

    The Enterprise Company: According to the Morning Journal - Columbiana Country Fact Book 2013 (you will have to click the little magnifying glass in the book window and search "Harrold"), this company was started in 1877 as the Valley Forge Machine Shop by A. Harrold & Brothers as a general repair shop.  The "brothers" were Adam, Aaron, and Sylvester.  The article goes on to note the shops expansion by J. Harrold & Sons, in order to build engines in 1870 (we believe this is a misprint and should be 1880).  Amos Harrold was also superintendent of the Enterprise Company, and Harmon Harrold also worked at Enterprise at a young age.  We note this because Harmon Harrold founded the Buckeye Tool & Machine Co. in the 1920s.  Lastly, Amos and Elmer Harrold were brothers.

    Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks

    Image Description: 

    Incorporation of Harrold Tool Company, The Salem News - 9/14/1916


    Hawkeye Wrench Company

    Hawkeye Wrench Company (Marshalltown, IA)

    A​rticle on the Hawkeye Wrench from The Metal Worker of March 12, 1904.

    Likely formed ca. 1903 to produce a patented wrench by Charles Benesh (ND) - Patent #720,554 - Combined Wrench and Thread Cutter.

    1907 "Hawkeye" Trademark #59,134

    Hayward Wrench Company

    Hayward Wrench Company (Springfield, MO) - Incorporated 3/28/1914 by Robert H. and Homer Hayward (Homer is the inventor [Hubert H. Hayward) of Springfield, and Lewis T. Duncan of Dadesville.  This company was sold to R. K. Hawley, J. W. Holman and C. B. Holman of St. Louis on 11/12/1915. 

    Hubert H. Hayward Patent #1,077,343 - Wrench


    According to Ohio state records, Herbrand filed their articles of incorporation on December 7, 1881.  The company thrived in the production of carriage parts and fifth wheels.  In the Commercial Directory of the American Republics, published as early as March 1898, Herbrand begins to be noted as a manufacturer of Snips, Pipe Cutters, and Bicycle Wrenches.  By 1911, Herbrand had added pliers to their new tool lineup.  The Automobile Trade Directory of 1914 adds Herbrand as a manufacturer of screwdrivers in that year, further expanding their tool offerings.

    In July of 1915, orders for automotive parts and accessories from Ford and others prompted Herbrand to build an addition to their facilities and adopt a 3 shift work schedule.  By 1918, Herbrand had expanded their tool line and was offering complete automotive tool kits to consumers.  Throughout the 1920's, we find no less than 4 lawsuits where Herbrand was a defendant, and 1 where they were the plaintiff.  It appears all was not smooth sailing during that timeframe.  Also during that time, Herbrand was supplying drop forgings of all manner to the military via both direct and sub-contracts.

    In 1935, the American Machinist reports the reorganization of The Herbrand Co. as the Herbrand Corporation.  The snippet further states that The Herbrand Co. had been in receivership for several months.

    The 9/2/1936 edition of The Sandusky Register published an article announcing the planned visitation of Charles M. Schwab to the "facilities of the Herbrand Corp., in which he is heavily interested."  The article also notes that Stanley S. Boyer is President of Herbrand.

    Another article from a January 1937 edition of The Sandusky Register reports R. O. Mead as the VP of Herbrand.

    An article from the January 3, 1945 Sandusky Register reports C. Traub Gottron as Secretary/Treasurer of Herbrand.

    On 15 December 1945, The Akron Beacon reports that Mr. Boyer was reelected as President, E. H. Schwab is Chairman of the Board, and R. O. Mead is VP.

    The March 3, 1946 edition of The Akron Beacon reports that the controlling interest in the Herbrand Corp. have been sold to William J. Mericka Co. Inc. of Cleveland and Coshia Co. Inc. of Toledo.  The March 4th edition of the Cincinatti Inquirer adds the Bingham Stamping Co. of Toledo to the purchaser list and notes the resignation of E. H. Schwab as Chairman.  In April of the same year the Cincinatti Inquirer posts a share offer for the Bingham Stamping Co. and notes that they recently acquired 53% of Herbrand Corp.

    The July 2, 1947 edition of The Sandusky Register announces the formal merging of Herbrand Corp. and The Bingham Stamping Co. as of 7/1/1947.  Louis E. Yunker is President and GM of the new firm.  On August 21, 1947, the stockholders voted to formally change the company name to the Bingham-Herbrand Corp.

    A 12/23/1948 Bingham-Herbrand Corp. Christmas party announcement notes that R. W. Kerr is VP and GM of the company.  Mr. Kerr came from Plomb Tool Co. as EVP.  Also in 1948, Mr. Jack G. Allen became VP and general sales manager and also came from Plomb Tool Co., leaving is position as VP.  In June of 1954, Allen would move on to the position of President of Artisan Metal Works in Cleveland, OH.  In May of 1950, R. W. Kerr would be elected to President and CEO of the Bingham-Herbrand Corp.  David R. Feemster became the GM in 1950 as well.  By this time, it is reported that the company employed more than 800 people.

    In 1951 Bingham-Herbrand expanded even more through a teaming arrangement with the Studebaker Corp. making aircraft jet engine parts.  The contract would have netted netted Bingham-Herbrand five hundred more employees but due to an ending of hostilities in Korea, it never got off the ground and was cancelled.

    In November of 1952, C. T. Everett was instantiated as VP and assistant GM.

    The 9/17/1956 edition of The Sandusky Register reports the intent of Van Norman Industries to acquire Bingham-Herbrand Corp.  While we have yet to discover the formal announcement and date, by 1957 Bingham-Herbrand is listed as a subsidiary to Van Norman Industries.

    The 7/12/1961 edition of The Sandusky Register reports the sale of the Bingham-Herbrand Corp. plant to the American Brake Shoe Co. of Chicago.  This article also notes that while Bingham-Herbrand built a massive facility for their Jet engine contract work, the end of the Korean war wiped out demand and noted that work was never begun.  This article specifically states that the hand tool division will be moved to an unknown location but that operations would continue locally.  It's important to note that only the plant and equipment were sold, not the company.  However, by 7/19, the paper is reporting the sale as "all equipment and the forging operations."  It also reports that all equipment is to be moved to Chicago.  On 1/23, 1962, the plant is officially closed down.  The article in the 1/19/1962 edition of The Logan Daily News, which reported the closure interestingly refers to the purchaser of Bingham-Herbrand as "Amforge" of Chicago.  In the 11/28/1961 edition of The Sandusky Register, an article clarifies somewhat the details of the sale.  The forging equipment and operations were sold to Amforge, a division of American Brake Shoe Co. of Chicago, while the hand tools division was sold to the Utica Tools Division of Kelsey-Hayes.  The tools division was then renamed to the Utica-Herbrand Tools Division of Kelsey-Hayes.

    Herbrand Co. Patents in DATAMP

    The Herbrand Corp Patents in DATAMP

    Bingham-Herbrand Patents in DATAMP

    Herbrand Patents from Google

    The Herbrand Co. (Fremont, OH)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • CFT
    • H in Diamond (Wrenches, Screwdrives & Hammers) (First Use 7/1/1908)

    • H-Diamond logo for generic contract production
    • Multiflex (Wrench Sets) (First Use 11/1933)

    • Multigrip (Plier Wrenches) (First Use 4/19/1930)

    • Multiuse (Pry Bars) (First Use 4/1936)
    • Multiscope (Auto Stethoscope) (First Use 11/1/1949)

    • Protectogrip - Text (Screwdrivers) (First Use 4/1933)
    • Bantam Bully - Text (Pneumatic Air Hammers) (First Use 11/20/1945)
    • Vi-Chrome
    • Chromium Vanadium (contract Production)

    Contract Production for

    • Montgomery Ward - Riverside
    • Truth Tool (Specialty Wrenches)
    • Western Auto - ChromeXQuality (Wrenches)
    • Western Auto - Western Giant (Wrenches)
    • Western Auto - "Obstructo" (Obstruction Wrenches)
    • Bethlehem Spark Plug Co. (Ratchets)
    • Billings & Spencer (Sockets)

    Key Tool Stamping Terms (stamped/forged into tools):

    • Chromium Vanadium
    • H-Diamond
    • Van-Chrome
    • Vi-Chrome
    • Multi-Hex
    • ChromeXQuality
    • Chrome-Alloy (found on pliers)

    W. Bingham Co. Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks

    Herbrand Drive Tool Accessories

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    Herbrand Pliers

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    Herbrand Ratchets

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    Herbrand Socket Tools

    Reserved for Herbrand Sockets and related tools.

    Image Description: 

    A very stylish breaker bar. It has detents to hold the head in place, and the handle is very comfortable. One of my favorite breakers.

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    Herbrand Specialty Tools

    Reserved for Herbrand Wrenches

    Image Description: 

    These are Herbrand Cotter Pin Pliers


    Herbrand Wrenches

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    Hewet, Henry Wheaton - (3 Companies)

    The Hewett Improved Wrench Company (Cincinatti, OH) - Incorporated by H. W. Hewett, T. S. Michie, E. H. Carter, C. O. Resor, and J. H. Carter on 10/24/1872.

    Hewet Wrench Co. (Rock Island, IL) ca. 1876 - Here is a very interesting article to read on Henry Wheaton Hewit (or more likely Hewitt).  Article is entitled "A Friend I knew."

    H. W. Hewit Patent #87,774

    Hewett Screw Wrench Company (Chicago, IL) - Announcement of dissolution of the company (partnership) by Henry W. Hewett and Elson T. Wright on 11/11/1875.  Mr. Hewett assumes all assets and liabilities.

    Hilts Wrench & Mfg. Co.

    Hilts Wrench & Mfg. Co. (Richford, NY)

    George S. Hilts Patent #483,785 - Chain Pipe Wrench

    Canadian Patent #41224 - Pipe Wrench - 1892

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Comet (Pipe Wrenches)
    • Eclipse (Pipe Wrenches)
    • Hilts (Pipe Wrenches)

    Hinsdale Manufacturing Company

    Hinsdale Manufacturing Company was started in 1919 and operated in and around Chicago for it's entire existance.  This announcement from the August 5, 1919 edition of The Chicago Tribune names the following officers:

    Throughout the late 1920s, advertisements abound offering tool kits for Ford, Dodge and Chevy by Hinsdale. Their tools can be found in the Western Auto Supply, Gamble's and Sears catalogs of the late '20s and early '30s.

    A listing in The Aero Digest from 1942 still lists Mr. F. W. Miller as President and GM.

    Opinions vary on when and how they met their demise but the final listing in an exhaustive search puts them in the Chicago Business Directory of 1951 at 1722 W. Walnut, listed as a Screwdriver manufacturer.

    Hinsdale Manufacturing Co. (Chicago, IL)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Hinsdale Vanadium (Wrenches)
    • MultiHex (Wrenches)

    Contract Production for

    • Sears - Craftsman Vanadium (Wrenches, Sockets, Drive Accessories)
    • Sears - (Bob-Cat Socket Sets - 1931)
    • Sears - Craftsman HD DBE Series (Wrenches)
    • Western Auto (MultiHex Wrenches)
    • Gamble's Auto Supply Co. (Socket Sets - 1927, 8)

    Key Tool Stamping Terms (stamped/forged into tools):

    • Chrome Vanadium Steel
    • Hinsdale Vanadium

    Hinsdale Patents

    Hinsdale Drive Tool Accessories

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    Hinsdale Ratchets

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    Hinsdale Sockets

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    Hinsdale Wrenches

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    Hitt Wrench Company

    Hitt Wrench Company (Edenwold, TN) - ca. 8/1915 to produce a wrench invented by J. E. Hitt.  John E. Hitt Patent #1,060,185.  The article notes manufacturing to be done by The Eagle Manufacturing Company.

    Hjorth Wrench Company / William Hjorth & Co

    Hjorth Wrench Co. (Jamestown, NY)​ - See below advertisement for the Lightening Pipe & Nut wrench.  12/1904 is the earliest reference we have found for this company.

    The 8/9/1899 edition of The Potter Enterprise (Coudersport, PA) notes that Mr. William Hjorth was in town attempting to sell the rights to a wrench, "which will fit nuts of various sizes and can be used as a pipe wrench.  It can be used as a staple puller, screwdriver, and wire cutter."

    William Hjorth & Co. (Jamestown, NY)

    Forged Tool Products Corporation - According to the May 13, 1920 edition of The Iron Age, this company was recently incorporated by William Hjorth.

    Patent #735,289 - Pipe-Wrench - Karl Peterson - Assigned to William Hjorth & Co.

    Patent #738,444 - Combined Pipe & Nut Wrench - Arthur W. Hjorth - Assigned to William Hjorth & Co. // Although not cited, this appears to be an improvement on Patent #573,313

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Empire (Wrenches, Pipe Wrenches)
    • Lightening (Wrenches)
    • Hjorth Bent Nose (Pliers)
    • New Auto (Pliers)

    Hjorth company patents


    Husky Wrench Company

    From Wikipedia: Husky Wrench was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 29, 1924 by Sigmund Mandl, who had immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia. By 1928, Husky had established a significant collaboration with the J.H. Williams Tool Group, with Williams distributing Husky wrenches in its mechanic's tool sets. In January 1929, the Husky name was sold to the Olsen Manufacturing Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The company relocated to Kenosha and changed its name to the Husky Corporation. Mandl went on to work for Blackhawk Manufacturing of Milwaukee. Sometime before 1932, the Husky name was again sold, this time to the New Britain Machine Company of New Britain, Connecticut, which was purchased by Litton Industries in the 1970s. When Litton dissolved its hand tools division in the 1980s, it sold the Husky brand (and other assets, including the Blackhawk brand) to National Hand Tool. The Stanley Works acquired the Husky brand with its 1986 acquisition of National Hand Tool. In 1992, Stanley began supplying the Husky brand exclusively to The Home Depot, and sometime later transferred the rights to the name to Home Depot.

    Here is a link to the current ToolArchives research page on Husky.


    Husky Drive Tool Accessories

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    Husky Patents

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    Husky Ratchets

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    Husky Sockets

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    Husky Wrenches

    Hy-Speed Wrench Co.

    Hy-Speed Wrench Co. (Chicago, IL) - Incorporated in August of 1919 in IL.  The 11/5/1919 edition of The Metal Worker, Plumber and Steam Fitter carries the incorporation announcement.  Principals noted are Israel Lipman, Ray Rhyman, and William Frankel.  A local newspaper from 4/15/1923 announces the auction of the factory and all equipment.  Newspaper articles discuss the ownership of multiple patents but we have yet to identify them.

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Quic Klamp (Adjustables)

    Ide Wrench Company

    Ide Wrench Company (Troy, NY) ​- Chain and Pipe wrenches ca. 1893.  Here is an advertisement / article on the Ide Pipe Wrench. 

    Fred B. Ide (Assigned to Nathan D. Ide) Patent #492,626 - Hand Wrench

    Ideal Wrench Company (New York, NY)

    Ideal Wrench Company (New York, NY) - Incorporated 3/24/1897 by John F. Thomson, Alfred Josephson, and Ferdinand Beach.  Advertisement for their combined nut wrench and screwdriver.  Patent #572,035 by Walter C. Stokes for a bicycle wrench / screwdriver was assigned to the Ideal Wrench Company for manufacture in 1897.  Prior to assigning the patent to Ideal, Mr. Stokes contracted the Garvin Machine Company to produce the wrenches in February of 1897.  Several hundred wrenches were produced by Garvin but the quality was so lacking, Stokes sued the company for breach of contract.  The lawsuit appears to have started ca. 1900 and continuous appeals by Garvin strung the case out until 1905. 

    Ideal Wrench Company (Tacoma, WA)

    Ideal Wrench Company (Tacoma, WA)  ​- Incorporated in the spring of 1907, as reported in the March 10 edition of Hardware.  Incorporators are Allen C. Mason, J. F. Wright, and F. M. Harshberger.

    Indestro Manufacturing

    See this link for Duro / Indestro Research

    Indestro Manufacturing Co. (Chicago, IL)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • PEE WEE - Block Text (Wrench Socket Sets) (First Use 9/30/1937)
    • KLIP TITE - Block Text (Open / Box End Wrench Sets) (First Use 3/8/1937)
    • WRENCH-RAK - Block Text (Wrenches and Wrench Sets) (First Use 3/8/1937)
    • Chromium - Vanadium
    • Chrome Vanadium Steel
    • Super-Quality
    • Indestro - Block Text (original) (All Tools) (First Use 1/20/1921) // Indestro
    • Indestro Triangle "Tools" Logo See Above (All Tools) (First Use January, 1939)
    • Indestro Super (Wrenches, Ratchets, Sockets, Drive Tools)
    • Select Steel (Wrenches) (First Use 3/21/1961)

       Contract Production for

    • Western Auto - ChromeXQuality
    • Chromium Vanadium
    • Western Auto - Perfection
    • Western Auto - Wizard
    • Sears - Cross Country

    Indestro Patents

    Indestro Drive Tool Accessories

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    Indestro Pliers

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    Indestro Ratchets

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    Indestro Sockets

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    Indestro Wrenches

    Indianapolis Drop Forging Company

    The first mention we can find is a newspaper want ad on January 27, 1896.  In May of 1901, Phil. M. Watson is Sec/Treas. and the company is located at Madison Ave. and Downey.  A 1902 article indicates Otto Stechhan has an interest in the company.

    Patents Assigned - DATAMP

    Other Patents - A 4/26/1902 newspaper article recounts the suit brought by Franklin P. Bates against the company.  The suit asserts the he was working as a superintendant for the company at $1,200/yr and invented a wrench.  Ferdinand Barnickle (GM) offered him $5,000 in stock and $1,800/yr to sign over the patents (patent is plural in the article).  Mr. Bates agreed and signed the patents over.  The company then dissolved and reincorporated, thereby claiming his agreement was no longer valid as it was claimed against an insolvent entity.  Here are Mr. Bates Patents:

    In 1902, the company fell victim to massive strikes in the machinist trade.  By January 1904, they were put into receivership in order to straighten out their affairs.  In July, certainly a coincidence, the entire factory was destroyed by fire.  The company came through the stikes and receivership, and purchased another factory space on Madison Ave.

    By May of 1919, Mr. Barnickle is President of the company.  On February 1, 1937, Mr. Barnickle passed away.  The obutuary notes his coming to Indianapolis by way of Chicago, and Mr. F. M. Bachman was president of Indianapolis Drop Forging Co.  Louis M. Fehrenbach succeeded Mr. Barnickle as President & GM.

    An article from 1952 identifies Walter Kessler as the first president of the company.  This same article notes the company's existence at 1300 Madison Avenue since 1895.

    At some point between 1952 and 1962, the company was acquired by the Walco America Corp.

    Indianapolis Drop Forging Co (Indianapolis, IN) Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Tiger (Pipe Wrenches)
    • Nye (Pipe Wrenches)

    IDF Patents

    Interstate Drop Forge

    • Interstate Drop Forge (IDF) (Milwaukee) - This announcement comes from the March, 1920 edition of The Automotive Manufacturer and relates the details of the formation of Interstate Drop Forge at 2000 27th St., Milwaukee.  The officers are identified as:
    • William C. Frye - President / Director (President of The Chain Belt Co. and Secretary of Sivyer Steel Casting Co.)
    • Major S. M. McFedries - VP & GM / Director (Former Sales Manager of the Cutler-Hammer Ordinance Department)
    • C. R. Messinger - Treasurer / Director (VP & GM of the Chain Belt Co. and Sivyer Steel Casting Co. // Later Chairman of Oliver Farm Equipment Co.)
    • Edgar L. Wood - Director
    • B. Fleeger - Director
    • J. L. Olmstead - Director (Electric Steel of Chicago)

    The 1921 Wisconsin State Gazetteer lists the IDF address as 27th & Lake, and the following management staff for IDF:

    • C. R. Messinger - President
    • S. M. McFedries - VP
    • B. F. Fleeger = Secretary
    • C. E. Stone - Treasurer

    The October, 1922 edition of Steel Processing & Conversion reports that Mr. Robert C. Yates has resigned from Union Drop Forge to become GM of Interstate Drop Forge.  The blurb also notes the close alliance of IDF with the Chain Belt Co., Sivyer Steel and the Federal Malleable Company, all of Milwaukee.  If the Chain Belt Co. looks familiar, the company is where Mr. Leo Bethke, an original founder of American Grinder Manufacturing Co., ended up working circa 1920.  His formal role at the Chain Belt Co. is unknown.  Here is a detailed history of the Chain Belt Co. from 1916.

    An interesting article in the 1 June 1930 edition of The Capital Times (Madison, WI) Notes C. R. Messinger as holding the following positions at that time:

    • President - Chain Belt Company
    • Chairman of the Board - Sivyer Steel Casting Co.
    • Director - First Wisconsin National Bank
    • Director - Badger Meter Manufacturing Co.
    • Director - Milwaukee Gas Light Co.
    • Director - Interstate Drop Forge Co.
    • Director - Federal Malleable Co.
    • Director - The Stearns Conveyor Co. (Cleveland)
    • Director - Monarch Fire Insurance Co. (Cleveland)

    In a 1928 article in The Earth Mover, the following management positions are enumerated:

    • Charles. E. Stone - President (The article states he was elected VP in 1924 and currently succeeding C. R. Messinger)
    • Lamar S. Peregoy - VP
    • C. C. Bremer - Treasurer
    • J. C. Merker - Secretary

    A 1929 article in The Lumberman announces the IDF Board of Directors.  New to the board is Mr. W. H. Brand (VP of the First Wisconsin Co.).  Mentioned as "re-elected members" are:

    • Edgar L. Wood
    • William C. Frye
    • C. R. Messinger
    • W. J. Nugent
    • Clifford F. Messinger
    • L. S. Peregoy
    • C. E. Stone

    By 1930, the IDF address was 4051 N. 27th St. Milwaukee.

    The May 6, 1961 edition of The Michigan Alumnus identifies Mr. Charles W. Stone as President of IDF.

    At some point before 1980, IDF established the Interstate Southwest Drop Forge Co. in Navasota, TX.  It is currently unknown whether this was expansion through acquisition or internal.

    A 1991 issue of Merger and Acquisition Sourcebook reports a planned acquisition of IDF by Christiana Cos. has been terminated.

    Right around the year 2000, IDF changes it's name to Interstate Forging Industries, Inc. 

    In a 2002 edition of Business World, Interstate Forging Industries announced the closing of it's Milwaukee forging facilities.

    Brands, Trade names and Trademarks

    Irland Pipe Wrench Co.

    Irland Pipe Wrench Co. (Boston, MA) - Advertisements for sales representatives begin showing up in newspapers in September of 1906.  No formation or disposition information has yet to be discovered.

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Irland's (Pipe Wrenches)

    David H. Irland Patent #732,858 - Wrench

    David H. Irland Patent #739,316 - Pipe Wrench

    Frances A. & David H. Irland (Deceased) Patent #800,850 - Pipe Wrench - Assigned to Irland Pipe Wrench Co.

    Joseph E. Richards & Charles W. Walker Patent #868,126 - Pipe Wrench - Assigned to Irland Pipe Wrench Co.

    Joseph E. Richards Patent #868,127 - Pipe Wrench - Assigned to Irland Pipe Wrench Co.

    Irland Assigned Patents

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    Irwin Auger Bit Company

    Irwin Auger Bit Company (Wilmington, OH) -

    Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks:

    • Irwin (Bits, Augers & Screwdrivers) (First Use 5/28/1907)

    • IRWIN - Block Text (Screwdrivers) (First Use 10/2/1935)
    • IRWINOID - Block Text (Screwdrivers having plastic handles) (First Use 11/1/1937)
    • BLUWIN - Block Text (Auger Bits for Wood) (First Use 12/1/1932)
    • HI-LITE - Block Text (Auger Bits) (First Use 1/19/1938)


    Jiffy Automatic Wrench Company

    Jiffy Automatic Wrench Company (Independence, MO) ​- Patent #1,354,782 by Guido F. Schlote and assigned to Jiffy.

    Jiffy Wrench Company

    Jiffy Wrench Company (Chicago, IL) - Incorporated (DE) 3/30/1917 by George E. Allen, J. G. Burris, and C. W. Shaffer. Corporation charter repealed by the Governor on January 27, 1921 for non-payment of annual license fees.

    K-D Manufacturing Company

    K-D Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1919 in Lancaster, PA as a partnership between Harry W. Kulp and Martin C. Dellinger.  Pennsylvania, a History of Lancaster County gives insight into the company's beginnings.  Their first product(s) were valve spring tools resulting from multiple Kulp/Dellinger patents.

    K-D was officially registered as a corporation on 1/1/1923 according to PA state records which can be searched here.  Oddly enough, the 3/28/1934 edition of the The Evening News (Harrisburg, PA) announces the incorporation of K-D.  Officers mentioned were H. W. Kulp, M. C. Dellinger and I. E. Dellinger.  The capital stock was noted as $200,000.

    In 1957, the owners of K-D were bought out by Mr. George W. Marshall, Jr., as noted in Automotive News, Volumes 31-32 (not legible in link).  Mr. Kulp's obituary (newspapers.com account required) from 1962 confirms the sale of assets but again makes no mention of the purchasers. 

    In 1967, K-D moved into a new factory and acquired the L. O. Beard Tool Co., also of Lancaster, PA.

    The 10/7/1969 edition of The Press Gazette (Hillsboro, OH) announces the acquisition of MECTO Corp. by K-D.  The president of K-D noted is C. Paul Myers who incidentally, is the son-in-law of George W. Marshall, Jr..

    According to Moody's Industrial, K-D was acquired by Easco on January 28, 1982.

    As reported in the 5/25/1962 edition of The Lebanon Daily News, Harry Kulp died on the day prior.  Among the citations in his obituary are secretary-treasurer and co-founder of K-D Manufacturing Co. and president of Kulp and Dellington, Inc.  His obituary also notes that he sold his interest in both concerns in 1957.

    Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks:

    • Kay-Dee (Complete Tool Line - See list in link) (First Use 4/30/1920)

    Kanavel Wrench Company

    Kanavel Wrench Company (Killbuck, OH) ca. 1922 - Mentions Lyman N. Kanavel.  Lyman Kanavel Patent #1,169,833 - Combination wrench & wire stretcher.

    Kemp, Clarence

    Clarence Kemp (Baltimore, MD) ​- Mr. Kemp was a prolific inventor in the late 1800s.  The original inventor of the Solar Panel.

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks


    Kent-Moore (Kalamazoo, MI) ​- This company began in at least 1921 by John E. Moore and William A. Kent and was housed in the General Motors Building.  They were a major distributor of all manner of specialty tools and automotive equipment.

    The 4/14/1922 edition of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Hinckley-Myers company, who manufacture garage and service equipment in Jackson, MI have opened an eastern sales office and named William A. Kent as eastern sales manager and John E. Moore as general sales manager.

    Kent-Moore was acquired in 1982 by SPX Corporation.

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Kent-Moore (All Kinds of Specialty Tools) (First Used 10/1922)

    • Kent-Moore (All kinds of Specialty Tools) (First Use 10/1922)

    • Kent Moore (All kinds of Specialty Tools) (First Use 5/1923)

    • Flat-Rate (All Kinds of Specialty Tools) (First Use 4/1/1924)

    • Bumpo (Air Hammers) (First Use Early June, 1936)

    Key-Bar Wrench Company

    Key-Bar Wrench Company (Akron, OH) ​- J. R. Long formed this company in October of 1924 with L. S. Ballard, E. D. Eddy, R. W. Clark and Matthew Eskovitz.

    No further information found on this company but it was likely formed to manufacture yet another J. R. Long Patent.

    Person Tags: 

    Keystone Drop Forge Co.

    In 1913, Isaac Cornwell (Eugene Cornwell's father) and T. O. Van Alen bought out the majority stock holder (another Van Alen) and took over operations of the Keystone Forging Co. of Northumberland, PA.  This image pictures Mssrs. Cornwell and Van Alen from the August 1919 edition of The Spokesman.

    At the time of the takover, the officers were:

    • Isaac Cornwell - President & General Manager
    • W. B. Waples - Vice President
    • T. O. Van Alen - Secretary / Treasurer
    • J. D. Weekes - Sales Manager

    Isaac Cornwell took over leadership at Keystone in 1909, after having worked at the plant since 1894 and is credited with most of the growth and expansion of the company during that period.  -  Motor Body, November, 1909

    After 1919, Isaac Cornwell basically disappears and does not show up in any searches from 1920 on.  In 1923, Automotive Industries reports the merger of the Keystone Forging Co. with M. J. Ford Manufacturing Co.  The name of the company is reported to continue to be The Keystone Forging Co.  The Keystone Forging Co. survives today and here is a link to their history page.

    Keystone Manufacturing Co.

    Manufacturing Co. (Buffalo, NY) - This company has it's beginnings back to at least 1883.  Articles of incorporation filed 5/10/1900 by Gustav A. Schaefer and Charles A. Haist.  In September of 1892, the following directors were elected: G. A. Schaefer - Pres., H. L. Schaefer - TREAS., George J. Metzger - VP., Charles A. Haist - SEC., and Carl Bohn.

    In April of 1893, the building they occupied (Jones Building) was almost completely destroyed by fire.

    Foster A. Haist - President of the company (perhaps former?) committed suicide in 1937 for fear of being a semi-invalid.

    Charles H. Meyers Patent #288,098 - Wrench

    Charles H. Meyers Patent #446,072 - Combined Ratchet-Wrench and Screw driver - Assigned to Keystone

    Charles H. Meyers Patent #446,073 - Ratchet Wrench & Drill- Assigned to Keystone

    Charles H. Meyers Patent #446,074 - Attachment for metal planers- Assigned to Keystone

    Charles H. Meyers Patent #446,075 - AttacCombined Ratchet-Wrench and ​boring bit- Assigned to Keystone

    Charles J. Scholler Patent #1,021,558 - Hand Ratchet for Drills, Etc. - Assigned to Keystone

    Jacob Emig Patent #539,423 - Ratchet Drill - Assigned to Gustavus A. and Henry L. Schaefer

    Charles Henry Meyers Patent #869,255 - Wrench

    Edward M. Swartz Patent #1,477,302 - Garden Tool - Assigned to Keystone

    Edwin S. Miller Patent #1,534,537 - Holder for Socket - Wrench Sets - Assigned to Keystone

    Edwin S. Miller & Foster A. Haist​ Patent #1,696,444 - Holder for Socket Wrench Sets - Assigned to Keystone.

    Edwin S. Miller & Foster A. Haist Patent #1,671,159 - Holder for Socket Wrench Sets - Assigned to Keystone.

    Foster A. Haist Patent #1,761,263 - Method of Making Ratchet Wrenches - Assigned to Keystone

    Foster A. Haist Patent #2,107,568 - Ratchet Wrench (Self Assigned) - By this time, Foster appears to have been employed by J. H. Williams.  

    Foster A. Haist Patent #2,112,840 - Method of Making Wrenches (Adjustables) - Assigned to J. H. Williams.

    Charles H. Chur Patent #2,199,984 - Wrench Set Holder - Assigned to Keystone

    Edward A. Wenk and Ruth B. Wenk Patent #2,424,871 - Tool for flaring tubing - Assigned to Keystone

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Champion (Wrenches)
    • Westcott - Block Text (Pipe & Nut Wrenches) (First Use 4/4/1894 by Predecessor George N. Westcott [date is hard to read])
    • Keystone (Wrenches, Ratchets, Socket Wrenches)
    • Giant - Block Text (Hand Ratchets for drills, taps and wrenches) (First Use 9/16/1907)
    • Nonparell (Ratchet Wrenches and Drills) (See here for description/article from 1894)
    • Monarch - Block Text (Ratchets for operating hand drills, taps, wrenches and stud drivers) (First Use 3/26/1898)
    • Keystone - Block Text (Ratchets for operating hand drills, taps, wrenches and stud drivers) (First Use 2/15/1894 [date is difficult to read])
    • SocKit - Block Text (Kits of Socket Wrenches) (First Use 2/16/1924)

    Kilborn & Bishop Co.

    Kilborn & Bishop Co. (New Haven, CN)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Saxon (DOE Wrenches)
    • K & B (Chisels)
    • Silex (Chisels)
    • Reliance (Pliers - slip joint, 2 wire cutters, milled jaws)
    • Combination (Pliers - ebonized metal combos)
    • Whiting's - Block Text (Saw Sets) (First Use by predecessor J. H. Whiting 11/6/1888)

    Manufactured Products For:

    King Pressed Steel & Manufacturing Company

    King Pressed Steel & Manufacturing Company (Boston, MA) - This 4/8/1920 Iron Trade Review announces the incorporation of the company by Joseph F. King, Amato Pescosolido, and Rocco Sementilli.  Note that Pescosolido and Sementilli are also the incorporators of the Newton Pressed Steel Company.  This company, Newton and the Service Engineering Company sold the exact same socket wrench sets.

    Joseph F. King

    1921 Directory - Pres. King Pressed Steel

    1923 Directory - Pres. King Pressed Steel


    Amato Pescosolido

    1923 Directory - Pres. A Pescosolido & Co. (Real Estate & Insurance) // Pres. Riverside Sand & Gravel Co.

    1925 Directory - Pres. A Pescosolido & Co. (Real Estate & Insurance) // Pres. Riverside Sand & Gravel Co. // Treas. Newton Pressed Steel


    Image Description: 

    1922 Advertisement

    Image 2 Description: 

    1/1922 HW World Advertisement

    Image 2: 

    King Tool Co.

    King Tool Co. (Asbury Park, NJ) - On December 5, 1921, the company's founders hold a public meeting discussing the marketing of the Onli-1 wrench to the public.  By 1927, the company appears to have folded. 

    Onli-1 wrench advertisement from 1922.

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Onli-1 (Wrenches)

    Klein, M. & Sons

    Klein Tools is said to have started in 1857.  Here is the link to the Klein website history page.

    Klein, M & Sons (New York, NY)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • XELA (Knives, Screwdrivers, Pliers, Shovels, etc.) (First Use 1/15/1910

    • Klein Koat (Pliers)
    • Klein-Kord (Pliers) (First use 5/5/1933)

    • Klein-Lok (Linesmen's Pliers) (First use 12/8/1933)

    • Klein Line (Pliers)
    • Grip-It (Chain & Strap Wrenches)
    • Goehst Insulation Cutters (Pliers/wire insulation slitter)
    • Klein Chicago, USA (Pliers) (First Use 2/11/1950)

    Klein Pliers

    View Reference: 

    Klose Wrench Company

    Klose Wrench Company (Minneapolis, MN) - Incorporated 7/11/1895.  Incorporators are Russell M. Bennett, Levi Loren Longbrake, Norman C. Richardson, and Karl A. Klose. 

    Karl August Klose Patent #542,265 - Pipe Wrench

    DATAMP Karl Klose Patents

    Kraeuter & Company

    Kraeuter & Co. (Newark, NJ) - 571 18th Ave. Newark, N.J. - Vintage packaging of Kreauter tools note "Established 1860."  We have yet to find anything on Kraeuter prior to 1864, as detailed further below.

    Kraeuter & Co. started in 1880 in Newark, by August Kraeuter primarily focusing on machinist tools. Arthur took over in 1902.  Countering the 1880 assertion from the article above, this is a great genealogy of the August Kraeuter, Arthur's father. It appears the company was founded officially in 1881. In addition, August is named as a partner in at least 2 companies, beginning in 1864. (Heuschkel, Kraeuter & Co. and after 5 years, Foerster & Kraeuter) August removed himself from the latter partnership in 1878, presumably to venture out on his own.

    Here is a write-up from The Industrial Interests of Newark, NJ profiling Foerster & Kraeuter.  The company was founded in 1864.

    Arthur A. Kraeuter co-founded the Acme Hardware Company in 1905 in Newark, N.J. along with Camille L. Hairbard and William I. Carter Jr..  Hardware Dealers Magazine also lists Kraeuter & Co as purveyors of Bonney's adjustable alligator wrench dubbed "The Victor Pliers." Acme Hardware is listed in the 1905 Iron Age Directory as manufacturers of drop forged wrenches.  Thus far, the formation of the Acme company appears to center around C. S. Bonney's patent of the adjustable alligator wrench which the Acme company was marketing aggressively at that time. Kraeuter patented a belt punch in 1902 (751,079). On October 15th of 1909, the shop of Kraeuter & Co. burnt to the ground.

    On July 25, 1963, Kraeuter was purchased for cash by the Symington Wayne Co.

    Kraeuter & Co. (Newark, NJ)

    Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

    • Kraeuter (Pliers) (First use 1910)
    • Victor (Alligator Wrenches, Pliers, Screwdriver Bits)
    • Dreadnaught (Pliers)
    • Gripall (Pliers)
    • Grip-It (Pliers)
    • Grip-Tite (Pliers)
    • Kwi-Kut (Chisels)
    • Universal (Pliers #305 combination)
    • Kraeuter (filed by Dresser Industries) (Mechanic's Hand Tools) (First Use "at least" 2/1965)
    • Kraeuter (filed by Kraeuter & Co.) (Pliers) (First Use 1910)

    Kraeuter & Co Assigned Patents

    Arthur Kraeuter Patents

    Key Tool Stamping Terms (stamped/forged into tools):

    • K-Diamond
    Person Tags: 

    Kraeuter Ratchets

    View Reference: 

    Kraeuter Sockets

    View Reference: 

    Kraeuter Wrenches

    View Reference: