Hand Tool Manufacturers L - N

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LaGripper Wrench Company

LaGripper Wrench Company (Battle Creek, MI) - incorporated 9/21/1900 by: Carl F. Beach - Chairman, Arthur B. Williams - Sec, Erasmus D. Beach - Treas, Julia E. Clark - Manager, D. Lyman Reade - Manager.  The factory and equipment were sold at auction in February of 1906.  Here is a nice living biography of Carl Beach.  This biography (from 1904) notes he invented his wrench (and patented it) in 1899, and began manufacturing it in 1902.

Carl F. Beach Patent #758,499 - Wrench

Lake Superior Wrench Company

Lake Superior Wrench Company (Sault Sainte Marie, MI) - Incorporated 1/1/1910 by John Beaulieu - Pres., James R. Ryan - Sec/Treas.  However, we do find the company in January of 1909 advertising their wrench. 

DATAMP Patents for the company.

Lakeside Forge

According to an article in the January, 1911 edition of Mill Supplies, Lakeside Forge was "recently incorporated to take over the business and plant of the Lakeside Forge & Wrench Company."  A newspaper announcement states the company was chartered in Erie on 6/20/1911.  The Lakeside Forge & Wrench Company was incorporated on October 8, 1909 with Eugene Childs as President & General Manager. The 10/12/1909 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph also notes that James McBriar is the Treasurer.

The charter for the Lakeside Forge Co. was announced on June 20, 1911 with an initial capital of $5,000.

In the July, 1920 edition of The Bulletin of the National Gas Engine Association, Lakeside Forge Officers are noted as:

  • F. B. McBrier - President (Also Director at Erie Trust Co., appears to own a great lakes steamer - the Nyanza, and possibly former Secretary of the Ball Engine Co. of Chicago, probable graduate of Cornell University)
  • A. Jarecki - Vice President (Officer of Jerecki Manufacturing Co., Incorporated in 1897 in Erie / Pittsburgh)
  • F. A. Brevillier - Secretary (At least 1913 - 1920 - VP/Secretary of United Gas & Fuel Co. of Hamlton (ltd.), 1919 - Secretary of American Gas Co.)
  • C. L. McLoskey - GM

The Maintenance of Way Cyclopedia of 1921 has a nice full page writeup on Lakeside Forge wrenches.

In January of 1924, the New Castle Herald reports the company employees 300 men.

The June 14, 1925 edition of Iron Age announced that the Lakeview Forge Company has been organized to take over operations of Lakeside Forge.  The second half of the snippet notes that they will operate out of the same building and discontinue wrench production in order to focus on commercial drop forgings.

The Kane Republican, on 11/18/1926 reports that the land and building of the Lakeside Forge Company has been purchased by the Uniflow Pump & Manufacturing Co. of Dayton, OH.

Lane Iron Works

The 6 March, 1944 edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle notes the filing of a Limited Partnership on February 4, 1944 for Lane Iron Works, located at 76 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY. They will sell "drop forgings, ornamental iron works and kindred commodities."  The general partner is Benjamin Lane, limited partners are: Michael G. Lane, Eva Zinn, and Rheba Muss.

Research continues to determine the origin and final disposition of the company as it appears to have existed well before the above anouncement.  We find listings for Lane Iron Works in Brooklyn as early as 1920.

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This wrench is a slim design that fits well in the hand. Forging is a bit rough, with pitting and the tool is unplated. It was found in Tennessee.

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Larco Wrench & Manufacturing Co.

Larco Wrench & Manufacturing Co. (Chicago, IL) - We find reference to the company in 1918 but have yet to find formation information.  In 1920 the company received the trademark for LARCO.  Registration #131,336 (not found).  The July 29/1920 edition of Iron Age reports that Larco has purchased a forging plant and machine shop at Woodlawn & 78th from the Great Lakes Forge Co. and will move there soon.  In August of 1921, Industry Week reports that Larco purchased the Cochran Mfg. & Forging Co.  We believe the Cochran property was owned by Great Lakes Forge and sold to Larco.  This article notes that Larco will continue producing Cochran products, including wrenches.

Larco Advertisement from June, 1921.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Speednut (Adjustables)
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Lavigne & Scott Manufacturing Company

Lavigne & Scott Manufacturing Company (New Haven, CT) ​- Mr. Lavigne had several patents throughout the 1880s, virtually all for sewing machine components and all assigned to a J. Halliwell.  We have not found a creation date for Lavigne & Scott yet. 

Succeeded by the Lavigne Automatic Mfg. Co. in 1899.  Officers at the time of transition are Benjamin Eastwood - Pres., William H. Cole Sec./Treas., Joseph P. Lavigne - Manager.

 

Trade Marks:

Sandow - (Wrenches) First Use 12/12/1894

DATAMP Patents for Mr. Joseph P. Lavigne

Lectrolite Corporation

Milwaukee Tool and Forge, Lectrolite, S-K and Symington Wayne.

TRU-FIT - The TRU-FIT name was trademarked by Milwaukee Tool and Forge , filed 8/19/1929 and claiming first and continuous use as of January, 1921.  Lectrolite then trademarks TRU-FIT in 1952, claiming first use in January of 1932.  The trademark specifically mentions that Lectrolite also owns the Milwaukee Tool and Forge filed previous TRU-FIT trademark, under another registration number.  The late '20s and early 30s timeframe is just about when the Milwaukee Tool and Forge ceases to show up in searches.  Milwaukee Tool and Forge used the TRU-FIT trademark in a snippet from the 1931 Pilots Handbook, under an unknown catagory (probably files) Tru-Fit in a list containing other tool manufacturers such as Mayhew, Millers Falls, Plomb, Truth, Vlchek and Whitaker "Triple Diamond" (Triple Diamond refers to Whitaker files).  There do exist socket tools and wrenches from the 1920's with the TRU-FIT label.  Lectrolite continued to produce tools under the TRU-FIT moniker at least up into 1953.

In an article published in a 1932 edition of Hardware Age, the "recent formation" of Lectrolite Corp. is announced.  The article explains the formation of the company resulted from a merger of Milwaukee Tool & Forge Co., Saturn Electric Water Heater Corp., Defiance Stamping Co., and Pressed Products Co.

  1. Pressed Products Co. - Began operations on February 1, 1931 producing electrical appliances and hardware.  Employees numbered 26 when operations began and the Operations Manager was R. E. Dalton of Parkersburg, WV.
  2. Defiance Stamping Co. - Established in 1926 with $12,500 investment by C. V. Shepfer, Arnold Havilan, and L. Seelie

Officers of the newly formed Lectrolite Corp. were:

  • President & General Manager - Harold L. Schlosser (Incoming as President of Pressed Products Co.) (another article from Automotive Industries identifies Schlosser resigning his post as the "General Manager of the Napoleon Stamping division of the Monroe Auto Equipment Co.)  Monroe Auto Equipment Co. is the same company we know today for Monroe Shocks.  Monroe was taken over by Tenneco in 1976.  Tenneco also owned Walker (jacks) at the time.
  • Vice-President & Treasurer - J. C. Markey
    • Prior involvement with formation of the Elliott-Markey Co. in 1915 (Defiance, OH) along with H. L. Elliot, R. E. Markey, and B. R. Emery - Horseless Age Link
    • At the time of the formation of Lectrolite, J. C. Markey is referenced repeatedly as the President of the Aro Equipment Corp.  This Hardware Age article also seems to tie Saturn to Aro.  From what we can gather, Aro was principally involved in petroleum product dispensing machines.
  • Secretary - J. W. Davies - Unresolved history.
  • From an article dated 18 September, 1932 in the Cincinnati Inquirer, also mentions Mr. J. A. Otis (VP of Alemite Corp. and Stewart Warner), Mr. W. D. Kyle (President of Milwaukee Tool & Forge), and "C. J." (note J. C. above) Markey (President of Arc Equipment Co.)

In an article in the October 7, 1932 edition of the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, the move of Milwaukee Tool & Forge to Defiance, OH is announced, citing "the uncertainty of the tax situation and the high taxes now in effect" as the reason for the move.  The Treasurer, identified as Miss Elizabeth M. Siemer, stated current taxes on a wood building in Wisconsin are $1200/yr where taxes in OH on a brick facility are $88/yr.  The article also notes that 75-100 men were employed at the time and manufacturing operations were to be shut down for the move on October 11.

The May 27, 1936 edition of The Sandusky Register reports on a strike of the entire workforce of 40 men and identifies Harold L. Schlosser as plant superintendent.

The 5/11/1941 edition of The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the Lectrolite plant is adding an additional 17,000 sq. ft. of floor space in order to "manufacture defense materials."

S-K Lectrolite - The trademark for S-K Lectrolite was filed on 11/23/1953, claiming first use in commerce since June of 1953.  The trademark was filed by Lectrolite Corporation and awarded on 11/22/1955.  This would place tools marked the S-K Lectrolite as being produced between June, 1953 and September / October of 1961, when Symington Wayne acquired Lectrolite.  **NEW NOTE**  See our entry just below announcing the Symington-Wayne acquisition of Lectrolite in or about September of 1961.

The April 27, 1961 edition of The Daily Times reports that the acquisition of Sherman-Klove by Symington Wayne occurred on April 3, 1961.

The September 25, 1961 edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette reports that the Symington-Wayne Company will purchase the Lectrolite Corporation for $3,000,000.

This article from the September 22, 1961 edition of The Daily Times confirms that the Lectrolite acquisition will "compliment the products of their subsidiary, The Sherman-Klove Company" in the hand tool business.  Therefore, we can now conclude that there was never an S-K / Lectrolite merger, but simply an operating partnership.

It is interesting to note that we continue to find advertisements for job openings for the Lectrolite Corporation up to April of 1965.  We can assume that for at least that period of time, they continued to operate as Lectrolite.

Lectrolite Corp. (Defiance, OH)

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • True-Fit (Closed End Wrenches, Open End Wrenches, Tappet Wrenches & Pliers) (First Use March, 1921 by predecessor, Milwaukee Tool & Forge)

Lectrolite Wrenches

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Lightning Socket Wrench Company

Lightning Socket Wrench Company (Geneseo, IL) - Here is an advertisement on the wrench from the February, 1910 edition of American Blacksmith.  This company marketed a "socket wheel" type tool as seen in the link.

Lightning Wrench Company

Lightning Wrench Company (Denver, CO) - Here is an article on the wrench from the August, 1920 edition of The Motor Truck.

Lind Universal Tool Co.

Lind Universal Tool Co. (Providence, RI) - Incorporated January 17, 1908 as reported in Industry Week, January 30,1908 by Walter V. McGinn and Byron Rose.  On June 10, 1910 the company was dissolved.  

James G. Lind - Patent #826,728 - Pipe Wrench (Canadian Patent #CA106,888)

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Lind Universal (Pipe Wrenches)
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Little's Automatic Wrench Company

Little's Automatic Wrench Company (Cresson, PA) - Chartered 6/4/1912.  The 1/3/1913 edition of the Altoona Tribune reports that Little's wrench is being manufactured by the expanding Monarch Works.  The article notes the inventor as W. A. Little.  It is patent #1,029,074.

Lockhart Wrench Co.

Lockhart Wrench Co. - DATAMP reports Patent #725,103 for a chain pipe wrench by Richard James Lockhart was produced by the company.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Lockhart (Pipe Wrenches)

Lorain Wrench Co.

Lorain Wrench Co. (Elyria, OH) - Incorporated 9/29/1887 - Destroyed by fire 5/25/1899. 

DATAMP Patents for Lorain Wrench Co., both patented by A. D. Gates.  Patent #396,751 for a wrench attachment by Charles F. Laganke and Thomas E. Gawn was also assigned to Lorain Wrench Co.  Canadian Patent #28,873 by Alfonso D. Gates was also assigned to Lorain Wrench.  In May of 1899, the factory was virtually destroyed by fire.  The 2/10/1899 edition of Hardware reports that the Globe Brass & Iron Mfg. Co. has leased the buildings formerly occupied by Lorain.  We don't believe the company survived the 1899 fire.

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The Iron Age - 3/13/1890

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Lovell Wrench Co.

Lovell Wrench Co. (Worcester, MA) ca. 1897 - DATAMP patents for Lovell Wrench Co., both by Albert Kingman Lovell. 

We also found Patent #476,767 - Wrench by Mr. Lovell. 

A google search for Mr. Lovell patents reveals him a prolific inventor.

October 22, 1896 article on the improved Lovell Bicycle Wrench in Iron Age

An example Lovell Wrench can be found here.

Lowell Wrench Co.

Lowell Wrench Co. (Lowell, MA) We first find the Lowell Wrench Company listed in the Eleventh Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association, having displayed their wares and received a Bronze medal for "Moore's Triple Action Ratchet Wrench Drill."  The judges rated the tool as "well adapted to meet the demand of a cheap ratchet drill or wrench, but not quite suitable for hard service."  In 1879 John E. Sinclair of Lowell Wrench sued Quinby Backus for patent infringement by introducing their "Coggeshall wrench."  We could not locate a wrench patent by Coggeshall, but Oliver Coggeshall of Providence, RI held scores of patents for buttons and clasps.  Lowell Wrench was victorious in their lawsuit.  Of particular or peculiar note is that the court found that "Moore's use of the invention before the application for patent was not sufficient to bar his right to a patent."  This curious finding leads us to believe the Moore wrench was manufactured and in use prior to the 12/1864 patent award date.

DATAMP Patents for Lowell Wrench Co.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Automobile (Ratchet)
  • Multoplex (Ratchet & Socket Set)
  • Red Face (Ratchet)
  • Red Socket (Ratchet)
  • STD (Square-Shank Twist Drill Ratchet)
  • Multo Autowrench (Ratchet & Socket Set ca. 1909 - Ad Link)

​Catalog References:

  • Catalog E - 1908
  • Catalog R - 1917
  • Catalog G - 1930
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Moore's Design Ratchet

1870 James J. Walworth & Co. Catalog

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Lownes Novelty & Wrench Works

Lownes Novelty & Wrench Works (Huntsville, AL) ​- Organized by Phineas William Lownes in 1891 to produce his wrench under Patent #446,220.

 

Lufkin

Edward Taylor Lufkin establishes the E.T. Lufkin Board and Log Rule Manufacturing Company in Cleveland, Ohio - 1869. In 1877 alone, one billion board feet of lumber were cut and floated along the nearby 26-mile Saginaw River. E.T. Lufkin proclaimed that Lufkin® products are not the lowest in price, but are "the most durable and therefore the cheapest."

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These 1880 patent drawings show the first self-storing rewind crank for one of Lufkin's earliest long tapes.

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In 1855 under new ownership from four members of the Morley Brothers company and the management of Fred Buck, the E.T. Lufkin Board and Log Rule Manufacturing Company is renamed The Lufkin Rule Company.

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In 1890, Lufkin introduces its first steel measuring tape. From there, Lufkin develops various iterations of the retractable steel measuring tape to provide durable and precise measuring solutions for end users. One of these first steel measuring tapes is available to the public at The National Museum of American History.

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In 1892, Lufkin® moves operations from Cleveland to Saginaw, Michigan

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Lurie & Lurie

Lurie & Lurie (Chicago, IL) ​- Sidney J. and Benjamin L. Lurie - Their first joint patent was for a method of making sheet metal articles.  We have been unable to find company formation / disposition information.

Benjamin L. Lurie Patent #2,407,990 - Pipe Wrench

Benjamin L. Lurie Patent #2,579,594 - Pipe Wrench

Benjamin L. Lurie Patent #2,633,045 - Pipe Wrench

Benjamin L. Lurie Patent #2,986,054 - Wrench Handle Extension

 

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Example of a Lurie Patent #2,579,594 ​pipe wrench from The Wrenching News 2017 York auction listing.

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Lynds Wrench Company

Lynds Wrench Company (Wilmington, DE) - Incorporated 12/19/1919 by Martin E. Smith, M. E. Doto, and Artemus Smith.  Another article from 1/13/1920 in Muskogee, OK announces that J. H. Lynds of Muskogee invented a wrench and Incorporated the company in DE.  It notes the wrenches will be produced in Chicago and that J. H. Lynds is Pres, A. J. Rotenberry is Treas, and M. O. Lynds is Sec.   

Jesse H. Lynds Patent #1,284,731 - Wrench.

Jesse H. Lynds Patent #1,359,403 - Wrench

 

M. W. Robinson Co.

M. W. Robinson Co. (New York, NY) - We find this company in the 10/1/1893 edition of "The World" listed in NYC at 79 Chambers St.  Here is an article on the Carll Wrench from Power & the Engineer - July, 1892.  According to this snippet from Cope's book, M. W. Robinson was founded in 1869 to act as the sole selling agent for Smith & Wesson.  They began manufacturing small tools in the 1870's.  In 1893, M. W. Robinson bought the Davis Level & Tool Co.

According to McRae's Blue Book 1966, the company was still operating.

Here is an example of a level made by this company.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

Addison B. Carll Patents from DATAMP

Maher, James and M. M. Chain Tongue and Wrench Company

James and M. M. Maher Chain Tongue and Wrench Company (Liverpool, OH) - Incorporated 11/5/1913 by James Maher.  On 4/6/1912 local newspaper reporting indicates the Maher brothers entered into an agreement to have their wrenches produced by W. A. and C. A. Smith of East Liverpool, OH in exchange for partial patent rights.  According to the article, the wrenches were produced but patent rights never signed over and therefore, the Smiths sued.  No resolution of the lawsuit was found.

James Maher Pipe, Tongs and Wrench Company (Delaware, OH) - The July, 1918 edition of Mill Supplies announces the incorporation of the company in Wheeling, WV.  Incorporators are listed as M. E. McComb, S. M. Noyes, and L. B. Sorge. 

A notice in Machinery of December, 1920 announces the incorporation in Delaware, OH.  Officers are James Maher - Pres., M. G. Williamson - Treas./Sec., and G. A. Yocke - GM.

James Maher Patent #1,016,079 - Pipe-Wrench (Chain)

James and M. M. Maher Patent #1,057,250 - Wrench

 

Mahlon, J. W. & Company

J. W. Mahlon & Company (New York, NY) ​-

Article about the Mahlon Ratchet Drill from 1871.  If you browse to page 168 in the referenced document, you can see an article about Mr. Mahlon's wrench.

James W. Mahlon Patent #118,619 - Wrench

James W. Mahlon Patent #109,747 - Improvement in devices for clamping or cutting off tubes and rods

James W. Mahlon Patent #116,847 - Improvement in Ratchet Drills

 

Mason Tool and Wrench Company

The Mason Tool and Wrench Company (Chicago, IL)  ​-​ The July 1, 1906 Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal  has an article on the Noyes Wrench, and notes it's manufacturer as the Mason Tool and Wrench Company of Chicago.  Charles H. Noyes Patent #819,246 - Wrench.

 

Maxson & Maxson Co.

Maxson & Maxson Co. (West Edmeston, NY) - We have not been able to dig up the origin of this company. 

George & Lynn Maxson Patent #650,186 - Pliers - 5/22/1900

The October, 1908 edition of The Fruit-Grower announces the introduction of a combination fence tool by Maxson & Maxson.  By process of elimination, as well as the description of the tool in the referenced article, we believe Patent #885,816 represents this tool.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • M & M (Pliers)

 

Mayhew Steel Products

According to many sources, H. H. Mayhew succeeded the H. S. Shepardson Company in 1866.  We have found no official records to support this.  H. S. Shepardson was a prolific inventor of braces, brace bits and particularly, locks and lock mechanisms.  The document for the "S inside Diamond" trademark below indicates Mayhew succeeded Shepardson in 1876.

Established in 1856 and incorporated in 1887 by H. H. Mayhew as The H. H. Mayhew Company, the company produced small forgings and hand tools.  At one point (1905 and prior), The Goodell Tool Company shared space in the Mayhew Factory.  Mayhew is still in existence today and their website history page can be found here.

In 1915, the company was acquired by the Mayhew Steel Products Company of New York City.  H. H. Mayhew continued to operate as a subsidiary producing small hand tools.

The April, 1920 edition of Motor Boating reports that Mayhew has acquired a new plant in Hopewell, VA from DuPont and plans erect a new building to produce hand tools and tool kits.  This July, 1921 article from Steel Processing & Conversion has a nice article about the plant and the established subsidiary "Mayhew-Virginia Corporation."

A 1927 edition of Iron Age reports that the Norwood Engineering Co. has acquired a controlling interest in Mayhew Steel Products and both concerns will be run by G. W. MacDow.  **Note**  We have found no supporting evidence of this to date.

A 1933 edition of Iron Age notes that Mayhew has been operating under receivership for several months and has been sold at auction to Mayhew VP J. B. Parsons who plans to reorganize the company.

In 1938, Mayhew acquired the David Maydole Tool Corp. of Norwich, NY. 

At some point prior to 1941 (Likely around 1937 when Mr. Conant passed), Mayhew acquired Conant & Donelson of Conway, MA.  The March, 1905 edition of Iron Age notes the incorporation of Conant & Donelson by Frederick W. Conant (Pres) and Walter E Donelson.  In 1949, Conant & Donelson is purshased by the Threadwell Tap & Die Co.

Mayhew Steel Products Inc. (Includes H. H. Mayhew Co.) (Shelbourne Falls, MA) -

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • "S" Inside a Diamond (H. H. Mayhew) (Wood & Steel Boring Tools) (First Use 1856 by H. S. Shepardson & Co.)
  • Black Forged (Hammers)
  • Bull Dog (Punches)
  • Cats Paw (Punches, Awls, Picks, etc.)

  • D.M.T (Hammers)
  • Dominator (Pry Bars, Scrapers, Awls, Picks, etc.)
  • Monarch (Punches, Screwdrivers)
  • Maydole (Hammers)
  • Maydox (Hammers)
  • Mayhew (All Tools) (First use "At Least" 1895) // 1910 Renewal (states 1st use 1888)

  • Norwich (Hammers)
  • Octole (sp) (Hammers)
  • Old Forge Tools (First use 3/1/1989)

  • Peerless (Punches, Screwdrivers)
  • Perpetuo (Screwdrivers)
  • Pilot Punch (Spring Roll Punch)

 

McKaig Drop Forge Co.

McKaig Drop Forge Co. (Buffalo, NY) - We have not found the formation announcement for this company.  In 6/11/1918 edition of Iron Age, the move of the C & H Drop Forge Co. from Buffalo to Newark, NJ is announced.  The article further states C & H was formerly known as McKaig Drop Forge Co., and is now owned by Clucker-Hixson Co. of NYC.

Interestingly, we find this company beginning in 1912, advertising the Sure-Cutter Pliers patented by Mr. McKaig.  A 1921 Engineering Directory lists McKaig Drop Forge (wrenches) and McKaig-Hatch (forgings & pliers).

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • McKaig's (Adjustables)
  • Sure-Cutter (Pliers) - (1912 advertisement) - Archibald McKaig Sr. - Patent #1,116,093 - Pliers

 

McKaig-Hatch, Inc.

The 6/2/1913 edition of Industrial World notes the incorporation of McKaig-Hatch Inc. in Buffalo, NY on $20,000 capital to produce mechanical tools and contrivances.  Officers noted are:

  • Chauncey R. Hatch (Working previously for the Chicago Wire and Fuse Company and then Herbrand Company of Fremont, Ohio)
  • Archibald McKaig Sr.
  • Frank S. Leary

An announcement in Motor World from October, 1913 notes that they will make combination pliers and will be located at 1584-1590 Niagara Street.  It also notes McKaig and President, Harry C. Young as VP, and Hatch as Secretary & Treasurer.

On May 8, 1922, Mr. McKaig passed away.

In 1922, McKaig-Hatch is listed as making Wrenches and Pliers in the industrial directories.

McKaig-Hatch was acquired by The Tasa Coal Company of Buffalo sometime in 1962.

McKaig Drop Forge Co. (Buffalo, NY) - We have not found the formation announcement for this company.  Interestingly, we find this company beginning in 1912, advertising the Sure-Cutter Pliers patented by Mr. McKaig.  A 1921 Engineering Directory lists McKaig Drop Forge (wrenches) and McKaig-Hatch (forgings & pliers).

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • McKaig's (Adjustables)
  • Sure-Cutter (Pliers) - (1912 advertisement) - Archibald McKaig Sr. - Patent #1,116,093 - Pliers
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McKercher Wrench & Tool Company

McKercher Wrench & Tool Company (Jackson, MI)  ​- A 3/11/1902 article from The Railway Age reports the officers of the company as Robert Lake - Pres., H. S. Griggs - VP, H. U. Ulrickson - Treas., George Hastings Treasurer, and George McKercher - Superintendent.  Incorporated 3/20/1902 to produce a newly patented wrench by:

George McKercher Patent #643,522 - Wrench - Self-Assigned - 2/13/1900

George McKercher Patent #729,504 - Wrench - Assigned to McKercher Wrench & Tool Co. - 5/26/1903

George McKercher Patent #771169 - Wrench - Assigned to McKercher Wrench & Tool Co. - 9/27/1904

Article about the Mckercher wrench (2nd patent) from the 3/14/1903 edition of The Sanitary & Heating Age.

A 1905 Michigan insection report shows the company with 3 employees.  We found no further mention of this company after 1905.

McKibbon Universal Wrench Company

McKibbon Universal Wrench Company (Nashville, TN)​ - The earliest mention of this company is Mr. McKibbon visiting towns in Tennessee in 1930 trying to find investors for his new patent.  Sold at auction in November of 1940 (including patents).  In 1936 W. L. Richardson is President and J. H. Simpson is Secretary.  In November of 1940 the factory and patents were sold via sherriff's auction.

Joe S. McKibbon Patent #1,423,499 - Wrench

Joe S. Mckibbon Patent #1,709,589 - Wrench

Joe S. Mckibbon Patent #1,730,671 - Wrench

Joe S. Mckibbon Patent #1,872,780 - Wrench

Joe S. Mckibbon Patent #CA292,114 - Wrench

McNair Wrench Company

McNair Wrench Co. (Meadville, PA) - According to his obituary, Milton H. McNair worked for various machine shops in Erie, PA before retiring and starting his own business, building a machine shop at his residence, ca. 1898.  Mr. McNair passed away 3/13/1909.  Subsequently, the McNair Wrench Co. became known as Davenport's Machine Shop and then Foriska's Machine Shop.

Milton H. McNair Patent #255,182 - Wrench - According to DATAMP, this design was manufactured by the McNair Wrench Co. and the Meadville Vise & Tool Co.

Milton H. McNair Patent #449,627 - Pipe Wrench - Assigned 1/2 to Edward C. Smith (see Meadville Wrench Company)

 

Meadville Wrench Co.

Meadville Wrench Co. (Meadville, PA) - Seriously damaged by fire 1/30/1919

Edward C. Smith Patent #722,920 - Wrench 3/17/1903

Edward C. Smith Patent #1,313,345 - Machine for Forming Wrench Heads - Assigned to Meadville Wrench. // Link to an article about the machine.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Meadville (Adjustables)

Mechanic's Tool Company

Mechanics Tool Co. (Rockford, IL) - In November of 1929, it is reported that Eric S. Ekstrom is President.  The company is listed as early as 1921 as a manufacturer of Chisels.

An article on Mr. Ekstrom from 11/15/1929 notes his interests in the following companies:

President:

  • Rockford Chamber of Commerce
  • Mechanics Universal Joint Company
  • Rockford Drop Forge Company
  • Rockford Steel Furniture Company
  • Mechanics Tool Company

Vice-President:

  • ​Borg Warner Corporation
  • Hotel Faust

Director

  • Rockford Metals Specialty Company
  • Sunstrand Machine Tool Company
  • Sunstrand Engineering Company
  • Pierson Company
  • Estwing Company
  • Manufacturers National Bank
  • General Refrigeration Company

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • -- (DOE Wrenches)

Mechanics Tool & Forge Co. / Mac Tool Co.

Mechanics Tool & Forge Extensive Research Notes Page

This text is directly from the Mac Tools History page: 

Mac Tools was founded in 1938 as the Mechanics Tool and Forge Company by seven men with the common goal to manufacture the finest tools in the world. The first step toward their goal was taken on July 11, 1938, when they signed the Articles of Incorporation, and were officially recognized by the state of Ohio. The state issued 250 shares of no par common stock, of which these men could only afford to subscribe to 55 shares. Nonetheless, they persevered, and elected Ralph McPherson and Otto Tucker as the first President and Secretary of the organization. These two men scraped up all available capital, a paltry $5,000, to secure a building and buy used machinery so they could begin production. World War II brought prosperity to the Mechanics Tool and Forge Company because of the sizeable government contract received in 1942. In 1944, they recapitalized with the help of the Securities Commission. Shortly after their capital investment, the company received a proposal from Clem Poole, concerning the opening of a socket division. Though they recognized the need to introduce sockets into their product line, they did not have the means to finance the opening of the division because of their recent investment. The management of Mechanics Tool and Forge decided to open a new, associate company with virtually the same stockholders, rather than expanding the existing product line. On October 30, 1944, the Clinton Tool Company was born. With Clem Poole as its president, Clinton operated in the same building as Mechanics Tool and Forge and is the lineage from which the present day line of sockets and accessories hail. In 1945, Russ Darrah, a 20-year veteran of the hand tool industry, presented Mechanics Tool and Forge with a program designed to purchase an allied line of tools. This resulted in the formation of Mac Allied Tools which was moved to Akron, OH to facilitate shipping. Even though there were three companies functioning as one, their collective product was always referred to as "Mac Tools." 1961 launched the companies into the modern era, when Mechanics Tool and Forge officially changed its name to Mac Tools in 1963, leaving the association between Mac Tools and Mac Allied under the collective banner of Mac Tools, Inc. In 1979, the long association between Mac and Mac Allied severed. Today, Mac Tools has a product line in excess of 42,000 items, and still uses the direct sales approach with a mobile sales force of distributors. The Mac Tools philosophy of excellent quality, price and service remains unchanged over the years, and the company spirit that made them successful in 1938, is the same spirit that makes them a leader in the automotive tool and equipment business today.

From Validated Sources & Research:

The Trademark for "MAC" was registered on June 28, 1948, claiming first and continuous use in industry from January, 1939.  The Mechanics' Tool & Forge Company first appears in the Labor Statistics report for the State of Ohio in 1939, reporting 3 employees.  The Clinton Tool Company shows up first in the 1944 State of Ohio "Decisions, Opinions & Rulings." 

Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks:

  • MAC - Block Text (Screwdrivers, Chisels, Punches, Wrenches, Hammers, Awls, Pliers & Files) (First Use January, 1939)

MAC Ratchets

View Reference: 

MAC Sockets

MAC Specialty Tools

MAC Tool Sets

MAC Wrench Sets

Socket and Socket Drive Sets

MAC Wrenches

Metcoid / Metal Engineering Co.

Tool advertisements for METCOID, a division of Metal Engineering Company of Chicago, begin appearing around 1950.  There are many "Metal Engineering Co" companies prior to this but we feel the METCOID associated company started about this time.

Image Description: 

Metcoid Lever Jaw Locking Pliers. These are not as heavy as a pair of Vise-Grips and they don't have the release lever, but they are well made. Finish is a silver paint over steel.

Image: 

Michigan Motor Specialties Company

Michigan Motor Specialties Co. (Detroit, MI) - This article on the company from the December, 1916 edition of Michigan Manufacture and Financial Record notes that the company was organized 3 years prior, placing its formation in 1913.  However, a newspaper article from August, 1912 announces an increase in capital from $20k to $75k.  Another article from June, 1915 notes the expansion to 4x the space in the company's rented area of the Colwell Lead Company.  On 6/6/1922 the bankruptcy sale of the company is announced.

July 1913 article from the Electrical Record on "Becco" branded products. 

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Becco (Wrenches, motor car parts)

Middlesex Wrench Company

Middlesex Wrench Company (Hartford, CT) - Incorporated 3/23/1880 by: Oren S. Knapp, Stillman H. Liboy, and Alphonso H. Carvill.  A May 27, 1880 announcement notes a petition for name change to the Prouty Press Company.  In July of 1905 the Prouty Press Company is listed in a page full of "defunct companies" for the state of CT.

Miller Tool & Manufacturing Company

Miller Tool & Manufacturing Company (Detroit, MI)

Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks

Millers Falls

​Millers Falls (Millers Falls, MA)​ - Here is an extraordinarily detailed history of the company from oldtoolheaven.com.

Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks

  • TUF-FLEX - Block Text (Hack Saw Blades) (First Use 9/19/1936)
  • JET-EDGE - Block Text (Hack Saw Blades) (First Use 9/9/1948)

Milwaukee Tool & Forge Co.

Milwaukee Tool & Forge (MTF) was incorporated in Wisconsin in about September,1917.  The officers listed are George Haubert, George Phillips and R. L. Wheeler.  The company is formed to take over the business of the Crary Tool Company in September/October 1917..

We believe, based on some recent discoveries, that the company could have began operations in or around 1911, possibly as the Ideal Laundry Co. (Wheeler - Pres // Phillips - Sec/Treas).  Recent information indicates that in 1929, MTF was acquired by the Line Material Company of New York.  An article in the 1932 Moody's publication refers to the "acquisition of the assets and business of a Wisconsin Corporation organized in 1911."  Further, W. D. Kyle is known as the President of the Line Material Company as well has mentioned multiple times in affiliation with MTF. 

At this point in Milwaukee's history, the industry was fast paced, and companies were popping up and merging at a furious rate.  In order to better understand MTF's history, we would like to mention a couple of industry events that could likely be pertinent in understanding the MTF story.

Line Material Company - Formed in 1906 as the Ajax Line Material Company by Albert Sheible, with Mr. John F. Turner named as Secretary and Treasurer.  The company was located at 12 and 14 South Jefferson St., Chicago and it's principal products were outdoor lighting.  Circa September, 1909, the company changed it's name to the Ajax Line Material Works and moved to South Milwaukee (no specific address given).  The May 1913 edition of the Electrical Record announces that the Ajax Line Material Works has renamed to the Line Material Company.  In addition, the article names Mr. F. L. Sivyer as President and notes that Mr. Sivyer is also President of both the Northwestern Malleable Iron Co. and the Sivyer Steel Casting Co. of 37th and Mitchell St., Milwaukee.  Interestingly, the 1913 Illinois Business Directory lists the Ajax Line Material Works as being headquartered at 1601-332 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.  It also lists Mr. Albert Scheible as President and Mr. John F. Turner as Secretary.  This article from the April 12, 1913 edition of the Electrical Review confirms the name change to Line Material Co. and further names Mr. W. D. Kyle as V.P. and Treasurer, and Mr. Thomas E. Ward as Secretary.  The June 1918 edition of the Electrical Record lists the company's address as 39 Cortland.  By 1922 W. D. Kyle is listed as President of Line Material Company.  In 1930, the company's address was 12th & Madison in South Milwaukee.

Crary Tool Co. - The April, 1916 edition of The Steel and Metal Digest reports the formation in March, 1916 of the Crary Tool Co. and names Mssrs. John Hoerl, George Haubert, William C. Garrent and George E. Garrent as principals.  The company is to manufacture chisels, pliers, wrenches and other tools.  The October 25, 1917 edition of Iron Age reports that the Crary Tool Co. at 220 Becher St. has been succeeded by the Milwaukee Tool & Forge Co.  Just before this activity, Mr. George Haubert, along with a Mr. C. W. Esau (Pres) and Mr. Adam J. Eimerman form The Modern Steel Treating Co. at 453 38th Ave.  This facility was immediately destroyed by fire on 10/17/1918 and quickly rebuilt at 619 38th Ave.  On 11/29/1920, this new facility was again destroyed by fire.  Extremely interesting to note here that in the announcement of the 1920 fire, Mr. W. D. Kyle is named as the General Manager of The Modern Steel Treating Co.

During our research, we found reference of a large merger involving MTF along with several other companies resulting in the formation of an unknown (unreadable) Corporation.  It comes from the October 6, 1932 edition of Iron Age and the other entities involved / mentioned were:

  • W. D. Kyle - President, Line Material Co. of Milwaukee
  • J. D. Otis - VP, Alemite Corp of Chicago
  • O. J. Markey - President, Aro Equipment Corp of Ohio
  • Charles Wertz - President, Farmer's National Bank of Ohio
  • L. F. Serrick - President, L. F. Serrick Co. of Ohio (NOTE: Mr. Serrick purchased the Defiance Stamping Co. in 1930)
  • Harold Schlosser - President, Pressed Steel Products.

If you reference our research on S-K and affilliated, you'll note the formation of the Lectrolite Corporation as a merger of Milwaukee Tool & Forge Co., Saturn Electric Water Heater Corp., Defiance Stamping Co., and Pressed Products Co.  The issue is that each of these companies, along with each of those mentioned in the previous list, continues to be referenced as individual entities throughout the 1930s, and some well beyond that timeframe. 

This very interesting article from a 1934 edition of Steel announces that the "Electrical Connection ??? Mfg. Co., successor to Milwaukee Tool and Forge Co." will construct a new plant due to a catastrophic fire.  This article also notes W. D. Kyle as President of the Electrical company.

A 1937 edition of Bus Transportation lists Milwaukee Tool & Forge as a maker of wrenches along with the typical manufacturers of the day such as Bonney, Williams, Billings, etc.

We are still conducting research due to more recent discoveries which point to a much more involved and complicated activity amongst these companies during the decade of the 1930s.

Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks

  • True Fit (All Tools) (First Use March, 1921)

MTF open end wrench logo's

Some logos on open end wrenches,  not sure of the correct order.

Image: 

Milwaukee Tool & Forge - The Tools

MTF Drive Tools

MTF Ratchets

View Reference: 

MTF Sockets

View Reference: 

MTF Wrenches

View Reference: 

Milwaukee Tool & Forge Double End Box wrenches

A set of Milwaukee Tool & Forge Double End Box wrenches.  Probably from the 1920's.  I think it maybe  missing one wrench as there is no 3/4 size.

Image: 

Milwaukee Tool & Forge Double Open End wrenches

Not sure if the bag is correct.  A very early set, has sizes with SAE and USS.​

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Modern Sales Bureau

Modern Sales Bureau (Chicago, IL) - Motor World Wholesale of January 6, 1910 carries this company's incorporation announcement.  Invorporators are: William B. Goldenberg, C. Brussard, and J. H. Ullmann.  Earliest mention for Mesnard pliers is in an April, 1911 edition of The Automobile Trade Directory.  Here is an interesting biography on Mr. Goldenberg.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Goldenberg's (Pipe Vise) - No patent yet found.
  • Mesnard's (Pliers) - Gilbert C. Mesnard Patent #1,021,372 - Pliers

Monarch (Wrench Works, Tool Works, Wrench Co., and Tool Co)

Monarch Wrench Works / Monarch Tool Works / Monarch Wrench Company / Monarch Tool Company (St. Louis, MO)​ - We find the incorporation announced for the Monarch Tool Company on 10/26/1886 by John H. Peizer, E. L. Hall and L. M. Hall.  By 1905, the Monarch Tool Company is listed as being located in Cincinatti, OH (could be a different company). 

The July 5, 1906 edition of American Machinist shows an advertisements for the Monarch adjustable alligator wrench.  The advertisements notes the wrench is sold by the Monarch Wrench Company, successor to the Monarch Tool Works.  A 1907 advertisement names H. F. Reddig as "manager."

Advertisements show a patent year on the shank of the wrench of 1901.

Advertisement from a 1907 edition of Railway Master Mechanic. (Image 1 Below)

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Monte Wrench Company

Monte Wrench Company (Shelbyville, IN) - On 3/13/1908, local papers announce the change of name from the Vandergrift Manufacturing Company (Shelby County, IN) to the Monte Wrench Company.  The company was likely formed by Horace G. Montgomery.  Dissolved 1/24/1925.

Montgomery & Co.

Montgomery & Company (New York, NY) -

Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks

  • FULTON - (Edge, Mechanics', and Engineers Tools) (First Use 10/1/1895)

Moore Drop Forge

Moore Drop Forge - The Railroad Gazette, October 19, 1900 announces the formation of the Moore Drop Forge in Springfield, Mass.  "Preliminary" Officers and investors identified are:

  • H. E. Marsh - President
  • A. L. Moore - Treasurer
  • F. S. Sibley - Secretary
  • T. W. Leete - (Prominent investor / corporate officer)
  • C. T. Sean
  • G. M. Hendee - (known for cycling, cycle racing and cycle safety inventions)

Brands, Trade Names, & Trademarks

  • MORCO (Wrenches) (First Use 12/10/1912)

Billings & Spencer sold it's drop forging operation to Moore Drop Forge effective January 2, 1963.

In the 4/18/1928 edition of the Altoona Tribune, an announcement appears noting the acquisition of controlling interest in the Continental Railway Supply Company by Moore Drop Forge.

In the book entitled "Springfield, Volume 2," the following key dates are reported:

  • 1900 - The MDF company began making Bicycle frames;
  • 1909 - MDF began producing wrenches;
  • 1914 - MDF got into automotive forging and machining;
  • 1938 - MDF began making tools for Sears;
  • 1946 - Purchased the Wason Car Works plant;
  • 12/1967 - The Eastern Stainless Steel Co. purchased 95% of MDF stock;
  • 1969 - Eastern Stainless Steel Co. restructures as the EASCO Corp.;
  • 1985 - EASCO taken over by Equity Group Holdings;
  • 1987 - Company goes public
  • 6/1990 - Merged with Danaher Co.
  • According to the caption, the image below represents the plant that was "designed, built and equipped for the exclusive production of Craftsman open-end, box-end, combination and tappet wrenches, and the complete socket wrench line."
  • Image 2 shows operations inside the plant

In July of 1960, MDF broke ground for their new plant in Hillsboro, OH.

Notes: Very distinct selector for ratchets - will help ID ratchets in the future: http://datamp.org/patents/advance.php?pn=D186188&id=52694&set=42

Image: 
Image 2: 

Moore Products Company

Moore Products Company (Wichita, KS) - Founded approximately mid-1919 and incorporated on April 29, 1920, based on a patent by Frederick A. Moore - Patent #1,303,709 - Wrench.  Frederick A. Moore - Pres., George W. Lane - VP, and J. D. Moore - Sec/Treas. 

The tool was to be marketed as the 'Moore Common Sense Pipe & Monkey Wrench."  However, according to a January, 1921 newspaper article, Mr. Moore spend most of his time selling stock in his company and in over a year had only manufactured $7.50 worth of product.  His stockholders were not amused and sued him out of business.  Here is a link to the earliest newspaper advertisement we were able to locate.

Mossberg Wrench Company

Mossberg Wrench Company (Central Falls, RI) - Sometime in 1902, the Mossberg Wrench Company was moved from Attleboro to Central Falls, RI, and was under the management of H. H. Ricker.  This article notes that the company has no affilliation with any other company bearing the Mossberg name.  This would indicate to us that Frank disassociated himself from this entity in 1902.  This link shows one of the earliest (Sept. 1894) advertisements for a Mossberg Wrench.  Notice the patent dates on the jaw.

Frank Mossberg Patent #482,021 - Wrench - Assigned to Mossberg Manufacturing Company

Frank Mossberg Patent #482,749 - Wrench - Assigned to Mossberg Manufacturing Company

Simon W. Wardell & Henry H. Ricker Patent #698,086 - Wrench- Assigned to Mossberg Wrench Company

DATAMP Patents related to Mossberg Wrench Company

Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks

  • MOSSBERG (Wrenches) (Unk First Use) NOTE: on bottom of linked page.

Mossberg, Frank Company

This is an interesting historical write-up on Frank Mossberg and his family.

Here is another interesting article from The Sun Chronicle regarding an historical exhibit dedicated to the inventions and life of Frank Mossberg.

According to the above link (top), Frank immigrated to the USA from Sweden in 1882 and worked as a draftsman for several years.  In 1889 he started the Mossberg Manufacturing Company.  According to this note, the company was reorganized in July of 1897 as the Mossberg & Granville Manufacturing Company. 

According to the May 1899 edition of Machinery, Frank Mossberg left as VP of Mossberg & Granville and along with Julian A. Chase and D. MeNiven, organized the United States Automobile Co. in Pawtucket listing $150,000 in capital.  It is unknown what happened to this company but a company of the same name is located in Rochester, NY by 1909.

In 1898 Frank founded the Mossberg Roller Bearings Co., Ltd. in London, England.

Sometime in 1902, the Mossberg Wrench Company was moved from Attleboro to Central Falls, RI, and was under the management of H. H. Ricker.  This article notes that the company has no affilliation with any other company bearing the Mossberg name.  This would indicate to us that Frank disassociated himself from this entity in 1902.  This link shows one of the earliest (Sept. 1894) advertisements for a Mossberg Wrench.  Notice the patent dates on the jaw.

In 1899, Frank founded the Frank Mossberg Company in Providence, RI.  In 1900, he moved the company to Attleboro, MA.  Here is an overview of his early life in the US from Who's Who in New England.  As noted in the link, at this time (1916 publication date) Frank is also VP - Standard Machinery Co., DIR Metallic Shell & Tube Co., DIR Krow Scale Co., and President of the Uneedus Trading Co.

As reported in multiple publications, in 1919 Frank incorporated the Mossberg Pressed Steel Corp., also located in Attleboro.  Frank was President and his partners were Sydney Bigney and Chester A Van Der Pyl.  This article also includes an A. A. Underwood as a principal of the company and notes that all except Mr. Bigney were involved in the Frank Mossberg Company.  Mossberg Pressed Steel Corp. was acquired by the Wanskuck Co. of Providence in 1957.  Interestingly, this article, presumably from a 1925 snippet from Automotive Industries, notes that Frank Mossberg has been made President of the Mossberg Pressed Steel Corp., is "no longer interested in the automotive field," and is "formerly connected with the Frank Mossberg Co. of Attleboro."

The July 28, 1927 edition of American Machinist annouces the acquisition of the Frank Mossberg Co. by the APCO Manufacturing Co.  Mr. Thomas F. Wilson is identified as President of the new APCO-Mossberg Corporation.  See below image of an article from the 12/23/1927 edition of The Times (Shreveport, LA)

"Auto-Cle" History:

This 2/1905 article from The Automobile notes that the Railway Appliance Company has secured U. S. Patent manufacturing rights for the French Auto-Cle wrench.

This snippet from a 1905 edition of Motor World shows that the Auto-Cle wrench was apparently first marketed by the Railway Appliance Co.

2/23/1906 Railway Age carries the company formation announcement.  The article notes that it is a result of the acquisition of the Railway Appliances Company, Q. & C. Company, Pendrick & Ayer Company, Bryant Metal Sawing Machine Company, Q. & C. Pneumatic Tool Company, and Aper Manufacturing Company.  This article provides a very nice history of the 3 men and their previous businesses, most of which are consilidated into the Q. M. S. Co.

4/18/1908 edition of Railway and Engineering Review notes that Q. M. S. Co. had acquired Pendrick & Ayer

1/1909 Cycle & Automotive Trade Journal notes that the Frank Mossberg company will take over marketing of the Auto Cle, manufactured by the Quincy, Manchester, Sargent Company.  This article also introduces the "Titus Cle" which is a folding socket wrench.

12/30/1909 Motor Age - Still marketing the Auto Cle by Q. M. S. Co.

Frank Mossberg Co. (Attleboro, MA)

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Sterling (Adjustable, Wrenches)
  • Diamond (Adjustable, Wrenches)
  • Alderman (Adjustable, Wrenches)
  • National (Adjustable, Wrenches)
  • Auto Cle' (Wrenches, Pliers)
  • Gripsall (Wrenches)
  • MOSSBERG - Block Text (Wrenches) (First Use 1894)

Frank Mossberg Patents

Walter Tuttle Patents (also a noted company inventor)

Image Description: 

12/23/1927 edition of The Times (Shreveport, LA)

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Mossberg Ratchets

Mossberg Sockets

Mossberg Wrenches

Mound Tool & Scraper Co. / Mound Tool Company

Mound Tool & Scraper Co. (St. Louis, MO) - This company begins appearing ca. 1903 as the Mound Tool & Scraper Co.  At some point between late 1908 and early 1912 the name was changed to Mound Tool Co.  In 1932, Charles V. Franklyn is President of the company.  The 1/25/1942 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on a contract with the U. S. Navy to provide a "flexible-pack tool" in the amount of $38,322.  In 1951 they were awarded a contract to provide "ship scrapers."  In 1965, Natalie Wilkinson was VP of the company and was murdered in that year in the company parking lot during a robbery of herself and the 82 year old Mr. Franklyn.  Mr. Franklyn passed in 1967, and his obituary notes his acquisition of the tool company in 1930.  In 1976, Jewel B. Hendrix is President of the company.  This company is still in business and specializes in butcher tools.  Their website claims founding in 1899.

Mound Tool Website.

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Mound (Chisels)

Mullins, O Quick Adjustable Wrench Company

O'Mullins Quick Adjustable Wrench Company (Terre Haute, IN) - Incorporated 4/30/1914 by John N. White, Ollie O'Mullins, Herman Harms ("and others")  -

Ollie Mullins Patent #1,083,851 - Wrench

NAPA - National Automotive Parts Association

Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks

Neal Universal Wrench Company

Neal Universal Wrench Company - Incorporated 4/29/1899 by Raymond Pease Smith of New Land Ct., and Joseph H. Reall of NYC.  We find no evidence this company ever produced any product.

- Most likely founded to produce Patent #628,838 - James H. Neal - Wrench

New Britain Machine Co.

New Britain Machine Company, from Wikipedia: According to one source, New Britain Machine was founded in New Britain, Connecticut in 1887.  However, according to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, it was founded in 1895 subsequent to the J.T. Case Engine Company, a manufacturer of steam engines. The first product the new company produced was a chainsaw mortising machine. In 1925, it registered the None Better trademark to sell its line of sockets and tools. Much of New Britain Machine's early tool production was done under the None Better line. Many of the early tools were carbon steel, offering a lower cost alternative to the higher price alloy steels of the day. Early tool sets consisted of hex drive sockets and an eel bar for the drive tool. Beginning in the 1930s, the None Better line consisted of a wide variety of 1/2 square drive tools with a Cadmium finish. At this time, New Britain Machine was also supplying tools for Sears in their Craftsman line of tools. These tools are easy to distinguish as they either have a BE or an H in a circle stamped into the tools. The New Britain Machine line was also created at this time as a higher priced alloy steel alternative.  Acquisitions and Development The early 1930s were a busy time for New Britain Machine Company. At the beginning of the decade, New Britain purchased the Husky Wrench Company, which was started by Sigmund Mandl in 1924. Sigmund Mandl went on to Blackhawk Manufacturing Company in 1931 after the Husky Wrench Company was bought by Olsen Manufacturing. During this time, New Britain Machine had a contract with Sears to supply sockets and drive tools for their Craftsman tool line. This contract survived until 1947 when the socket was gradually phased out and replaced by the "V" series sockets. In 1925 the National Automotive Parts Association was formed and New Britain Machine became the main supplier for them until the late 1970s. In 1955 New Britain bought the handtool line of Blackhawk Manufacturing Company however Blackhawk retained their line of hydraulic jacks and other hydraulic products the company changed its name to Applied Power Industries. Blackhawk tools became a very important brand for the New Britain Machine Company for many years. Many of the designs that Blackhawk made were adopted by New Britain in their tools. New Britain Machine Company also supplied many companies, this list includes Mac Tools, Matco Tools, Giller, J. C. Penney (Penncraft), Owatonna Tools Company, American Forge, and PowerKraft. In 1957, Luther Kilness filed patent numbers 2,554,990 and 2,981,389 with the United States Patent Office. This design can be said to be the next evolution of the ratchet design of SK Hand Tools' Theodore Rueb.  This ratchet was a very successful design, lasting from its introduction in 1961 to the eventual closure of New Britain in the 1980s. The ratchet was a compression engagement, using 12 teeth with a 60 tooth ratchet count. Later ratchets, from 1971 and onward, used a 9 tooth pawl making the ratchet a 45 tooth count. In 1972, New Britain Machine Company was acquired by Litton Industrial Products. Litton continued to be the owner of New Britain Machine Company until the latter's closure in 1990.  Its assets (including the Blackhawk and Husky trademarks) were acquired by The Stanley Works which continues to use the Blackhawk name for one of its product lines. On July 8, 2004, New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart announced that twenty-six acres of New Britain Machine's former property on South Street was being sold to two local businesses, Dattco and Guida's, after reaching an agreement.

 

ToolArchives Research:

An obituary in the 1/12 1897 edition of The Trenton Evening Times for Mr. Henry Peck Strong notes that Mr. Strong was a large investor in the New Britain Machine Co.

An excerpt from the book Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore and People, Page 217, seems to suggest that New Britain Machine Co. was founded between 1839 and 1850.

Contributing to the speculation of earlier beginnings of New Britain Machine is an Auto Show advertisement from the 09/2/1919 Asbury Park Press (and many other papers) noting that the None Better Products of New Britain Machine are "backed by 42 years of success."  This would indicate formation around 1877.  Interestingly, the series of advertisements for the 1920 Auto Show note 30 years of history.

An early edition of Moody's Industrials reports the following information:

NBM Co. was incorporated in June of 1895 in CT, through the merger of Case Engine Company.  As reported in the Hartford Courant of 6/28/1895, the officers are: P. Corbin - Pres., M. C. Swift - VP, F. G. Platt - Treas., and Robert S. Brown - Sec.  All officers mentioned are board members, with the addition of C. J. Barker.  Mssrs. Corbin, Swift and Platt come from Case, which was started in 1887.  Mr. Swift was also President of the Malleable Iron Works in Hartford.

In 1911, NBM Co. purchased the business and assets of the Geo. D Prentice & Co. of New Haven.  In 1913, they purchased the patents and assets of the Universal Machine Screw Co. of Hartford. 

The officers and board of NBM Co. were:

  • H. H. Pease - President & Treasurer
  • R. S. Brown - Sec
  • Board:
    • L. P. Broadhurst
    • E. M. Day
    • J. H. Goss
    • E. A. Moore
    • J. E. Ottorson
    • H. H. Pease
    • P. K. Rogers
    • W. S. Rowland
    • A. W. Stanley
    • P. B. Stanley

This biography of Philip Corbin notes that he was at one time President of NBM Co.  We do indeed find that in 1887 at it's founding, Mr. Corbin was President of the J. T. Case Engine Co.  In the mid-late 1890s, this business was either taken over or reorganized as NBM Co.

December, 1921 - H. H. Pease is President.  Mr. Charles F. Smith is Chairman of the Board.

The None Better Trademark, filed in July of 1924, notes a first use of the term for what appears to be most of their line, including sockets and wrenches, of 1917.

In 1929, NB merged with Gridley Machine Co. of Hartford, CT.

In approximately 1934-1936, NBM Co. purchased Husky Wrench.  Please see our ongoing research on the Milwaukee Tool Industry for research notes.

The 1/17/1941 edition of The Daily Times (Philadelphia, PA) reports the award of a military contract for "engine parts" for airplanes in the amount of $409,000.

The Des Moines Register reports on 11/18/1941 a military contract awarded to NBM Co. for $538,515 from the Defense Plant Corp. to produce machinery and Navy aircraft parts.

In March of 1942, Herbert A. Pease is President of NBM Co.

On a lighter note, the 2/17/1943 edition of The Decatur Daily Review announced that NBM Co. would award a plaque inscribed with swastikas monthly to the division with the highest absentee rate.

In October of 1955, NBM Co. purchased the hand tool business of Blackhawk.

New Britain Machine Company (New Britain, CT) Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Mustang - Block Text (First use 1954 - Last use circa 1972)
  • None Better - (Most Tools and Machines, including Wrenches and Socket Sets) (First Use 1917 - Last use circa 1952)

  • NB (stylized without circle) (First use 1919)

  • Husky (First use 1/29/1924)
  • Blackhawk
  • NB (Circle)
  • Pick-Up (Wrench)
  • Vacuflo (Power Brake Mechanism) (First Use 3/5/1940)

   Contract Production for

  • Sears - Craftsman Circle H (Sockets, Drive Tools, Ratchets)
  • Sears - Craftsman BE (Sockets, Drive Tools, Ratchets)
  • NAPA
  • MAC (Ratchets, Automatic Transmission Tools)
  • MATCO (Ratchets)
  • Penncraft (JC Penny)
  • Owatonna Tool Co. (OTC)
  • American Forge
  • Powerkraft

    NB Ratchet Production Brands List (As of 7/13/2016) (K) = Kilness Patent; (F) = Fors Patent; (C) = Costello Patent **Courtesy of work & collection by Powderkeg**

  • American Forge (K)
  • Billings (F)
  • Blackhawk (F, K)
  • Bluegrass (F, K)
  • Champion Plugmaster (K)
  • Craftsman (C, F)
  • Crescent (K)
  • Fairmount (F)
  • Filson (F)
  • Giller (K)
  • Husky (C, F, K)
  • K. R. Wilson (F)
  • JS (K)
  • Litton (K)
  • Mac (K)
  • Master Mechanic (K)
  • Matco (K)
  • Mustang (F, K)
  • NBM (K)
  • New Britain (C, F, K)
  • None Better (C, F)
  • OTC (K)
  • Penncraft (K)
  • Precision-Bilt (F)
  • Proto Challenger (K)
  • SP 45 (K)
  • Sparta (K)
  • Thorsen (K)
  • "unbranded" (K)
  • Vlchek (C)
  • Wardmaster (F)
  • Wix (F)
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New Britain Drive Tool Accessories

New Britain Patents

Here is a complete list of New Britain Machine Co. "assigned" patents courtesy of Google Patents.

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New Britain Ratchets

At one time or another it seems, New Britain made tools for just about everybody. Here's a list being compiled in a forum thread on the Garage Journal by GJ user Powderkeg here http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=277603: New Britain Machine sourced or original patent - Kilness (K), Fors (F), and the early (E) designs (patents not found): The (K) stands for Luther E. Kilness, and he possesses 3 patents for Ratchet Mechanism Design 2554990 (1951) - New Britain 2981389 (1961) - New Britain 3078973 (1963) - Not known to have been produced The (F) stands for John A. Fors possesses 1 patent for a Ratchet Mechanism Design 2542241 (1951) - New Britain The (C) is believed to be Mr. William F. Costello who possesses 1 patent for a Ratchet Device 2206943 - (1940) - New Britain   NB Ratchet Production Brands List (As of 1/02/2017) (K) = Kilness Patent; (F) = Fors Patent; (C) = Costello Patent **Courtesy of work & collection by Powderkeg** among others.

  • American Forge (K)
  • Billings (F)
  • Blackhawk (F, K)
  • Bluegrass (F, K)
  • Champion Plugmaster (K)
  • Craftsman (C, F)
  • Crescent (K)
  • Fairmount (F)
  • Filson (F)
  • Giller (K)
  • Husky (C, F, K)
  • K. R. Wilson (F)
  • JS (K)
  • Litton (K)
  • Mac (K)
  • Master Mechanic (K)
  • Matco (K)
  • Mustang (F, K)
  • NBM (K)
  • New Britain (C, F, K)
  • None Better (C, F)
  • OTC (K)
  • Penncraft (K)
  • Precision-Bilt (F)
  • Proto Challenger (K)
  • SP 45 (K)
  • Sparta (K)
  • Thorsen (K)
  • "unbranded" (K)
  • Vlchek (C)
  • Wardmaster (F)
  • Wix (F)

Here are some other New Britain assigned patents: Hopgood - 1955 - Angularly adjustable, reversible ratchet wrench Smyers / Russo - 1973 - Resilient quick release for socket wrench Harris - 1968 - Ratchet Wrench Construction Pickop - 1907 - Ratchet Wrench

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New Britain Sockets

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New Britain Wrenches

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In the late 1960s New Britain changed from 8620 alloy steel to 1137 alloy steel as a cost reduction.

In the picture below the upper Blackhawk OE wrench has grooves in the shank either side of the stamping. This is the older 8620 wrench.

The lower wrench without the grooves is newer 1137 wrench. This designation worked for the New Britain / Blackhawk line. I am not aware of a similar designation for the Husky / Sparta / Penncraft line or if anything was done for the sockets but the alloy change was across the board.

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Niagara Falls Metal Stamping Works

(​Niagara Falls, NY) - Incorporated 5/26/1904 by R. C. Eldridge, H. M. Eldridge, and F. A. Dudley.  First mention of Pokitrenchiz comes in a 1912 edition of Commercial America.  The Pokitrenchiz fade out of advertisements in about 1920.  We believe this company changed it's name to the Niagara Metal Stamping Corp. in 1921, but have found no solid evidence.  The latter company appears to have remained in operation until around 1929.  Niagara Metal Stamping Corp marketed very similar wrenches, referred to as "Premax."

Brands / Trade Names / Trade Marks

  • ​Pokitrenchiz (Stamped Wrenches)
  • Premax (Stamped Wrenches)

Niagara Wrench Company

Niagara Wrench Company (Niagara Falls, NY) - Incorporated by John Farnsworth, Silvanus Hussey, H. L. Greg, George B. L. Wilson, and Albert L. Wilson in late July, 1893.  Formation notice from 1893 indicating an early date for their charter of 12/8/1892, specifically to acquire patents, especially that of the "Hussey Combination Lock Wrench."  It is not clear this wrench was ever actually produced, nor are any of his other wrench patents (see DATAMP link below)

Silvanus Hussey Patents from DATAMP

Nicholson File Company

Before the Civil War interrupted his plans, William Nicholson had been contemplating the design and development of a standard file. Visit this link: http://toolarchives.com/?q=nicholson---a-walk-through-time#overlay-conte... to view a timeline of the Nicholson Corporate history.

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In 1864, the Nicholson file was formally born.

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On April 5, 1864 William Thomas Nicholson successfully patents his first file cutting machine.

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The Nicholson File Company, was founded by William Thomas Nicholson (1834-1893) in 1864 in Providence, Rhode Island.

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On May 9, 1876 William Thomas Nicholson successfully patents a machine for stripping file-blanks.

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On May 9, 1876 William Thomas Nicholson successfully patents a different machine for cutting files.

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An early example of some Nicholson File packaging from 1878.

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The Nicholson® File Company's World's Fair Exhibit - Chicago 1893 Over 3,000 Varieties of Files and Rasps are displayed.

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Nilson Co. / Nilson-Walters Wrench Co.

Nilson Walters Wrench Company (Casselton, ND)

​Nils Nilson Patent #664,425 - Pipe Wrench - 12/25/1900

North Star Wrench Company

The North Star Wrench Company (St. Paul, MN) - Incorporated 6/13/1904 by R. B. Higbee, Thomas L. Billingsley, and Frank H. Griggs.  Possibly Frederick Hachmann Patent #775,398 - Assigned 1/3 to L. H. Stiles (Red Wing, MN) - 4/6/1904.  2 other Hachmann patents in 1904 for a self-oiling trolley and a self-oiling bearing were fractionally assigned to Thomas L. Billingsley

Novel Wrench Company

Philadelphia / Glouchester, NJ

This company shows up in the 1891 factory inspection report for NJ.  Interestingly, that report shows the company with 68 employees, and lists Novel Wrenches as their product.  The company's charter was revoked due to non-payment of taxes in 1894.  We have not been able to find an example nor any names associated with this company.  However, we must assume wrenches were produced due to the number of employees in 1891.

Novelty Wrench Company

The Novelty Wrench Company (Chicago, IL) - Reported as a "new Company" September, 1886.  Newspaper states they will manufacture Bradley's Adjustable Carriage Wrench.  The article also notes the manufacture of the "School Ma'am" hay carrier.

Willis H. Bradley Patent #347,681 - Adjustable Carriage Wrench

Noyes Wrench Company

Noyes Wrench Company (Omaha, NE?) - Incorporated ca. 6/1907 by LeRoy C. Brown, Samuel Barrett, and Charles H. Noyes.

An article in the 12/1/1906 edition of the Cycle & Automobile Trade Journal notes that the Noyes wrench is being manufactured by the Mason Tool & Wrench Mfg. Co. of Chicago.

Charles H. Noyes Patent #819,246 - Wrench