For detailed research notes, please see our Blackhawk Research Page.
Blackhawk Manufacturing (Milwaukee, WI) - Contract Production for:
Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- Blackhawk (Wrenches, Socket Wrenches, Ratchets, Sockets)
- Indian inside Arrow Head (Socket Wrenches) (First Use 5/31/1919)
- RP Wrench Design - 2 line (Wrenches) (First Use 4/15/1937)
- Lock-On (WRENCHES AND TWISTING TOOL SETS FOR NUT, STUD, AND BOLT DRIVING) (First use "on or before" 6/30/1930)
- Empty Hexagon inside Circles (All Tools) (First Use by American Grinder 5/6/1924)
- Hexagon inside Circles with Indian Chief Head (Hydraulic Jacks & Wrench Sets) First Use on Jacks 1/7/1937; First Use on Socket Wrench Sets 3/20/1937)
- Wedgie (Metal Bending and Straightening Tools) (First Use January, 1941)
- Flex-Head (Heads for Hydraulic Jacks) (First Use 10/28/1936)
- Free-Wheeling (Wrenches) (First Use 10/1/1931)
- Treasure Chest (Tool Kit with Box) (First Use 3/31/1930)
- Adjusto (Wrenches & Wrench Sets) (First Use March, 1933)
- TORKFLASH - styalized letters/logo (Torque Wrenches) (First Use 11/15/1938)
- WEDG-HEAD (Open End Wrenches & Wrench Sets) (First Use 1/20/1953)
- HeXo (Wrenches)
- Hexite (Wrenches, 7/16" drive sockets) (~1937 - 1955)
- NUGGET (Plaid pattern) (Wrenches & Twisting Tool Sets) (First Use 2/14/1938)
- // Nuggies (Wrenches & Twisting Tool Sets) (~1940-1955) (First Use 12/1/1939)
- Jack Insignia - Usually Forged on the sides of jacks (Automotive Jacks) (First Use 12/24/1936)
The advertisement below is the earliest ad we have found to date presenting the Blackhawk line of tools on behalf of the American Grinder Manufacturing Company. It comes in the June 25, 1919 edition of Motor World. In the July issues of most notable automobilia publications of the day, the Blackhawk line peppers their pages in what appears to be an all out media blitz.
Less than a year after launching the Blackhawk line, the tools are so popular that the American Grinder Manufacturing Company has to expand. This article describes the expansion from the May, 1920 edition of Hardware World.
Only a year into their expansion, Walden Worcester brings suit against the American Grinder Manufacturing Company for damages due to trademark infringement claiming "Blackhawk" was harming their trademark "Tomahawk." While this article from Iron Age, August 11, 1921 edition does not elaborate, there appears to have been a judgement favorable to Walden. Damages were not enumerated. It does appear that the Jonas' organization may have had a large hand in the formation of the Blackhawk line. The trademark "Blackhawk, the American Rust-Proof Wrench" (#17785) was filed by both Jonas' and Mr. Bertane.
In the January 5, 1922 edition of Motor Age, the company appears to have gotten past the trademark issues and brags about the tolerances of their tools. Also notice the Indian in the Blackhawk logo has changed slightly with a "slimmer bunch" of long hair and an extra cheek dimple. Of course, this could simply be the result of a different artist, etc. since these are very minuscule alterations.
This ad is from the August 22, 1922 edition of Motor Age. Again notice the Indian in the Blackhawk logo has changes slightly with a "slimmer bunch" of long hair and an extra cheek dimple. Of course, this could simply be the result of a different artist, etc. since these are very minuscule alterations.
At least in terms of "searchable content," Blackhawk seems to have gone silent in the advertising world between the end of 1923 and early 1925. We find very few Blackhawk advertisements / articles between 1923 and early 1925, when they spring back up in fervor. The next two images provide evidence of the name change from the American Grinder Manufacturing Corp. to Blackhawk Manufacturing Company. The first, from Popular Science, July 1925 edition still notes American Grinder. The second, from Popular Science, August 1925 edition notes the name change. From this we can safely say that the name change occurred in late July - early August of 1925