Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing

A 1943 edition of The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography indicates Bridgeport Manufacturing Company was established by Willis F. Hobbs in 1895 in Bridgeport CT.  Biographical information on Mr. Hobbs can be found in the History of Bridgeport & Vicinity, Volume II, page 241.  It further notes that the company was reorganized and renamed to Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing Co. after Mr. Hobbs bought out his partners in 1902.  In 1902, Bridgeport is listed in most hardware related publications as a screwdriver manufacturer.  According to the April 10, 1905 edition of Hardware, Bridgeport bought out the complete stock, raw materials, patents and equipment of Knapp & Knowles (screwdrivers) with license to utilize the name, markings etc.

By 1911 the company was listed as manufacturing screwdrivers and hack saw frames.  In 9 short years (January, 1920), Bridgepart was listed in Hardware Magazine as manufacturers of: Box Chisels, Pliers and Nippers, Box Scrapers, Wall Scrapers, Coping Saws, Tinners Snips, Sheet Metal Blanking, Sheet Metal Forming, Mason Trowels, Nut Crackers, Wire Cutters, Drop Forgings, Fence Staple Pullers, Nail Pullers, Tack Pullers, and Conductors' Punches.

In 1929, Bridgeport introduced their "ribbed blade" flat tip screwdriver.  This driver featured a triangle grip pattern milled into the blade tip.  Patent #1,738,405

On September 29, 1959, The Bridgeport Post reports the acquisition of Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing Co. by Purolator Products of Rahway, NJ.

The 7/7/1964 edition of The Akron Journal reports the acquisition of Bridgeport by Crescent Niagra.

Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing (Bridgeport, CT) - Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Ajax (chisels)
  • Autodriver (Screwdrivers)
  • Baby Shockless (Screwdrivers)
  • BHM Logo (B with H and M inside)
  • Bismarch (Screwdrivers)
  • Blackstone (Screwdrivers)
  • Blu-Forge (Wrenches)
  • Bridgeport (Most Tool Types) (First Use 1928)

  • Bridgeport Line
  • Bull Pup (Valve Lifter)
  • Challenge (Screwdrivers)
  • Fay-oh-Rite (Valve Lifter)
  • Gripshank (Screwdrivers)
  • Hercules (Screwdrivers)
  • Hy-Bar (Wrenches) (First Use 4/3/1935)

  • Hy-Power (Wrenches)
  • Lead-All (Screwdrivers)
  • Matchless Shockproof (Screwdrivers)
  • Non-Skid (Screwdrivers) (First Use 11/23/1929)

  • Perfecto (Screwdrivers)
  • Pyramid
  • Red Crown (Screwdrivers)
  • Sure Grip (Screwdrivers)
  • Vulcan (chisels)
  • Warwick (Screwdrivers)
  • Screwdriver Handle Design - The "hatched" portion at the handle's end being Orange. (Screwdrivers) (First Use 4/1/1928)

Early Bridgeport Patents  

Contract Production for:

  • Montgomery Ward - Master Quality

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

  • Forged Steel
  • Nickel Molybdenum
  • Molybdenum Alloy

BHM Patents


Have snapped up these cute shorty DBE's when I see them, but didn't know who made them.

According to another forum, seems that Bridgeport was the only manufacturer who used the odd Nickel Molybdenum alloy. Through comparison, I deduced that The "U.S.A" only on one side and/or the "fat-bob" style of font gives away the other two wrenches, even though Ni-Mo is not present.
For your viewing pleasure.

Image 2: 

Interesting something that needs further examination.

Labelled Bridgeport USA. Adding some pics for posterity.

Image 2: