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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