The Proto 5449-D What Was It's Purpose?
I've always been intrigued by this ratchet, since the first time I saw one. I have 3 examples, all of which have different drives on the business end. I'm quite confident that the "original" configuration was the modified female ratchet. 1 of my examples has a 1/2" drive shaft that has been nicely welded into the female drive. Another appears to have been given an overhaul with a traditional 5449RK 1/2" drive replacement kit. Another interesting note is that every example I have seen is marked Proto Los Angeles, which puts it's use in a particular timeframe in the early to mid - 50's. Notice one of my examples is "Army green."
The example in the middle (with the welded in 1/2" drive plug) also has an interesting handle. At first I thought someone had made it but the more I study the spinner handle, the more I think it was purposely made to be removable from the factory.
So, let's discuss the specific purpose of this tool before moving it over under the ratchet section in Proto!