John Chantrell (Hazeltine & Chantrell, Reading HW Works, Chantrell Tool Co., Chantrell HW & Tool Co.) (Bridgeport, CT)
Article from American Machinist, September 23, 1882 on the socket wrench. (2 examples below)
The following text provides a nice "middle year" history and is from an article printed in the 5/28/1887 Reading Times:
Reading is to have another manufacturing extablishment, and one that in time will doubtless prove one of the most important industries of the city. For about 2 years past Mr. John Chantrell, an Eastern inventor, who came to Reading from Bridgeport, CT, has been engaged in the manufacture of carpenters' tools at one of the foundries of the Reading Hardware Works, 6th & Willow Streets. Mr. Chantrell is the patentee of a number of improved carpenters' tools, and brought to this city a large number of patterns, all covered by his patents, from which the Hardware Company manufactured the tools, and having now severed his connection with the above company, and also having secured all rights to the use of the patterns, a company has been formed, to be known as the "Chantrell Tool Company," for the purpose of engaging in the manufacture of carpenters' tools. Among the gentlemen who compose the company are Mr. John Chantrell and his two sons, Felix and William, Sammuel Willits, Joshua Schaeffer and County Commissioner Samuel Fisher, all of Reading, and one or two gentlement from a distance. The company has for the present leased the second story of the electric light building, South 7th St., and necessary shafting and machinery will be at once be put in and the tools removed from the foundry, and work comenced in about 10 days. About a dozen skilled mechanics were employed by the Hardware Company upon this line of work, and nearly all of these men have made application for positions with the new company and most of them will be given employment.
Mr. Chantrell is the inventor of a number of improved carpenters' tools, among the most important being the Universal file handle and a bit brace, the latter being considered by all mechanics the best that is manufactured, and has had a wide sale. All kinds of fine tools will be manufactured by the company, and only skilled mechanics will be employed...........
In June of 1896, the company doubled it's capital investment in order to add machinery to their factory. This article from the July 24, 1890 edition of Iron Age names John H. Graham & Co. of NY as sole agents for Chantrell goods. The article further elaborates on the products being produced by Chantrell: Mahogany finished screw drivers, Chantrell's patent tool handle in 2 sizes, with different assortment of tools, bit braces, drills, drill chuck, and Chantrell's patent file handle. In the Iron Age link previously mentioned, browse to search result 4 of 4 to read an article about their screwdrivers. This article mentions N(sp). J. Poindexter as the plant superintendent, and patentee of the shank of the screwdriver.
Martin J. Poindexter Patent #423,951 - Tool Shank
Felix Chantrell Patent #427,460 Tool Handle - Assigned to Union Hardware Company (Torrington, CT) (Not in DATAMP)
DATAMP patents for John Chantrell
DATAMP patents for Felix Chantrell