The Wrenching News

Old Wrenching News Archives

  In Memoriam of Lucille and Joseph Schulz: Stan Schulz's Mother Lucille Schulz passed Friday April 12. Lucille and Stan's Father Alfred were two or the early pioneers of the wrench collecting hobby. They were charter members of the Missouri Valley Wrench Club and editors the Newsletter for the first ten years and authors of Antique and Unusual wrenches that is still the book that every serious wrench collector uses for reference. Most have been worn out from use, mine has been taped and retaped and has now resides in a three ring binder. Lucille did all the layout work for the Newsletters and the Book back before computers when cut and paste was really cut and paste. Her obituary can be seen at: Click Here.

  The day after Stan's mother passed his youngest son Joseph died in Lenexa, Kansas. His obituary will be at: Click Here. Ours thoughts and prayers goes out to Stan and his family after this tragic double loss.

Don Ervin-Robert Matz Antique Wrench Auction - April 17 & 18, 2009 at York, Nebraska (Posted April 2, 2009)

The catalog for the Ervin-Matz Auction is completed and on the web HERE
This year's sale consists of wrenches from the collections of Don Ervin of Surrey, Maine and Robert Matz of Cozad, Nebraska. Bob told me he had been interested in old tools since he was a young boy and bought his first wrench in 1938 (a Lawson pipe wrench that is included in this auction) It wasn't till he retired and sold his GMC truck dealership that he started collecting seriously. Besides wrenches he had collections of wood working tools, machinists tools, typewriters, Western books and memorabilia, rubber tire ashtrays, etc., etc.

Don started to thin down his vast and diverse collection with last years sale as he is now specializing in collecting only early patented wrenches. His agricultural cutout lettering type wrenches that are listed on this auction is the best collection ever offered at public auction. The John Deere T590 cutout is by far the most sought after wrench among farm wrench and John Deere collectors and has never been offered at a cataloged wrench auction before.

The combination of these two collections provides a wide selection of wrenches in all the wrench collecting categories and in all degrees of rarity and price range.

Carter Auction Report (Posted April 2, 2009)

Despite the bad climates both economic and weather type (it snowed seven inches Saturday morning) the Richard Carter Auction held in Sedalia, Missouri was a success. With over 2100 listed lots and many more unlisted, prices remained strong throughout the auction even the mid to low range items sold well. The two John Deere King Corn Silo wrenches set records for sale at auction. Colonel Glen LaRue and his crew kept the auction running smoothly through the three day auction. Several Missouri Valley Wrench Club members were in attendance and most seemed to be carrying bids for other members. Newsletter editor Stan Schulz had a table set up with club information and signed up several new members. Just in case the roads might still be slick on my way home Monday I made sure the old Buick had plenty of weight in the trunk (and back seat and passenger seat). I got one wrench closer to my goal of acquiring ever wrench patented or manufactured in Kansas with the purchase of the Automatic buggy wrench patented by Abner Wolfe of Kansas City, Kansas (Cope page 340).

Fall Missouri Valley Wrench Club Report (Posted Oct. 20, 2008)

I attended the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Fall Meet and Auction at Baraboo, Wisconsin October 10th and 11th, 2008. The meet and auction hosted by Jim and Mala McGhee and friends was held on the Badger Steam and Gas Show grounds. It's quite a trip from the middle of Kansas to Baraboo, Wisconsin but well worth it as I met some wrench collectors I had known only thru telephone, email, or letter correspondence previously. The meet was well attended with several first timers and numerous outstanding displays. Sales tables were well stocked and the auction went smoothly with bidding that seemed oblivious to the prevailing economic outlook.

Richard Carter Wrench Auction February 2009 (Posted Oct. 20, 2008)

On the way home I stopped at Sweet Springs, Missouri to help Glen La Rue and crew to sort, picture and catalog the collection of Richard Carter of Higginsville, Missouri. Richard was an early Wrench Club member and contributor to the Newsletter. I spent ten days there and we still didn't get finished with the 20,000 pounds of wrenches and other tools Richard had collected.

A catalog with pictures is now available from the auctioneer (see the UPCOMING WRENCHING EVENTS CALENDAR below for contact information). The catalog is on the web at the auctioneer's website There is also a direct link to the catalog here. Auction date is Feb 27, 28, and Mar 1, 2009. at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia, Missouri. Several rare wrenches were discovered in the boxes and chests the tools had been stored in for several years. This will be a huge auction with many tools sold in box lots. Besides wrenches the collection includes a large selection of Keen Kutter, Winchester and Bell System tools. Numerous brass tools (including wrenches), implement tool boxes, tool chests, woodworking tools. farm and household primitives and advertising collectibles.

Missouri Valley Wrench Club Spring Meet and Auction April 2009 (Posted Oct. 20, 2008)

The wrenches for the auction to be held in conjunction with The Spring Missouri Valley Wrench Meet to be held in York, Nebraska April 17 & 18, 2009 have arrived in Kansas and work on the catalog has began. The auction will consist of wrenches from the collections of Don Ervin of Surrey, Maine and Robert Matz of Cozad, Nebraska. I made two trips to Cozad to pickup Robert's wrenches and Don dropped his off last month. Featured in this auction will be by far the best collection of cutout type wrenches ever offered at an auction sale. Cutout include the "Holy Gail" of cutouts the John Deere TR590 plus a John Bull, Gail G8, W Plow Co, Planet Jr. 312, C&J, double hammer Deere A196, Bradley's Wonder D99 (with two square openings), Casaday, Osborne, IHC 770E, and over thirty others! The catalog in progress is now on line HERE.

(Posted Sep. 22 2008)
Upcoming Wrench Auctions and the Fall Meet and Auction of the Missouri Valley Wrench Club

I spent several days last week helping long time wrench collector and Missouri Valley Wrench Club member Earl Varney of Jewell, Kansas sort and list wrenches he is selling at auction September 22 & 23, 2008 in Jewell (Home of famous wrench inventor John Morris). Click here too see the List of Wrenches for the Earl Varney Antique Tool and Wrench Auction and see the Upcoming Wrenching Events Calendar below for contact information.

Some of the highlights include a Whitman & Barnes Ideal adjustable wrench, The Morris Wrench, John Deere King Corn Silo wrench, Deere / Kemp-Burpee "C" socket and a Winchester Store wrench display board complete with the correct wrenches.

In addition to these numbered lots there are well over a thousand wrenches to he sold including several hundred John Deere, International Harvester and other farm type wrenches; a large assortment of automotive wrenches; numerous monkey wrenches and other adjustable wrenches and plier type wrenches. Brands include Winchester, KeenKutter, H. D. Smith Perfect Handle, Coes, Billings & Spencer, Bemis & Call and many more. There were actually too many wrenches to sort in the time allowed so there are bound to be some rare wrenches that we didn't get listed. In addition to his wrenches Earl is selling his extensive collection of woodworking tools, and advertising items including an extensive Maytag collection of tins, bottles, etc. Most if not all the wrenches will be sold on Monday, Sep. 22. See the Thummel Auction Website for complete listing and pictures

The spring meet and auction are history and plans are being completed for the Fall Meet and Auction at the Badger Steam And Gas Show grounds near Baraboo, Wisconsin October 10th and 11th, 2008 by hosts Jim and Mala McGhee. More details later.

From Jewel, Kansas I drove to Sweet Springs, Missouri to look at a large collection of wrenches (over 20,00 pounds) form the estate of Richard Carter of Higginsville, Missouri. Richard was also a early Wrench Club member and contributor to the Newsletter. From the quick look I got at the wrenches there are going to quite a few rare wrenches in this sale. I plan on returning in October to start helping work on the auction by auctioneer Glen La Rue of Sweet Springs. Auction is tentatively planed for January 2009 in Sedalia, Missouri. More details will be posted as available.

March, 2006
Spring Wrench Meet and Auction - Big Wrenching Weekend in York
The complete wrench auction catalog for The Antique Wrench Collection of Ed and Judy Friedman to be held in conjunction with the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Spring Meeting in York, Nebraska is now on the web Click Here

The Friedman auction has over 1500 antique wrenches and tools plus several agricultural related advertising pieces. This is a fantastic diverse wrench collection with rare and unlisted examples of wrenches in most all of the farm and adjustable wrench categories. It is especially strong in several of the most desirable categories, for example: bicycle and pocket adjustable wrenches with well over a hundred examples; cutouts including a Casaday, Zenith, IHC, Ames, Osborne, and ultra rare C & J. etc.; H. D. Smith Perfect Handle wrenches and other tools one of the largest selections ever offered for sale at one time (including some that haven’t surfaced before); knife-tools, (more than ever offered at a York auction before including several rare examples); rare and not so rare examples from both the well known and more obscure farm equipment manufactures including several rare John Deere, Syracuse, Robinson Chilled Plow, International Harvester, etc., etc; several farm company marked wood handled monkey wrenches including a “one of a kind” L. Coes Toronto Mower & Reaper Co (Massy-Harris), a Linn tractor wrench form Morris, New York. Also many rare adjustables too numerous to list here (see catalog); and one Williams “Vulcan” Salesmen sample Pipe Vise. There are great wrenches in all classification for all collectors both advanced and beginning.

The printed catalog will be ready to be mailed in a few days. It will have approximately fifty pages with all lots pictured. If you haven’t been receiving our catalogs and would like one contact Bus at- 316-283-5876 or 316-284-7345 - Email: A post auction Prices Realized will also be availabe.

The Wrench Show and Swap will start at 7:30 A.M. on Friday, April 7 at the Chances "R" Restaurant with the Wrench Club business meeting around noon. After about an hour break for lunch the auction will start at the City Auditorium with wrenches consigned by club members and selected box lots from the Friedman collection. Auctioneer Bill Winkelman and his crew have volunteer to run the club auction. There will be a 10% selling commission charged which will go the the Wrench Club. There will be a banquet for Club members Friday evening at The Chances "R" Restaurant beginning at 7:00 P.M. Auction begins at 9:00 A. M. both Saturday, and Sunday April 8 and 9 (see below for complete schedule)

March, 2005
Spring Wrench Meet and Auction
The complete wrench auction for The Spring Fever Antique Wrench Auction to be held in conjunction with the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Spring Meeting in York, Nebraska is now on the web Click Here

The Wrench Show and Swap will start at 8:00 A.M. on Friday, April 15 at the Chances "R" Restaurant, 5th and Platte Ave. with the Wrench Club business meeting around noon. After about an hour break for lunch the auction will start at the City Auditorium with wrenches consigned by club members and box lots from Scott Johnson and Russ Marshall. There will be a banquet for Club members Friday evening at The Chances "R" Restaurant beginning at 7:00 P.M. Auction time Saturday, April 16 is 9:00 A.M. with 891 cataloged lots consigned by Russ Marshall and others.

Auction consists of over 890 cataloged lots plus numerous box lots of antique wrenches including rare farm, automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, and adjustable wrenches. Many rare and unlisted wrenches from John Deere and related companies (inc rare 969H and a Robinson Chilled Plow C), International Harvester and related companies (P&O, Keystone, Milwaukee, Chattanooga, Osborne) both Case Threshing Machine (inc 10 steam engine wrenches) and Case Plow Works, Oliver, Moline, Fairbanks-Morse, Massey-Harris, Dempster, Hart-Parr (including rare Crescent type), Newell Sanders, Maytag (inc a rare unlisted marked Maytag wrench), Advance, Rumely, Avery, Rock Island, David Bradley, Emerson, Frost & Wood, Frick, Cockshutt, unlisted W E Grace (Dallas, Texas), over 30 unidentified/orphans and oddballs, plus many others, some one of a kind. Over 50 buggy or wagon wrenches inc: Studebaker, Muckle, Zooks, Dalzell, Sheldon, St Louis and Miller Vehicle, Deere, T G Mandt, Harper, Frazier, McClure-Hartford, Cook, Joy, Getmans, Miller Falls, International, Goodell, Diamond, Remington, Dunham, Thompson, and others. 19 silo type wrenches inc: John Deere King Corn, Louisville, Vesper, Unadilla, Economy, Nappanee, Craine, Woods, Western, Indiana, Twin City, Oneida, Farmer's Handy wagon, & others. Over 20 cutout type inc: Comet, Deere (several var inc rare solid lettering), several Planet Jrs. OXO, Blackhawk, P&O, Verity, Granite State, and others. Motorcycle & auto wrenches inc: Flying Merkel, several Indian (inc rare adjustable made by Charles Hall), Moon, Hayes, Winton, Studebaker, Cushman, several wire wheel companies, and others. Adjustable wrenches include: Peterson, Myers, Comet, Lowell, Goodell-Pratt, Utility, Morris, unlisted San Diego Specialty, Millea's, several double ended Crescent type, Evans, Shaw, Macke, min Gem, rare 4 inch Westcott curved handle Crescent type, Bemis & Call 6" nut & pipe double ender, Lowe's Billing & Spencer, Stanley's Triplet, Keen Kutter adj alligator, H F Jenks, and many others. This is only a partial listing, to see it all order the catalog or Click Here for the complete catalog with pictures of all 891 lots.

May 24, 2004
End of an Era
If you click on the link below for Bailey & Associates Realty & Auction website you will see this message: "Tom Bailey passed away unexpectedly on May 17, 2004 after a short illness. All auctions have been cancelled. Thank you for all of your business over the past 40 years.".

Beginning in October of 1994 with the first of the now legendary Alfred Schulz auctions I have traveled 81 Highway to York, Nebraska for 24 Bailey wrench auctions. Since those first auctions Tom had steadily increased his knowledge of collectible wrenches. That knowledge and his willingness to put in countless hours preparing the auction catalogs combined with his reputation of honesty made him the premier auctioneer of old wrenches. Tom's wrench auction catalogs were about the only ones that were accurate enough that bidders trusted to leave absentee bids, as a result a high percentage of his lots received these bids. He was also a pioneer in posting his auction catalogs (with pictures) on the web. Tom and his wife Pat's friendliness and sense of humor made his auctions and the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Meets they hosted more like a reunion than a sale to wrench collectors.

Tom will be missed not only for his wrench auctions but as several other wrench collectors have expressed to me over the last few weeks as a friend. Sincerest condolences to Pat and family.
Don " Bus" Haury

Tom's obituary from the York News-Times is on the web Click Here
Bailey & Associates Realty & Auction website Click Here

Jan 9, 2004
New Pages Added
I have recently added two new pages to The wrenching News, one is a list of wrenches that were issued with the Steam Engines and Grain Separators produced by the Advance Thrasher Machine Company of Battle Creek, Michigan in the early 1900's. Click Here for The Advance Wrench Page.

The other page is some information on wrenches for the Hercules/Economy/Sears line of Gas and Kerosene engines. I started this project several months ago and it still needs more work but I thought I would put up what I do have. Click Here for the Economy Engine Page.

Dec 14, 2003
Cabin Fever Wrench Auction
I have just finished the listing for Tom Bailey's Cabin Fever Antique Tool Auction to be held February 1, 2003 at York, Nebraska. There are 850 lots of agricultural, automotive, and adjustable wrenches including 25 cut outs and over 50 buggy wrenches. To see the listing and pictures of every wrench Click Here

May 15, 2002
The Wrenching News now has a guest book and message board. If you have a wrench question, some new information, a wrench you would like to show and tell (even brag about a little), or just want to sign in and leave a comment about this web site -  
Click Here

Feb 11, 2002
Stan Schulz editor of the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Newsletter has started a web site for the Wrench Club. Go to to check it out.

Feb 11, 2002
I just returned from the Groundhog Day Tool Meet at Springdale, Arkansas. At least ten members of the Missouri Valley Wrench Club showed up. Several good wrenches found new owners, including an exceptionally nice 4½ inch Utility Wrench, a mint nickel plated Hall's Number 1 bicycle wrench, a Sanders No A416 implement wrench, and a rare combination tool patented February 9, 1875 by Alphonso Button of Saginaw, Michigan (patent #159561). According to the patent this do-it-all tool includes an open end wrench, a hammer, a claw nail puller, nippers, tack holder, colander and dish lifter, stove lid lifter, tack puller, cylindrical wrench, and a nut cracker!

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Updated: Feb 13, 2003