The Wrenching News

Guide for Identifying Markings Found on Collectible Wrenches

By Don "Bus" Haury with illustrations by Stan Wasielewski

One of the most perplexing problems in trying to determine the origin of old wrenches is identifying the various logos, initials, and other markings found on these wrenches. The table below is an attempt to identify some of these markings. As always I welcome any corrections, additions, or other comments.

I have divided the markings into the following six categories:

  1. Names, initials, and logos of the foundry or forging companies that made the wrench. Plus some of the more commonly found mold or die identification letters or numbers
  2. Names, initials, and logos of wrench manufacturing companies such as Pexto for Peck, Stowe & Wilcox. These were usually registered trademarks of the parent companies.
  3. Names, initials, and logos of the companies that included the tool with or made it available for their product. For example automobile, tractor, farm implements tool kits as well as tools included with other products such as wood and metal working machines, printing presses, etc.
  4. Names, initials, and logos of private label store or house brands of hardware wholesalers, probably the most well known being Simmons Hardware Company's KeenKutter logo. These hardware companies seldom manufactured these wrenches but had them made for them by a manufacturing company and marked with there store brand. Again these were usually registered trademarks.
  5. Markings relating to size standards of the wrench openings, such as SAE or USS.
  6. Part or catalog numbers corresponding to the numbers listed in the parts catalog for the product the wrench was used with. I will not attempt to list these here as there are literary thousands of wrench parts numbers for farm implements alone (Rathbone lists over three thousand agricultural related wrench numbers in the Supplement to his book "The History of Old Time Farm Implement Companies and the Wrenches They Issued" and there are still many farm wrenches with unidentified numbers). Add to that all the wrench part numbers for automobiles, trucks, and other machinery and equipment and the task becomes over whelming. Much research remains to be done in this area, I have started a data base of all known part numbers found on old wrenches and any new information from parts lists etc. will be appreciated and acknowledged.



1 - Casting or Forging Companies Markings
20
R. Herschel Mfg. Co. of Peoria, Illinois. Their main line was agricultural knives, etc.
Source: 1915 Herschel catalog showing a Deering style wrench as "No.20 Malleable Wrench
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
67
Moline Iron Works of Moline, Illinois
Source: Listing in Moline Iron Works Catalog shown in Rathbone's book page 331. Also listed in a 1925 Faeth Co, of Kansas, City, Missouri catalog under "Deering Style Wrenches - Stock No. 12514. Faeth was a hardware and steel jobber not a manufacturer.
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
7364
7364L
Wm. E. Pratt Mfg. Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Source: Wm. E. Pratt Mfg. Co Catalog. Listing for "Malleable Wrenches - Farmers" shows a picture of a Deering style wrench. Note: "L" must mean light as the 7364L weighs 9.76 oz and the 7364 weighs 10.88 oz.
Found on Deering style implement wrenches marked "7364" only, one also marked "Simmons", and another also marked "B.M.& S.H Co."
6000
Origin not known.
Found on Deering style implement wrenches marked A. J. HARWI, B.M.& S.H. Co., J.S.H.& Co., R.& W. Co., SIMMONS UTILITY, and W.A.L.T.H.Co.
"A" in circle logo
Albion Malleable Iron Company of Albion, Michigan.(1888 until 1967).
Sources: Sign from the Albion Malleable Iron Company Plant with the "A" in a circle logo on the Albion. Michigan Website
More company history and it's connection to the Gale Manufacturing Company can be found Here
Found on several cast implement wrenches.
"B" in vertical diamond logo
Origin not known. Help ???
Found on Deering style implement wrenches, some with just the logo and some with "ARNHOLT" (See Arnholt)
"B and D" logo.
Maybe Beaver Dam, the Wisconsin town where The Rassman Mfg, Co., manufacture of Simplex barn equipment was located.
Seen on wrenches from Allis Chalmers, J. I. Case, and ones marked "Simplex Inc". All three of which were located in Wisconsin. Simplex Inc. was originally the F. Rassmann Corporation of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and manufactured Simplex barn equipment along with other gray iron and malleable iron castings (see Rathbone's book page 426). As they were a casting company they would probably of made there own cast wrenches as well as contracting to manufacture wrenches and other castings for other companies. Logo submitted by Fred Schwartz
"D" in a horizontal diamond
Dodge Mfg. Co. of Mishawaka, Indiana
Source: Early 1900's Dodge Mfg. Co. Catalog.
Found on a silo type wrench probably made to use on Dodge Mfg. Co. pulley bolts, shaft couplings, etc.
"D" in a circle logo.
The Dayton Malleable Iron Works (evidently name later changed to Dayton Malleable Iron Co)
This logo is most often seen on a style of buggy wrench patented April 23, 1907 (US Pat No 51,428) by Horace E. Morrill of Dayton, Ohio and assigned to the Dayton Malleable Iron Company also of Dayton with the most commonly seen marked "Dayton" but also found with names of several buggy manufactures. Other types of malleable wrenches have also been seen with this trademark including a 24" long single open end wrench in my collection marked "Track wrench / No 5 - Dayton Malleable Iron Co".
Sources: US Patent No 51,42 (see DATAMP entry) and a picture of the Iron Works building with the logo. Picture and related information here and here.
Note: The Ironton Malleable Iron Company of Ironton, Ohio was evidently acquired by the Dayton Malleable Iron Company in 1916. Source . Also found John F. Dayton Malleable Inc mentioned but no information could be found for this company.
"E" in a circle logo.
The Eberhard Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio
Early Eberhard catalogs show a large line of malleable iron castings for carriages and wagons hardware while later ones include automobile and truck castings. Catalogs also show several buggy and other wrench designs in several sizes including the Ideal buggy wrenches and Hill's patent adjustable nut wrenches. The logo is also seen on wrenches made by Eberhard for other manufactures. This logo has often been erroneously connected with one of several Erie, Pennsylvania tool manufactures.
Source: Original Eberhard catalogs and several ads seen with the logo.
H & A
"H & A" logo
Henry & Allen of Auburn, New York (made agricultural knifes, sickles, etc.)
Found on single open ended wrenches and a Deering type wrench also marked "5"
 
"I over M" logo
Illinois Malleable Iron Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Source: catalog owned by Clyde Ketelsen
Catalog listings show several cast farm wrenches and clevises
 
"L" in a keystone logo
Lakeview /Lakeside Forge of Erie, Penn.
Source: Lakeview Forge company history and several old periodial advertisments.
The Lakeview Forge Co. succeeded the Lakeside Drop Forge Co. in 1925. Erie Tool Works is another division of the same corporation
Several wrenches seen with this logo including one marked "M. H. T. Co."
 
Lakeside Trademark "bridge" logo
Lakeview /Lakeside Forge of Erie, Penn.
Source: Lakeview Forge company history and several old periodial advertisments.
Also see listing above for the "L" in a keystone logo for the same company.
Several mechanics type wrenches seen
"N" in star logo
Origin not known.
Found on several cast farm wrenches.
"N & R" in a circle logo
Northern Malleable Iron Company in St. Paul Minn.
ID source: US Trademark Serial No. 424,818
Found on several cast farm wrenches including some attributed to Allis Chalmers and Moline Plow Co.
"P" in a square logo
Origin not known.
Found on several cast farm wrenches.
"T" in circle logo
"T" laying down logo
Origin Not known
Found on cast wrenches including several attributed to the Caterpillar Tractor Company


2 - Wrench Manufacturing Companies Markings
Letter "A" in triangle logo
Armstrong Brothers Tool Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Armstrong catalogs B-20 (1920?), S-48 (1948?), 820B (1973), and 880E (1989) (all from Bus Haury's collection) show a variety of wrenches, clamps, lathe tools, etc. Note: The 1920 catalog pictures most wrenches with an "A" in triangle logo and the Arm & Hammer logo on other tools while the 1948 catalog shows only the Arm & Hammer logo on all products. Also interesting is that the 1973 catalog still lists single ended alligator type wrenches in 7 sizes from No 1 (7.5" long) to No 4 (24" long) as still available (on special order only). They are not listed in the 1989 catalog..
Arm & Hammer logo
Armstrong Brothers Tool Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Armstrong catalogs B-20 (1920?), S-48 (1948?), 820B (1973), and 880E (1989) (All from Bus Haury's collection) show a variety of wrenches, clamps, lathe tools, etc. See additional information under the "A" in triangle logo notes.
Letter "B" in a triangle logo
Billings & Spencer Co. of Hartford, Connecticut
Source: U. S. Trademark No. 24,771 dated May 22, 1894 (claimed used since Sept. 1, 1870)
Found on a wide variety of both adjustable and fixed end wrenches and other tools
"H" in vertical a diamond logo
The Herbrand Co. of Fremont, Ohio
Source: Herbrand Tools Catalog No 37 c. 1915 (Bus Haury collection)
Catalog shows a line of mechanic tools and auto tool kits. Logo also seen on Ford and other automobile service tools.
Letter "M" in a horizontal diamond logo
Frank Mossberg Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Source: Several old Mossberg catalogs.
Found on a wide variety of both adjustable and fixed end wrenches and other tools
P & C logo
Peterson and Carlborg Hand Forged Tool Company of Milwaukee, Oregon ( a suburb of Portland)
Source: P & C No 7 catalog 1928 (Bus Haury collection) P & C was acquired by Plomb Tools in 1941 and later renamed Proto.
Catalog shows a full line of general mechanic's and special automotive tools.
Simmons with double headed arrow logo.
The Simmons Manufacturing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
Source: Listing and ad in 1927 Chilton Catalog & Directory shown in Dec. 2004 Extra MVWC Newsletter.
Found on an after market Ford Model "T" sparkplug/cylinder head wrench and an aftermarket Ford "T" service wrench.
"U.S." in a diamond logo
P. Lowentraut Mfg. Co. of Newark, New Jersey
Source: A listing from a 1909 hardware catalog from the Wright & Wilhelmy Co., Omaha, Nebraska) shows a listing for a "U. S. Bicycle Wrench" marked with both a U.S. in a diamond logo and "P. Lowentraut Mfg. Co., N.J.". Illustrated is a 5-1/2" side screw adjust type bicycle wrench. (from the Missouri Valley Wrench Club Newsletter, Dec, 1988)
Logo has been seen on bicycle wrenches like the one illustrated in the catalog. Click Here
"W" in a double diamond logo
Whitaker Mfg. Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Source: Listings with ads seen in several hardware directories
Found on a variety of different wrenches.
"W" in diamond logo
J. H. Williams & Co. of Brooklyn, New York
Found on a wide variety of both adjustable and fixed end wrenches and other tools
W, V, and T logo
Woodings-Verona Tool Co. of Verona, Pennsylvania
Founded in 1883 at Verona, PA. They produced sledge hammers, axes, bars, picks and railroad tools. They were purchased by Ames Tools in 1997.
Source: Ad submitted by Carl Bolt
Mark can be found on axes, hatchets, sledge hammers, and railroad track wrenches, etc.


3 - Markings on Wrenches From Companies That Provided Tools With Their Product
AKRON
Maybe Akron Cultivator Co. of Akron, Ohio ???
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
CC MFG CO
Origin not known. Help?
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
IHC or IH Logo (There are several variations of these logos)
International Harvester Corporation - Chicago, Illinois
Found on a numerous variety of cast and forged implement wrenches
L.C.N. logo
Lewis C. Norton- Chicago and later Princeton, Illinois. Manufacturer of door closers, etc.
Source: ad in 1926 Hardware Dealers magazine in Dec. 2001 MVWC Newsletter.
Found on a stamped steel spanner wrench with several hex and square openings.
K & H CO
King & Hamilton of Ottawa, Illinois (Manufacturer of agricultural implements)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "OTTAWA ILL C51"


4- Hardware Companies and Their Private Label Store or House Brands
A. J. HARWI
A. J. Harwi Hardware Co. of Atchison, Kansas (later Wichita, Kansas)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "Utility"
ARNHOLT
Origin not known. There is a 1921 Paxton & Gallager Co. catalog listing for a "Badger Arnholt" Deering style wrench No. AM2340" (10.5" rather than the usual 7.5"). Don't know if this was a casting company, store brand or what. Help ???
Found on a Deering style implement wrench sometimes with a "B" in diamond logo
B.M & S.
B. M. S. H. Co.
Blish Mize & Silliman Hardware Co of Atchison, Kansas
Found on Deering style implement wrenches also marked "Mohawk"
BAY STATE
Store brand for the E. C. Simmons Hardware Co. of St. Louis, Missouri
Source: several Simmons catalogs owned by Bus Haury
Found on several wrenches including bicycle type, monkey wrenches and Deering style implement wrenches some of which are also marked "Simmons"
BEN HUR
Store brand of the Van Camp Hardware Co. - Indianapolis, Indiana
Source: information supplied by Tom Lamond
Found on monkey wrenches and other tools
CLIMAX
Probably a store brand of the Marshall Wells Co. of Duluth, Minnesota (hardware wholesalers)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "MARSHALL - WELLS"
DUCK BILL
Store brand for the E. C. Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, Missouri
Source: several Simmons catalogs owned by Bus Haury
Found on alligator wrenches
F. O. K. & CO.
Farwell Ozmum Kirk & Co. of St. Paul, Minnesota (hardware wholesalers)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
HARVESTER
Origin not known.
Found on a Deering style implement wrench
J. S. & Co.
J.S.H.& Co.
Janney, Semple Co. and later Janney, Semple, Hill & Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota (hardware wholesalers)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "Utility"
LACLEDE
Store brand for the E. C. Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, Missouri
Found on an adjustable bicycle wrench
MARSHALL - WELLS
Marshall Wells Co. of Duluth, Minnesota (hardware wholesalers)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "Climax"
MODEL
Probably a store brand for Rector & Wilhelmy Co. of Omaha, Nebraska. (see R. & W. Co.)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "R. & W. CO"
MOHAWK
Brand of the Blish Mize & Silliman Hardware Co of Atchison, Kansas (see B. M. S. H. Co.)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "B. M. S. H. Co."
NATIONAL
Origin not known
Found on a Deering style wrench sometimes with unreadable ghost lettering on reverse
NEVER SLIP
Store brand for the E. C. Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, Missouri
Source: several Simmons catalogs owned by Bus Haury
Found on a wood handled monkey wrench also marked: Simmons Hdw. Co. St. Louis USA"
PAGOMA
Store brand for Paxton & Gallagher Co. of Omaha, Nebraska, a hardware wholesaler.
Found on Crescent type, alligator, and wood handled monkey wrenches.
R. & W. CO.
Probably Rector & Wilhelmy Co. of Omaha, Nebraska (Later Wright & Wilhelmy Co.)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "Model"
SIMMONS
E. C. Simmons Hardware Co. of St. Louis, Missouri
Source: several Simmons catalogs owned by Bus Haury
Found on Deering style wrenches also marked "BAYSTATE" or "Utility" or "Simmons" only
SURE GRIP
Store brand for the E. C. Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, Missouri
Found on several alligator wrenches.
UTILITY
Found on several Deering style wrenches either alone or with various hardware company names such as: A. J. Harwi, J. S. H. & Co. Simmons, and Wittes.
W. A. L. T. H. CO.
W. A. L. Thompson Hardware Co. (William Albanis Logan Thompson) of Topeka, Kansas
Found on a Deering style implement wrench some of which are also marked "Utility"
WITTES
Witte Hardware Co. of St. Louis, Missouri.
(Source: Witte catalog owned by Emery Goad)
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "Utility"
Not associated with the Witte Engine Works of Kansas City, Missouri
WYETH
"Wyeth"
Wyeth Hardware Co. of St. Joseph, Missouri
Found on a Deering style implement wrench also marked "ST JOSEPH" and several wood handled monkey wrenches


5 - Size Standard Markings
Note: In the United States prior to 1929 the sizes stamped on wrenches usually referred to the diameter of the bolt not the actual opening size. Thus a wrench stamped U. S. would actually have a 7/8" wrench opening size as a nut for a " diameter U. S. Standard bolt would measure 13/16" across the flats and allowing for 1/16 clearance would require a 7/8" wrench opening. This same size wrench would also fit nuts for 5/8" hex cap screw and bolt and nuts for 9/16" S.A.E Standard Cap Screws and thus would be marked U.S, 5/8 Hex Cap, and 9/16 SAE. Carl Bolt's website page on tool standards pictures 17 wrenches with 19 different identifications and sizes all marked 1/2"! This could get pretty confusing so circa 1929 the American Engineering Standards Committee specified that wrenches should be marked with the actual width across the flats of the nut or bolt head they would fit
AF
Initials: AF (used with size in inches of nut or bolt head i.e. I/2 AF)
Across Flats (British?)
Size as measured across the flat sides of nut or bolt head or actual wrench opening size
OC
Hex logo and initial C (used with size in inches of bolt diameter i.e. I/2 OC)
Hex Cap Screw

Found on older forged wrenches before 1920 standard want into effect (see note above)
SAE
Initials: SAE (used with size in inches of bolt diameter i.e. I/2 SAE)
Society of Automotive Engineers (fine threaded nuts and bolts)
Found on older forged wrenches before the 1929 standard want into effect (see note above)
USS
Initials: USS (used with size in inches of bolt diameter i.e. I/2 USS)
United States Standard.
Found on older forged wrenches before the 1929 standard want into effect (see note above)




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