Alloy Artifacts  

Pliers and Cutters

Craftsman pliers were first offered in the 1930 (Fall-Winter edition) catalog in six basic styles, with some styles available in several sizes.

The following catalog edition added one more style, the Angle-nose Gripping Pliers.

Over the years the Craftsman pliers stayed fairly close to these initial styles, with only a few additional types of pliers (e.g. battery or waterpump) offered later. This contrasts with the dozens or even hundreds of styles available from plier specialists such as Crescent, Kraeuter, or Utica.

The secondary brands Fulton and Merit (and later Dunlap) offered additional styles such as thin-nose combination pliers, bent thin-nose pliers, or fencing pliers. Sometimes a secondary brand was used to introduce a new style of pliers, which could later be offered under the Craftsman brand if it sold well.

Gripping Patterns

Craftsman pliers were typically made with patterned handles, which served both as a decorative feature and to assist with gripping the pliers. We'll refer to these as the handle "gripping pattern".

Initially the handle gripping patterns were chosen by the manufacturer of the pliers. The most common early pattern was a diamond-checkered pattern consisting of a field of small raised diamond shapes, which was recently (2024) determined to be produced by Kraeuter. An example can be seen on the Craftsman Early 5783-5 Diagonal Cutters.

Another early pattern was the well known "Rope-Banded" gripping pattern used by Wilde Tool, an example of which can be seen as the Craftsman Early Battery Pliers. Although seen only infrequently in the 1930s, the "Rope-Banded" pattern became very common from the late 1940s onward as Wilde became a major supplier of Craftsman pliers.

The "Nested Diamonds" Pattern

Sometime in the mid to late 1930s Sears developed a new geometric gripping pattern consisting of a series of nested diamond shapes, which we will refer to as the "Nested Diamonds" pattern. Sears apparently mandated the use of the new pattern, as Kraeuter switched to using the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern, and at least one other major maker used it as well.

An example of the new pattern can be seen on the Craftsman [4488] 8½ Inch Button's Pliers.

Currently we're unsure of the exact timing of the change to the "Nested Diamonds" pattern, as the illustrations in the Sears general catalogs are not sufficiently detailed to determine the exact pattern. The 1936-1937 Fall-Winter catalog appears to show the older diamond-checkered pattern, but the 1939 Craftsman tool catalog has very clear illustrations of the "Nested Diamonds" pattern. This suggests 1937-1938 as the likely time frame for the change.

The obvious catalyst for introducing the new gripping pattern would have been the entry of another maker of pliers. Sears may have wanted to maintain some uniformity in the appearance of its pliers, and also may have wanted a more level playing field for the new manufacturer. The incumbent maker Kraeuter was well known for its skillful and intricate forged-in gripping patterns, but the "Nested Diamonds" pattern was relatively simple and probably could have been applied by a pressing or knurling process.

The later Craftsman tool catalogs show that the "Nested Diamonds" pattern remained in use through the 1950s, and into the 1960s for at least some models.

Manufacturer's Codes and Characteristics

The identification of the makers of Craftsman pliers (and other tools) is an ongoing project, and the reader can find more information in our article on Craftsman Manufacturer's Codes.

Several types of probable manufacturer's codes have been observed on Craftsman pliers. One fairly common marking is a stamped or forged "C" inside a circle, typically placed on the inside of the handles near the ends. Other pliers have been found with a stamped "AM" code, usually with one or more digits before or after the letters.


Slip-Joint Pliers

Slip-joint pliers include several different styles such as combination pliers, waterpump pliers, and angle-nose gripping pliers.

Craftsman combination pliers were offered in 1930 as model 5797, with two sizes available, 5.5 and 7 inch. As expected for "combination" pliers, the design included both flat and round gripping surfaces, and the Craftsman model included cutters as well.


Craftsman 5797-5½ 5.5 Inch Combination Pliers with Side-Cutters

We were fortunate to acquire a rare early pair of Craftsman combination pliers, as seen in the figure below.

[Craftsman 5797-5.5 Slip-Joint Combination Pliers with Cutters]
Fig. 196. Craftsman 5797-5½ 5.5 Inch Combination Pliers with Cutters, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. 1930-1932.

Fig. 196 shows an early pair of Craftsman 5797-5½ 5.5 inch combination pliers with cutters, stamped with the model number and size, with "Craftsman" in block text and "U.S.A." below.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is polished nickel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles. This gripping pattern closely resembles the pattern observed on the Craftsman Early 5783-5 Diagonal Cutters and Craftsman Early Buttons Pliers.

The marked model number is rare for Craftsman tools of this era.

The Craftsman model 5797 pliers had been discontinued by 1935, providing a bracket for the manufacturing dates for this model. The Craftsman name in block text and the model number marking suggest an earlier date within this range.

These pliers were recently (2024) identified as production by Kraeuter based on the intricate diamond-checkered gripping pattern and unusual model number marking. An example of the corresponding model by the maker can be seen as the Kraeuter "GripKut" 1973-5½ Combination Pliers.


Craftsman Vanadium 6½ Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers

This next figure shows another pair of Craftsman combination pliers of a somewhat different design.

[Craftsman Vanadium 6½ Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers with Cutters]
Fig. 197. Craftsman Vanadium 6½ Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 197 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium 6½ inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "Vanadium" below the Craftsman underline logo, and with a "41AM" code on the underside of one handle (see inset).

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is polished nickel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The small inset shows a close-up of the "41AM" code stamped on the underside of one handle.

Currently we don't have a catalog reference for these pliers. Based on our catalog reviews, after 1935 Sears did not offer combination pliers in the Craftsman brand for a number of years, although they were offered in other brands.


Craftsman Angle-Nose Gripping Pliers (Model 5835/4528)

Craftsman's angle-nose gripping pliers were a type of slip-joint pliers with an angled head and three adjustment positions. The catalogs initially referred to these as simply "gripping" pliers and later as "universal" pliers, although the description sometimes changed from year to year.

The design of the pliers resembled the Wilde Wrench Pliers shown in our article on Wilde, which with its 1928 introduction was probably the prototype for this style.

[1931 Catalog Listing for Craftsman 5835 Pliers]
Fig. 198A. 1931 Catalog Listing for Craftsman 5835 Pliers.

Sears first offered Craftsman angle-nose pliers as model 5835 in the spring of 1931, and the pliers were available only in an 8 inch size.

The scan in Fig. 198A shows the first listing for the Craftsman Vanadium 5835 gripping pliers, as published on page 866 of the 1931 Sears catalog No. 162.

The illustration is fairly rough, but it shows the slip-joint slot as circular openings joined by a narrow slot in the center.

In the spring of 1935 the model number changed to 4528.

By 1947 the No. 4528 pliers were being listed as simply slip-joint pliers, but with the description noting them as a "combination plier-wrench". Two sizes were available at this time, 6 and 8 inches.

In seeking to the determine the possible manufacturer(s) of these pliers, we did some catalog research looking for similar models. The following list shows the makers of similar pliers with an approximate date of introduction. (Some makers offered the pliers in multiple sizes, but Sears initially offered only the 8 inch size.)

Based on this list, Wilde Tool and Kraeuter would be the most likely candidates for the initial production in 1931, with Forged Steel Products ("Vacuum Grip") and Utica possible for later production.

However, none of the stock production exactly match the details of our Craftsman examples, with minor differences noted in the slip-joint slot, number of teeth on the upper jaw, or the presence of a raised land under the pivot. Some of these discrepancies may be due to production at different times, as we generally have only a rough idea of the production dates of our examples.

The next figures show some examples of the Craftsman angle-nose gripping pliers.


Craftsman [4528] 8 Inch Slip-Joint Angle-Nose Gripping Pliers

The next two figures show examples believed to be representative of production in the late 1930s to early 1940s.

[Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Angle-Nose Gripping Pliers]
Fig. 198. Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Angle-Nose Gripping Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 198 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium 8 inch slip-joint angle-nose gripping pliers, stamped "Vanadium" below the Craftsman underline logo, and with a "9AM" code on the underside of one handle (see inset).

The overall length is 8.3 inches fully extended, and the finish is polished nickel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The slip-joint slot provides semi-circular openings for three adjustment positions. Note that the front edge of the slot is flat, with the semi-circular openings positioned on the opposite side. The upper jaw has nine major notches, and there is a raised land under the pivot, with a shallow trough before the wide part of the lower jaw.

The 1939 Craftsman catalog has a very clear illustration of this model as the No. 4528 "universal" pliers, and it shows the slip-joint slot with the front side flat, nine notches on the upper jaw, and a similar raised land under the pivot.

[Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Angle-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 199. Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Angle-Nose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 199 shows another similar pair of Craftsman Vanadium 8 inch slip-joint angle-nose gripping pliers, stamped "Vanadium" below the Craftsman underline logo. The underside of one handle is stamped with an "AM" code, possibly followed by a number, but the marking is not clear enough to read.

The overall length is 8.3 inches fully extended. The original finish is was chrome or nickel plating, but most has been lost due to wear and rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

As with the previous example, the front edge of the slip-joint slot is flat, with the semi-circular openings positioned on the opposite side. The upper jaw has nine major notches, and there is a raised land under the pivot, with a shallow trough before the wide part of the lower jaw.


Later Craftsman [4528] 8 Inch Slip-Joint Angle-Nose Gripping Pliers

[Craftsman 8 Inch Angle-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 200. Craftsman [4528] 8 Inch Angle-Nose Pliers, with Insets for Handle and Marking Detail, ca. 1945.

Fig. 200 shows a later pair of Craftsman [4528] 8 inch slip-joint angle-nose gripping pliers, stamped with a transitional form of the double-line logo resembling "== U.S.A. ==".

The overall length is 8.3 inches. The finish is polished steel with no plating, which together with the double-line logo suggests a manufacturing date around 1945.

The production characteristics of these later angle-nose pliers are different from the earlier examples. In particular, the jaws are shorter and the handles have multiple curves instead of a simple bow shape. (The 1947 catalog illustration shows this style of handles.)

Note that the front edge of the slip-joint slot is flat, with the semi-circular openings positioned on the opposite side. The top jaw has six major notches.


Button's Pattern Pliers (Model 5781/4488)

Button's pattern pliers have a long and interesting history going back well into the 19th century. This style of pliers were first made by J.M. King & Company and were based on an 1867 patent. By the early 20th century Button's pliers were being made by a number of companies, including Kraeuter, Smith & Hemenway, and Utica.

Sears first offered Craftsman Button's pliers in the fall of 1930, but had previously sold them under the Fulton brand. The Craftsman Button's pliers were initially available in sizes 6, 8, and 10 inches.

In the late 1930s the pliers were briefly discontinued, then returned in 1939, but only in an 8.5 inch size.

One quirk of the Button's pliers is that they were never offered in alloy steel and therefore did not carry the "Vanadium" marking.


Craftsman Early 5781-8 8 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers

The next two figures show early examples of the No. 5781 8 inch Button's pliers.

[Craftsman Early 5781-8 8 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers]
Fig. 201. Craftsman Early 5781-8 8 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. Late 1930 to 1932.

Fig. 201 shows an early pair of Craftsman 5781-8 8 inch Button's Pattern combination pliers, stamped with the "5781-8" model number across the pivot, followed by the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

(The curled-up tip of the upper handle in this example was not standard for this model and was probably done by the former owner.)

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The middle inset shows a close-up of the jaw construction. Note that the center slot is oriented perpendicular to the face of the pliers, in contrast to the slightly angled slot typically used by other makers of Button's pliers, including the original J.M. King Button pliers.

The presence of the model number on these pliers is somewhat unusual, but is very helpful in estimating the production date. A quick check of our catalog reviews found that the 5781 model was used from late 1930 until early 1935, after which it was succeeded by the 4488 model number. Since the model number marking itself was used only briefly, these pliers were probably made in the early part of the range, around 1930-1932.

[Craftsman Early 5781-8 8 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers]
Fig. 201B. Craftsman Early [5781-8] 8 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 201B shows another early pair of Craftsman [5781-8] 8 inch Button's Pattern combination pliers, stamped with the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The lower inset shows a close-up of the jaw construction. Note that the cutting slot is perpendicular to the faces.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with possible traces of nickel plating.

The use of the Craftsman block logo and distinctive diamond checkered gripping pattern suggest an early production date for these pliers.

These Craftsman Button's pliers were recently (2024) identified as Kraeuter production based on their distinctive construction features. See our discussion in the section on Maker Kraeuter for further information.


Craftsman Early 5781-10 10 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers

[Craftsman Early 5781-10 10 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers]
Fig. 202. Craftsman Early 5781-10 10 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction Detail, and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930 to 1932.

Fig. 202 shows an early pair of Craftsman 5781-10 10 inch Button's Pattern combination pliers, stamped with the "5781-10" model number across the pivot, followed by the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face.

The left middle inset shows a close-up of the jaw construction. Note that the center slot is perpendicular to the face of the pliers.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles. Note the curved transition from the convex surface of the angled side to the flat side of the pliers.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is black oxide.

The presence of the model number on these pliers is somewhat unusual, but is very helpful in estimating the production date. A quick check of our catalog reviews found that the 5781 model was used from late 1930 until early 1935, after which it was succeeded by the 4488 model number. Since the model number marking itself was used only briefly, these pliers were probably made in the early part of the range, around 1930-1932.

These Craftsman Button's pliers were recently (2024) identified as Kraeuter production based on their distinctive construction features, and an example of the corresponding model by the maker can be seen as the Kraeuter 1841-10 Button's Pliers. See our discussion in the section on Maker Kraeuter for further information.


Craftsman [4488] 8½ Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers

The next two figures show later examples of the Craftsman No. 4488 Button's Pattern pliers in the 8½ inch size. A review of the catalogs shows that Button's pliers were available only in this size from 1939 through 1941, but had been discontinued by 1942.

[Craftsman 4488 8.5 Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers]
Fig. 203. Craftsman [4488] 8½ Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1939-1942.

Fig. 203 shows a pair of Craftsman [4488] 8½ inch Button's Pattern combination pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo near the pivot, and with an "AM9" code on the underside of one handle.

The top inset provides a side view of the pliers, showing the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. Note the curved transition from the convex surface of the angled side to the flat side of the pliers.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The middle inset shows a close-up of the jaw construction, illustrating an important feature of the center cutting slot. Note that the center slot is oriented at a right angle to the face of the pliers, in contrast to the slightly angled slot used by most makers of Button's pliers, including the original J.M. King Button pliers.

[Craftsman 8½ Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers]
Fig. 204. Craftsman 8½ Inch Button's Pattern Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. 1939-1942.

Fig. 204 shows another pair of Craftsman 8½ inch Button's Pattern combination pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo faintly visible near the pivot, and with an "41AM" code on the underside of one handle.

The top inset provides a side view of the pliers, showing the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. Note the curved transition from the convex surface of the angled side to the flat side of the pliers.

The overall length is 8.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with extensive pitting due to rust.

The middle inset shows a close-up of the jaw construction, illustrating an important feature of the center cutting slot. Note that the center slot is oriented at a right angle to the face of the pliers, in contrast to the slightly angled slot used by most makers of Button's pliers, including the original J.M. King Button pliers.

These Craftsman Button's pliers were recently (2024) identified as Kraeuter production based on their distinctive construction features. See our discussion in the section on Maker Kraeuter for further information.


Diagonal Cutters (Model 5783/4506)

Craftsman diagonal cutting pliers were first offered in the 1930 Fall and Winter catalog, initially with model number 5783 and in two sizes, 5 and 6 inches. In the 1935 Spring and Summer catalog the model number changed to 4506, and the 1935 Fall and Winter catalog offered an additional 7 inch size.

By 1938 the 5 inch diagonal cutters had been discontinued.


Craftsman Early 5783-5 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters

This next figure shows a rare early example of the Craftsman 5783-5 diagonal cutters.

[Craftsman Early 5783-5 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 205. Craftsman Early 5783-5 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930-1932.

Fig. 205 shows an early pair of Craftsman 5783-5 5 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the "5783-5" model number across the pivot, followed by the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles. This gripping pattern closely resembles the pattern observed on the Craftsman Early 5783-6 Diagonal Cutters and Craftsman Early 5781-8 Buttons Pliers.

The overall length is 5.1 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The presence of the model number on these pliers is somewhat unusual, but is very helpful in estimating the production date. A quick check of our catalog reviews found that the 5783 model was used from late 1930 until early 1935, after which it was succeeded by the 4506 model number. Since the model number marking itself was used only briefly, these pliers were probably made in the early part of the range, around 1930-1932.

These Craftsman diagonal cutters were recently (2024) identified as Kraeuter production based on the intricate diamond-checkered gripping pattern and the presence of a marked model number. See our discussion in the section on Maker Kraeuter for further information.


Craftsman Early 5783-6 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

The next two figures show early examples of the Craftsman 5783-6 diagonal cutters.

[Craftsman Early 5783-6 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 206. Craftsman Early 5783-6 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930-1932.

Fig. 206 shows an early pair of Craftsman 5783-6 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the "5783-6" model number across the pivot, followed by the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles. This gripping pattern closely resembles the pattern observed on the Craftsman Early 5783-5 Diagonal Cutters and Craftsman Early 5781-8 Buttons Pliers.

The presence of the model number on these pliers is somewhat unusual, but is very helpful in estimating the production date. A quick check of our catalog reviews found that the 5783 model was used from late 1930 until early 1935, after which it was succeeded by the 4506 model number. Since the model number marking itself was used only briefly, these pliers were probably made in the early part of the range, around 1930-1932.

[Craftsman Early 5783-6 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 207. Craftsman Early [5783-6] 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 207 shows another early pair of Craftsman [5783-6] 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman block logo and "U.S.A." on the face. The underside of one handle is also stamped with "6" (or "9") digit (see lower inset).

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The use of the Craftsman block logo and distinctive diamond checkered gripping pattern suggest an early production date for these pliers.

These Craftsman diagonal cutters were recently (2024) identified as Kraeuter production based on the intricate diamond-checkered gripping pattern. See our discussion in the section on Maker Kraeuter for further information.


Craftsman Vanadium [4506-5] 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Craftsman Vanadium 4506 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 208. Craftsman Vanadium [4506-5] 5 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1938.

Fig. 208 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4506-5] 5 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot. The underside of the handles is also stamped with a C-Circle mark (see lower inset).

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. This handle pattern is found on most of the Craftsman Vanadium series pliers.

Sears had discontinued the diagonal cutters in the 5 inch size by 1938, giving us an estimated mid 1930s to 1938 production date for this tool.


Craftsman Vanadium [4506-6] 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium diagonal cutters in the 6 inch size.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4506 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 209. Craftsman Vanadium [4506-6] 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 209 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4506-6] 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. This handle pattern is found on most of the Craftsman Vanadium series pliers.

These cutters are not marked with a manufacturer's code, a detail that suggests a mid 1930s manufacturing date.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4506 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 210. Craftsman Vanadium [4506-6] 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View, Construction, and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 210 shows a similar pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4506-6] 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot, and with a C-Circle mark on the underside of the handles (see lower inset).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. This handle pattern is found on most of the Craftsman Vanadium series pliers.


Craftsman Vanadium [4506-7] 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman Vanadium 7 inch diagonal cutters. Diagonal cutters in the 7 inch size were first offered in the 1935 Sears catalog.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4506 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 211. Craftsman Vanadium [4506-7] 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 211 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4506-7] 7 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot, and with "41AM" on the underside on one handle (see lower inset).

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. This handle pattern is found on most of the Craftsman Vanadium series pliers.


[Craftsman Vanadium 4506 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 212. Craftsman Vanadium [4506-7] 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 212 shows another pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4506-7] 7 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" near the pivot.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles. This handle pattern is found on most of the Craftsman Vanadium series pliers.

The lower inset shows the stamped or forged C-Circle mark on the inside of the handles, probably an identification mark for the manufacturer.


Lineman's and Electrician's Side-Cutting Pliers

Craftsman offered lineman's style side-cutting pliers in two similar models, a lighter version generally listed in the catalogs as "Electrician's Side-Cutting Pliers", and a heavier-duty model called "Lineman's Pliers".

Electrician's Pliers (Model 5778/4516)

The Electrician's pliers were listed as model number 5778 before 1935 and as model 4516 from 1935 onward. These pliers were typically available in sizes 6, 7, and 8 inches, but some years specified the smallest size as 6.5 inches or the largest size as 8.5 inches.

Lineman's Pliers (Model 5782/4518)

Craftsman's heavier-duty lineman's pliers were listed as model number 5782 before 1935 and as model 4518 from 1935 onward. The description for these pliers sometimes mentioned the "Klein Pattern" style, a reference to the well-known style popularized by M. Klein & Sons. The heavy-duty lineman's pliers were typically available in sizes 6, 7, and 8.5 inches.

Some editions of the Sears catalogs did not list the model 5782 Lineman's Pliers, possibly an accidental omission or perhaps a problem with the supplier of the tools.

Since Craftsman tools of this early era were generally not marked with model numbers, there may be some ambiguity as to whether a given example of the lineman's style should be classified as the Electrician's or Lineman's model. With the limited examples available so far, we have classified the pliers with heavy faceted heads (the "Klein Pattern") as the Lineman's model, and the remaining examples as the Electrician's model.


Craftsman Vanadium [4516] 6 Inch Electrician's Side-Cutting Pliers

[Craftsman Vanadium 4516 6 Inch Electrician's Side-Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 213. Craftsman Vanadium [4516] 6 Inch Electrician's Side-Cutting Pliers, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 213 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4516] 6 inch electrician's side-cutting pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side-view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The lower inset shows the stamped C-Circle mark found on the inside of the handles, which is likely an identification mark for the manufacturer.

The rounded head of these pliers is characteristic of the "New England" style of lineman's pliers. The 1938 Craftsman tools catalog illustrates the "Electrician's" pliers with this rounded head style, although by this time the pliers were available only in the 7 inch size.


Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman 7 inch lineman's pliers from the Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4518 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 214. Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 214 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 7 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The underside of one handle is stamped with an "AM42" code, as shown in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern generally found on pliers of the Craftsman Vanadium series.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4518 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 215. Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Handle Pattern and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 215 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 7 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" near the pivot.

The underside of the handles is stamped with a C-Circle mark, which is likely an identification mark for the manufacturer.

The handles of these pliers have a distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern generally found on pliers of the Craftsman Vanadium series.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Craftsman [4518] 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers

The next figure shows a later example of Craftsman 7 inch lineman's pliers from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 4518 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 216. Craftsman [4518] 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 216 shows a pair of Craftsman [4518] 7 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo near the pivot, but without the Vanadium sub-brand.

The underside of one handle is stamped with an "AM43" code, as seen in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The absence of a "Vanadium" marking suggests a 1942-1945 production date.


Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers

The next figure shows an example of the Craftsman 8.5 inch lineman's pliers from the Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4518 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 217. Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1941.

Fig. 217 shows an earlier pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4518] 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the face, and with a C-Circle mark stamped on the underside of each handle.

The pliers also have a forged-in "0" code on the underside of one handle, as seen in the small middle inset.

The lower inset shows the C-Circle mark stamped on the underside of the handles.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Craftsman [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers

The next three figures show later examples of the Craftsman 8.5 inch lineman's pliers from the post-Vanadium generation.

[Craftsman 4518 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 218. Craftsman [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 218 shows a later pair of Craftsman [4518] 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, marked with the Craftsman underline logo and "U.S.A." stamped on the face, and with a C-Circle mark forged into the underside of the handles.

The pliers also have a forged-in "0" code on the undersides of the handles, as seen in the small middle inset.

The lower inset shows the C-Circle mark forged into the inside of the handles.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The overall length is 8.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

A careful examination of the C-Circle mark shows that the "C" has been incised into a circular depression in the forging die, rather than stamped into the finished handle.

The absence of a "Vanadium" marking and the use of a forged-in C-Circle mark suggest a later production date for these pliers, likely from 1942-1945.

[Craftsman 4518 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 219. Craftsman [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 219 shows another later pair of Craftsman [4518] 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the face, and with "42AM" on the underside of one handle.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The lower inset shows a close-up of the "42AM" marking on the underside of one handle.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The absence of a "Vanadium" marking suggests a 1942-1945 production date.

[Craftsman 4518 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 220. Craftsman [4518] 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 220 shows another later pair of Craftsman [4518] 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo on the face, and with "B45" on the underside of one handle.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the smooth handles without the standard gripping pattern.

The lower inset shows a close-up of the "B45" marking on the underside of one handle.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The absence of a "Vanadium" marking and the plain handles suggests a 1942-1945 production date.


Long Nose (Needlenose) Pliers with Side-Cutters (Model 5796/4499)

Craftsman long nose (or needlenose) pliers were first listed in the 1930 Fall and Winter catalog. The pliers featured side-cutters and were offered as model number 5796, in sizes 6 and 7 inches. By 1935 the long nose pliers had changed to model number 4499, and by 1938 the 7 inch size had been discontinued.

The known catalog illustrations are not detailed enough to show the handle gripping pattern until 1938, at which time the "Nested Diamonds" pattern was definitely in use.


Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

The next two figures show examples of the 6 inch long nose pliers, with differences in the manufacturer's code.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4499 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 221. Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1941.

Fig. 221 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 6 inch long nose (needlenose) pliers with side cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The inside of one handle is also marked with an "AM41" code, as shown in the lower inset.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern. This pattern can be found on most of the pliers in the Craftsman Vanadium series.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4499 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 222. Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1941.

Fig. 222 shows a similar pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 6 inch long nose (needlenose) pliers with side cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The inside of the handles is marked with a forged-in (or deeply stamped) C-Circle code, as shown in the lower inset.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern featured on most of the pliers in the Craftsman Vanadium series.


Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

The next figure shows an example of Craftsman needlenose pliers in an unexpected 7.5 inch size.

[Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 223. Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to 1938.

Fig. 223 shows a pair of Craftsman Vanadium [4499] 7.5 inch needlenose (long nose) pliers with side cutters, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The underside of one handle has a forged-in "0" code, as seen in the middle inset.

The inside of each handle is also marked with a forged-in C-Circle code, as illustrated in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

Currently we don't have a catalog reference for this model in the 7.5 inch size. We think it's possible that these pliers were supplied as a slightly oversized version of the 7 inch model, which would lead to a mid 1930s to 1938 production date estimate.


Craftsman [4517] 8 Inch Short-Jaw Chain Nose Pliers

The next figure shows a rarely-seen example of Craftsman short-jaw chain nose pliers, sometimes called "assembly" pliers.

[Craftsman 8 Inch Short-Jaw Chain Nose Pliers]
Fig. 224. Craftsman 8 Inch Short-Jaw Chain Nose Pliers, with Insets for Back Side and Marking Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 224 shows a pair of Craftsman 8 inch short-jaw chain nose or "assembly" pliers, stamped with the "Craftsman" underline logo and "Made in U.S.A." near the pivot.

The lower handle has a forged-in "0" code visible near the center.

The inside of each handle is also marked with a forged-in C-Circle code, as seen in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

We don't have a catalog reference for these pliers prior to 1945, but the 1949 Craftsman catalog listed this style as the No. 4517 "Long-reach Pointed Nose Pliers". The underline logo and absence of a "Vanadium" marking suggest production from 1942-1945.


End Nippers

Craftsman also offered end nippers in its "Vanadium" line, but we haven't found a catalog reference for these pliers.


Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch End Nippers

The next figures show two generations of the Craftsman Vanadium 6 inch end nippers.

[Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch End Nippers]
Fig. 225. Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch End Nippers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. Mid to Late 1930s.

Fig. 225 shows an earlier pair of Craftsman Vanadium 6 inch end nippers with plain handles, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the face.

One handle has a forged-in "0" code, as seen in the middle inset.

The inside of one handle is also stamped with a C-Circle code, as shown in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illistrating the plain handles, without the "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern typically found on Craftsman Vanadium pliers.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.

The absence of a gripping pattern may indicate an earlier production date for this example.

[Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch End Nippers]
Fig. 226. Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch End Nippers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s to 1941.

Fig. 226 shows a later pair of Craftsman Vanadium 6 inch end nippers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" around the pivot.

The middle part of the handles have a forged-in "0" code visible near the center.

The inside of both handles are stamped with a C-Circle code, as seen in the lower inset.

The top inset shows the distinctive "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern on the handles.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.

The "Vanadium" marking and "Nested Diamonds" gripping pattern suggest production from the late 1930s to 1941.


Battery Pliers


Craftsman Early Battery Pliers with Rope-Banded Pattern

[Craftsman Early Battery Pliers with Rope-Banded Pattern]
Fig. 227. Craftsman Early Battery Pliers with Rope-Banded Pattern, with Inset for Side View, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 227 shows an early pair of Craftsman battery pliers with a rope-banded gripping pattern, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the distinctive rope-banded gripping pattern, a feature that indicates production by the Wilde Tool Company.

A similar pair of battery pliers can be seen as the Wilde No. 410 Battery Pliers.


Craftsman "C-F" Battery Pliers

[Craftsman C-F Battery Pliers]
Fig. 228. Craftsman "C-F" Battery Pliers.

Fig. 228 shows a pair of Craftsman battery pliers, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and a "C-F" code.

The overall length is 7.8 inches.

The "C-F" marking is believed to be a manufacturer's code, but was previously unknown before this example was found.

These pliers were compared with the Herbrand No. 179 battery pliers, and with a pair of ChromeXQuality battery pliers made by Herbrand for Western Auto. The design and dimensions are very similar, suggesting that Herbrand may be the manufacturer for the "C-F" code. See the section on Maker Herbrand for more discussion of this code.


Adjustable Wrenches

Craftsman adjustable wrenches were first offered in the 1930 Fall and Winter catalog in sizes 4, 6, 8, and 10 inches. (By 1934 a 12 inch size was available as well.) Based on the known examples, these early adjustable wrenches were made for Craftsman by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company.

By the fall of 1934 Craftsman adjustable wrenches were being illustrated with a double-hex broached hanging hole, a feature that along with other production characteristics identifies the manufacturer as the J.P. Danielson Company. The available sizes at this time were 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches. Danielson continued as the maker of Craftsman adjustable wrenches until at least 1942.

In addition to the Craftsman adjustable wrenches, Sears also offered Merit brand adjustable wrenches. The Merit models generally had similar features and construction, but with a cheaper finish. Examples of Merit wrenches can be seen in the section on Merit Adjustable Wrenches.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 229. Early Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1930-1934.

Fig. 229 shows an early Craftsman Vanadium 4 inch adjustable wrench, stamped with "Vanadium" on one side of the shank, with "Craftsman" in block letters on the back side. The shank is also marked with "Drop-Forged" and "Tool-Steel" forged into the front, with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the back side.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.55 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.38 inches.

The finish is nickel plating.

The construction and markings of this wrench are very similar to the wrenches produced by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company during the 1920s and 1930s, such as the Diamond "Tool Steel" 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench. In particular, the "Tool-Steel" and "Drop-Forged" markings are nearly identical to the markings found on Diamond's production.


Early Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Early Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 230. Early Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1930-1934.

Fig. 230 shows an early Craftsman Vanadium 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped with "Craftsman Vanadium" on both sides of the shank. The shank is also marked with "Tool Steel" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the front, with "Forged" forged into the back side.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.57 inches.

The finish is plain steel, with a few traces of nickel (or chrome) plating on the faces.

The construction and dimensions of this wrench closely resemble the early Diamond "Tool Steel" wrenches produced by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company, for example the Diamond "Tool Steel" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench. Diamond's production of the late 1920s and 1930s was typically marked with "Tool Steel", "Drop Forged", and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, similar to the markings on this wrench.

Another detail noted for this wrench is that the pin for the adjusting knurl is threaded on the inside end, the standard used by Diamond and Crescent. In contrast, the pins for J.P. Danielson wrenches are threaded on the outside (slotted) end.


Broached Hanging Holes

By the fall of 1934 Craftsman adjustable wrenches were being illustrated with a double-hex broached hanging hole, a feature that along with other production characteristics identifies the manufacturer as the J.P. Danielson Company. Examples of wrenches in this style are shown in the figures below.


Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrenches with Broached Hanging Holes

The next two figures show examples of the Craftsman Vanadium 4 inch adjustable wrenches.

[Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 231. Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1934-1938.

Fig. 231 shows an earlier Craftsman 4 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Vanadium" and an "A.0." code forged into the back side.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The hanging hole has a 5/16 double-hex broached opening, and the size marking "5/16 IN." is forged into the handle.

Several details noted on this wrench closely resemble the features of the "Bet'R-Grip" adjustable wrenches made by J.P. Danielson, as can be seen by comparison with the Bet'R-Grip 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench. Most importantly, the "Bet'R-Grip" wrenches were also equipped with a double-hex broached opening for the hanging hole, an unusual feature for adjustable wrenches.

In addition, a careful look at this wrench shows that the "Craftsman" and "Vanadium" markings were made using a distinctive "Typewriter" font. Danielson is known to have used this Typewriter font on its earlier adjustable wrenches, and on earlier Auto-Kit wrenches as well. Based on these similarities in features and markings, the maker of this wrench can be identified as J.P. Danielson.

The "A.0." forged-in code on this wrench needs some further discussion. Although the code is similar to the J.P. Danielson date code, it doesn't match the letter-digit-digit pattern used by Danielson. At first we thought that the "A.0." marking was a date code with just a single digit, but we later acquired another Craftsman Vanadium wrench (see figure below) with both an "A.0." code and a standard Danielson date code. Based on this finding, we now believe that the "A.0." code served as an earlier manufacturer's code for Danielson.

In the absence of a Danielson date code marking, this wrench was likely made in 1934-1938, prior to the introduction of the date codes.


[Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 232. Craftsman Vanadium 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, 1939.

Fig. 232 shows a slightly later Craftsman 4 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Vanadium" and an "A.0." code forged into the back side. In addition, the shank has a forged-in code "K-3-9" visible near the hanging hole, shown as a close-up in the middle inset.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The hanging hole has a 5/16 double-hex broached opening, and the size marking "5/16 IN." is forged into the handle.

The "K-3-9" forged-in code on this wrench matches the date code pattern used by J.P. Danielson, and the "9" year code would indicate production in 1939.


Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch Adjustable Wrenches with Broached Hanging Holes

The next two figures show examples of Craftsman Vanadium wrenches in the 6 inch size, both equipped with broached hanging holes.

[Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 233. Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1934-1938.

Fig. 233 shows a Craftsman 6 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman-Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side. The shank also has a forged-in code "A.0." near the broached opening.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The wrench handle features a double-hex broached opening of size 1/2, and the size marking "1/2 IN." is forged into the handle.

Several details noted on this wrench closely resemble the features of the "Bet'R-Grip" adjustable wrenches made by J.P. Danielson, as can be seen by comparison with the Bet'R-Grip 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench. Most importantly, the "Bet'R-Grip" wrenches were also equipped with a double-hex broached opening for the hanging hole, an unusual feature for adjustable wrenches.

In addition, a careful look at this wrench shows that the "Craftsman-Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." markings were made using a distinctive "Typewriter" font, and Danielson is known to have used this Typewriter font on its earlier Auto-Kit wrenches, and on earlier adjustable wrenches as well.

Based on the similarities in features and markings, this wrench was very likely made for Craftsman by J.P. Danielson.

There is one major difference to be noted between this wrench and the Danielson models, and that is the use of a hexagonal gullet in the opening. All other known Danielson wrenches were made with a square opening, and in fact noted it as a feature. However, Sears Roebuck was a major retailer, and it's reasonable to expect that they could dictate specifications for a large order of tools. Thus it's likely that J.P. Danielson readily agreed to modify its wrench openings for the large Craftsman order.

In the absence of a Danielson date code marking, this wrench was likely made in 1934-1938, prior to the introduction of the date codes.


[Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 234. Craftsman Vanadium 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, 1940.

Fig. 234 shows another Craftsman 6 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman-Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side. The shank also has forged-in codes "312.1" on the front, with "J-8-0" on the back side (see middle insets).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to rust.

The wrench handle features a double-hex broached opening of size 1/2, and the size marking "1/2 IN." is forged into the back side shank.

The "J-8-0" forged-in code on this wrench matches the date code pattern used by J.P. Danielson, and the "0" year code would indicate production in 1940.

The "312.1" code is believed to be a later manufacturer's code for J.P. Danielson, as this code has been observed on other Craftsman wrenches.


Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench with Broached Hanging Hole

[Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 235. Craftsman Vanadium 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1940.

Fig. 235 shows a Craftsman 8 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman - Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side. The shank is also marked with a "312.1" code visible near the broached opening, and the back side has a forged-in code "S-7-0", shown as a close-up in the middle inset.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.9 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.49 inches.

The finish is chrome plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

The wrench handle features a double-hex broached opening of size 9/16, and the size marking "9/16 IN." is forged into the handle.

This example shares the features noted on other Craftsman adjustable wrenches made by J.P. Danielson, in particular the broached hanging hole, typewriter font markings, and forged-in date code ("S-7-0" in this particular case). (See for example the Craftsman 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench.) The year code "0" in the Danielson date code indicates production in 1940.

The "312.1" code forged into the shank has been observed on other Danielson production for Craftsman, suggesting that this is the manufacturer's code.


Craftsman Vanadium 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench with Broached Hanging Hole

[Craftsman Vanadium 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 236. Craftsman Vanadium 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1934-1938.

Fig. 236 shows a Craftsman 10 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman-Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side. The shank also has the "10 In." nominal size forged into both sides near the head.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.2 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.63 inches.

The finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to wear.

The wrench handle features a double-hex broached opening of size 3/4, and the size marking "5/8 IN." is forged into the handle.

This example shares most of the features of the other Craftsman wrenches made by J.P. Danielson, in particular the broached hanging hole and typewriter font markings. (See for example the Craftsman 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench.) The notable difference is the absence of a forged-in date code. Since Danielson is believed to have added the forged-in date codes to adjustable wrenches in 1939, the missing code for this example suggests production in 1938 or earlier.


Craftsman Vanadium 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench with Broached Hanging Hole

[Craftsman Vanadium 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 237. Craftsman Vanadium 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, 1941.

Fig. 237 shows a Craftsman 12 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Craftsman-Vanadium" forged into the shank, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side.

The shank is also marked with a "312.1" code visible near the broached opening, and the back side shank has a forged-in code "C.8.1" near the broached opening.

The overall length is 12.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The wrench handle features a double-hex broached opening of size 3/4, and the size marking "3/4 IN." is forged into the handle.

Several details noted on this wrench closely resemble the features of the "Bet'R-Grip" adjustable wrenches made by J.P. Danielson. (See the Bet'R-Grip 12 Inch Adjustable Wrench for comparison.) The Danielson "Bet'R-Grip" wrenches were also equipped with a double-hex broached opening for the hanging hole, and the forged-in code "C.8.1" on this wrench is very similar to the codes used on most J.P. Danielson production. (These codes have been established as a manufacturing date code system used by Danielson.)

In addition, a careful look at this wrench shows that the "Vanadium" and "Forged in U.S.A." markings were made using a distinctive "Typewriter" font, and Danielson is known to have used this Typewriter font on many of its Auto-Kit wrenches. The similarities in features and markings indicate that this wrench was made for Craftsman by J.P. Danielson. The "C.8.1" forged-in marking matches the pattern of the Danielson date code, and the "1" year code would indicate production in 1941.

One major difference to be noted between this wrench and the Danielson models is the use of a hexagonal gullet in the opening -- all other known Danielson wrenches used a square opening, and in fact noted it as a feature. However, Sears Roebuck was a major retailer, and it's reasonable to expect that they could dictate specifications for a large order of tools. Thus it's likely that J.P. Danielson readily agreed to modify its wrench openings for the large Craftsman order.

The "312.1" code forged into the shank has been observed on other Danielson production for Craftsman, suggesting that this is the manufacturer's code.


Other Craftsman Tools


Craftsman "BT" 6 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer

[Craftsman BT 6 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer]
Fig. 238. Craftsman "BT" 6 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 238 shows a Craftsman "BT" 6 ounce ballpeen hammer, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.", and with a "BT" manufacturer's code below.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the length of the head is 2.7 inches. The finish is plain steel.

The "BT" code has been identified as the manufacturer's code for Vlchek Tool, a well-known maker of hammers and striking tools as well as wrenches.


Craftsman Vanadium "BC" 1/2 Flat Chisel

[Craftsman Vanadium BC 1/2 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 239. Craftsman Vanadium "BC" 1/2 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Side View, ca. Mid 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 239 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 1/2 flat chisel, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium" on the octagonal shank, and with a "BC" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 5.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The manufacturer associated with the "BC" code is not yet known.


Craftsman Vanadium "BC" 5/32 Tapered Punch

[Craftsman Vanadium BC 5/32 Pin Punch]
Fig. 240. Craftsman Vanadium "BC" 5/32 Tapered Punch, ca. Mid 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 240 shows a Craftsman Vanadium 5/32 tapered punch, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium", and with a "BC" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, although the tool appears to have been shortened slightly. The finish is chrome plating.

The manufacturer associated with the "BC" code is not yet known.


Craftsman Vanadium "BC" Cotter Pin Puller

[Craftsman Vanadium BC Cotter Pin Puller]
Fig. 241. Craftsman Vanadium "BC" Cotter Pin Puller, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 241 shows a Craftsman cotter pin puller, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and "Vanadium", and with a "BC" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The manufacturer associated with the "BC" code is not yet known.


Craftsman "BC" 3/4 Wood Chisel

[Craftsman Vanadium BC Cotter Pin Puller]
Fig. 242. Craftsman "BC" 3/4 Wood Chisel, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 242 shows a Craftsman 3/4 wood chisel, stamped with the Craftsman underline logo and the size, and with a "BC" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 9.6 inches. The chisel has a plated finish with a dull gray matte surface.

The manufacturer associated with the "BC" code is not yet known.

We will need to review the catalogs to estimate the manufacturing date for this chisel. Note that the absence of a "Vanadium" marking does not necessarily indicate later production — wood chisels typically are made of high carbon steel.


Craftsman "F-Circle" Four-Way Offset Screwdriver

[Craftsman Four-Way Offset Screwdriver]
Fig. 243. Craftsman Four-Way Offset Screwdriver.

Fig. 243 shows a Craftsman four-way offset screwdriver, stamped "Made in USA" with an "F-Circle" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This Craftsman offset screwdriver is virtually identical to the Millers Falls No. 199 Offset Screwdriver, a popular tool sold from the 1930s onward.

We measured both tools with digital calipers and found that the cross dimensions matched within a few thousandths, and that the lengths matched within less than 0.01 inch. As these differences are likely within normal manufacturing tolerances, Millers Falls is likely the manufacturer for the F-Circle code.

Generally we would prefer to have more than one tool available to determine the maker of a manufacturer's code, and we hope to find more examples of the Craftsman F-Circle marking.

Millers Falls is known to have been a major supplier of Craftsman planes and bit-braces, but these tools are outside of the scope of Alloy Artifacts.


The Dunlap Brand

No discussion of Craftsman tools would be complete without at least some mention of the Dunlap brand, a sister brand used for a line of economy tools. The Dunlap brand was supposedly named after Tom Dunlap, the manager of the Sears hardware division from the 1930s through the 1950s.

[Dunlap Oval Logo from Trademark #369,614]
Fig. 244A. Dunlap Oval Logo from Trademark #369,614.

Sears filed a trademark application for the Dunlap brand in 1938, and the trademark was issued as #369,614 on August 1, 1939.

The scan in Fig. 244A shows the "Dunlap" oval logo as presented in the trademark application.

The first use date was listed as January 23, 1937.

Dunlap tools began appearing in the Sears catalogs in the 1938-1939 Fall and Winter edition, and often the new brand was used for tools that had previously been offered under the Merit or Fulton brands. Dunlap tools continued to be offered at least into the late 1950s.


Dunlap Pliers


Dunlap "LC" 5.5 Inch Combination Pliers

[Dunlap 5.5 Inch Combination Pliers]
Fig. 244. Dunlap 5.5 Inch Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1937-1942.

Fig. 244 shows a pair of Dunlap 5.5 inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped with the Dunlap oval logo near the pivot, with "USA" and with a small "LC" (or "L.C") code below (see lower inset).

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The handle pattern closely resembles the gripping pattern used by J.P. Danielson in the 1930s to early 1940, suggesting Danielson as the likely maker of the pliers. (See for example the Danielson 8 Inch Combination Pliers.)

The "Dunlap" brand and early Danielson gripping pattern indicate production from 1937-1942.


Dunlap "Approved" 6 Inch Combination Pliers

[Dunlap Approved 6 Inch Combination Pliers]
Fig. 245. Dunlap "Approved" 6 Inch Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1940s.

Fig. 245 shows a pair of Dunlap 6 inch combination pliers, stamped with the "Dunlap Approved Tools" oval logo near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the geometric "herringbone" gripping pattern on the handles. This is easily recognized as the pattern used by J.P. Danielson for their later pliers, indicating that Danielson was the contract maker for Sears.

An example of Danielson's use of this pattern can be seen on the Danielson 8 Inch Combination Pliers.


Dunlap [4494] "A.0." 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

[Dunlap 4494 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 247. Dunlap [4494] 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s.

Fig. 247 shows a pair of Dunlap [4494] 7 inch bent thin-nose combination pliers, stamped "Dunlap" with an "A.0." code near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the small diamond checkered gripping pattern.

The "A.0." code has been identified as a manufacturer's code for J.P. Danielson, in use from the mid to late 1930s on adjustable wrenches.

The checkered gripping pattern also matches the pattern used on Danielson production in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Although not marked with a model number, the 1938 Craftsman Tools catalog lists these pliers as the Dunlap number 4494 "Thin Bent Nose Pliers", with a 7 inch nominal length and a 39 cent price. The description notes the polished nickel plated finish.

An earlier version of these pliers under the Merit brand can be seen as the Merit Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers.


Dunlap "Approved" 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

[Dunlap Approved 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 248. Dunlap "Approved" 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s+.

Fig. 248 shows a pair of Dunlap 6 inch needlenose pliers with side cutters, stamped "Dunlap" and "Approved Tools" around the pivot.

The overall length is 5.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Dunlap "Approved" 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers

[Dunlap Approved 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 249. Dunlap "Approved" 7 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s+.

Fig. 249 shows a pair of Dunlap 7 inch lineman's pliers, stamped "Dunlap" and "Approved Tools" around the pivot.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Dunlap "BT" Battery Pliers

The next two figures show examples of Dunlap battery pliers, both marked with a "BT" manufacturer's code.

[Dunlap Battery Pliers]
Fig. 250. Dunlap Battery Pliers, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 250 shows a pair of Dunlap battery pliers, stamped with the Dunlap name and a "BT" code, and with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the back side. The handles also have a forged-in number "5", one of which is visible in the photograph.

The overall length is 7.9 inches. The finish appears to be nickel plating, with losses due to wear and rust.

[Dunlap Battery Pliers]
Fig. 251. Dunlap Battery Pliers, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. Late 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 251 shows another similar pair of Dunlap battery pliers, stamped with the Dunlap name and a "BT" code, and with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the back side. One handle also has a forged-in number "7", visible in the top inset.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is gray paint.

The manufacturer associated with the "BT" code has been identified as Vlchek Tool, based on a distinctive ratchet marked with this code.


Dunlap Wrenches


Dunlap "Bet'R-Grip" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Dunlap Bet'R-Grip 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 252. Dunlap "Bet'R-Grip 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1938-1939.

Fig. 252 shows a Dunlap 8 inch adjustable wrench with a broached hanging hole, marked with "Bet'R-Grip" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into front, with "Forged Vanadium Steel" forged into the back side.

The shank is stamped with the Dunlap oval logo and an "A.0" code to the right of the "Bet'R-Grip" marking.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inch. The finish is nickel plating.

The "Bet'R-Grip" marking on this example trivially identifies the wrench as production by J.P. Danielson. Note also that the forged-in markings use a "Typewriter" font, a characteristic of Danielson's wrenches during the 1930s and early 1940s.

This particular wrench is not marked with a Danielson date code, a detail that suggests production before 1939. Since Dunlap adjustable wrenches were first offered in 1938, we can estimate the production date as 1938-1939.

A similar wrench marked for the Merit brand can be seen as the Merit Bet'R-Grip Adjustable Wrench. Other examples of Danielson's "Bet'R-Grip" wrenches can be found in the section on Bet'R-Grip Adjustable Wrenches.


Dunlap "Approved" 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Dunlap Approved 8 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 253. Dunlap "Approved" 8 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Edge View and Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 253 shows a Dunlap 8 inch Stillson-pattern pipe wrench, marked with the Dunlap oval logo with "Approved Tools" around the outside.

The shank is marked with "Drop Forged" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the depressed panel, with "Tool Steel" on the back side.

The overall length is 7.3 closed and 8.2 fully extended, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is nickel plating.

A close look at the markings on the shank shows the use of a distinctive "Typewriter" font, a marking style used by J.P. Danielson from the early 1930s (or earlier) through the early 1940s. The construction and markings on this wrench are very similar to the Danielson pipe wrenches, as for example the Danielson 10 Inch Stillson Pipe Wrench.


Dunlap "Approved" "CI" 8 Inch Auto Wrench

[Dunlap Approved 8 Inch Auto Wrench]
Fig. 254. Dunlap "Approved" 8 Inch Auto Wrench, ca. Late 1930s+.

Fig. 254 shows a Dunlap 8 inch auto wrench, marked with "Dunlap" and "Approved Tools" forged into the handle, and with a "CI" code near the fixed jaw.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The manufacturer of "CI" marked tools has been identified as Billings & Spencer.


Dunlap "CI" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Dunlap CI 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 255. Dunlap "CI" 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 255 shows a Dunlap 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Dunlap" forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side panel. The back side shank also has a forged-in code "CI" visible at the left.

The overall length is 8.1 inches. The original finish was black paint, but only a few traces remain due to extensive rust.

This wrench closely resembles the "CI" marked wrenches made for the Fulton brands. The manufacturer of the "CI" marked tools has been identified as Billings & Spencer.


Dunlap "V" 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench

[Dunlap 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 256. Dunlap 5/16x13/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 256 shows a Dunlap 5/16x13/32 open-end wrench, marked with the Dunlap name forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side panel.

A forged-in code "V" can be seen on the back side shank as well.

The overall length is 3.7 inches, and the finish is black paint.


Dunlap "V" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Dunlap 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 257. Dunlap 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Late 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 257 shows a Dunlap 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with the Dunlap name forged into the depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." forged into the back side panel.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.

A forged-in code "V" can be seen on the back side shank at the right.


Dunlap "V" 5-Piece Open-End Wrench Set

[Dunlap 5-Piece Open-End Wrench Set]
Fig. 258. Dunlap 5-Piece Open-End Wrench Set, with Insets for Top View and Marking Detail, ca. 1939 to 1940s.

Fig. 258 shows a Dunlap wrench set in a metal holder, consisting of five open-end wrenches with sizes ranging from 5/16 to 7/8 inches.

The wrenches closely resemble the examples in the previous figures, and each wrench is marked with "Dunlap" forged into a depressed panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a "V" code on the back side.

The wrench sizes are 5/16x13/32, 3/8x7/16, 1/2x9/16, 5/8x11/16, and 3/4x7/8. The lengths range from 3.8 to 8.0 inches, and the finish is black paint.

The lower left inset shows the patent notice for patent #2,181,764 stamped on the bottom of the holder. This patent was issued in 1939 to A.T. Murray, with assignment to the Moore Drop Forging Company. The patent serves to identify Moore Drop Forging as the contract maker for these tools.

This wrench set is highly significant as the earliest known connection to Moore Drop Forging as a contract manufacturer for Sears.


Dunlap "V" 11/16x3/4 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Dunlap 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench]
Fig. 259. Dunlap 11/16x3/4 Offset Box Wrench, with Insets for Back Side and Side View, ca. Late 1930s to Early 1940s.

Fig. 259 shows a Dunlap 11/16x3/4 offset box wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Dunlap" and the fractional sizes forged into the front panel, with "Forged in USA" and "V" forged into the back panel.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench, and marks from the trimming process are visible on the edge.

This wrench is believed to represent early production by Moore Drop Forging for the Dunlap brand.


Dunlap 3/8x7/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Dunlap 3/8x7/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 260A. Dunlap 3/8x7/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1944-1947.

Fig. 260A shows a Dunlap 3/8x7/16 ratcheting box wrench, stamped "Made U.S.A." with a "Pat. - App." patent notice.

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The pending status refers to patent #2,421,038, filed by E. Schultz in 1944 and issued in 1947, with assignment to the Nagel-Chase Manufacturing Company.


Dunlap 1/2x9/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench

[Dunlap 1/2x9/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench]
Fig. 260. Dunlap 1/2x9/16 Ratcheting Box Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1947+.

Fig. 260 shows a Dunlap 1/2x9/16 ratcheting box wrench, stamped "Made U.S.A." with a "Pat. 2421038" patent notice.

The overall length is 6.7 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The patent notice is for patent #2,421,038, filed by E. Schultz in 1944 and issued in 1947, with assignment to the Nagel-Chase Manufacturing Company.


Other Dunlap Tools


Dunlap 5/8 Flat Chisel

[Dunlap 5/8 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 261. Dunlap 5/8 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 261 shows a Dunlap 5/8 flat chisel, stamped with the Dunlap logo and "Made in U.S.A." with the fractional size on the square shank, and with an "N-Square" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The top inset shows a side view of the chisel, illustrating the parting line on the edge of the tip, an indication of drop-forged construction.


Dunlap Center Punch

[Dunlap 3/8 Center Punch]
Fig. 262. Dunlap 3/8 Center Punch.

Fig. 262 shows a Dunlap brand 3/8 center punch, stamped with the Dunlap logo and "U.S.A." on the square shank, and with an "N-Square" manufacturer's code.

The overall length is 4.8 inches.


Other Sears Tool Brands

Our discussion of Craftsman tools has included the mention of alternative brands such as Fulton and Merit. This section will look at the various alternate brands of tools offered by the Sears catalogs.


Later Fulton Tools

The "Fulton" brand was the most frequently mentioned tool brand in the Sears catalogs of the pre-Craftsman era. A previous section on the Fulton Tool Company has information on the brand and examples of tools from the pre-Craftsman era.

After the introduction of Craftsman tools, Sears continued to use the "Fulton" brand as a lower-cost alternative to the Craftsman selections. In this section we'll look at some of the later tools offered under the Fulton brand.


Fulton "Vanadium" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

Sears also offered box wrenches under its Fulton economy brand, and at one point there was even a "Fulton Vanadium" sub-brand. These wrenches are less commonly found though, indicating that the customers generally preferred the Craftsman brand.

[Fulton Vanadium 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 263. Fulton "Vanadium" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 263 shows a Fulton "Vanadium" 1/2x9/16 offset box wrench, stamped with "Fulton" and "Vanadium" on the raised panel.

The overall length is 9.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Fulton 6216 "BT" 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench

During the mid 1930s the Sears catalogs offered various types of automotive specialty wrenches in the section for general mechanic's tools. Typically these were listed under the Fulton or Merit brands, although sometimes the catalog listings didn't specify a brand name. This next figure shows an example of a Fulton brand specialty wrench.

[Fulton 6216 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench]
Fig. 264. Fulton 6216 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 264 shows a Fulton 6216 9/16x5/8 half-moon box wrench, stamped with "Fulton" and a "BT" manufacturer's code on the shank.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.

The "BT" code has been identified as the manufacturer's code for Vlchek Tool. An example of this tool marked for Vlchek can be seen as the Vlchek WBM1820 Half-Moon Box Wrench.

This style of half-moon wrench was frequently used for starter and manifold service, or for general work as an obstruction wrench.

An example of this same wrench model marked for the Merit brand can be seen as the Merit 6216 Half-Moon Box Wrench.


Fulton 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

The next two figures show examples of thin-nose combination pliers marked with the Fulton brand.

[Fulton 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 265. Fulton 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 265 shows an earlier pair of Fulton 6 inch thin-nose combination pliers, stamped with "Fulton" in an outline box near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with pitting due to rust.

The upper inset shows the thin jaw construction and the small diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The diamond checkered gripping pattern on these pliers is characteristic of production by J.P. Danielson. Although we don't have an example of this exact model by Danielson, the gripping pattern can be observed on the Danielson 8 Inch Combination Pliers.


[Fulton 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 266. Fulton 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, 1941.

Fig. 266 shows a later pair of Fulton 6 inch thin-nose combination pliers, marked with "Fulton" and a "312.1" code stamped near the pivot, and with a forged-in code "U-1-1" faintly visible on the lower handle.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The upper inset shows the thin jaw construction and the small diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The forged-in code and diamond gripping pattern on these pliers are characteristic of production by J.P. Danielson. The forged-in code "U-1-1" is an example of a Danielson Date Code, and the "1" year digit indicates production in 1941. These pliers provide one of the later examples of Danielson's use of the diamond checkered gripping pattern.

We next turn our attention to the "312.1" code stamped under the Fulton name. Readers familiar with the section on Craftsman Adjustable Wrenches may recall that these tools were also made for Sears by J.P. Danielson, and that some of the later adjustable wrenches were also marked with a "312.1" code. (See for example this Craftsman 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench.) The existence of this second group of tools by the same maker and with same "312.1" code marking helps confirm that the "312.1" marking is the manufacturer's code for Danielson.


Fulton 1/2-Drive 13-Piece Socket Set

After the introduction of Craftsman brand socket sets, Sears continued to offer economy grade sets under the Fulton brand. This next figure shows an example.

[Fulton 1/2-Drive 13-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 267. Fulton 1/2-Drive 13-Piece Socket Set, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 267 shows a Fulton 1/2-drive 13-piece socket set in a metal box with a sliding cover. The set consists of a sliding Tee handle, a drive plug, an extension, and ten sockets ranging from 7/16 up to 7/8 in size.

The tools are unmarked except for the socket sizes, and the only marking on the set is a decal showing "Fulton" and "Value Leader" on the top of the cover.

The socket sizes are, from left to right, 7/8, 13/16, 3/4, 11/16, 21/32, 5/8, 19/32, 9/16, 1/2, and 7/16. The sockets are marked with the fractional size, and the finish is cadmium plating.

This set is listed as the "Fulton 13-Piece Utility Set" in the Sears 1935-36 Fall-Winter catalog, and the description notes the hardened manganese steel sockets and cadmium plated finish. The price was just 95 cents.

The sockets and tools in this set have been identified as production by S-K Tools (Sherman-Klove), as the tools are basically identical to the known S-K production of the early to mid 1930s. More information on this set can be found in our article on Sherman-Klove and S-K Tools.


The Merit Brand

The Sears catalogs frequently mention "Merit" brand tools as lower-cost alternatives to the Craftsman selections, and the figures in this section will show examples of various tools marked with the Merit brand. The Merit brand is believed to have been a private unregistered brand used by Sears, rather than an independent company brand.

The reader will note that a number of the open-end wrenches here are marked with an "AF" code, a code that is also found on a number of Craftsman brand tools. This strongly suggests that the maker of the "AF" Merit tools also produced Craftsman-branded tools, which proved to be the case: the Merit "AF" 6-Piece Wrench Set below allowed us to identify Billings & Spencer as the maker of the Merit "AF" (and Craftsman) wrenches.

Some of the other manufacturers of Merit brand tools have been identified by means of manufacturer's codes or by production characteristics, including Danielson, Diamond Calk Horseshoe, and Vlchek Tool.

We'll begin with some examples of Merit open-end wrenches, very popular tools which can easily be found in used tool emporiums.


Merit "AF" 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Merit AF 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 268. Merit "AF" 723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 268 shows a Merit 723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, marked with an "AF" code and the Merit logo on the front, with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Merit 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench

The next two figures show examples of the Merit 27 open-end wrench, with differences noted in the manufacturer's code and marking styles.

[Merit AF 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 269. Merit "AF" 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 269 shows a Merit "AF" 27 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with an "AF" code and the Merit logo forged into the front, with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.

[Merit 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 270. Merit 27 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 270 shows a Merit 27 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Merit" forged into the front, with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.

The markings on this example are slightly different from the more common Merit "AF" examples. The "Merit" name is in block letters, rather than the distinctive font with bowed legs on the "M". Also, the fractional sizes have a sharply slanted divider between numerator and denominator.

Currently we're unsure whether the noted differences represent evolution over time or a different manufacturer.


Merit "AF" 729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Merit AF 729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 271. Merit "AF" 729 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 271 shows a Merit 729 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with an "AF" code and the Merit logo forged into the shank, with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.


Merit "AF" 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Merit AF 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 272. Merit "AF" 31 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side.

Fig. 272 shows a Merit 31 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with an "AF" code and the Merit logo forged into the shank, with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 8.3 inches. The shank of the wrench has been painted red by a former owner, but retains traces of black paint.

This wrench was acquired as part of the 6-piece set shown in the next figure, and the patented metal holder for the set served to identify the manufacturer as Billings & Spencer.


Merit "AF" 6-Piece Open-End Wrench Set in Clip

Sears commonly offered open-end wrenches in sets with a metal holder or "clip" to keep them together. We picked up this set a number of years ago, thinking to provide an example of a complete set of Merit wrenches, but without realizing the significance of the distinctive clip. Read on for details!

[Merit 6-Piece Open-End Wrench Set]
Fig. 273. Merit "AF" 6-Piece Open-End Wrench Set in Clip, with Inset for Top View, ca. 1934-1938.

Fig. 273 shows a set of 6 Merit open-end wrenches in a distinctive metal clip, each marked with an "AF" code and the Merit logo forged into the shank, with the industry-standard model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The wrench models and sizes are 21 (5/16x13/32), 723 (3/8x7/16), 725B (1/2x9/16), 27 (19/32x11/16), 729 (5/8x3/4), and 31 (25/32x7/8).

The overall length is 8.3 inches and the height is 1.8 inches. A former owner has repainted the wrenches and clip with red paint, but the wrenches retain traces of black paint, and the clip has traces of blue paint.

We recently rediscovered this set languishing in storage and were curious about the nicely designed sheet metal clip. Remembering that such tool holders were sometimes patented, we searched through a number of patents and were stunned to find that the clip matches the illustration for patent #2,030,148, issued to J.H. Coyle in 1936, with assignment to Billings & Spencer!

The discovery of this patented clip means that this wrench set is the long-sought "missing link" that allows us to identify Billings & Spencer as the manufacturer of the "AF" code! Even more importantly, given the close resemblance of many Craftsman "AF" coded wrenches with their "CI" counterparts, we expect to associate Billings as the "CI" maker as well.

We checked the Sears catalogs and found this wrench clip design first used with sets of Merit wrenches on page 815 of the 1934 Fall-Winter catalog, with the illustration clearly showing the concave edges on the front of the clip. The same clip design had been illustrated earlier with sets of Craftsman Vanadium wrenches on page 793 of the 1933 Fall-Winter catalog, but since the wrenches are in the depressed-panel style known for maker codes "CI" and "AF", this would still be consistent with Billings as the maker.

The Sears catalogs continue to show Merit wrench sets in a metal clip for several years after 1934, but the illustrations are not detailed enough to positively identify this clip style. After 1938 the economy wrench sets change to the Dunlap brand, so we are using a date range of 1934-1938 for the above set.


Later Merit "AF" 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench with SAE 4140 Steel

The next figure shows a surprising example of the Merit brand, marked as using SAE 4140 chrome molybdenum steel.

[Merit AF 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 274. Merit "AF" 1027 19/32x11/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 274 shows a Merit 1027 19/32x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped with the Merit logo and "SAE 4140 Alloy Steel" on the front, with "Forged in U.S.A." and a small "AF" code on the back side.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is gray paint with polished faces.


Merit 2022A 3/8x7/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

The 1932 Sears catalog offered a set of six Merit "right-angle" obstruction wrenches, with illustrations that closely match the next several figures.

[Merit 2022A 3/8x7/16 Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 275. Merit 2022A 3/8x7/16 Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 275 shows a Merit 2022A 3/8x7/16 obstruction wrench, marked with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the shank, with the Merit name on the back side.

The overall length is 4.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of black paint.

The "2022A" model number of this wrench is a bit unusual, as wrenches with 3/8x7/16 sizes were typically numbered based on the 723 industry standard model.


Merit 2725B 1/2x9/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Merit 2725B 1/2x9/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 276. Merit 2725B 1/2x9/16 Angle-head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 276 shows a Merit 2725B 1/2x9/16 obstruction wrench, marked with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the shank, with the Merit name on the back side. (The inset has been rotated for readability.)

The overall length is 5.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Merit 2027 19/32x11/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Merit 2027 19/32x11/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 277. Merit 2027 19/32x11/16 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 277 shows a Merit 2027 19/32x11/16 obstruction wrench, marked with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the shank, with the Merit name on the back side. (The inset has been rotated for readability.)

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Merit 2729 5/8x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Merit 2729 5/8x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 278. Merit 2729 5/8x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 278 shows a Merit 2729 5/8x3/4 obstruction wrench, marked with the Merit name forged into the shank, with model number and fractional sizes forged into the back side.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of black paint.


Merit 2031 25/32x7/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench

[Merit 2031 25/32x7/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 279. Merit 2031 25/32x7/8 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 279 shows a Merit 2031 25/32x7/8 obstruction wrench, marked with the model number and fractional sizes forged into the shank, with the Merit name on the back side. (The inset has been rotated for readability.)

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Merit "BT" 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Merit 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 280. Merit 1/2x9/16 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1937-1938.

Fig. 280 shows a Merit 1/2x9/16 offset box-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Merit name and a "BT" manufacturer's code on the front panel, with "Chrome Molybdenum" on the back side panel.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with extensive losses due to wear and rust.

The "BT" code has been identified as the manufacturer's code for Vlchek Tool. This tool is very similar to the Vlchek WBC1618 Offset Box Wrench, but is slightly shorter then the Vlchek examples.

Currently we don't have a catalog reference for this tool. The production date was estimated based on the assumption that the Merit brand was superseded by the Dunlap brand in 1938.


Merit 6216 "BT" 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box Wrench

During the mid 1930s the Sears catalogs offered various types of automotive specialty wrenches in the section for general mechanic's tools. Typically these were listed under the Fulton or Merit brands, although sometimes the catalog listings didn't specify a brand name. This next figure shows an example of a Merit brand specialty wrench.

[Merit 6216 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 281. Merit 6216 9/16x5/8 Half-Moon Box-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1930s.

Fig. 281 shows a Merit 6216 9/16x5/8 half-moon box-end wrench, stamped with the Merit name and a "BT" manufacturer's code on the shank.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The "BT" code has been identified as the manufacturer's code for Vlchek Tool. An example of this tool marked for Vlchek can be seen as the Vlchek WBM1820 Half-Moon Box Wrench.

This style of half-moon wrench was frequently used for starter and manifold service, or for general work as an obstruction wrench.

An example of this same wrench model marked for the Fulton brand can be seen as the Fulton 6216 Half-Moon Box Wrench.


Merit [5798/4494] 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

The next two figures show examples of Merit bent thin-nose combination pliers from the early to mid 1930s, spanning changes in the catalog number and the adoption of manufacturer's codes.

[Merit 5798 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 282. Merit [5798] 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1933-1935.

Fig. 282 shows an earlier pair of Merit [5798] 7 inch bent thin-nose combination pliers, stamped with "Merit" and "U.S.A." faintly visible inside a diamond outline, with "Forged Steel" partially readable along the top (see inset).

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the small diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

These pliers are not marked with a manufacturer's code, but the maker can be identified as J.P. Danielson by the diamond checkered gripping pattern. A nearly identical later version of the pliers (under the Dunlap brand) can be seen as the Dunlap Bent Thin-Nosed Combination Pliers, and the Dunlap pliers are marked with the "A.0." manufacturer's code for Danielson.

Although not marked with a model number, these pliers were listed in the 1933 Spring and Summer Catalog as Merit number 5798 "Thin Bent Nose Pliers", with a 7 inch nominal size and a price of 33 cents. The 1933 catalog was the first listing for this model in the Merit brand; previous editions offered the same model under the Fulton brand.

By the spring of 1935 the model number had changed to 4494 and the price had been reduced to just 19 cents, and in the late 1930s this model moved from the Merit to the Dunlap brand, but retained the 4494 model number.

The absence of a manufacturer's code marking on this example suggests an earlier production date, probably in the range 1933-1935. Later production is known to have been marked with an "A.0." code for Danielson.

[Merit 4494 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 283. Merit [4494] 7 Inch Bent Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1935-1938.

Fig. 283 shows a later pair of Merit [4494] 7 inch bent thin-nose combination pliers, stamped with "Merit" and "U.S.A." inside a diamond outline, with "Forged Steel" along the top and an "A.0." manufacturer's code at the bottom (see inset).

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with some losses due to wear and rust.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the small diamond checkered gripping pattern on the handles.

The "A.0." code on these pliers has been identified as a manufacturer's code for J.P. Danielson, and the diamond checkered gripping pattern would serve for identification as well.

A nearly identical later version of the pliers (under the Dunlap brand) can be seen as the Dunlap Bent Thin-Nosed Combination Pliers, and the Dunlap pliers are marked with the "A.0." manufacturer's code for Danielson.


Merit "BT" 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers

[Merit 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 284. Merit "BT" 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 284 shows a pair of Merit 10 inch waterpump pliers, stamped with the Merit name and a "BT" code.

The overall length is 9.8 inches fully extended, and the finish is cadmium plating.

The "BT" marking has been identified as the manufacturer's code for Vlchek Tool.

An example of Vlchek's production can be seen as the Vlchek [PFH309] Waterpump Pliers.


Merit 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Merit 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 285. Merit 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 285 shows a Merit 10 inch adjustable wrench, stamped with "Merit Tool" on both sides of the shank. The shank is also marked with "Tool Steel" and the size forged into the front, with a forged-in code "C-6" near the adjusting knurl, and with "Forged" and the size forged into the back side.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.1 inches. The measured head thickness is 0.76 inches.

The finish is black paint with plain steel faces.

The construction and dimensions of this wrench closely resemble the Diamond "Tool Steel" wrenches produced by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company, such as the Diamond "Tool Steel" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench.


Merit 6-8 Inch Double-Ended Adjustable Wrench

[Merit 6-8 Inch Double-Ended Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 286. Merit 6-8 Inch Double-Ended Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. Early 1930s.

Fig. 286 shows a Merit 6-8 inch double-ended adjustable wrench, stamped with "Merit Tool" on both sides of the shank. The shank is also marked with "Tool Steel" and the sizes forged into the front, with "Forged" and the sizes forged into the back side. The back side also has a forged-in code "C-2" near the adjusting knurl on the right.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the maximum openings (left and right) are 0.7 and 1.0 inches. The measured head thicknesses (left and right) are 0.47 and 0.58 inches.

The finish is plain steel.

The construction and dimensions of this wrench closely resemble the early Diamond "Tool Steel" wrenches produced by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company. See for example the Diamond "Tool Steel" 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench and Diamond "Tool Steel" 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench.


Merit "Bet'R-Grip" 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench with Broached Hanging Hole

Beginning in 1934 the Sears catalogs offered both Craftsman and Merit wrenches with a distinctive feature, a double-hex broached hanging hole.

[Merit 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 287. Merit 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1934-1938.

Fig. 287 shows a Merit 10 inch adjustable wrench with a double-hex broached hanging hole, marked with "Bet'R-Grip" and "Made in U.S.A." forged into the shank, with "Forged Vanadium Steel" forged into the back side.

The shank is stamped with the "Merit" brand to the right of the "Bet'R-Grip" marking (see middle inset).

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.2 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.62 inches.

The finish is plain steel.

The "Bet'R-Grip" marking on this example trivially identifies this wrench as production by J.P. Danielson. Note also that the forged-in markings use a "Typewriter" font, a characteristic of Danielson's wrenches during the 1930s and early 1940s. Other examples of Danielson's "Bet'R-Grip" wrenches can be found in the section on Bet'R-Grip Adjustable Wrenches.

This particular wrench is not marked with a Danielson date code, a detail that suggests production before 1939.


The Cross Country Brand

The Cross Country tool brand is known by a number of examples of wrenches, and for some time we have suspected that this was a Sears brand. The Sears catalogs frequently mention Cross Country as a brand for automotive supplies such as oil, grease, and batteries, but specific listings for tools had not been found until we examined the 1933 Fall-Winter edition catalog.

The 1933 Sears catalog No. 167 includes a number of listings for Cross Country tools, including a socket set and several types of wrenches in the box-end, open-end, tappet, and obstruction styles. The illustrations closely resemble known examples from Duro/Indestro, and all of the Cross Country tools found so far appear to have been made by Duro/Indestro.

As a side note, Cross Country actually was a registered trademark of Sears in its use for automobile lubricating oil and grease. The application was filed on February 6, 1933 with serial 334,693 and published on page 264 of the September 12, 1933 issue of the Official Gazette, in a design showing the text "Cross Country" in an outline of the United States. The associated first use date was October 27, 1914. The trademark was issued as 308,252 on November 28, 1933.

The following figures show some examples of the Cross Country tools.


Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench

[Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 288. Cross Country 3/4x7/8 Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 288 shows a Cross Country 3/4x7/8 box-end wrench, stamped with "Cross Country" between two geometric symbols, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the back side.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of chrome plating.

This wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the use of the slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


Cross Country 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Cross Country 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 289. Cross Country 13/16x7/8 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 289 shows a Cross Country 13/16x7/8 offset box-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the front panel, with "Cross Country" between two geometric symbols on the back side.

The overall length is 12.7 inches. The finish appears to be chrome plating, but with extensive losses due to wear.

This wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the general construction and by the use of the slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


Cross Country 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Cross Country 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 290. Cross Country 15/16x1 Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 290 shows a Cross Country 15/16x1 offset box-end wrench with raised oval panels, stamped with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" in a slanted font on the front panel, with "Cross Country" between two geometric symbols on the back side.

The overall length is 14.4 inches, and the finish is chrome or nickel plating.

This wrench can be identified as Duro/Indestro production by the general construction and by the use of the slanted font for the "Chrome Vanadium Steel" marking.


Cross Country 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench

[Cross Country 9/16x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 291. Cross Country 916x5/8 Battery Terminal Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 291 shows a Cross Country 9/16x5/8 box-end wrench for battery terminal nuts, stamped with "Cross Country" between two geometric symbols on the shank.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is nickel plating, with losses due to wear and corrosion.


Cross Country No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench

[Cross Country No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 292. Cross Country No. 2 1/2x9/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Back Side, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 292 shows a Cross Country No. 2 1/2x9/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Cross Country" and "No. 2" on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the other end.

The back side faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

This wrench can identified as Duro/Indestro production by the curved-arc "Forged in U.S.A." marking and other construction features.


Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench

[Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 293. Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 293 shows a Cross Country No. 3 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench, stamped "Cross Country" and "No. 3" on one face, with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the other end. The back side faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the left face.

The overall length is 8.6 inches.

This wrench can identified as Duro/Indestro production by the curved-arc "Forged in U.S.A." marking and other construction features. The model number also follows the Duro/Indestro numbering for tappet wrenches; the Duro-Chrome 5/8x11/16 tappet wrench was a D3, and the corresponding Indestro Super-Quality model was a T3.


Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-head Obstruction Wrench

[Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench]
Fig. 294. Cross Country 1831 3/4x3/4 Angle-Head Obstruction Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1933-1934.

Fig. 294 shows a Cross Country 3/4x3/4 angle-head open-end wrench, often called an obstruction wrench. The wrench is stamped "Chrome Vanadium Steel" on the face, with "Forged in U.S.A." along a curved arc on the back side, as shown in the inset.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

This wrench is readily identified as Duro/Indestro production by the model number 1831, listed as a 3/4x3/4 obstruction wrench in the Duro-Chrome catalogs. In addition, the curved-arc "Forged in U.S.A." marking is a reliable indicator of Duro production.

This wrench is one of the earliest examples of Duro's angle-head obstruction wrenches. An example of this model branded for Duro-Chrome can be seen as the Duro-Chrome 1831 Obstruction Wrench.


A Preview of Craftsman Maker "V"

As 1945 approached Sears introduced a new "=Craftsman=" logo (the "Double-Line" logo) and a new style for their wrenches. We'll explore this style in greater depth in the successor page Craftsman Maker "V" and the Modern Era, but will show a few examples here.


Craftsman Early "V" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Craftsman Early V 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 295. Craftsman Early "V" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 295 shows an early example of the Craftsman "V" series open-end wrench, a 3/4x7/8 model marked with the Craftsman double-line logo. The back side shows "Forged in U.S.A." with a raised-letter "V" code forged into the shank.

The overall length is 9.2 inches.


Craftsman Early "V" 5/8 Combination Wrench

[Craftsman Early V 5/8 Combination Wrench]
Fig. 296. Craftsman Early "V" 5/8 Combination Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 296 shows a Craftsman "V" series 5/8 combination wrench, marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the back side. As with the previous figure, the raised panels show the double-line logo, and a raised-letter "V" code is forged into the shank.

The overall length is 7.8 inches.


Craftsman Transitional 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench

This next figure shows an example of a transitional box-end wrench, constructed with the raised panels and general design of the later style, but without the expected double-line logo.

[Craftsman Transitional 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 297. Craftsman Transitional 5/8x3/4 Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Back Side Detail.

Fig. 297 shows a Craftsman 5/8x3/4 box-end wrench, marked "Forged in U.S.A." on the back side.

The overall length is 6.0 inches.


Craftsman 19/32x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench

[Craftsman 19/32x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 298. Craftsman 19/32x25/32 Offset Box-End Wrench Showing "N4" Forge Mark, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1944-1945.

Fig. 298 shows a Craftsman 19/32x25/32 offset box wrench with raised panels, stamped with the Craftsman double-line logo and fractional sizes on the front, with "Forged in U.S.A." and the fractional sizes on the back side panel.

The shank also has a forged-in "N4" code to the right of the panel.

The overall length is 10.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel with pitting due to rust.

The forged-in "N4" mark is frequently found on tools of apparent wartime production.


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