Alloy Artifacts  

Miscellaneous Service Tools

In addition to its broad line of wrenches and sockets, Williams produced a wide range of tools for industrial service. Some of these tools were also marked as part of the "Superrench" line.


Pliers


No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

[Williams No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 587. Williams No. 76 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 587 shows a pair of Williams No. 76 6 inch needlenose pliers with side-cutters, marked "Made U.S.A." near the pivot, and stamped "V" on the underside of the handles (see lower inset).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers

[Williams PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers]
Fig. 588. Williams PL-6 6 Inch Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 588 shows a pair of Williams PL-6 6 inch slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "U.S.A." near the pivot.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the embossed gripping pattern on the handles. The handle pattern is easily recognized as the familiar Crescent Tool "Checkerdot" design, indicating that Crescent was likely the contract maker of these pliers. An example of the "Checkerdot" pattern on Crescent pliers can be seen as the CeeTeeCo 8 Inch Combination Pliers.


PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

[Williams PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 589. Williams PL-16 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 589 shows a pair of Williams PL-16 6 inch thin-nose combination pliers, stamped "U.S.A." near the pivot.

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

The inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the thin nose construction and the embossed pattern on the handles. The handle pattern is easily recognized as the familiar Crescent Tool "Checkerdot" design, indicating that Crescent was likely the contract maker of these pliers. The equivalent Crescent model can be seen as the Crescent L-26 Thin-Nose Combination Pliers.


1515 Snap-Ring Pliers

[Williams 1515 Snap-Ring Pliers]
Fig. 590. Williams 1515 Snap-Ring Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 590 shows a pair of Williams 1515 snap-ring pliers, stamped with "Williams U.S.A." logo and model number near the pivot.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


1520 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers

The next figures show two generations of the Williams 1520 waterpump pliers.

[Williams 1520 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 591. Williams 1520 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers, with Inset for Handle Pattern, ca. 1937 to Early 1940s.

Fig. 591 shows an early pair of Williams 1520 "Superplier" 10 inch waterpump pliers, stamped with the Williams scroll logo between the model number and "Superplier" on the top line, with the W-Diamond logo between "Chrome-Alloy" and "Forged in U.S.A." on the second line.

The overall length is 10.2 inches fully extended, and the finish is plain steel.

The inset shows the knurled gripping pattern on the handles.

These pliers have an eight-position slip-joint, allowing for a parallel grip up to about 1.8 inches.

The "Chrome-Alloy" marking suggests production from the mid 1930s to the early 1940s. The model 1520 pliers were available by 1937 or earlier, based on a listing in a Williams catalog from that year.

[Williams 1520 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 592. Williams 1520 10 Inch Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1947 to 1950s.

Fig. 592 shows a later pair of Williams 1520 10 inch waterpump pliers with a distinctive gripping pattern on the handles, marked only with the model number and Williams logo.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The 1947 Williams catalog mentions the use of the distinctive diamond gripping pattern seen on the handles of these pliers.


Other Tools


472 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner

[Williams 472 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner]
Fig. 593. Williams 472 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 593 shows a Williams 472 adjustable spanner with a 1-1/4 to 3 inch capacity, marked "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo. (The upper inset has been rotated for readability.)

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


1472 "Superrench" 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner

Williams also produced an alloy steel version of its adjustable spanners as part of the Superrench line, as illustrated in the next figure.

[Williams 1472 Superrench 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner]
Fig. 594. Williams 1472 "Superrench" 1-1/4 to 3 Inch Adjustable Spanner, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 594 shows a Williams 1472 "Superrench" adjustable spanner with a 1-1/4 to 3 inch capacity, stamped with "The Superrench" and "Alloy" on the front, with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the reverse. The handle is marked with the size range and "Adjustable Spanner" forged into the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y. U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse. (The upper inset has been rotated for readability.)

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


483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner

[Williams 483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner]
Fig. 595. Williams 483 3 Inch Adjustable Face Spanner, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 595 shows a Williams 483 adjustable face spanner in the 3 inch size. The arms have forged-in markings "No. 483 Adjustable Face Spanner" on one, with forged-in markings "J.H. Williams & Co." and "U.S.A." plus the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse is also marked "3 Inch Size", as seen in the inset.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the pin diameter is 0.24 inches. The finish is black paint.

A forged-in code "T" can be seen on the arms at the right of the depressed oval.


807 Single-Box Wrench

[Williams 808 1-1/16 Single-Box Wrench]
Fig. 596. Williams 807 1-1/16 Single-Box Wrench.

Fig. 596 shows a Williams 807 1-1/16 single-box wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A" with the W-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is black paint.


8808 1-1/4 Slugging Wrench

[Williams 8808 1-1/4 Slugging Wrench]
Fig. 597. Williams 8808 1-1/4 Slugging Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 597 shows a Williams 8808 1-1/4 slugging wrench, marked with the "Williams U.S.A." logo.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is black oxide.


C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel

[Williams C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel]
Fig. 598. Williams C-98 1 Inch Wood Chisel.

Fig. 598 shows a Williams C-98 1 inch wood chisel, stamped "USA" on the shank.

The overall length is 8.9 inches, and the finish is black paint.


Refrigeration Tools

Refrigeration service was a specialty field that hadn't existed at all much before the late 1920s, but which grew rapidly in the 1930s and beyond. Williams was offering specialty tools for refrigeration applications at least as early as 1933, with its R-19A refrigeration socket set, and selection was expanded in later years.


F-50A Refrigeration Ratchet

The next two figures show examples of the Williams F-50A/B-50A refrigeration ratchets, adapted from the standard F-50/B-50 ratchets.

[Williams F-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 599. Williams F-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1933-1936.

Fig. 599 shows a Williams F-50A 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped with "Made U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the face. The shank is marked with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." forged into the front, with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." plus the W-Diamond logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.

The ratchet body is basically identical to the Williams F-50 3/8-drive ratchet. The standard model has been adapted for refrigeration service by fitting it with a 1/4 drive gear and by broaching the handle end with a 1/4 square opening.


B-50A Refrigeration Ratchet

[Williams B-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 600. Williams B-50A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. 1936-1947.

Fig. 600 shows a Williams B-50A 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped "Made U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the reverse face. The shank is marked with "J.H. Williams & Co." and "Buffalo, N.Y." forged into the front, with "Drop-Forged in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

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

The ratchet body is basically identical to the Williams B-50 ratchet, which is normally configured as a 3/8-drive model. The standard model has been adapted for refrigeration service by fitting it with a 1/4 drive gear and by broaching the handle end with a 1/4 square opening.


MR-51 Refrigeration Ratchet

[Williams MR-51 Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 601. Williams MR-51 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 601 shows a Williams MR-51 1/4 female drive refrigeration ratchet, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face, and with "J.H. Williams & Co." forged into the shank.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism is an open design with a 24-tooth drive gear, and the reversible pivoting pawl has two contact teeth on each side. The handle is equipped with broached openings for 3/16 square, 1/4 square, 5/16 square, and 1/2 hex.

This tool is also marked with a "Patd." patent notice forged into the shank, but the corresponding patent is not known at this time.


R-19A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Socket Set

The R-19A socket set was one of the earliest refrigeration service items offered by Williams. The set offered a mix of standard and specialty sockets along with a ratchet, sliding Tee-handle, extensions, and drive adapters.

[Williams R-19A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Socket Set]
Fig. 602. Williams R-19A 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Socket Set, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 602 shows a Williams R-19A 1/4-drive socket set for refrigeration applications, consisting of 1/4-drive tools and a mix of standard and specialty sockets.

The drive tools in the set are based on 1/4-drive and consist of an MR-51 refrigeration ratchet, NM-20A sliding Tee handle, M-115 6 inch extension, ratchet plug (a replacement), and BM-150 3/8-drive adapter.

[Top Cover of Williams R-19A Socket Set]
Fig. 603. Top Cover of Williams R-19A Socket Set, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 603 shows the top cover of the Williams R-19A socket set. The decal on the top is marked with the "Williams Supersocket" logo and the "R-19A" model number, with "J.H. Williams & Co. Buffalo, N.Y." and "Made in U.S.A." at the bottom.

The dimensions of the box are 8.1 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep by 1.3 inches high. The finish is gray paint.


1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

In the late 1940s Williams began offering a combined open-end and flare-nut wrench style, with both ends of the same size. Typically these were used for refrigeration or hydraulic line applications, where the better grip of the flare-nut opening helped avoid damage to softer fittings. The wrenches were given model numbers in a 13xx series in sizes ranging from 3/8 (1312) up to 1-1/16 (1334).

Initially the wrenches were designed with 12-point flare openings for all sizes, but by the mid 1950s Williams was using 6-point flare openings. The model numbers were not updated for this change to the specification, so it's possible to find both 6-point and 12-point wrenches with the same model number.

[Williams 1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 604. Williams 1316 1/2 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 604 shows a Williams 1316 1/2 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the W-Diamond logo and "U.S.A" on the face. The shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side, with "Alloy" and a "B" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.3 inches. The finish is chrome plating, but much of the chrome has worn off to reveal the copper underplating.

The W-Diamond and "U.S.A." face marking is a variant of the "Williams U.S.A." logo used for smaller wrenches. The face marking and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate a production date in the late 1940s to early 1950s, before the advent of the raised-panel shank style.


1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 605. Williams 1322 11/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 605 shows a Williams 1324 3/4 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the front, with "Alloy" and a "B" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Williams U.S.A." logo on the face indicates production in 1947 or later, and the 6-point flare opening indicates production in the mid 1950s.


1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 606. Williams 1324 3/4 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 606 shows a Williams 1324 3/4 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank is marked with the "Superrench" trademark forged into the front, with "Alloy" and a "B" code forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Williams U.S.A." logo on the face indicates production in 1947 or later, and the 6-point flare opening indicates production in the mid 1950s.


1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 607. Williams 1328 7/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1947-1955.

Fig. 607 shows a Williams 1328 7/8 combination open and flare-nut wrench, stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face. The shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side, with "Alloy" and a "V" code on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The Williams logo on the face and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate a production date in the late 1940s to early 1950s, before the advent of the raised-panel shank style.


1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench

[Williams 1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 608. Williams 1334 1-1/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid 1950s.

Fig. 608 shows a Williams 1334 1-1/16 combination-flare wrench for refrigeration or hydraulic line applications. The wrench is stamped with the "Williams U.S.A" logo on the face, and the shank has forged raised-letter markings for the "Superrench" trademark on one side and "Alloy" on the reverse. (The face logo from this wrench served as the example for this style, shown on the first page of this article.)

The overall length is 10.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The Williams logo on the face and raised-letter markings on the shank indicate production before the advent of the raised-panel shank style, and the 6-point flare opening suggests a date in the mid 1950s.

This wrench was obtained as a "New Old Stock" item and appears to have never been used or even handled much; the satin chrome finish on the shank was still rough to the touch.


1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, Flat-Shank Style

The next two figures show examples of later combination open and flare wrenches in the flat-shank style.

[Williams 1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 609. Williams 1312 3/8 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 609 shows a later Williams 1312 3/8 combination-flare wrench in the flat-shank style, stamped "Superrench" and "U.S.A" on one side, with the Williams logo and fractional sizes on the reverse.

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


1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, Flat-Shank Style

[Williams 1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 610. Williams 1318 9/16 Combination Open Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1960+.

Fig. 610 shows a Williams 1318 9/16 combination-flare wrench in the flat-shank style, stamped "Superrench" and "U.S.A" on one side, with the Williams logo and fractional sizes on the reverse. The shank is also marked with a forged-in "B" code visible at the left.

The overall length is 6.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


The "Volume" Line

In the late 1920s Williams established a secondary brand called "Volume" with the apparent intent of addressing markets such as home workshops, do-it-yourself auto repair, or farm maintenance that were not well served by its industrial distributors.

We first discovered the existence of the "Volume" line in the 1933 Ducommun catalog "H", which listed a series of "Volume" chrome-molybdenum open-end wrenches priced far below the equivalent "Superrench" models. Subsequently we were able to find the "Volume" Trademark #256,651, filed in 1929, as well as a 1929 advertisement in Popular Science.


Exploring the "Volume" Line

Currently we have relatively little documentation for the "Volume" line, consisting of a few catalog listings, a trademark filing, a 1929 advertisement, and some collected examples of tools.

The existence of the "Volume" line was first discovered in a listing from the 1933 Ducommun catalog "H", as shown Fig. 611 below.

This listing shows a table of "Volume" open-end wrenches along with an illustration of a wrench bearing the Williams name and logo, and the wrenches have industry-standard model numbers with an "A" prefix. However, the known examples of "A"-series wrenches are marked with just the W-Diamond logo, without the Williams name, suggesting that the illustration may have been added by the distributor. The "Volume" open-end wrenches were offered at about half of the price of an equivalent "Superrench" model.

An advertisement and another catalog listing show the existence of "Volume" open-end wrench sets in a metal clip, with a "VA" set containing six chrome-molybdenum wrenches, and a "VU" set containing carbon-steel wrenches.

For the sockets and drive tools we have no catalog listings at all, only the collected examples of tools. Unlike the wrenches which bear the W-Diamond logo, the sockets and drive tools were marked with the "Volume" brand but no other Williams-specific markings.

In the absence of any Williams markings, these tools might be considered a "mystery brand" with an unknown maker.

"Volume" Alloy-Steel Wrenches

[1933 Catalog Listing for Williams Volume Wrenches]
Fig. 611. 1933 Catalog Listing for Williams "Volume" Open-End Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 611 shows a listing of "Volume" chrome-molybdenum open-end wrenches, as published on page 136 of the 1933 catalog "H" from the Ducommun Corporation.

The text notes that the wrenches are made of chrome-molybdenum steel and are marked with the sizes. The table shows 19 industry-standard model numbers with an "A" prefix, with sizes ranging from model A721 (5/16x3/8) up to A34 (7/8x1-1/16).

We'll begin our exploration of the "Volume" line with some examples of alloy-steel open-end wrenches, all marked for chrome-molybdenum steel and with industry-standard model numbers with an "A" prefix.

Note that the despite the "Williams" wrench in the illustration in Fig. 611, none of the known examples of the ISN wrenches is marked with the "Williams" name.


A723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 612. Williams A723 3/8x7/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 612 at the left shows an example of a wrench in the Volume line, a Williams A723 3/8x7/16 open-end wrench, with the face marked "Chrome-Molybdenum" and "Made U.S.A." with W-Diamond logo.

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


A27C 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 613. Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 613 shows a Williams A27C 9/16x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped "Chrome-Molybdenum" and "Forged in U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


A731A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 614. Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 614 shows a Williams A731A 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on the face, and with "Chrome-Molybdenum" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


A90 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench

This next figure shows a tappet wrench believed to be part of the "Volume" line.

[Williams A90 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 615. Williams A90 7/16x1/2 Tappet Wrench.

Fig. 615 shows a Williams A90 7/16x1/2 tappet wrench, stamped "Special-Tappet-Alloy" on the shank, with the Williams underline logo and "Made <W> U.S.A." on the face.

The overall length is 7.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

This wrench was previously thought to be a very early alloy-steel tappet wrench, produced before the "Superrench" trademark was registered. However, this style of tappet wrench is illustrated in a 1933 Ducommun catalog, and the catalog clearly shows the "Special Tappet Alloy" marking.

The "A" prefix to the model number indicates that it was probably part of the "Volume" line of tools. However, this tool is an exception in bearing the full "Williams" name on the face.


"Volume" Carbon-Steel Wrenches

When we first discovered the "Volume" line we thought that it included only alloy-steel tools, but the discovery of the catalog listing below shows that carbon-steel wrenches were offered as well.

[1939 Catalog Listing for Williams Volume Wrench Sets]
Fig. 616A. 1939 Catalog Listing for Williams "Volume" Wrench Sets.

The scan in Fig. 616A shows a listing for "Volume" wrench sets, as published on page 345 of the 1939 catalog from W.D. Allen Manufacturing, an industrial distributor (and manufacturer) in Chicago.

The illustration shows a "VU" set of six "Volume" carbon-steel wrenches in a metal clip.

The text below the illustration offers a "VCU" set of unfinished carbon-steel wrenches, but based on collected examples, the carbon-steel wrenches were also available with chrome finishes.

The listing also offers a "VA-6" set of chrome-alloy wrenches with chrome-plated finishes.

Currently we do not have an example of a "Volume" wrench set in its original metal clip. We do have a number of individual wrenches that appear to be examples of carbon-steel "Volume" wrenches, based on the markings, but with differing degrees of confidence in the attribution.

The group most likely to represent the "Volume" carbon-steel line will be referred to as the "A"-Series wrenches. These wrenches are stamped with the W-Diamond logo on one face and an "A" (but no model number) on the other face, and with the fractional sizes on the reverse. In addition, the wrenches have a chrome finish.

A second group of wrenches has a more tenuous attribution to the "Volume" line and will be called the "Plain" Series. These wrenches are unfinished and are stamped with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces.


"A"-Series 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrenches

[Williams A 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 616B. Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 616B shows a Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, stamped with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on one face, with "A" on the other end. The reverse shank is marked with a forged-in "V" code at the left, and the reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


[Williams A 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 617. Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 617 shows another example of the Williams "A" 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face, with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse shank is marked with a forged-in "II" code at the right, and the reverse faces (not shown) are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.


"A"-Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 618. Williams "A" 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 618 shows a Williams "A" 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face, with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse faces are stamped with the fractional sizes, as shown in the inset.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.


"A"-Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Williams A 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 619. Williams "A" 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 619 shows a Williams "A" 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "A" on one face with "U.S.A." and the W-Diamond logo on the other. The reverse faces (not shown) are stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is thin layer of chrome plating.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench. Note that some shear marks from the trimming operation are still visible.


"Plain" Series 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench

The next several figures show examples of Williams open-end wrenches with even more minimal markings, which we'll call the "Plain" Series for lack of a better term.

Although we don't have any specific information regarding the intended application for these wrenches, the minimal markings and simple finish suggest that they might have been production for vehicle toolkits.

[Williams Plain Series 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 620. Williams "Plain" Series 9/16x11/16 Open-End Wrench.

Fig. 620 shows a Williams 9/16x11/16 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the fractional sizes stamped on the reverse (not shown).

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


"Plain" Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Williams Plain Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 621. Williams "Plain" Series 5/8x25/32 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 621 shows another example of the "Plain" Series wrenches, a Williams 5/8x25/32 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face. The fractional sizes are stamped on the reverse faces, as shown in the insets.

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


"Plain" Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Williams Plain Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 622. Williams "Plain" Series 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench, with Insets for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 622 shows a Williams 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, stamped "U.S.A." with the W-Diamond logo on one face, with the fractional sizes on the reverse faces (see insets).

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


"Volume" Sockets and Drive Tools

The "Volume" line also included sockets and drive tools, although currently we don't have any catalog listings to show the extent of the line. The collected examples show that the tools were offered in both 3/8 and 1/2-drive, and possibly other drive sizes.

The next figures show examples of the sockets and drive tools in the "Volume" line, all marked with the "Volume" brand but with no other Williams-specific markings. The model numbers for these tools are similar to the corresponding Williams part numbers, but with a "V" prefix.


"Volume" 1/2-Drive VS-1220 Socket

[Volume VS-1220 5/8 Socket]
Fig. 623. Volume VS-1220 5/8 Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 623 shows a 1/2-drive Volume VS-1220 5/8 socket, marked "Made in U.S.A." with the Volume name and model.

The design of this socket includes a wide groove in the base, basically identical to the design used by Williams for its ST-series sockets from about 1935 through 1947. (See for example the Williams ST-12xx "Wide-Groove" Sockets.)


"Volume" 3/8-Drive VB-15 Speeder

[Volume VB-15 3/8-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 624. Volume VB-15 3/8-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 624 shows a 3/8-drive Volume VB-15 speeder, stamped "Made U.S.A." on the bend of the handle.

The speeder has a throw of 3.5 inches and an overall length of 16.2 inches. The finish is cadmium plating, but with a chrome-plated end piece.


"Volume" 3/8-Drive VB-51 Ratchet

[Volume VB-51 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 625. Volume VB-51 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 625 shows a 3/8-drive Volume VB-51 reversible ratchet, marked with "VB-51 Volume" and "Pat'd." forged into the handle, and with "Made in U.S.A." forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This ratchet is very similar in design to the Williams B-51 Ratchet, as can be seen by comparison. The patent notice corresponds to the Kress 1934 patent #1,957,462.


"Volume" 3/8-Drive VB-12xx Sockets

[Volume VB-12xx 3/8-Drive Sockets]
Fig. 626. Volume VB-12xx 3/8-Drive Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 626 shows a group of three 3/8-drive Volume VB-12xx sockets, each marked "Made U.S.A." with the Volume brand and model number.

The models and sizes are, from the left, VB-1214 (7/16), VB-1218 (9/16), and VB-1224 (3/4).


Contract Production

In this section we'll look at some examples of tools produced by Williams but marked with a customer's brand.


Craftsman Production

J.H. Williams produced some tools for the Sears Craftsman line, and we'll show various examples in this section.


Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench

[Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench]
Fig. 627. Craftsman 8-In-1 Multi-Socket Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. 1954-1968.

Fig. 627 shows a Craftsman 8-In-1 multi-socket wrench, marked with the Craftsman double-line logo on the raised panel, and with the fractional sizes and "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The socket sizes are 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 19/32 on the small head, with 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, and 7/8 on the large head.

A close comparison with the Williams No. 1999 Multi-Socket Wrench showed that the tools are virtually identical except for markings, confirming that Williams was the contract manufacturer for Sears for this tool.

The Craftsman 8-In-1 wrench was first introduced in the 1954 catalog at a price of $3.98. By 1957 the price had been reduced to $2.98, and the 8-In-1 model remained available at least through 1968, with the price gradually rising to $3.99 in 1968.


Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

The next two figures show examples of Williams adjustable wrenches produced for the Craftsman brand.

[Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 628. Craftsman 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968-1972.

Fig. 628 shows a Craftsman 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Forged" on the front with "Made in U.S.A." and "JW - Alloy" on the reverse. The reverse shank also shows a forged-in code "L" next to the hole.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.50 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench, and a close look shows the square shoulder for the sliding jaw and keyway. The square shoulder was a patented feature of the J.H. Williams adjustable wrenches, and is not known to have been used by any other manufacturers.

This wrench can be identified as Williams' production by the square-shouldered keyway, and the stamped "JW" code further confirms the maker. The forged-in "L" code has also been observed on J.H. Williams wrenches; see for example the Williams AP-8 "Superjustable" Wrench.

This particular wrench is believed to have been purchased new in the late 1960s to early 1970s, a time before Craftsman began marking model numbers on its tools. The next figure shows a similar wrench with a Craftsman model number.


Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 629. Craftsman 44604 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 629 shows a somewhat later example of Williams' production, a Craftsman 44604 10 inch adjustable wrench. The shank is stamped "Forged" on the front with "Made in U.S.A." and "JW - Alloy" on the reverse, and a forged-in code "L" appears on the reverse as well.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.2 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.60 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The upper inset shows a side view of the wrench, with the square shoulder visible on the sliding jaw and keyway.


Production for Cornwell

J.H. Williams produced at least one tool for Cornwell, as the next figure shows.


Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 630. Cornwell AJ-10B 10 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 630 shows a Cornwell AJ-10B 10 inch adjustable wrench, stamped with the company name and model number on one side, with "Cornwell - U.S.A." on the reverse.

The shank is also marked with a forged-in code "L", seen at the right side of the lower inset.

The overall length is 10.2 inches and the maximum jaw opening is 1.1 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.58 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The top inset shows a side view of the wrench, and a close look shows the square shoulder of the sliding jaw and keyway. The square shoulder indicates that this example was produced for Cornwell by J.H. Williams, and the identification is confirmed by the forged-in "L" code noted above. A similar example can be seen as the Williams AP-8 Adjustable Wrench.


Production for Duro/Indestro


Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 631. Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 631 shows a Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the shank, with "8 In." and "Forged Alloy Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

One construction detail to note is the square-shouldered keyway for the sliding jaw, visible in the top inset. The square shoulder was a patented feature of the J.H. Williams adjustable wrenches, and this detail plus the general construction identify Williams as the maker of this wrench. A similar example can be seen as the Williams AP-8 Adjustable Wrench.


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