Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vanished Tool Makers: Chicago Specialty Manufacturing Company

Below, nine tools made by this company.  First, a 1-1/4"-27 TPI die, probably for sink tailpieces:




Second, a very unusual tool which I presume was used to cut copper tubing. The top arm has a circular cutting disc at the end and is scribed as a ruler, so you can set the length of the piece of pipe you want to cut by moving the adjustable stop.  The bottom arm is a V-shape to support the outside of the pipe.  I tried it on a piece of 1/2" copper pipe and didn't find it effective, although to be fair the cutting wheel is very dull.





Third, a slip and lock nut wrench:



Fourth, a faucet handle puller:



Fifth, a strap wrench:





Sixth, a flaring tool:





Chicag Specialty Manufacturing Company


Seventh, a copper pipe cleaning tool under the "Speedy" brand name:


Eighth, a pair of water pump pliers, also with the "Speedy" name:



Finally, a No. 3330 compass saw:




Other plumbing tools:



This company specialized in plumbing tools, but also made other tools like hacksaw frames.  Actually, if you search the net and also google patents, the company had inventions in a remarkably wide range of products.  They had offices/facilities in Skokie, Illinois, Sun Valley, California and even Brantford, Ontario.

http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=4924.0

Popular Mechanics, November 1970

They were acquired by Beatrice Foods sometime in the 1960's. Beatrice itself underwent a leveraged buyout in 1987, and its plumbing group became part of EII Holdings before being spun off to American Brands which in turn sold off some of the plumbing divisions.  It would seem that Chicago Specialty disappeared around this time, possibly in 1992 when one of its 1950 trademarks (shown below) expired.

14 comments:

John Bedel said...

The pliers looking tool you aren't shore about is a glass tube cutter. It has a stop to cut all your tubes the same length. It scores the tubes on the inside so that you can snap them off like any other glass.

Abbyand SadiesMom said...

I'm trying to replace a wonderful plunger I had for decades. It was made by Chicago's Specialty Manufacturing Co. On the plunger's rubber is stamped: SAMSON No. 7505. Any idea where I can get another?

The Duke said...

Second-hand is your only option. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Duke, This Tailpiece threader came as a set of Five(1 1/2" - 1"), Set #3775, in a metal box. I bought mine in the 1970's.

Anonymous said...

Duke, I failed to mention,item #3775 cost me $40.00 from one of my Hdwe. wholesalers in Mar.,1976.

billtmore said...

just bought some weird tool at a thrift shop I am not sure what it is quite honestly. i would send you a picture if I could

Mister G said...

You can send jpegs to gerald@vanwyngaarden.ca if you like.

Unknown said...

I recently got the model 3330 compass saw from my father in law. Missing the blade fasteners. Substituted nut and bolts

The Duke said...

I expect that the original used carriage bolts and wing nuts, both still available and easy to source.

Anonymous said...

I have a old plumbing snake .very large was wondering if it has any value. made by Chicago Spec MFG Co.

Anonymous said...

The second tool was not a copper tube cutter. It is an inside cutter for glass tubing.

Unknown said...

I have several tools made by this company if anyone is interested in buying them let me know Jamie@ SouthernSaleSC
864-540-5869

Unknown said...

Just used a “speedy basin wrench” made by them today. Worked like a charm.

Anonymous said...

I have a 3-IN-1 Spud wrench. Anyone want it for their collection?