Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gripping Tales: Harrold Tool Company, Colombiana, Ohio



These pliers are the only tools I've ever encountered with this company's name.  I suspect that their shape has been modified by a previous owner, since slip-joint needle-nose pliers are unusual to say the least.  Probably, he needed a pair of circlip pliers and so modified this tool to work.

There's not a lot of information available about this company.  The H.J. Harrold Tool Co. was located in Colombiana, Ohio, starting off as the Harrold Tool & Forge Company.  Below, a 1920 ad brought to my attention by a visitor's comment:


MotorBoating, December, 1920

At one time they made axes, which seem well thought of.  Their other or later offerings garner less praise. One commentator on the web claims that they continued to make tools from malleable steel after every one switched to carbon steel.  They must have made more than tools, though, since they had a patent assigned to them in 1960 for a reclining chair mechanism.  I see that some tools under their name were made in Germany, probably post-war when labour costs there were cheap.  Given what I've been able to find, they seem to have been in the same category as Oxwall Tools.
A reader provided the above picture of an axe head he found and wonders what the initials mean. The ad above makes reference to H J H tools but neither of the initials could be interpreted as an h or a j. Anyone have an idea?

Below, the lid of a "Junior's Tool Chest" made by the company and offered on the web.  It looks like they cheaped out on the artist:  the kid looks moronic and possibly vampiric.  


Located halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Columbiana bills itself as "The city with the small-town heart." Cute.  Harvey Firestone was born there and is tiresomely remembered through a park and a cemetery.

9 comments:

Tim Daley said...

I am a Ford historian, exclusively a vintage Ford Tool enthusiast and collector, editor of Ford Tool Times, and member of the National Ford Tool Collectors organization. I do know that HARROLD TOOL was a supplier to Ford Motor Company, at least during the early V8 and N-Series tractor years. They supplied pliers, Ford part number B-17025-A2, which was an alternate tool kit piece when the McKaig/Hatch A1 versions were not available. All Ford pliers had one handle end ground to a screwdriver blade tip. HARROLD TOOL also was a supplier of the Ford screwdriver, part number B-17020, though no dat found on what years they were. The Ford screwdriver was never marked with a Ford logo, but the drawing shows that a vendor ID mark could be added to the blade tip. Only some screwdrivers are found with the letter ‘B’ stamped on tip. The HARROLD screwdriver for Ford has HARROLD USA stamped on the ferrule. I have actual examples of the pliers in my collection but only pictures of the screwdriver.

Mister G said...

Thanks for the reply! Good information and something to look for while perusing country fleamarkets. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Just received some tools from my grandpa that he said was his dad's with this company's name on it looks very used. Does any body know how to post a picture on here and if any of you want it you are more than welcome to send me your info or take a look.

Mike:951-7seven6-6four9one plz no calls after 9:00 pm pacific time.

Anonymous said...

I recently rescued an angle-headed pliers from being recycled, and the Harrold mark was HARROLD above USA inside a simple inverted triangle. I've only seen the round mark on Harrold tools, and only one other identical pliers with the triangle mark. Does anyone know if it appears on any of their other tools? They did use a much fancier triangle early on:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=ZBF0-2V0sFwC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=harrold+tools+mark&source=bl&ots=4TWrBZz4T4&sig=8m2HlI_FppEkSgqH4U3Fta8H2YA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia5IKiq8rVAhUBKGMKHb56CAUQ6AEIKDAD#v=onepage&q=harrold%20tools%20mark&f=false

The Duke said...

Thanks for the link to the 1920 ad! I love it when visitors give us this kind of information. I've added the ad to the post.

Chris Maeser said...

Does anyone know what the letters are, and stand for, on the harrold axes. They appear to be hc or bc Harrold. I have also seen people post them as ht Harrold. It is marked on one side of the single bit axes near the butt. Basically in the same spot you see most stamps or markings on axes. Was just curious because I collect and restore old axe heads and I came across a Harrold 3.5lb single bit a few months ago and have been trying to figure out what the two letters just to the left of "Harrold" are. If I were to guess, I think its hc and the c was designed to look like a t as well for Harrold Tool Co. Have also thought it could be bc, because Budd Co bought Harrold Tool Co in the 70's. If you google "hc harrold single bit axe head" and look at the pictures, you will see what im talking about. If I could post a pic I would do that, but Im not seeing an option for an attachment. Any helpful info would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Mister G said...

Thanks or the comment/question. Can't help you there but you can send an image to gerald@vanwyngaarden.ca and I'll add it to the post.

Chris Maeser said...

Thanks for the response! The way I worded that question probably made it very confusing. lol To clear it up just click on my name or user name just above this post. I added a photo of the stamp on the axe head, and you should be able to see it. I have looked everywhere and cant find a definitive answer and I doubt anyone will know what it stands for, but I figured I would put it out there. Thanks again

Chris Maeser said...

I went ahead and emailed the image to you (MisterG) as well. Thank you for your help!