Friday, June 26, 2015

"Kirsch" mystery tool





Although this device will handily shear light sheet metal, I don't know what its actual purpose is.  The only reference I can find to Kirsch is the drapery hardware company.  So, perhaps it has some function in that area?  Given its construction, I don't think it could easily cut drapery rods.

Charles. W. Kirsch founded the Kirsch Company in Sturgis, Michigan in 1907 to produce his telescoping curtain rod, the first of its kind.  By 1923, the company was making over 20,000 curtain rods per day.  The company's products were featured in the 1939 Hollywood blockbuster, Gone With The Wind. At some point in time, Kirsch had a Canadian presence out of Woodstock, Ontario.

Canadian Homes, June 1961
In 1953, the Kirsch Kustomatic appeared, providing a mechanically efficient method to attach drapery and curtain hooks.  While attaching 500 hooks by hand took 28-30 hours at a cost of about $30, the same task on the Kustomatic took less than 1.5 hours.  It was billed as "The greatest workroom advancement since the sewing machine."  Probably not.  In 1997, Kirsch became part of the gigantic Newell Rubbermaid empire. 


3 comments:

Byard said...

There is a style of cheap, adjustable curtain rod made of light-gauge sheet metal bent into a C-channel - it looks like the rod slides over the unpainted portion (in the appropriate size), which keeps it from collapsing under the shear. Toss in an extension handle and you're good to go!

Anonymous said...

Your Kirsch piece is indeed a Curtain Rod Cutter. There were different guages of rod sold in straight pieces of 12', these could be sleeved for longer windows, and angle could be added (very similar to aluminum downspouts that you would buy today). I used the identical cutter well into the late 70's at Belleair Fabrics here in Clearwater, Florida.

The Duke said...

Thanks for this! Another mystery solved.