Friday, August 14, 2015

Vanished Tool Makers: Hollands & Blair (Spiralux), England

Above, a rotary sanding pad for use in an electric drill.  Below, a Yankee-style automatic screwdriver made by the same firm.

And another screwdriver sent in by a reader, Royal Navy issue- about 50 years ago. 

Below, a Spiralux Model 1800 brad driver:

"Spiralux" was originally a trademark of the tool-making firm of Hollands & Blair, with addresses in Croydon and Thornton Heath in the Greater London area. It also manufactured bathroom scales and both actual typewriters (trademarked as "Krypton" and "Lilliput") and toy typewriters.  

1960  (Source:  Grace's Guide)

The Hollands & Blair company was still around under that name in Thornton Heath in Surrey in 1973 when their Spiralux saw grinding jig, drill grinding jig and doweling jigs were featured in Woodworker magazine.  As far as I can determine, sometime in the late 1970's the company name was changed to Spiralux Limited, with locations in Gillingham and Edenbridge in Kent. The company listed the following hand tools amongst its offerings: "Screwdrivers, Riveters, Nut Spinners, Trimming Knives, Hacksaws, Glass Cutter, Windowpane Scraper, Knife Blades for the Trimming Knives, Brad Driver, Nail Drivers, Drill Grinding Attachments, and a Home Care Kit Containing Hacksaw, Hacksaw Blade, Trimming Knife, Ratchet Screwdriver, and Extra Screwdriver Blades in a Plastic Tray, Screwdriver Blades, and Drill Bits, and Spares and Parts for the Aforesaid Tools." At some point, they were absorbed by Neill Tools, now Spear & Jackson, which continues to use the Spiralux name as part of its "Eclipse" brand of riveting tools.  As for Hollands & Blair, its name lives on the British football club that started out as its factory team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. Do you happen to know if the Spiralux name was ever used for steel 'bones', ie the supports made for corsets and collars in womens dress in the Victorian and Edwardian eras?

I am a costume curator and have come across the name in print, but can find nothing out about this brand as concerns womens clothing.

I am on facebook as Stephanie Richards if you have any info for me.
Thanks in advance.