Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Vanished tool makers: Globemaster
I recently picked up this Globemaster drafting set. The compass is not badly made, certainly compared to the awful, stamped out versions that are sold in student's geometry sets today. Still, "Made by skilled European craftsman" is a stretch. Hughes-Owens it ain't.
Globemaster seems to have been the European equivalent of the American "Oxwall" or the Canadian "Ardex." It may even have been an American firm, given that the name is English (i.e., not "GlobeMeister" or "GlobeMaître"). I can't find any information on where it was headquartered, but it was clearly a distributor rather than a manufacturer. If you google the name, you can find tools under this brand name made in Germany, the U.S., Japan, Spain, Italy and even Sheffield, England. Below, some examples gleaned from the web:
The handle above is from a pair of made-in-Sheffield pliers sold under this brand name. Interestingly, it's the same pattern as I've encountered on another pair of Sheffield-made pliers without this brand. (See Pliers Feature.) I haven't been able to track down the actual manufacturer.
Tool pundits are not kind to the brand. Said one commentator, "Globemaster was another of the cheapest of the cheap 'tool barrel' assortment of screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and whatever other shoddy merchandise that could be sold for 99 cents." Ouch! Still, from the examples I've encountered online, it looks like at least some of their tools were reasonably well made, perhaps depending on the manufacturer contracted to produce the item.