Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pliers Feature

Below is something the Duke put together regarding the patterns on pliers handles.  These are often interesting designs, intended to be attractive as well as functional.  For instance, the American firm Kraeuter took out a design patent in 1914 for their "Don't Slip" pattern which is on my own example of their pliers (and which looks identical to the German Boker pliers in the collection!)  In 1915, Peterson took out a design patent for the "checker dot" pattern used on Crescent pliers (and which looks the same as the Williams pattern--curious, as the companies were never connected and Crescent --as well as Williams' original competitor, Billings and Spencer--was ultimately bought by Cooper Industries, while Williams ended up as a subsidiary of Snap On).  It also looks very similar to the Channellock design, but this company has remained family-owned until the present.  The Alloy Artifacts website has links to these designs on Google Patents.
The patterns show greater differences among American manufacturers than among German ones.  You'll see that the Hoppe and HPW designs are virtually identical.  Interesting, I wasn't sure what HPW stood for, but looking at the patterns I think it probably stands for Harry P Will.  It would also seem that Crappy Tire used them at one point to make their pliers, because I have several waterpump pliers stamped both HPW and CTC.  Curiously, I can find no info on either Harry P. Will or Hoppe (and I have quite a few Hoppe tools, including ratchets, sockets, locking pliers, pliers and other stuff).  Their logo was their name inside an oval.

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