Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vanished Tool Makes: Bernard's Pliers

Patent September 25, 1894

Three different kinds of pliers, all marked with the same 1894 patent by William Bernard of New Haven, CT.  In his letters of patent, he claimed that making pliers out of stamped metal made them lighter and easier to use. Anyway, he clearly got a lot of mileage out of this one idea.

In 1890, William Bernard also patented the first parallel-action pliers.  

He sold his idea to the William Schollhorn Co which had been founded in 1870. These pliers revolutionized the pliers industry, leading to specialized pliers for such activities as adjusting typewriter keys.  Below, 386B pliers for some special purpose carrying both the Schollhorn and Bernard names:

Below, a staple remover based on a U.S. patent awarded in 1933:

Popular Mechanics, September 1924

June 1947
About eighty years later,  Schollhorn was gobbled up by the Sargent Manufacturing Company, also of New Haven, Connecticut.  Below, two of their offerings:

In 1987, Sargent was acquired by the Rostra Tool Company, which remains the largest independent crimp tool manufacturer in the United States.

Below, an old brochure from the Schollhorn company.  Unfortunately, I can't remember where on the web I snagged it.


househugger said...

This is a really great post. I'm working on a State Register of Historic Places nomination for the William Schollhorn Company building in New Haven. As you know, that is where Bernard pliers were made for many years. Any information you could share about the the Schollhorn Company and Bernard pliers would be appreciated. There isn't much out there.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mister G said...

Thanks for your note, we've posted what we could find, hopefully others with more info will find this and speak up!

Unknown said...

This is incredible! My great grandfather Frank Pauly worked for Schollhorn as a metal worker and foreman his entire life 1894 - 1930. Thank you so much for this page.