Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vanished Tool Makes: Champion

Note the unusual two-piece ferrule in the photo below:

This screwdriver was an item in the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue:

Interestingly, by the time of the 1908 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue, the special (and likely expensive to manufacture) ferrule appears to be absent (and the price has dropped!):
It's not clear who actually made this tool.  I did find a picture on the 'Net  of a "Union Champion" screwdriver set produced by Tower & Lyon.  (Founded by John J. Tower and Polhemus Lyon, the company out of New York City made tools between 1884 and 1916.  According to Lee Valley Tools, they sold plumb bobs, pliers, oilcans, unusual wrenches, police equipment (shackles, clubs, dark lanterns, badges, whistles, handcuffs), Chaplin's planes, Stephens' bench vises, Snediker's blacksmiths' leg vises, McWilliams' Scandinavian padlocks, and many of Kraeuter's products (ticket and belt punches, dividers, calipers, scissors, button hole cutters, pliers).  Maybe they made the screwdriver.  On the other hand, "Champion" is clearly a good name for a tool, so another company may also have produced screwdrivers for Sears, Roebuck under this name.


Sandy Adams said...

Hi. Just wanted to say thanks. I happened across this screwdriver in my never-ending hunt for old tools, and your pictures and description were the only I found after searching "Champion" for quite a while. So, Thanks!

Mister G said...

You're welcome! Old tools are the best - especially the lesser known names.

Courier Vintage said...

Same. Same. And same. Love the blog. The only info I could really find about my new (old) Champion slotted screwdriver I just found at a 2nd hand store. Can you point me in the direction of old tool restoration tips if you've shared any on your blog? I'm quite knowledgeable on the subject but always looking for tips from other collectors/enthusiasts.

Anonymous said...

Sandy Adams. I go into buildings with historical significance and salvage the materials have been doing so for 30 + years now. You can only imagine the old tools I have found and kept. If interested my email is