Below, a screwdriver from the old toolbox my dad kept at his cottage:
It was marked "Rosco" on the handle. Unfortunately, it was also covered with gray paint, which I stripped off, along with the name. Turns out that methylene chloride is not kind to acetate. Who knew?
Screwdrivers under this name were initially made by the Rosenberg Bros. & Co. out of Smithtown, Long Island:
|Popular Mechanics, October 1953|
|Life, April 1954|
If they really did sell one screwdriver every six seconds, they sold a lot of screwdrivers. (Do the math--over 5 million a year!) They also tried to keep innovating (although ratcheting screwdrivers weren't really anything new):
|Popular Mechanics, July 1963|
One claim to fame was that, in May 1967, the company's regional sales manager appeared on the CBS TV show, "What's My Line?" Her line was "sells screwdrivers." The show was cancelled the same year. Coincidence?
The company was bought by Vermont American in 1974, which continued to offer screwdrivers under the Rosco name, as the 1983 newspaper ad below attests:
Note that, under VA's ownership, they're now referred to as "the professional's screwdriver" compared to their original motto of "America's Greatest Screwdriver Value." Anyway, the name has now disappeared, which really doesn't matter given VA's race for ownership of the bottom of the tool quality market.