Thursday, January 10, 2013

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Part 2: Diamond Tool & Horseshoe Co., Duluth, Minnesota

The Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company of Duluth, Minnesota is probably best remembered for its adjustable wrenches and pliers (the latter under the "Diamalloy" brand name):

However, this company name did not appear on their products until the late 1950's.  They actually started off in 1908 as the Diamond Calk Horsehoe Company making, as their logo suggests, horseshoes.  (Calks are projections that can be forged or screwed into horseshoes to improve traction, as below):

Diamond's offerings included throwing horseshoes:

As can be seen above, they also manufactured these products in Toronto, Ontario.  Notice the difference between the two horseshoes pictured above.  Hooks on horseshoes only appeared in 1927, designed by Putt Mossman and causing a sensation at the World Tournament that year.  The hooks also caused much controversy, being called "cheeters" by some detractors.  

Other forgings from the Toronto plant included things like chain hooks.  Below, a huge 7-inch slip hook:

And a clevis grab hook:

Diamond passed out its founding family's hands in 1981, being sold to the Triangle Corporation (which also owned  Utica, Herbrand, and Bonney tools).  In turn, Triangle was swallowed by Cooper Industries, which already owned Crescent Tools, so the Diamond production was merged and the name was discontinued.

For more on the Toronto location of the Diamond firm, visit Recursion.  Adventures from a fractal life.

According to an excellent online article by André Leclerc, "Shoe Collectors,"  there were four main Ontario and Quebec manufacturers of horse shoes.  One of my own horseshoes, however, indicates a fifth company, General, out of Welland, Ontario:


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