Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Vanished Tool Makers: Cooper & Sons Ltd., Sheffield, England

Above, a ratcheting screwdriver I found in a thrift store recently.  Other than that the shank was bent and rusty and the ferrule a little crushed, it was in fine shape, and the ratchet selector works just as well as when it was first made.  It's now straightened up, cleaned up, oiled up and ready to be put back to work. Below, the same tool in a 1939 advertisement:

There's not a whole lot of information about this company on the web.  They go back to at least the 1930's, producing tools at their "Fuluse Works":

Below, their brand name on a vintage rose bit in my collection:

Also, a hacksaw frame as a later offering from the firm:

Below, a 1951 ad:

Cooper & Sons also made razors under the Fuluse brand name at their Lockfast Works, also on Hermitage Street in Sheffield.  It was presumably for this product that the company was bought by the knife-making firm of Joseph Rogers & Sons in the mid-1960's.  The two firms were combined at a location at St. Mary's Gate. Through various mergers, Rogers itself was acquired by Richards, which filed for bankruptcy in 1985.   I expect that the tool-making business ended much sooner than this.


sixtynine69 said...


I have a Shave Hook (paint scraper), my father bought in Australia. It must have been in the 1980's. Very heavily made, the timber handle is ferruled and held on with end of the steel forged over to keep it place. Just looking to see if Coopers is still going, I ended up here to find it had closed (sadly).
We have the centre one as shown below.

Geoff Martin said...

I have the same Shave Hook, purchased from a bric-a-brac shop in Bexhill-on-Sea.It is a nicely made tool, good quality steel and still perfectly usable. I have restored it.

Unknown said...

I have a wooden handled scewdrivef marked Cooper and sons Sheffield one side on the other it's marked gpo1937. Any value to it?

Mister G said...

In my experience, always less than we hope. Have you checked ebay?

jon malings said...

I have what I take to be a small split slot screwdriver marked "Cooper & Sons Sheffield" and on the other side of the blade it reads "MA?OR registered"

It came in a box of bookbindes tools that I purchased. I thought at first that it was a leatherworker's edge shave but it's not sharp enough.

Anonymous said...

Another one who wandered in looking for info on a pair of spring calipers I had off my dad.
They're at least 60 years old, and probably pre-WWII I'd guess.

I had a pretty good idea of what might have happened to the company. Same thing's happened too many times.

Unknown said...

Coopers tools merged with Rodgers cutlery and I worked there at the time

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history update!

Ed Roberts said...

This is actually a tool company that was in my family. My great uncles family owned and ran the company. I can find out more information if anyone is interested?

Mister G said...

Thanks, Ed, I'd love to have more info to post on this company.