Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Death-defying stunts: Stanley hammer advertising, 1941

From the company's 1941 catalogue.  Any volunteers?

We used to make things in this country. #285: Jones Shovel Company, Ganonoque

I found the above picture in an old publication from the Tool Group of Canada.  I didn't know that the town had once housed a shovel factory.  A google search led to the following. Below, from Gananoque:

The  D.F. Jones Manufacturing Company first began operations in 1852. Originally under private ownership, the company was incorporated in 1884. By 1897, the Jones and other Canadian shovel-making firms were losing ground against American manufacturers, which among other things were dumping (in the terms of the earlier age, "slaughtering") their products onto the Canadian market.

Iron Age, Vol 59, March 1897
 In 1913, the Ontario Steel Products Company was incorporated for the sole purpose of acquiring the assets of the D.F. Jones Manufacturing Company Ltd and the Ganonoque Spring & Axle Company.  The parent company went on to specialize in automotive and railroad springs and so, in 1931, sold its shovel division to the Jones Shovel Company.  

Over the following decades, various buildings were acquired or built to house the factory.  The company's slogan was "A shovel for every need."  One of their shovels was used to break ground for the building of Queen's University.  The firm shut down in 1965, and Confederation Park in Ganonoque is on the site of the former factory.  A plaque installed there commemorates the company.

Below, a sample from a Vancouver competitor's catalogue.  I expect that the Jones offerings must have been similar.

Source:  Former Vancouver

Floyd Clymer motorcycles.

These days Floyd Clymer is more known for his automotive and motorcycle books and magazines, which he published from 1944 till his death in 1970. He also sold cars and motorcycles throughout his life, starting a REO,Maxwell and Cadillac dealership at the age of 10! This ad from 1933 lists several makes of British racing motorcycles which he sold from his Indian dealership. In the late sixties, he made attempts to rejuvenate the Indian name selling bikes that used Velocette and Royal Enfield engines. 

Selling furniture in the 50s

You can sell anything with a rocketship in the background! Here a high end LaGondola sofa by Edward Wormley is being displayed by a couple of spacemen, presumably on another planet?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Obsolete Skills: How to buy a used piano

Alan Horder (Editor), The Ilford Manual of Photography.  Essex:  Ilford Limited, 1958, 1968.

Sid G. Hedges (Editor).  The Universal Book of Hobbies.  London.
Odhams Press Limited, 1935
At one time, there were many manufacturers making pianos in Canada and the U.S.  This industry is long gone, never to return, but examples of their products continue to clog thrift stores.  No one really wants these huge things anymore.  Should you be one of those few who do, below are some tips on what to look for:

Ontario roads go metric, September 1977

And we still haven't really adopted it.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Willy Messerschmitt

Armand van Ishoven, Meserschmitt, Gentry Books 1975
17 year old Willy Messerschmitt and architect/gliding pioneer Friedrich Harth pose with the glider S-5 they designed and built in 1915. This was the second glider Messerschmitt had assisted in buildinging with Harth.

Datsun, 1980

Cycle World, June 1980

Kennedy Manufacturing Company, Van Wert, Ohio

The top label is on one small too box in my shop.  I had featured it on a previous post.

Serendipitously, I recently came across the ads below:

Kennedy Manufacturing was founded in 1911 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana by Howard & Charles Kennedy. Production was moved to Van Wert, Ohio in 1914. 

The company soldiered on through the last century, developing the first roller cabinet in the 1940's.  It was hit hard by the tough manufacturing economy, global competition and correspondingly tighter requirements with its bankers, and Kennedy filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2004. As a result, plants in Indiana and Ohio had to be shut down, and production was consolidated at the Van Wert plant.  The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  JVA Partners, a private investment firm, bought the company in 2007 and helped to get it back onto its feet. Down to 95 employees from a high of 200, in 2016 JVC sold Kennedy to Cornwell Quality Tools of Modadore, Ohio.  In an article in the Van Wert Independent, the president of Kennedy is quoted as saying:

“I think the best thing about the acquisition itself is that the acquirer is cut from the same cloth as Kennedy. Culturally, we very much value the same things: we value American workers, we value high quality products, and those things are certainly what’s going to help the company, the combined entity, grow that much faster.”

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sidecar Sunday

Motorcycles at Eaton's, 1911

Vanished Tool Makers: Kraeuter & Co., Inc., Newark, New Jersey

I only have two old Kraeuter wrenches, with their distinctive Diamond K logo.  On the other hand, pliers galore, including slip joint:

Side cutters:

Pinchers, electrician plier', bent-nose slip-joint:

Needle-nose variants including chain pliers:

Below, various ways they stamped their name on such gripping tools:

And a cold chisel:

August Kraeuter immigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1859. Although later Kraeuter catalogues list the company's founding date as 1860, the exact date of the founding of his company is unclear. 

Online information reports that he originally began to work for a pistol manufacturer in Newark, and from 1864 was in the partnership of Heuschkel, Kraeuter & Company, and by 1869 with Foerster & Kraeuter. Finally, in 1878 Kraeuter began his own business manufacturing tools. The company's earliest products were primarily machinists tools such as calipers.  In 1902 August Kraeuter sold the business to Arthur A. Kraeuter, his eldest son by his second marriage. Kraeuter & Company's products around this time included ticket punches, calipers, and specialty tools, but the company soon became a major manufacturer of pliers. In the late 50s or early 60s Kraeuter was acquired by SK and the Kraeuter name disappeared for a while. In the early 70s, after being acquired by Dresser Industries, SK manufactured a line of budget tools under the Kraeuter name. That line of tools didn't survive for very long, and the Kraeuter name disappeared permanently.

Popular Science, May 1924

Popular Mechanics, June 1957

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Lincoln Beachey

American stunt pilot Lincoln Beachey flies under the Niagara Falls bridge after flying over the falls. June 28, 1911.

Wagner loader on 8N

 Rather busy steel tube construction, and awkward to use, as the operator would have to climb over the back to get on or off. But as I said in this post, much better than the alternative.

Cooper Tools

The slender plastic probe above is the only tool I've ever encountered bearing the Cooper Tools name.

Originating in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the C&E Cooper Company was founded in 1833 by brothers Charles and Elias Cooper.  Their foundry, the Mount Vernon Iron Works, produced ploughs, hog troughs, maple syrup kettles, sorghum grinders, wagon boxes and stoves.  Eventually, they began to manufacture steam engines. Over the decades the company diversified immensely.  In 1965, the company became Cooper Industries, Inc and two years later moved its corporate headquarters to Houston, Texas.  Cooper acquired Lufkin Rule Company of Saginaw, Michigan, in 1967. It was the first of many acquisitions for what Lufkin president William G. Rector called a "tool basket"--a high-quality hand tools manufacturing group. Subsequent hand tool-related acquisitions included Crescent Niagara Corporation (wrenches) in 1968, Weller Electric Corporation (soldering tools) in 1970, Nicholson File Company (rasps and files) in 1972, Xcelite (small tools for the electronics industry) in 1973, J. Wiss & Sons Company (scissors) in 1976, and McDonough Company's Plumb Tool subsidiary (striking tools) in 1980.  In 2001, it attracted a takeover bid from the rival Danaher Corporation.  Eventually, in 2010, the two companies entered into a joint venture, forming the Apex Tool Group, an umbrella for more than 30 leading brands.  In 2012, Apex was sold to Bain Capital for around $1.6 billion.