Sunday, January 28, 2018

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

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