This is another in a series of posts on monkey wrenches in the Tison Tool Barn with a look at a couple of wrenches from less-well known manufacturers, and a wrench with several marks, despite which I cannot identify the manufacturer.
The first wrench below was made by The Lamson and Sessions (L. & S.) Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. Lamson and Sessions was founded in Southington, Ct. (that hotbed of tool and hardware manufacture) in 1866, and moved to Cleveland (another center of tool and hardware manufacture) in 1869. The company is still around, but no longer produces metal products. From its appearance, this wrench was produced in the late 19th century or very early 20th century. It is 6-1/2 inches long.
The next wrench below was made by the Girard Wrench Mfg. Co. The company was established as a partnership in 1875 in Girard, Pa., but did not incorporate under the name Girard Wrench Mfg. Co. until 1902. The company continued in business until the 1920s. This wrench is 10 inches long and has a cylindrical wood handle. I have seen a photo of a Girard wrench that is identical to this one, except for having a metal handle. The wrench below was made sometime between 1902 and the early 1920s, likely in the 1910s.
The final monkey wrench from the Tison Tool Barn in this post poses a problem. It is marked "P & C" (in two places) and "SOUTHINGTON, CT.". There are some other possible marks, but they are very obscure. I believe that I can make out a mark "H. W. P.", which is likely an owner's mark. I cannot make sense of other possible marks even under a magnifying glass after rubbing the area with chalk. For a while I thought that the wrench was made by the Peck, Stow, and Wilcox Company, which had a plant located in Southington (other tool and hardware companies were also located in Southington, but I have not found a listing of all of them). The wrench looked like another wrench in the Tison Tool Barn that was made by Peck, Stow, and Wilcox. However, I noticed that this wrench does not have the seam on the back of the slider that is present on the three Peck, Stow, and Wilcox wrenches in the Tison Tool Barn, and which seems to be a product of how Peck, Stow, and Wilcox manufactured monkey wrenches, at least after 1896. A couple of suggestions from people I asked for help in identifying this wrench seem to be ruled out by timing. The wrench appears to be from the late 19th or very early 20th century. It was suggested that the wrench belonged to the Philadelphia and Columbia (P & C) RR, but the P & C RR was taken over by the Pennsylvania RR in 1857, well before the period of this wrench. Another suggestion was that this wrench was produced by the P & C Hand Forged Tool Company, but that company was founded in 1920, and I can find no evidence that it ever produced monkey wrenches. For now, I cannot identify who made this wrench. The wrench is 10 inches long.
In my next post I will finally finish describing the monkey wrenches held in the Tison Tool Barn.
I have been a volunteer at the Matheson History Museum. Feeling an affinity with old hand tools (some of which I remember from my youth), I have tried to learn more about the history of the tools in the Tison Tool Barn, and how they were used.
All text and photographs by Donald Albury in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All illustrations taken from Wikimedia Commons are either in the public domain, or have been released under a Creative Commons license.
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