Friday, January 19, 2018

Harley Davidson, 1932

Cars of the 1970's


I picked up this old aluminum badge somewhere, a little the worse for wear but cool enough to stick up over a door in the shop.

It turns out that this company basically pioneered and developed the idea of truck trailers.  Starting out in the mid-1800's, Daniel Sechler eventually founded Sechler & Company in Cincinatti, eventually become the world's largest producer of all types of horse-drawn vehicles.  Around 1910, John Endebrock took on the challenge of developing a new way to hook trailers to trucks, coming up with the name "Trailmobile" in 1915, since the unit would "trail" an automobile.  The name was chosen for the company.  Endebrock designed many of the components, such as the fifth wheel, still used today.  Pullman acquired the assets of the Trailmobile Company in 1951.  It was resurrected for a while in Canada, but is no longer an operating company:  Trailmobile.

Vanished Tool Makers: Bonney Forge & Tool Works, Allentown, Pennsylvania

For whatever reason, very few Bonney tools have shown up in my neck of the woods.  Below, all I got:

At one point, they introduced a new alloy called "Zenel."

I found the unusual RF-22 ratchet below at a thrift store.  I had no idea what it was, but it was also frozen.  It turned out to be quite easy to open up and lubricate, so now the ratchet mechanism spins just fine.  Turns out that the tool was designed for work on refrigeration systems.  A very special purpose tool for which I can't see any use in my shop.

Founded as the Bonney Vice & Tool Works by Charles S. Bonney in Philadelphia in 1877, the company moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1906.  


In 1921, it became the Bonney Forge & Tool Works.  


In the 1950's, it was acquired by Miller Manufacturing of Detroit, which by 1957 had built a new factory in Alliance, Ohio to produce both Bonney and Miller brands, while modernizing the older Allentown plant. 

Utica Tools, the tool division of the Kelsey-Hayes Corporation, bought Bonney in 1964. 

Kelsey-Hayes was originally a manufacturer of automotive wheels and then brakes for a variety of American automakers and apparently, the diversification fever of the 60's, decided to get into the tool business.  They had also acquired Herbrand Tools. The new Utica/Bonney company had a plant on Cameron Road in Orangeburg, South Carolina and produced tools under both brand names.  (Google maps shows no signs of the original factory--was it razed?)

Enter H. Arthur Bellows Jr.  He founded the Triangle Corporation of Stamford, Connecticut  in 1967.  

That year, Triangle acquired the Kelsey-Hayes Hand Tool Division, renaming it the Utica Tool Company and operating it as a wholly-owned subsidiary.  

The following year, Triangle acquired Torque Controls, a manufacturer of torque wrenches, moving production from South Elmonte, California to Utica's factory in Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1970. At that point, the Utica firm was employing around 800 people, making about 200 models of pliers and over 1000 custom models, with an automotive tool line of over 1200 items.  Under the brand name Utica/Bonney, the company was making around 50,000 tools per day.

In 1982, Triangle Tool went on to acquire the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company.  Triangle merged with Audits/Surveys Worldwide, and the tool side was sold to the Cooper Tools Conglomerate in 1995.  Bonney ceased as a name shortly thereafter.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sturtevant torque wrench

 This ad is from the sixties, aimed at the exploding motorcycle repair industry. Paul A. Sturtevant introduced the deflecting beam type torque wrench during WW2 and his company has producing them ever since. At some point Sturtevant was bought up and combined with Richmont, makers of clicker-type torque wrenches. This not the usual story of buyouts and closed down factories, the resulting company is doing well, making a full line of torque measuring products under the Sturtevant Richmont name.

1972 Swinger snowmobile

At 72 inches long and with a dry weight of 255 lbs, the Swinger by Sportscraft Industries was a mini-snowmobile, not quite kid size but close. 
The company was purchased by Griswold Industries in 1972, this is their revised 72-73 model with conventional front suspension. Instead of the previous years 135cc Chrysler 2 stroke, the new engine was a 230cc JLO single, claimed speed rose to 40 mph. 
 Unfortunately, the snowmobile industry suffered a downturn in 1973, a combination of little snow and the first gas crisis put Swinger out of business.
 Below is the 1971 model with single spring front suspension and the Chrysler engine. Nice colours.

Another job you wouldn't want to do: Laundress, 1900

Alfred Kelly.  The German Worker.  Working-Class Autobiographies from the Age of Industrialization.  University of California Press, 1987.

Important Inventions 1862-1915

Lobby seating?

This is an odd bit of furniture seen at a local ReStore location, seems pretty specific, possibly for a lobby? No markings or labels on it anywhere, if its not from the sixties, it's sure trying to be.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Used motorcycle prices, 1966

From Save Money:  Buy a Used Motorbike!  Mechanix Illustrated, November 1966.