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Walden 3/4 Ratcheting Box Wrench for B.F. Goodrich, US Patent #928,719, 1906.

If you’re interested in 20th-century hand tools, Alloy Artifacts is a great resource. Admittedly the page could do better in terms of user-friendliness, for instance by adding a search box and thumbnail-browsing of the entries. Still, in terms of the amount and quality of information available it’s hard to beat. The tools are indexed by manufacturer, and each entry has a link to any relevant patents and a photo, like the one shown here, with a length scale and a close-up of the toolmark.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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