I preserved this page a number of years ago. The yellow is my addition. R.VanNatta

 

                                                                       3                           

The History of PLOMB Tools

                                                                                                           Updated 11/27/05 

New Stuff in section Nine

Another Catalog added to our list

Future status of this Web Page

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Section One - Introduction

For those of you that are new to this page, let me begin with some thoughts and a little biography, to set the stage for what I hope will be a continuing program to discover and display historical information about a specific Tool Manufacturer.  A brand of hand tool considered by many to be "Top of the Line," during the first half of the 20th century. Forty years of Plomb Tool  production, from 1907 to 1947.

My name is Ed Boudinot and my interest in Plomb tools began in 1941 when my father purchased a new set of Plomb sockets and wrenches for me to use during my initial year at Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo, CA. At that time the college was males only, and offered a degree in Aeronautical Engineering with a "hands on" curriculum requiring many hours of actual shop work. I kept these tools, whose number gradually dwindled, through 30 years of military service (which included 3 Wars) and subsequent retirement.  Several years ago in a nostalgic moment I made the decision to bring what remained of my Plombs back up to their original number, which in 1941 was approximately 20.  I have succeeded in this goal many, many times over and during this time have picked up tidbits of information from a myriad of sources which I will use as a basis for this web page.

It is my hope that the readers  will be kind enough to make corrections, suggestions and most importantly, contribute factual data so that this web page can become a  source of reference and information about Plomb tools. All appropriate material will be greatly appreciated and should be sent to my email address Gemlake@jps.net , so that it may be incorporated into this web Page.  The Web address (URL) will be circulated to those individuals identified as collectors of Plomb tools and other tool enthusiasts. The information available here will not and should not be used commercially in any way.  Readers are respectfully urged to honor this request

This page is constructed using Microsoft Front Page, but due to Server restrictions the Extensions for Front Page are no longer available.  This means primarily that I cannot use links so as to provide an Index for the different sections.  The reader consequently, must scroll down and find the points of interest to him/her.  I will continue to conform to the present sectional arrangement so that after the first few uses the reader may more rapidly find the sections of interest.  Bookmarks at top (Blue underlined) will jump the reader to any major changes from the previous update.

**********************************

Section Two - Brief History of the Plomb Tool Manufacturing Company 

In 1907 Mr. Alphonse Plomb, Jacob Weninger and Charles R. Williams founded the company in Los Angeles, as a modest three man blacksmith shop, making chisels and punches on an anvil with hand hammers, heating their steel in a hand-bellows coke forge. 

                                Picture taken from a 1943    "Report  to Employees."

These tools were sold generally to the master plumbers and retail hardware stores in the West.

In 1917 John L. Pendleton joined the company as a partner. Much of the dynamic growth of the firm came under the leadership of his son, Morris B. Pendleton, who started in 1918 as a forge helper, between semesters at College (Pepperdine). He joined the company permanently in 1922 as General Manager and partner and in 1936 became president of the Company, later known as Pendleton Tool Industries, Inc. His drive and energy kept the company in business through a major depression and disastrous fire in the early 30's. Pendleton remained president until l968 and Chairman of the Board until 1969.

About 1921 the company started in a very small way to manufacture tools for automobile mechanics. The management developed this through various stages and in 1927 instituted the Automotive Jobber as a customer.

In 1922 the insignificant wrench line was expanded. The few wrenches made at that time were made out of Model T Ford axles which were suitable in size and analysis for the company's purpose. In 1928 the first acquisition was completed with the purchase of the Paschall Tool Co. of Long Beach, CA.  This company had previously been a competitor and produced many of  the same products.  The Paschall brand Ball Pein Hammer with the Paschall stamping was the only ball pein produced by the Plomb Tool Company right up to the end of Plomb  production.  This was done in  an agreement not to use the Plomb logo on the same type of tool produced by the Plumb Tool Co. (makers  of primarily striking tools). This similarity in name was to become a major problem which is described in the next section.

A branch plant was established in Chicago in 1940 through the purchase of the assets of Cragin Tool Company.

Further expansion was done in early 1941 by acquiring P & C Hand Forged Tool Company in Milwaukie (Portland, Oregon).  Mr. John Peterson & Mr. Charles Carlborg established P&C in 1920. The facilities augmented contract production and continued producing P&C tools  until about 1964.

In 1942 a "Contracting Company" was formed in Los Angeles with the acquisition of Penens Corporation, for the purpose of increasing the capacity of Plomb in producing materials for large scale Wright Field contracts during  World War II (see Section Five). In 1947 Penens was moved to Schiller Park (Chicago)  where it continued tool production introducing two brand names, Fleet and Challenger.

Strong gains were made during World War II. The Company geared up for production, contracts, and full scale output for the Armed Forces. It earned five Army-Navy "E" awards - and became a leader in the industry. In 1945 and 1946 the company made inroads into the Latin American countries and resumed exporting overseas.

J. P. Danielson Company, Jamestown, NY another manufacturer of hand tools, including a large variety of pliers type tools, was purchased in 1947.

Proto Tools of Canada, LTD. was established in May of 1952 to keep pace with a rapidly expanding Canadian market.

Protomex, S.A. was incorporated in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1963  as an affiliate.

In January 1957 the companies name was changed from Plomb Tool Company to Pendleton Tool Industries Inc and was listed on the New York and Pacific Coast Stock Exchanges in 1962. Ingersoll-Rand Company acquired Pendleton Tool Industries, Inc. in February, 1964 as a wholly owned subsidiary. It operated as a division of Ingersoll-Rand known as the Proto Tool Division. Manufacturing plants were located in Los Angeles; Jamestown, New York; Schiller Park, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; London, Ontario, Canada; and an affiliated company, Protomex, S.A., in Guadalajara, Mexico. Distribution Centers were in Columbus, Ohio and Tucson, Arizona,

The Ingersoll-Rand Proto Division was sold to the Stanley Works effective May 1984. It is, as of this writing, the Stanley - Proto Industrial Tool Division, headquarters in New Britain, CT.  

Foot note : The above brief history was taken in part from a pamphlet sent to me by Mr. Tom Burnes.  Mr. Burnes was an employee of Proto Tools going back to the Plomb days.  I have been unable to re-establish contact with Tom Burnes for several years. This history oriented pamphlet is one of the few that I have been able to discover, and is included primarily to establish a starting point and an overall look at the company as it developed and changed.  We will concentrate primarily on the years between 1907 and 1947 although the Plomb Tool Company did not change it's corporate name until Jan of 1957.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Section Three - From PLOMB to PROTO

A most vital phase of the Plomb story was totally absent from the above pamphlet.  Legal action was initiated in 1946 by one Fayette R . Plumb of Philadelphia, the owner of the PLUMB Tool Co.. Mr. Plumb alleged that the Plomb Tool Co. infringed on Trademark. --- Evidently Alphonse Plomb had been rather a free spirit and did not concern himself with  mundane matters, such as registering trademarks.  Consequently, in 1947, as a result of the pending litigation, Morris Pendleton agreed to cease using the Trademark "Plomb" in advertisements by Mar 24 1948 and to cease using the Trademark "Plomb" by Mar 24 1950. However, in 1948 Pendleton started marking his tools "PROTO -Mfg. by Plomb Tool Co.," and advertised them in that manner. Fayette Plumb then filed contempt action against Plomb and in 1949 a settlement was reached permitting Plomb to mark products with the word "Plomb" and advertise "Proto tools, formerly Plomb tools" both until Mar 25 1950. For this concession Plomb was permitted to retain the profits from sale of tools marked "Plomb" but, was also required to forfeit $250,000 in non-interest bearing notes which were tax deductible. Plomb Tool Co. estimated a net loss of $155,000 under tax rules at that time. As a footnote here, Plumb Tools are still being manufactured (primarily "striking" tools) as a Division of Cooper Tool Inc.

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Section Four - Alphonse Plomb and California Tools

Another very interesting and important element in this history was the actions of Mr. Alphonse Plomb, whose last name was used to identify the tools from the very beginning. It seems that Alphonse Plomb severed his relationship with his other partner's in l916 or 17, about the time that John L Pendleton came in as a Partner. It is interesting to speculate as to the cause of his departure, particularly when it occurred at almost the same time as the arrival of John Pendleton. Alphonse started his second company and began producing mechanical tools for the auto trade with the Brand Name "A. Plomb."  He continued his business as a minor competitor to Plomb until 1927 when Mr. S.C. Miller purchased "A. Plomb Tool Co." from Alphonse, who then totally retired from the tool business.  California Tool Company was registered formally in 1931, but did use the Logo "A. Plomb" on some of their tools in addition to "Calif Tools."

S.C. Miller's son Carl took over the reigns of CTC about 1956, his son S.C. Miller III (Steve) took over as the third generation President in 1999. California Tools in addition to manufacturing their own brand of tools, was a major distributor for Plomb for many years prior to and after the name was changed to Proto. As a major contribution to the history of Plomb Tools is the fact that California Tools under the direction of Mr. S.C. Miller Jr. (Carl), has organized a most impressive, although private museum, of several thousand Plomb Tools and associated literature. Mr. Dale More assists Mr. Carl Miller in this undertaking and has provided major input to this Web Page.

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Section Five - War Finish Vs Wright Field

What does "WF" and the words "War Finish" mean when stamped on Plomb tools? This is a question that is continually asked by the uninitiated.  We do know for a fact that:

(1) WF was used to precede the identifying number on hundreds of thousands of Plomb tools that were used by the Armed Forces during WWII. These numbers did not correspond to the Plomb catalog numbers.

(2) The words "War Finish" were stamped on some Plomb tools produced for the civilian market during the WWII era and carried the standard Plomb catalog numbers.

(3) A light gray dusty finish was used on practically all of the WF numbered tools and on some of the tools made for civilian use during WWII.  This often is referred to as a Cadmium finish.  Note of caution here from Wayne B:  Don't wire brush that coating without an mask, Toxic!!

(4) Wright Field (Now Wright, Patterson AFB) near Dayton, Ohio, was the base for a major War Department contracting organization before and during WWII. This organization executed major contracts with civilian industry, received goods at Wright Field and distributed them to our forces throughout the world. Wright Field ---- W.F.

(5) The Plomb Tool Company has a consistent history of stamping their contracted tools with the name or abbreviation of the contracting authority. (See examples in Section eight)

(6) Publications issued by the Plomb Tool Company that are available, have referred to the WF series tools as Wright Field Tools.

While there is no doubt that the tools produced under contract to the Government during the big war were not designed or manufactured with the thought of a lifetime of service. They were not guaranteed, other than to meet certain sometimes ridged government specifications. Consequently, besides other considerations, the manufacturer would not want to use his standard catalog number which would imply a lifetime Guarantee. 

Restrictions were imposed on all manufacturing for the civilian market in order that sufficient amounts of critical materials were continually available to meet the expected requirements of the war effort. With this in mind it is then reasonable to assume that the "War Finish" imprinted on civilian tools would indicate that these tools were not necessarily up to the material standards set by the company during peacetime when there was access to bountiful supplies. If the words War Finish were just related to the texture and appearance of the exterior, the stamping would be redundant, and not worth the added expense.

Wright Field, WF, was the source of purchase contracts and also the destination for the finished material (for further military distribution): So what better indicator could there be than to have WF preceding a non-company number. The contracting agent for the government could easily place their order using Plomb's standard catalog, permitting the company to translate those numbers as appropriate. Incidentally there are no known catalogs which contain listings or descriptions of the WF series of tools.

To summarize this section, it is firmly believed that WF and War Finish did not indicate the color and texture of the tool.  WF meant the contract source, and destination of the Government contracted tool, Wright Field. War Finish on tools for the civilian market, or other wartime contracts, was an indication that the materials used in its manufacture were possibly of a lesser quality, due to wartime scarcities.

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Section Six - Year of Manufacture

There is no available written documentation that the year of manufacture was marked in any way on Plomb tools. Nor are there any remaining indications as to why various letters, inverted plumb bobs or other stamping idiosyncrasies were placed on the tools. Individuals who controlled the manufacturing processes at that time are unfortunately no longer with us. However, in the earlier days guarantees were offered for a period of time as opposed to "lifetime." Consequently, unless there was a frequent change in design, an indication of the year of manufacture was necessary. With this in mind coupled with the collectors natural desire to actually date some of the remaining Plomb tools, Mr. John Baldwin of Los Angeles examined thousands of Plomb tools. He came to the conclusion that tools manufactured between 1927 and 1942 did in fact have stamped indications of their year of manufacture. He also found that there were very occasional deviations from this schedule possibly caused by the individual production divisions; particularly during the depression years of the thirties, when management was reluctant to modify still productive stamping equipment.  Here are the results of John's investigations:

1927-1933 ---- These tools have a round "o" in the word Plomb, have Los Angeles as the manufacturing locale, and will have a stamped number normally followed by a letter. The number represents the year of manufacture, i.e.., 7 represents 1927. The numbers then are 7,8,9,0,1,2,3.

1934 - 1939 ---- These tools will have a "point down" triangle in place of the "o" in Plomb.  The numbers will be 4 through 9 representing the year of manufacture.

1939 - 1942 --- Tools manufactured during these years will be marked USA as opposed to Los Angeles and will have the number 9,0,1,or 2 stamped on the body.

In the years 1934 and 1939 the changeover was not made on January 1st,  consequently you find tools marked either way, when manufactured in those specific years.   Year markings were not uniformly done, but the single number is the only clue to the Year.  Other letters and marking arrangements do not disclose the Year of Manufacture.  Pictorial representation of each year indicated below is contained in this display by Wayne.  Look for that number.   1948 has been added inasmuch as the stamping contains the Plomb name.  The cost to plomb for that illegal stamping was $250,000 (See Section three above).

Before leaving the Dating section of this page a few words would be appropriate concerning the Pebble Style design which constituted a great deal of the Plomb production in it's last few years.  The Design first appeared on the handles of  Pliers type tools in the late 30's and early 40's before WWII.  These tools were actually produced by other manufacturers for Plomb and perhaps a non-slip handle grip was it's purpose.  Whether this was a design by Plomb engineers or other company's is not known, but it was adapted to a major portion of the Plomb line as soon as War Production permitted circa 1945. This design was continued until Plomb was required to change to the Proto logo in 1948.  Actually,  a few samples of the "new" design, but with the Plomb logo, are still very occasionally being found.  Here is a sample: 

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Section Seven - THE COMBINATION WRENCH

 

Among the many innovations and contributions to the mechanics trade made by the Plomb Tool Company, probably the most important and lasting was the development of the modern Combination Wrench.  Although combination wrenches were produced by many individuals from the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it was not until 1933 that the wrench was refined to such an extent as to warrant the acceptance of one design as THE Combination Wrench, which would became the standard for the industry.   Beginning with the "Buggy Wrenches" of the  18th Century combination wrenches were made with various angles and offsets and often with multiple openings to accommodate specific applications.  Plomb began experimenting with various designs and finally came up with the 15 degree angle for the open end and a 15 degree offset for the box end.  The thought was that the offset on the  box end would decrease the likelihood of skinning ones knuckles when applying the pressure needed to break free or tighten  a difficult bolt or nut.  The angle on the open end was designed to increase the maneuverability of the wrench in restricted spaces.

In April of 1933 the Plomb company issued the Bulletin above which described the "new" combination wrench and listed a set of four for sale.   This design was soon copied by other tool manufacturers thus becoming  a standard for the industry.  The Plomb design in combination wrenches was given only minor surface alterations during the remaining years that the Plomb Tool Company produced  the Plomb brand.  

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Section Eight - Reference Construction Area 

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Catalogs

There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to when the catalogs were issued, so undoubtedly that decision was made randomly, or dictated by price changes. As new tools were developed and manufactured a "Bulletin" was issued as an insert to the current catalog.  In the later years, separate price lists containing an "effective date" were issued, which applied to the current catalog. 

A very early catalog was purchased on eBay which was undated and unnumbered.  Information  on a stick-on tab indicated that the mechanics tools shown in the catalog were no longer available at the prices and catalog numbers listed.  It went on to indicate that in the future new catalogs would be available directed at specific Industries.  From the following catalogs issued it is apparant that this particular catalog was published about 1925 and is the earliest presently known.  

eBay recently produced another previously unknown Catalog (7B)

 

-

Plomb Hand Forged Tools

None specific

5 1/2x8

Circa 1925

32

G R

6

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Garage Trade

8 1/2X11

1926

20

G R

   -    

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Hardware Trade

8 1/2x11

1927

17

 

7A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Garage Trade 

4x9

1928

35

D B

7B

Plomb Hand Forged Tools

Garage Trade

4x9

Oct 1928

35

G R

8

 Plomb Hand Forged tools 

Automotive Industry

8 1/2x11

Nov 1928

24

 

8A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry

4x9

1929

36

W B 

9

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive and Aviation

8 1/2x11

June 1929

31

D B 

10A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive and Aviation

4X9

July 1930

64

D B

10B

Plomb Hand Forged Tools

Auto Industry

4X9

April 1931

33

J B

10C

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry

4x9

Nov 1931

33

R A

11

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry and Aviation

8 1/2x11

June1932

 

 

    11A  Plomb Hand Forged tools        Auto Industry    4x9    July 1932       

57

D B

11B

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry

4x9

Dec 1932

57

 

12A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry

4X9

Nov 1934

64

 

12B

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Auto Industry

4X9

OCT 1934

64

W B

14A

Plomb Hand Forged Tools

Automotive Trade

4X9

Mar 1935

64

D B

15

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive Trade

8 1/2X11

May 1936

64

W B

15A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive Trade

4X9

Jan 1936

64

D B

15B

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive Trade

4X9

June 1936

64

D B

15C

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive Trade

4X9

Mar 1937

64

D B

HP37

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Hardware and Plumbing

8X10

1937

16

R A

  16      Plomb Hand Forged tools

  Automotive Trade

8x10

1937

80

 G R

16A

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive Trade

4X9

1937

72

J T

16B

Plomb Tools

Automotive etc.

5X7

1938

80

R A

17

Plomb Hand Forged tools

Automotive etc.

8 1/2X11

April 1939

84

 

17B

Plomb Tools

Automotive etc.

5x7

Aug 1939

80

W B

17B

Plomb Body and Fender Tools

Automotive etc

5x7

Aug 1939

80

R A

17B

Plomb  Modern Speed Tools

Automotive etc.

5x7

Aug 1939

80

J T

18

Plomb Forged Hand Tools

Automotive etc.

8 1/2x11

April 1940

90

J T

18A

Plomb Forged Hand Tools

Automotive etc.

5x7

Aug 40' May 41'

96

W B

19

Plomb Streamlined Tools

Army, Navy and Industry

8 1/2x11

42' later reprints

116

W B

19A

Plomb Streamlined Tools

Army, Navy and Industry

5x7

1942

116

many

19R

Plomb Streamlined Tools

Army, Navy and Industry

8 1/2x11

 42 through 1947

80

many

The "Original" column displays the Initials of one collector with this original catalog. 

Catalogs subsequent to 19R commenced in 1948 and carried a 4 digit catalog number listing Proto Tools only. The Plomb Tool Company continued to produce catalogs featuring Proto Tools until the Company's name was changed to PENDLETON TOOL INDUSTRIES, INC, on January 8 1957.  

                                                            Back to Top

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WF  TOOL INDEX       

  A listing of WF series tools, with the  description of the tool, provides a  valuable and interesting reference for the Plomb collector.  A listing of these tools cannot be found in any  published works. 

WF Number

Identification

WF-1 and WF-3

Unknown

WF-2  1/2" to 3/8" Socket Adapter

WF-4

2" extension 9/32 Drive

WF-5

6" extension 9/32 Drive

WF-6

9/32 Extension/Nut driver

WF-7

9/32 Breaker Bar

WF-8

9/32 Ratchet plus a very few 1/4" ratchets marked WF-8-S

WF-9

9/32 Sliding T Bar

WF-10 through 15

9/32 sockets 3/16 & 1/4 (6 Pt)- 5/16,11/32,3/8 & 7/16 (12 pt)

WF-16

3/8 Drive 3" Extension

WF-17

3/8 Drive 5" Extension

WF-18

3/8 Drive 7" extension

WF-19

3/8 Drive 12" Extension

WF-20

3/8 Drive Flex Breaker Bar /Extension

WF-21

3/8 Drive Ratchet- WF-21-S has wooden knob at end of handle

WF-22

3/8 Drive sliding T-Bar

WF-23

3/8 Drive Speed Wrench

WF-24

3/8 Drive Universal Adapter

WF-25 through WF-33

3/8 Drive Socket 1/4" through 3/4" by 1/16ths

WF-34

1/2 Drive 5" extension

WF-35

1/2 Drive 9" extension

WF-36

1/2" Drive 20" extension

WF-37

1/2 Drive Breaker Bar

WF-38

1/2" Drive Ratchet - WF-38-T Short,female fitting in handle

WF-39

1/2 Drive Sliding T-Bar

WF-40

1/2" Drive Speed Wrench

WF-41

1/2" Drive Universal adapter

WF-42 through WF-56

1/2 Drive 12 Pt Sockets 3/8" through 1 1/4" by 1/16ths

WF-57

3/4" Drive 8" Extension

WF-58

3/4" Drive 15" Extension

WF-59           3/4" Drive Breaker Bar

WF-60

Unknown

WF-61 through 71

3/4" Drive 12 Pt Sockets 1 5/16" through 2" by 1/16ths

WF-72 through WF-78

3/8 Drive Universal Sockets 3/8" through 3/4" by 1/16ths

WF-79

Box 3/8x5/16

WF-80

Box 7/16x3/8

WF-81

Box 9/16x1/2

WF-82

Box 11/16x5/8

WF-83

Box 7/8x3/4

WF-84

Box 13/16x7/8

WF-85

Box 1x15/16

WF-86

Box 1 1/8x1 1/16

WF-87

Box 1 5/16x1 1/4

WF-88

Box 1 3/8x1 1/4

WF-89

Box 1 1/2x1 7/16

WF-90

Ignition wrench 1/4 x3/16 Open

WF-91

Unknown

WF-92

Open Wrench 7/16x1/2

WF-93

Open Wrench 9/16x5/8

WF-94

Open Wrench 11/16x25/32

WF-95

Open Wrench 7/8x15/16

WF-96

Unknown

WF-97

Open Ignition Wrench 15/64 both ends

WF-98

Open Ignition Wrench 1/4" both ends

WF-99

Open Ignition Wrench 5/16 both ends.

WF-100

Open ignition Wrench 11/32 both ends

WF-101

Open Ignition Wrench 3/8 both ends

WF-102

Open Ignition Wrench 7/16 both ends

WF-103

Open Ignition Wrench 1/2 both ends

WF-104 to WF-106

Unknown

WF-107 1 1/16 line wrench
WF-108  1 1/8 line wrench
WF-109 Unknown

WF-111

1 5/16 line wrench

WF-112

1 3/8 line wrench

WF-113

1 7/16 line wrench

WF-114 

1 1/2 line wrench

WF-115 1 5/8 line wrench

WF-116

1 3/4 line wrench

WF-117 to WF-119

Unknown

WF-120 through 126

3/8" Drive 12 Pt Deep Sockets 3/8" through 3/4" by 1/16th

WF-127 through 137

1/2" Drive 12 Pt Deep sockets 1/2 through 1 1/8 by 1/16ths

Are there more?  

                                                                                                                    

CONTRACT STAMPINGS

This is a listing of Plomb tools with stampings which would indicate that they were made under a contract for another company or activity. The most common is the WF stamping.  The interpretation of the stamping here, should not be considered 100% accurate, as the actual contracts  are not available. There are undoubtedly more examples.  The contract stampings normally precede the Plomb Logo whereas the letters after the Logo are assumed to be factory initiated with a meaning not recorded.  

STAMPING

INTERPRETATION

A-E

Possibly Allison Engines (A/C engines) now Rolls Royce

AN

U. S. Government Army Navy Specifications

B&G

 Unknown

Douglas

Douglas Aircraft Co

GB

 Unknown

Kinner

Kinner Airplane & Motor Corp. Los Angeles area 1919 - 1937

N

 Unknown

PWA

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft (Aircraft Engines)

Ranger A. T.

Ranger Aircraft Engine Division of Fairchild

US

Plomb special tools designed for the Aviation Industry

USN/NAF 1110

U.S. Navy and Naval Aircraft Factory

Victor

Victor Equipment Co. (manufacturers of Welding equipment)

WF

Wright Field - WWII Government contracting location

Wright

Wright Aeronautical Corp (aircraft engines)

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    Crowsfoot Index

  The below index of K and F series Crowsfoot sockets has been prepared by Reed Armour and has been included on this Page in order to provide the collector, a listing of these particular wrenches.  As far as it is known, no other Listing presently exists, nor are they listed in the catalogs  -  Crowsfoot wrenches have received only sporadic mentioning in the normal catalogs, consequently it is believed that the vast majority of them were produced for contract.  The contractors name was not stamped on the tool, as was the normal procedure.  This deviation can probably be attributed to the demand for this type of wrench by many small companies, particularly in the Aviation industry, where they were used extensively.  How these companies found out about this production is a bit of a mystery, but probably was by word of mouth, through representatives, or the knowledge that Plomb did advertise that they would accommodate the manufacture of specialty wrenches.  Dale More of Cal Tools, aided in this research by doing a Catalog search forwarding the following information.  "The crowfoot wrenches first came out in 1/2" drive in 1929. The original series were DC-8 through DC-12, later these became 5712-5724. I assume there're rare since I've never seen one. These are in the early 30's catalogs but were gone in the 39 catalog. They came back in a '39 supplement and then in the '40 catalog as aviation crowfoot wrenches in 3/8" drive only, under the US-512 - US-572 part numbers. In '42 these were gone and the 3/8 " drive series 4912-4944 appeared. I looked until Proto '57 and didn't find any 1/2 " drive Crowfoot wrenches."  

                                                          

F SERIES CONTRACT CROWSFOOT SOCKETS

F-21901

3/8 x 9/16  crowfoot line

Identical to K-21901

F-21903

3/8 x 11/16 crowfoot line

identical to K-21903

F-21914

3/8 x 15/16 crowfoot line

identical to K-21914

 

 

 

K SERIES CONTRACT CROWSFOOT SOCKETS

K-21503

1/2 x 11/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21504

 

 

K-21505

 

 

K-21506

 

 

K-21507

1/2 x 13/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21508

 

 

K-21509

1/2 x 1” crowsfoot open

 

K-21510

 

 

K-21511

 

 

K-21512

 

 

K-21513

 

 

K-21514

1/2 x 1-3/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21515

1/2 x 1-1/4 crowsfoot open

 

K-21516

 

 

K-21517

 

 

K-21518

1/2 x 1-5/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21519

1/2 x 1-3/8 crowsfoot open

 

K-21520

1/2 x 1-7/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21521

1/2 x 1-1/2 crowsfoot open

 

K-21522

1/2 x 1-9/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21523

1/2 x 1-5/8 crowsfoot open

 

K-21524

 

 

K-21525

 

 

K-21526

1/2 x 1-11/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21527

1/2 x 1-3/4 crowsfoot open

 

K-21528

1/2 x 1-7/8 crowsfoot open

 

K-21529

1/2 x 1-15/16 crowsfoot open

 

K-21530

1/2 x 2”  crowsfoot open

 

K-21531

1/2 x 2-1/4 crowsfoot open

 

K-21532

 

 

 

 

 

K SERIES CONTRACT CROWSFOOT LINE SOCKETS

 

 

 

K-21900

 

 

K-21901

3/8 x 9/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21902

3/8 x 5/8 crowsfoot line

 

K-21903

3/8 x 11/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21904

3/8 x 7/8 crowsfoot line

 

K-21905

3/8 x 1" crowsfoot line

 

K-21906

3/8 x 1-3/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21907

1/2 x 1-1/2 crowsfoot line

 

K-21908

1/2 x 1-15/16 crowfoot line

double 1/2 drive openings, flat & thinner

K-21909

 

 

K-21910

 

 

K-21911

1/4 x 1/2 crowsfoot line

 

K-21912

3/8 x 3/4 crowsfoot line

 

K-21913

3/8 x 13/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21914

3/8 x 15/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21915

 

 

K-21916

 

 

K-21917

3/8 x 1-1/4 crowfoot line

 

K-21918

3/8 x 1-5/16 crowfoot line

 

K-21919

3/8 x 1-3/8 crowsfoot line

 

K-21920

1/2 x 1-9/16 crowsfoot line

 

K-21921

1/2 x 1-3/4 crowfoot line

 

K-21922

 

 

K-21923

1/2 x 2-1/4 crowsfoot line

 

K-21924

1/2 x 2-5/16 crowfoot line

double 1/2 drive openings, flat & thinner

 

 

 

      Back to Top

                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Section Nine -  "Show and tell"80 

A friend of Wayne Brammer, Gil Zinniker of Escondido, CA, found  a very rare Plomb WF series tool at a swap meet in this suburb of San Diego, CA.  Wayne made up the display below to let us see the configuration of this adapter 1/2" to 3/8".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As some of you may know, I have been fighting Melanoma for some seventeen years.  It has finally caught up with me and I have been given just a few months remaining. My intentions are to make this the last update. The Page will remain on the internet for several months and then will be removed.  Perhaps some of you may wish to print some of the sections as a matter of historical interest.                                     

                                                                                                      Back to Top

**********************

Section Ten - Addresses

The individuals below have contributed to this web page, and/or have shown an interest in collecting Plomb Tools. Those who wish their names to be added or removed, please contact Ed at Gemlake@jps.net

Name

Email Name

Domain Name

Location

Ed Boudinot

Gemlake

jps.net

Marysville, CA

John Baldwin

Baldwjo

aol.com

Los Angeles, CA

Wayne Brammer

wbrammer

san.rr.com

San Diego, CA

Dale More Dalemooore aol.com Los Angeles, CA

Bob Thomas

rbthomas

ragingbull.com

San Fernando Valley, CA

Jim Taylor

jimtaylor

sc.slr.com

San Diego, CA

Dick Bloom

Rbloom

vbe.com

Wisconsin

Charles Reach

Chasaly

sbcglobal.net

Texas

Carl (Bud) Bolt

Carlbolt

cncnet.com

Oroville CA

Carla Satra

Carla

tactical-link.com

MT. Hamilton, CA

Reed Armour

ReedArmour

aol.com

North Highlands, CA

James Hurley

zeetrio

hotmail.com

Klamath Falls, OR

Rich Homeyer

rhomeyer

hotmail.com

Port Orchard, WA

Greg Kareofelas

greg

yolo.com

Davis, CA

Ssnake  (one name)

bovesss

hotmail.com

Golden, Colorado

Steven Huff

learaviator

yahoo.com

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Wayne Harsch

harsch

carrollsweb.com

Waverly, KS

John Clayton

rabot67

hotmail.com

Kansas City, MO

George Robin

robin70769

cox.net

Prairieville, LA

Larry Moore

moore

carrollsweb.com

Waverly, KS

James Nixon

jnixonstewartins 

hotmail.com

Fort Scott,KS                   

Bob Meyers bobom prodigy.net Maud, OK

Combine the Email Name with an ampersand @ and the Domain Name to create the Email Address.  Listing it this way makes it more difficult for the spammer to harvest.

~~~~~You have reached the Plomb end~~~~~