Author Topic: Crowthers Wrench 1883  (Read 3849 times)

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Offline tfgtj

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Crowthers Wrench 1883
« on: January 13, 2014, 06:39:21 PM »
Curios if anyone knows about where/when Crowthers wrenches were manufactured.  I have one that came from a relative who was a Navy machinist mate before and through WWI who collected some interesting tools in his lifetime.  Marked CROWTHERS WRENCH PAT. NOV.20.1883, the patent number is 288,927, invented by Henry Crowther and assigned to Henry Crowther and Willard Chaffee of Providence Rhode Island.  But I can't find anything about when they were made or what company made them.  I'm thinking it might be a prototype or limited production run.  Any info would be very interesting.  Sorry the photos aren't uploading correctly right now...
Thanks,
Greg

Offline rusty

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 07:01:44 PM »
Henry was a very busy fellow, starting motorcycle companies, playing with Dureya and his automobiles, selling coal... moving later to Phila.
His brother ran the Corless steam engine works in Providence, so perhaps there , if it was only a small run. Other than that, if you wanted a tool made in providence around 1910, the Rhode Island Tool Co/Providence Tool Co was who you would most likely call, they were just fine about stripping silly wrench inventors of there money ;P

Just fuzzy guessing tho....

Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline Lewill2

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 09:06:50 PM »
It would be interesting to see some pictures of your wrench as DATAMP lists it as not known to have been manufactured. Stan would probably like to use pictures for DATAMP listing.

Offline mvwcnews

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 01:21:27 PM »
It would be interesting to see some pictures of your wrench as DATAMP lists it as not known to have been manufactured. Stan would probably like to use pictures for DATAMP listing.
Yes,  Stan seconds the motion. Also would like to include it in the next MVWC newsletter.

Offline tfgtj

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 07:30:55 PM »
Really glad to see interest, and thanks for the initial ideas.  I still can't upload photos (my browser crashes every time I try to post a photo) so I e-mailed them to Lewill2@aol.com for posting.  Also, I didn't mention earlier, the wrench is 16-5/8" long overall, and the finish seems like a relatively rough casting which might support the prototype possibility.

Offline Lewill2

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 05:53:36 AM »
The pictures that are re-sized.

I sent them to Stan for posting on DATAMP and in the MVWC Newsletter.

Thanks Greg

Offline tfgtj

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 05:32:34 PM »
Thanks for getting the photos posted Les.  Just a note regarding the markings shown, some of the letters and numbers seem blurry, but it isn't because of the photo.  It appears that some of the letters and digits were stamped with multiple hits, which is why the 83 on the patent year really looks like an 88.  As you can imagine, that made it a bit harder to track down the original patent number.

Offline mvwcnews

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 05:24:41 AM »
.. some of the letters and numbers seem blurry ....  the 83 on the patent year really looks like an 88.  As you can imagine, that made it a bit harder to track down the original patent number.
Double strikes & incomplete stampings are a common phenomenon we encounter with older tools.  Throw in a little wear & tear plus a smidgen of rust pitting and its a wonder we can decipher anything at all.  It even occurs with drop forged tools where the markings are part of the forging -- it does not take much in the way of dings and rust to obfuscate all but the most prominent marks.

Offline Lewill2

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 06:15:16 AM »
Wow Stan I had to look that one up. Cool word, obfuscate!

Offline Plyerman

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 09:46:22 AM »
Fantastic find there tfgtj! A very cool old wrench. And kudos to Lewill for helping out with the photos, and to Stan for adding a new word to my vocabulary!
My friends call me Bob. My wife calls me a lot worse.

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 11:10:08 AM »
In the December issue of MVWC newsletter, Stan devoted over a page to tools discussed on Papaw's Wrench. You guys sure come up with a bunch of interesting and obscure tools.


Obfuscation (or beclouding) is the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, wilfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret.

Top monkey of the monkey wrench clan

Offline rusty

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 02:41:49 PM »
From fuscate from fusco from latin, [to make] dark, dusky

Language is a tool also ;P

>some of the letters and numbers seem blurry
The '2 is particularly unusual, with a curly swirl in the head...

Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline tfgtj

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Re: Crowthers Wrench 1883
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 07:40:13 PM »
Thanks guys, what a great indoctrination into the forum.  I wish I found this forum years ago.  Cool tool talk, and new vocabulary words!  I've got a couple other interesting tool finds that have some mystery around them, so keep your eyes peeled for new posts from the newbie with the incomprehensible user ID.
-Greg (tfgtj)