Author Topic: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench  (Read 4321 times)

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Offline Wrenchmensch

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Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« on: October 18, 2013, 03:07:05 PM »
I went out looking today, and came up with this $2 special.  It's an adjustable, 6 1/4-inch Footprint brand wrench made in England (a century ago?).  It has 3 footprint outlines stamps on it. each with the word "Footprint" stamped underneath the symbol.  The number "695" is also stamped on the adjustable shaft of the combination upper jaw-screwdriver piece.   To adjust the opening size, one takes out the thumbscrew and moves the upper jaw piece, then places the thumbscrew through a different hole in the jaw piece's shaft.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 11:44:55 AM by Wrenchmensch »

Online wrenchguy

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 07:03:08 PM »
nice.

Offline mvwcnews

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 09:33:33 PM »
A 1907 Australian trade mark registration for FOOTPRINT and 1891 catalog listing for the adjustable "pipe tongs" appeared on pgs. 14-15 of the December 2012 MVWC newsletter.
Thos. R. Ellin of Sheffield was the producer.  I think they stayed in production for a good while.

Offline tucker

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 01:12:52 AM »
they made these in at least 3 sizes,6" 9" and 14",i have a 6 & 14.used them
right up until i retired.handy but a bit brutal sometimes.
brian

Offline Branson

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 06:35:14 AM »
A 1907 Australian trade mark registration for FOOTPRINT and 1891 catalog listing for the adjustable "pipe tongs" appeared on pgs. 14-15 of the December 2012 MVWC newsletter.
Thos. R. Ellin of Sheffield was the producer.  I think they stayed in production for a good while.

Footprint tools has been around for quite a long time, and is still in business:

http://www.footprint-tools.co.uk/

Offline Branson

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 06:40:33 AM »
they made these in at least 3 sizes,6" 9" and 14",i have a 6 & 14.used them
right up until i retired.handy but a bit brutal sometimes.
brian

The wrench was invented in 1875, and is still in production. 

http://footprint-tools.co.uk/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=4

http://footprint-tools.co.uk/Plumbers-Tools


Offline Branson

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 06:48:00 AM »
A 1907 Australian trade mark registration for FOOTPRINT and 1891 catalog listing for the adjustable "pipe tongs" appeared on pgs. 14-15 of the December 2012 MVWC newsletter.
Thos. R. Ellin of Sheffield was the producer.  I think they stayed in production for a good while.

Ellin represented the manufacturer, Footprint of Sheffield.  He opened the market for Footprint in Australia in 1905.  Footprint had been producing this wrench since 1875.  Yep, they stayed in production for a good while -- they are still in production.

Offline Branson

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 06:57:33 AM »
Ellin represented the manufacturer, Footprint of Sheffield.  He opened the market for Footprint in Australia in 1905.  Footprint had been producing this wrench since 1875.  Yep, they stayed in production for a good while -- they are still in production.

Oops!  Ellin was the founder of Footprint as "Footprint."  The rest is accurate.  Footprint produced the wrench -- it's not a matter of Ellin producing it for Footprint.  The 1907 Australian patent does not indicate the original production date.

Offline Wrenchmensch

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 02:30:43 PM »
Below, in its entirety, is my internet conversation with Footprint Wrench Co.

Mr Wickes, good afternoon
 
My colleague Christine Marston has passed on your e-mail of 21st October to me for the provision of an answer.
 
The earliest catalogue we have is an illustrated price list in which the page for the wrenches is dated 1916. It wold appear that the design of your wrench conforms to the illustration and that the number of 695 is correct. I attach a copy of the page in which you might be interested – 48/49 pence per dozen!
 
I believe it to be the case that the design remained largely unchanged until the 1930’s, indeed since Thomas R Ellin first started producing it before the turn of the century. Ellin sold the company in the early 30’s  but as to whether your own is pre 1900 or post 1900 I am unable to ascertain but I would have thought it would be from around that time.
 
Regrettably I understand that many of the companies records were disposed of before my grandfather bought the company in 1948 and his focus was on the future prosperity of the business which he had acquired rather than in preserving the past. Quite when the number 695 ceased to be used, I know not but it had certainly disappeared by the 1950’s.
 
However I trust we have been able to assist in some small way although I regret that I cannot be more specific.
 
Kind regards
Christopher Jewitt
 
Christopher J Jewitt DL
Chairman,
Footprint Sheffield Limited &
The British Hallmarking Council
 
Footprint Sheffield Logo Pillar Box red
 
Admiral Works, Sedgley Road
Sheffield, S6 2AH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)114 232 7080
www.footprint-tools.co.uk
 
Made In Sheffield 004
 
Registered in the UK: 06321900
This e-mail is for the intended recipient or recipients and may contain legally privileged information.
You may not use, disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on this e-mail if you are not the intended recipient or recipients.
If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender and delete the message without taking copies.

 
From: Christine Marston
Sent: 21 October 2013 16:30
To: Christopher Jewitt
Subject: FW: Old 695 Footprint 6-inch pipe tongs
 
I think you could probably answer better than me.
 
Christine Marston
Business Development Manager
 
 
Footprint Sheffield Ltd
Admiral Works, Sedgley Road
Sheffield S6 2AH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)114 232 7080
sales@footprintsheffield.co.uk
www.footprint-tools.co.uk
 
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
 
DISCLAIMER  This e-mail contains propriety information some or all of which may be legally privileged.  It is for the intended recipient and you must not use, disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on this email.
 
 
 
 
From: Bob Wickes [mailto:bobwickes@gmail.com]
Sent: 21 October 2013 15:32
To: Sales
Subject: Old 695 Footprint 6-inch pipe tongs
 
Gentlemen:
 
I found a small Footprint wrench last weekend. I believe the wrench to have been made before 1900. I have provided two pictures of the wrench. Please give me your estimate of when this wrench was manufactured.
 
I am an antique wrench collector, and the information you give me will be shared with fellow collectors.
 
Thank you!
 
Bob Wickes
Old price list 1916 Wrenches.pdf   Old price list 1916 Wrenches.pdf
786K   View   Download 

Offline Papaw

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 06:38:02 PM »
Good research, Bob! It is satisfying to see a manufacturer take notice of us.
Member of PHARTS - Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society
 
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Offline DM11

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 10:26:15 PM »
That is nice looking old Footprint wrench. I was given a modern 698 Footprint wrench from a guy I know in England. So it is quite intersting to read some history on the company. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Hold Fast

David

Offline Billman49

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 03:24:02 PM »
In the UK this type of wrench is often referred to as a footprint wrench - same as a vacuum cleaner being called a hoover...

Offline Wrenchmensch

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 03:06:18 PM »
I cannot comment on British usages, but I am offering two additional wrenches which may enlarge on the thought that my little 6-inch pipe tongs were universally known as a "Footprint" wrenches.  The top wrench in the photo below, identical in all regards to the Footprint wrench below it except the adjustment hex screw head, was a "Governor" wrench made by John Shaw & Sons Wolverhampton, Ltd., Fryer St., E5, Wolverhampton, UK.  The  bottom Whitworth-sized wrench was also produced by the Footprint Company.

It seems reasonable to ask whether both the Shaw look-alike wrench and the DOE Footprint wrench were also known as Footprint wrenches.

Offline tucker

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 01:46:09 AM »
as billman says any wrench of this type would be called "footprints"if you asked your
mate,"pass the footprints"thats what youd get.spanners are a differant story.
the copies are generally more clumsy/heavier.
brian

Offline rusty

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Re: Today's Find - A Footprint wrench
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 06:05:25 AM »
Governor was at least partly a house brand, so the wrench could reasonably have been made by Footprint...

http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/Museum/metalware/general/shaw2.htm
Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.