I have always
wanted an old monkey wrench. As a traditional
woodworker I have a lot of uses for a monkey
My modern adjustable wrench
works fine, but it is lacking that historical charm that I
value in my tools. I’ve seen many old monkey wrenches over
the years at antique shops and flea markets, but just never
bought one. Recently though, I finally found one that I
decided to buy.
This little wrench is about 6
inches long, and was made by Girard Wrench Manufacturing
Company in Girard, Pennsylvania.
It seems that Girard Wrench
really got going around 1875 after a re-organization of an
earlier company. Now here is where it gets a bit murky. I
found an old newspaper article that said the factory burned
down in 1888, and was not expected to be rebuilt. However,
further search turned up an ad from 1909 that shows the
company’s four types of monkey wrenches, but does not
elaborate much on the purpose of the “special” one.
Here you can see the
stamps on the top of the wrench
listing it as “Girard Wrench Mfg Co, Girard, PA.”
Moreover, I found another
source that suggested Girard wrench was in business until
the early 1920’s and even filed for a new trademark in 1924.
That is the last reference to the company that I could find,
so I am unsure of how long they continued manufacturing
So it would seem that the
factory did get re-built after the fire, and that they did
continue making wrenches.