Coes Wrenches


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The Old Monkey Wrench

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I have always wanted an old monkey wrench. As a traditional woodworker I have a lot of uses for a monkey wrench.

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 after 1924.

So it would seem that the factory did get re-built after the fire, and that they did continue making wrenches.


 
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