With that in mind and taking
Coes' patent, I suppose my best guess on dating of this
wrench is anywhere from 1910 -1924.
On the other side it is marked simply “Girard Special.”
I saw some other wrenches by Girard online that were marked
“Girard Standard,” so I am not sure what makes this one
There is one other set of
markings on the wrench, and they are what actually pushed me
to buy it. Its previous owner stamped “L.V.R.R” on the side.
This marking is for the long defunct
Lehigh Valley Railroad!
Being a lover of both old tools and trains, this wrench was
too good to pass up!
Like many monkey wrenches this
one adjusts the jaw opening with a screw above the handle.
This one works very smoothly, and makes fine adjustments
Also, it seems that this one
has been used as a small hammer from time to time. On the
back of the jaws there are a lot of dings and dents. Did a
Lehigh Valley engineer once use this wrench to tap on the
drive rods of his locomotive during his inspection? Or
course we can never know for sure, but it’s fun to think
Lastly, unlike many of these
types of antique monkey wrenches this one has an all-metal
handle instead of wood. The metal handle has a fish scale
texture in it as well. I wonder if this could be the
“special” part about this wrench.
If it was purposely made for
railroads, perhaps they did not want wood handled tools for
their workers. All pure speculation, but it sounds like a
plausible idea to me.