Jim Price*, in a presentation at the M-WTCA meeting in Charleston, WV, in 1994, provided an overview of the different types of brace chucks that appeared in the course of the development of the American bit brace. With his kind permission, that classification scheme is presented at the right. It makes a useful perspective from which to view the details of my brace collection.

Of the schemes presented, it is clear that type #4, the shell chuck, came to predominate in the marketplace. This is reflected in Jimís second chart, shown below, which demonstrates the amount of patent activity that occurred for each type of chuck over a 100 year span of development.

The final chart, above, demonstrates how quickly the critical selection of the shell chuck was made, during the single decade between 1860 and 1870. Concurrent with the Civil War, this was an intense period of industrial development and technical evolution, and it didnít take long for the cream to rise to the top.

* - The accompanying charts were produced and are copyrighted by James E. Price, and are used with permission.


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