Phoenix Hardware Manufacturing Company
I own a single ratchet bit brace marked on the chuck, "Phoenix Hdwe. Mfg.
Co., Homer, NY." Because Homer is near Buffalo, I suspect that this
company was related to the "Phoenix Bit Brace Co. " listed in the EAIA Directory
of American Toolmakers as existing in Buffalo, NY from before 1877 through 1886.
The brace that I own is interesting in that it is marked with the single patent
date of March 6, 1906. On this date three sequential patents were awarded
to William A. Peck of Jersey City, NJ. The first
(#814318, Pearson "NS") was for a head for bit stocks that included a slot head
screw at the top of the cup handle, attaching same to the shaft. The
second (#814319, Pearson, "NS") was for a ratchet mechanism that also involved a
slotted screw accessed through the top of the ratchet housing. The final
patent (#814320, Pearson, "NS") was for a jaw mechanism that included a spring
jaw opener with a movable block fulcrum at the base of the jaws. The brace
shown here incorporates all three patents.
With an apparent dearth of information about the Phoenix Hdwe & Tool Co. of
Homer, NY, and a single brace displaying three apparently rare patents, this is
one of the more treasured braces in my collection.
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