Joseph Rusby

 Not really braces, but drills, Joseph Rusby called his inventions braces, probably because they were designed to hold auger bits (like the North Bros No. 75 Push Brace).  According to the research of Jim Schoenky*  Rusby received three patents for his drill.  The first was for a tool he described as an "extension or extendible brace."  This early patent was issued on Jan. 27, 1903.  The date cast into the tool has a leading seriph on the "1" which causes confusion, looking superficially like a "7".  The brace features a cast iron shaft that houses and internal adjustable shaft, with a cast iron handle (with pineapple decoration) at the top.  An additional wooden side handle and adjustable crank handle are included (you need three hands to hold it).  These were not successful, and Schoenky was only able to identify two extant examples in 2002 (I know of three others, now).  A pictures of one in my collection is shown below.  This tool did not have the small breast plate with which Rusby equipped his later braces.

Later, Rusby patented a second version (Dec. 12, 1912).  This one is much better known.  The cast iron top handle was discarded in favor of a wooden one, and the shaft was made more open with a lattice-like casting.  Originally it was fitted with a ridiculously small breast plate that is often missing from those that you see.  It is usually marked just, "Rusby Pat" and "Newark, NJ."

Rusby was also granted a third drill patent in 1914 for a two-speed attachment, but this may not have been produced.

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Schoenky, Jim.  2002.  "Rusby Patents."  Fine Tool Journal.  Vol 51(2): 18; and Vol 51(3): 17.