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.