Seymour Smith & Son, Inc.
Seymour Smith & Son settled in Oakville Connecticut (near Waterbury) in 1866
after moving from Sharon, Ct and before that, Worcester, Mass. The
company manufactured "hardware" and was known for a line of spoke shaves, as
well as shears and pliers. They were in business as late as 1996, and
still may be operating.
I have one brace marked by this company, and have no record of another one
so marked. The brace is nearly identical to one produced for a period of time by
the Ruger Corporation of Southport, Connecticut. Ruger
was principally a firearms maker, but early in their history (1946-49) made a small line of distinctive hand
drills for a period of time, and also one brace and some spiral ratchet screw
drivers. A brace design patent was issued to William B Ruger and
assigned to the Ruger Corporation Southport Ct. This is patent D0151719 issued
November 9, 1948. Thanks to Russ Allen for this information.
John C. Dougan, who has published books on the history of the Ruger
Corporation, informs me that the Gamble Department Stores, of New York,
offered to market Ruger's tools through their 1700 stores. Reportedly
Gamble marketed these tools under the name, "A.R.T.I.S.A.N.".
Indeed, this mark has been found on braces that are exactly like the Ruger brace
in every other detail. Such braces quite rarely found today. Dougan
also reports that, when the Ruger Corporation got out of the tool business,
about 1949, the stock of tools and parts were sold to the Seymour Smith &
Son Co. This is surely the origin of my brace:
is marked, "Seymour Smith & Son, Inc., Oakville, Conn. U.S.A." with an
additional "Pat. Pending." The
brace is a distinctive one, having brown composition handles, a ten inch sweep,
and is marked with the model number 2310. It is a heavy quality brace.
Its most outstanding feature is a ratchet selector on top of the enlarged
ratchet housing that operates by sliding across the diameter of the housing to
change the ratchet direction from "in" to "out". The housing is forged
from one piece of steel that is continuous with the shaft.
Like all of the Ruger derived tools, it is an uncommon tool.
Over the years I have had a number of requests for information
about the fate of Seymour Smith & Son as a manufacturing company. In 2008
I received the following message:
I am the grand daughter of the last Smith to own
and manage Seymour Smith & Son. (snip) I thought you might be
interested to know that my grandfather and his cousin sold the company to
Vermont American in 1985, at which point manufacturing was moved to Somerset,
PA. Although tools are still manufactured with "Seymour Smith & Son" imprinted
on them, Seymour Smith & Son, Inc. are no longer in business, and have not been
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