European braces

Posted by on 13 Jul 2020 in Blog special | 0 comments

United Kingdom

J.A.Chapman
James Ascott Chapman – Industry Works, Woodside Lane, Sheffield 1863-1939 – Toolmaker and Metal Plane Maker.
The following list is a small number of Ironmongers that Chapman made braces for and subsequently stamped the name of the Ironmonger on the brace. (This list does not include wooden/plated braces that the list below of toolmakers, have made.) For example Marples is listed as manufacturing Wood Braces/ Ultimatum, wagon wheel braces, Scotch iron braces…. Not steel American pattern braces. From Tyzac& Son “Throughout its history, the Tyzack firm resold toolsmade by others and also sold tools that they made themselves.”

The following is an approximation and ongoing research of braces manufactured in Europe as in some cases records of braces are often non-existent .

Toolmakers and Ironmonger/Hardware merchants that have their name stamped on Chapman braces:
Musgrave & Co. Ltd.Lincoln.
S.Tyzack& Son
James Howarth
Robert Sorby
Thos Ibbotson & Co. Sheffield
William Marples
Preston & Sons
Spear & Jackson
Melhuish, London
Mathieson
Nurse & Co.

Lesser known Ironmongers that have their names stamped on Chapmans braces:
Fox Bros., Sheffield
A.D. Skillman. London
J. A. Hardy
J. E. Morrison. Sheffield
D. H. Wightman.
J. G. Glave, Manchester
John Wilson. Dublin
Jameson & Co. Newcastle
John Hall Cardiff
Parry &Bott Ltd., Birrmingham
James Gibson, Lancas
H. J. Cole & Son.
Charles Parkin
James Frost. Norwich
Beech & Pond, 108 Old St London EC
H. York, Sheffield.
R. Parsons & Co. Sheffield.
Onions & Co. Birmingham (Pre 1910 ?)
CLICO Guaranteed (Sheffield?)
Lewis & Company. Sheffield.
Bennet B. Burley. Glasgow.

Joseph Tyzack & Sons Limited

Braces made by Chapman

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 40 (cat. 1931)
Type: Ratchet / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 5in
Notes: Unmarked apart from 52 on chuck?

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 52 (cat. 1931)
Type: Plain brace / alligator jaws
Size: STEEL 5in      
Notes: Stamped “Marples& Sons”

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 46 (cat. 1931)
Type: Plain brace / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 5in
Notes: Stamped  “ Rd MELHUISH Ltd LONDON”

CHAPMAN, J. A.
Type: Ratchet / alligator jaws / nonaganol tapered chuck
Size: “STEEL 10in”
Notes: Stamped “ROBT SORBY. SHEFFIELD”
Also has Chapmans’ registered No. 23971

CHAPMAN, J. A.
No. 16
Type: Ratchet / nonagonal chuck / alligator jaws
Size: “STEEL 10in”
Notes: Has Chapmans’ registered No.239718

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 54 (cat. 1931)
Type: Plain brace / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 8in
Notes: stamped “ EDWD PRESTON & SONS Trade Mark”

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 66 (cat. 1931)
Type: D Quality brace / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 10in
Notes: stamped “MELHUISH Ltd LONDON”

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 60 (cat. 1931)
Type: D Quality ratchet brace / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 10in
Notes: STAMPED “R F COULSTON, WALTHAMSTOW”

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 60 (cat. 1931)
Type: D Quality ratchet brace / plain jaws
Size: STEEL 10”
Notes: Has “TRADE MARK” with JAC logo on the frame.
Chuck: Manufactured by J. A. Chapman Ltd.
Sheffield, England.

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. ?
Type: Ratchet brace / nonagonal chuck
Size: 6in throw
Notes: Not in 1931 catalogue

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 9 (1931 cat.)
Type: Registered brace
Size:  STEEL 9in
Notes: Has RD. 203283 on the thumb-screw

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 43
Type: Ratchet brace
Size: 10in
Notes: Has “BRITISH MADE “with “JAC” logo on the frame
Followed by 566 within a circle.
Chuck: Manufactured by J. A. Chapman Ltd.
Sheffield, England.

CHAPMAN, J.A.
No. 144
Type: Ratchet
Size: 8in
Notes: On the chuck “J. A. CHAPMAN
MADE IN ENGLAND BY STANLEY WORKS. (GB) LTD”

The Stanley Works’  Great Britain was formed in 1936 by re-naming the purchased firm of J. A. Chapman of Sheffield.

Chapman, J.A.
No 32. Rd
No 239718 with lever activated ratchet, (Photo 2) very similar to the simplified version of Goodells US patent No 488691 as used by Goodell-Pratt. Only one like this I’ve seen.

12″ Spofford style brace by Mathiesons of Glasgow, referred to in their catalogue as “Colonial Pattern” available 10 and 12 inch sweep.  In my opinion superior to those made by John Fray in USA because of the thickening of the casting at the thumbscrew of the jaw (photo 2) to give the thread a bit more length to avoid stripping, as often happens.

 8″ Spofford style by Wynn & Timmins of Birmingham. The interesting thing about this brace is the thumbscrew is on the opposite side from those of Fray, Mathieson, and Boker. I have one other the same but it is unbranded.

CHAPMAN, J.A.
Type: Gas Fitters brace
Size:
Notes: Ministry of Defence“ lead sealed” tag tied to the brace.
Marked with J.A. CHAPMAN LTD and on another face the military arrow with number 35. The broard arrow or “crows foot” ordnance mark has been used on British Army equipment since at least 1553 and is a helpful way of determining if everyday items are civilian or military in origin. The 35 in this instance probably means that this brace was manufactured in 1935. Just out of interest six other countries used a similar marking, New Zealand used  N↑Z. and Australia used D↑D (Department of Defence).
So if this bace was indeed made in 1935 ( despite its’ primitive appearance) then it was manufactured a year before Stanley purchased the firm of J.A. Chapman in 1936 and renamed Stanley Works.

SKINNER
No. 194
Type: Ratchet / morse taper socket brace
Size: 10in
Notes: From Skinner’s trade pamphlet “ No. 194 will take No. 1 morse taper drills or bit chucks in the universal socket, has a bright steel finish and natural coloured wood handles”
Made in Sheffield.

Skinner’s Morse taper adapter for the No. 194 brace.
The adapter would have been sold together with the brace.

SKINNER
No. 207
Type: Ratchet / alligator jaws
Size: 10in
Notes: They came with alternative round chucks.
Made in Sheffield.

UNKNOWN
No.?
Type: Ratchet with round ratchet selector.
Size: STEEL 10in
Notes:No markings apart from “STEEL 10in”
Chuck is tapering decagon. The only other brace that I have ever come across that has decagonal chuck sleeves is Fray and these are shown in Frays’ catalogue number 26.

It could be either Chapman (most likely) or Skinner……?

RAPIER
No. ?
Type: Enclosed ratchet
Size: 10 in
Notes:
Manufacturers of Rapier brand name woodworking tools.
Known mostly for their handplanes and spokeshaves.

COMET
No. 110
Type: Ratchet
Size: 10 in
Notes: Only available in two sizes, 6” & 10”

SCOTCH BRACE
The hexagonal cross-section and thickening of the grip are typical of Scotland.
A lever catch to take a notched tang bit. There is a number 5 either side of the opening at the end of the chuck.
Late 1800’s.

SCOTCH BRACE
Has “THOMSON” on one side of the …….. and “GLASGOW” on the opposite.
Possibly Thomson and Co., Crown Ironworks, Glasgow. 1874

SCOTCH BRACE
Often referred to as a”Sixpenny,  Ball or Gentlemans” brace.
Chuck takes either square or flat tang bits.

Wall & Co. Ltd
Measures 13″ long and   8 ½ ” sweep.
It also has the Ministry of Defence arrow. It is stamped “1952 ↑ C 263 ↑”   Wall & Co., James (edge tool manufacturer) Residing at Holborn Works, Sheffield Road, Dronfield in 1905.

Continental Europe

GERMANY
10in sweep
Jaws spring-loaded  and adjusted with a large wingnut

GERMANY
10in sweep
Adjusted by turning the serrated collar.  The chuck accepts square tang and flat tang bits.
Some of these have “D.R.G.M.” 
The acronym D.R.G.M. with or without punctuation stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster, meaning that the design or function of an item was officially registered inside all of the Germany states and not only locally registered as it was the case before the introduction of centralized registration. Note that many people quote this acronym as standing for Deutsches Reich. D.R.G.M. registration was introduced 1891.

GERMANY
10” sweep
Turret brace.Will accept square and round tangs.Provision for the collar to be tightened with a spanner.
Some of these have “D.R.G.M.” and also “D.R.P.a.”

Unknown
Adjustable crank brace

ULTRA RAPID HAND DRILLING MACHINE
Europa-Transocean Warenhandels-Compagnie
Berlin, Germany
Date: Post-1900

GERMANY?
Sold by:  Meister Schlingensiepen,  Cronenberg, Germany
No. 1011
Size: 8in
Type: Light pattern
Chuck: takes square tang and flat tang bits

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