d42jeep wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:32 am
The reason that I believe the 8" Diamalloy wrench to be early war is that I think it was made before the horseshoe logo was removed but after the metal restrictions took effect. Every prewar or postwar Diamalloy adjustable wrench was chrome plated, as far as I know. I suppose that there could have been a special postwar contract for plain finish wrenches with the FSN stamped in but that seems a bit of a stretch.
I guess I see the possibility of a gray area transition period, before Diamond removed the logo, but I don't understand what that has to do with metal restrictions. I just assumed the logo was removed for a no frills approach to wartime contract production. They could've used the same dies regardless of the steel composition or the plating.
EDIT: To clarify, I see what you mean. You're postulating that they stopped plating their adjustables in late 41, to include government contracts, but didn't decide to re-tool with a new die in which the horseshoe logo was no longer present, until sometime later. I don't know how probable it is for them to be re-tooling in the middle of wartime contract production. I've always associated the wrenches without the logo as made with dies made explicitly for military contract production. I could be wrong.
EDIT2: FWIW, Diamond had nine (9) wartime contracts in the MWSC books, worth $706,000 in total, with the first (QMC, $99,000) awarded on February 1942 and the last (ORD, $68,000) awarded October 1944.
I do have to disagree with you about post-war being a stretch though. We do see industry
go almost immediately back to plating for commercial sales, but a lot of military tools in the immediate post-war and KW era are still painted, plain steel, or even black oxide, including adjustables (I have a few different brands). They are distinguished from wartime era wrenches by their style and markings. A number of post-war Billings and Fairmount DOE wrenches that pop up here quite often with a wartime finish, but different shape or markings, are a good example. I think some parts of the Army at least apparently thought they could get by with painted, unfinished or black oxide for quite some time before we see plated start showing up in military issue again.