Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

History of Arrowsmith Concrete Tool Co.

Arrowsmith Concrete Tool Co., located in the tiny town of Arrowsmith, IL (population 366 in 1910, 294 in 2010), was one of the first companies to make walking edgers and groovers. They began making concrete tools around 1907, and were taken over in 1918 by Rock Island Manufacturing Co. of Rock Island, IL. Rock Island continued to make Arrowsmith tools with both company names.

The key to their short and long-handled cement tools was a handle attached with a simple swivel joint. The cast iron handle has stepped recess, and a large brass nut is machined to fit into it. The result is a joint that allows the handle to be secure while allowing movement, is easily removed, and is easily cleaned.  Here are 2 articles about Arrowsmith's products in Municipal Journal & Engineer, 1910.

Arrowsmith Concrete Tool Co. was represented at the 1911 Chicago Cement Show by W.A. Scott, J.H. Jacobs, George M. Slingloff (1879-1949), and Ralph L. Sohn. The 2 patents for their tools were by Mr. Sohn (10 Jan. 1879 - 19 Oct. 1956). Mr. Sohn was a blacksmith in Arrowsmith and nearby Cheney's Grove, but his position with the tool company is unknown. He assigned his 1911 patent to Henry M. Scott and Ralph A. Scott, so it's possible that they were the company owners, but I have been unable to verify that.

Concrete, June 1917
Concrete-Cement Age, June 1913 

Concrete Vol. 11, 1911

Arrowsmith edger & groover





















Arrowsmith's patented joint


1 comment:

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