Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 4
   March 2010
   Featured Patents

"The Prince" Combination-Tool
"The Prince" Combination-Tool

Almost every inventor's new device is born in the hope that it will be financially successful and perhaps make a mundane task easier. This is especially true with multi-use or combination tools. The tendency is to add feature after feature of different working parts, offering options that allow the tool to be used for many different tasks, creating wider commercial appeal.

By the 19th and 20th centuries, manufacturers and inventors sought to create a single tool or device that didn't require easily lost parts and still performed multiple functions. This is still the goal of many of today's entrepreneurs. Prince E. Shortt, of Floyd, Virginia, sought with his patent #921,171 a combination tool to alleviate crowding in the area of previously patented combination brace tools, by combining the different functions, an auger, vise, wrench, wire cutter and screwdriver. No doubt there were more variations to
be explored. The actual patent claims — all four of them found only at the end of the five-page application — were more a description of the main shank, the clamping methods, and their configuration for use as envisioned by the inventor, rather than the actual function of the tool.

Wrench / screwdriver configuration   Close-up of wrench jaw
Wrench / screwdriver configuration.   Close-up of wrench jaw.
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