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.