William Henry Phelps of Stamford, Connecticut, was granted
patent #312,012 on February 10, 1885. Phelps' patent claim
was that this type of file-holder handle was an improvement
on the conventional, commonly used round handle. This holder
type enabled a user to file large flat surfaces without encumbrances
and to get beyond the reach of a file using an end-type handle.
The papers also claim that, with the insertion of a suitable
block, the file can be used in a vertical mode, perhaps to
work a slot.
was most gracious in giving credit to previous patentees for
this type of holder and even lists them in his patent application.
This example differs from the drawing and patent claim only
in the clamp screw type and the fixed handle, which Phelps
described; however, he stated that his preference in practice
was for a removable handle. No patent model was ever submitted
to the patent office. Cast-iron commercial examples have been
found with the patent date marked. It is interesting that
this handle is described in the patent papers as "which
is also like that of a hand plane".