Inspired by a cool find by Toolmonger reader whiteforge, I dug up a photo of this unusual curved wrench, courtesy of Ron Geeson of Made in Birmingham. The wrench was made for the English Fordson tractor, or “automobile plow,” that Henry Ford & Sons Company developed in 1917 — in the 1920s manufacture moved exclusively to Ireland and England. The Fordson was the first mass-produced tractor that small farmers and ordinary people could afford, and was in production until 1991 when the company sold its tractor division to Fiat.
This particular wrench has a unique snail logo in relief on the handle. It was tough to track down, but evidently it comes from Snail Brand tools, a division of Smith Francis in Birmingham, England, who’ve been in business since 1934. While these vintage spanners are primarily in circulation overseas, a recent eBay auction (now closed) shows you can still get them for around £18, or about $30.
Even though antique farming equipment may not be your forte, have any of you Toolmongers got any unusual, rare, or antique tools you’d like to share? Tell us about them in comments, and feel free to post photos in the Toolmonger Flickr pool!