Post image for A Real Crescent Wrench.

A Real Crescent Wrench.

by Tom on August 25, 2011 · 4 comments

in bike history,jujumusings

I was working on adding some bling to the tallbike for Burning Man and I looked down and noticed something interesting.

I’d never really registered before that my old Crescent Wrench was an actual, made-in-the-USA wrench by Crescent Tool of Jamestown, NY.

It’s pretty different from the Chinese knockoff I’ve been using and calling a “Crescent Wrench” since forever. I think I must have inherited this real Crescent Wrench from my grandfather – I got a bunch of tools from him when he passed away. I love the patina and the history of this tool, which has to be one of the most versatile hand tools to have been designed in the 20th century. So I dug up a little more history.

The Crescent Tool Company, was officially incorporated in 1907 by Swedish emigrant Karl Peterson in Jamestown, NY. Although several companies marketed similar tools, the Crescent wrench was very popular and held significant market share.

There’s a whole history of the Crescent Tool Company here.

Because Crescent was acquired by the Crestaloy Company in 1930, my wrench may in fact be a pre-1930 original!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

greg August 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Awesome. I have a grandfather hand-me-down crescent as well. I want one of those hammer handle screwdrivers! Great post! Thank you!

- g

Bikejuju Bride August 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Yes, the wrench is really nice. And I love the other beautiful, hand-worn tools from your grandfather that live in the basement. Last year I bought an awl at the craft store for a book-making project, then found a gorgeous old wood-handled awl that belonged to Al sr.! Now I know to dig around on the workbench before adding to the tool collection. Who knows what might be there!

Eric October 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm

A lot of wrenches were made after 1930 without the crestaloy imprint. Crestaloy was actually the trade name of the alloy used to make them. The only thing you can say for sure is that if it says Jamestown NY it was made prior to the mid 70s. That’s when the company left here.(I live in Jamestown)

Mike Thompson October 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

I purchased a Cresent wrench at a flea market that doesn’t have a whole at the end. The end of the wrench has a piece of metal made on the end of the wrench where the hole should be. Have not been able to find a picture of this wrench. If anyone has any information regarding this Cresent wrench please let me know.

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