The first evidence of History of Spanner Hand Tools goes back to the 15th century. We have all seen spanners and wrenches. These hand tools are practical levers that give us more advantages in turning various types of nuts and bolts. Spanners are interesting and practical tools. A wide range of professionals uses spanners, from mechanics to woodworkers and metalworkers. Besides, many amateurs and DIYers may use them in their different projects.
But do you know how they have evolved throughout history?
Do you know where they came from?
If you want to read all about the origins of these amazing hand tools, read this article. I have gathered amusing facts and interesting information about different types of spanners and wrenches here.
History of Spanner Hand Tools
As far as we know, the first usages of spanners were clamping pipes, connecting different pieces of an armor suit, and winding up crossbow strings as they could tighten the strings tauter than any human being. It is interesting to know that there were no standard sizes for spanners and fasteners back then, and each blacksmith made the fasteners and its spanner individually. This way of manufacturing fasteners and wrenches remained the same until the 18th century.
The 18th century was the start of something great, which we call “The Industrial Revolution” now. The industrial revolution completely changed the way spanners were made. It also changed the number of manufactured spanners. During this time, spanners diversified in type, size, and usages. Many of the new types of spanner hand tools that we use today were invented in the 18th century. With the modern technology of that time, the wrought iron wrenches that blacksmiths made were replaced by factory-made, cast iron spanners models. Because they were made industrially, their prices were much lower than hand-made versions. These tools’ industrial production had another impact; standard sizes of bolts, nuts, and spanners.
1825 was the year that the standard sizes for fasteners and spanners were developed. This was a great event because now you could use one spanner on different nuts and bolts. It also meant that if you lost your spanner, you wouldn’t have to go and get a blacksmith to make you a customized spanner. Manufacturers could also sell fasteners and wrenches separately, and people didn’t have to purchase them as a set. This standardized system of producing spanners was a turning point in the tools industry. In the past, each machine had its own set of spanners. However, with the standardized spanners, any mechanic could work on any machine with his own set.
The industrial revolution had a great impact on the tools industry and paved the way for many great innovations in spanners. Although the standardized wrench had been produced since 1825, Solymon Merrick patented the first wrench in 1835. However, the spanners produced during this time were not quite accurate. This is why in 1840, the engineer Sir Joseph Whitworth came up with a way to increase the accuracy of production and brought it to another level. The Whitworth standard was developed based on this new technology, and now every factory could reproduce spanners easily.
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In 1870, another patent was granted to Daniel C. Stillson. Stillson actually invented the pipe spanner. At that time, he was working in a heating and piping company called Walworth. He suggested that they manufacture a wrench that could screw pipes together. The company liked the idea, and after making several prototypes, he came up with the pipe wrench. Many inventors introduced their own spanners in that period. For example, the monkey wrench was invented by Charles Moncky in 1858. And in 1913, Robert Owen patented the ratchet wrench.
Nowadays, spanners and wrenches come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and their quality is not even comparable to their older versions. Additionally, some of them are powered by pneumatic forces and electricity to provide the maximum comfort level for operators when working. From the 15th century to the 21st, they have come a long and amazing journey. But there is always room for improvement, and with modern technology, who knows what happens 10 years from now?
This article was a brief History of Spanner Hand Tools. I hope you enjoyed reading it and found its information interesting enough. If you want to add something, be sure to leave a comment!