Crescent wrench takes the U.S. by storm
Karl Peterson, who founded the Crescent Tool Co., in Jamestown,
N.Y., in 1907, is considered the creator of what is today known as
the Crescent® wrench. A Swedish emigrant, he collaborated with
another Swede in design of the tool, which initially proved
complicated to produce. Emil Johnsson, a Crescent plant
superintendent, overcame that challenge by creating a machine
designed to cut precise slots in the wrenches.
When the first Crescent wrenches were produced in the U.S., they
proved an immediate success. Many competitors tried to duplicate
the Crescent wrench. Even the patented slotcutting machine invented
by Johnsson was a target for imitators. A Canadian company, then
immune from U.S. patent regulations, went so far as to build a
slot-cutting machine. Wrench blanks were shipped from the U.S. to
be slotted in Canada, and then returned to the U.S. for assembly.
Sub-sequent legal action slowed such activity.
Like the Bahco Group, Peterson at Crescent Tool insisted on top
quality production. Both companies remain in business today.