This is a guide to wrenches I have identified for B.D. Buford & Co, the Rock Island Plow Co and some associated companies. This is my list that I have identified through: the 1878 B.D. Buford & Co catalog, the Rock Island Plow Co 1900 parts list (abbreviated 00PL), 1909 supplement (09PL), 1912 parts list (abbreviated 12PL), Repair catalog No 40 circa 1916 (undated but listings should put it mid teens, possibly as early as 1914) (40PL). 1920 repair catalog 60 (60PL) and repair catalog no 71 1925 (25PL) and its 1930 supplement (30PL) as well as Sanders Disc Plow repair lists both pre and post RIPC buyout as well as advertising and catalogs. I am aware I am missing at least the 1909 parts catalog and I am sure I am missing at least a couple from 1880’s and 1890’s which could fill in some gaps.
I have lumped this into generations to get a better feeling for the progression of wrench styles. These generations are my own research and may be taken for what they are worth. I place variants within the original archtypes generation except where parts list information exists to separate. A handful of wrenches are attributed to RIPC that either cannot be confirmed or are incorrect listings due to the casting numbers being misread, I will address those at the end of the list.
Any wrench pictured solely by catalog picture, I would be very interested in obtaining. Some, like the disc plow series, may not be marked so confirmation of the wrenches has so far proven difficult. I am also interested in upgrading those in poor condition with better examples in many cases.
Gen 1 1870’s
These wrenches all appear in the 1878 BD Buford & Co catalog with parts plates and were likely replaced in the early 1880’s with the named wrenches.
Buford listed as 91 in the cultivator parts plate, actual wrench likely unmarked, multiple similar variants exist, likely used by other companies. possibly shown in 1878 illustration of Defiance cultivator.
Buford Listed as 61 in the Browne Sulky parts plate in the 1878 catalog. Shows no markings but visually matches marked Browne Sulky marked variant or also appears to possibly match an unmarked variant commonly attributed to Deere (middle). Possible both a marked and unmarked version were used. Discussion on the Morrison/Brown question Here
Adjustable wrench appears to be the “nut & thread” adjustment version of Byron C. Bradley’s patent #155,139 Wrench pictured is very close in design but has minor differences.
Gen 2 1880’s
These wrenches are named wrenches and would have appeared post 1878 but prior to the 1885 reorganization into the Rock Island Plow Company and do not exist in any parts list I have available. None are active wrenches as of 00PL.
|Buford this is a “Buford” marked wrench, however, my wrench shows only a faint remain of the name.|
|Browne Sulky Some discussion on if this was for the Morrison Browne or B.D. Buford Browne, I firmly believe it was the B.D. Buford wrench. Discussion on this on the Browne Page.|
|BDB & Co CP I am guessing CP stands for Cultivators & Plows.|
|Buford C1 only known Buford era non clevis wrench with a part number. The number still existed in index of 00PL as obsolete, but no listing on parts plates.|
Gen 3 late 1880’s -1890’s
These wrenches were the mostly the first wrenches used under the Rock Island Plow Co name. These wrenches all lack numbering. At this time, I have no parts list for this era so rely on the reorganization form B.D. Buford to Rock Island plow and advertising to separate Gen 2 and Gen 3.
????? theoretical unknown wrench for ELI plow. later parts list show S234 & S329, but 00PL shows only wrench listing despite listings for other plows with specific wrench which matches the use for other obsolete wrenches, no picture in parts plates. Eli was post reorganization so unlikely a Buford wrench was used making an as yet unidentified wrench the most logical fit.
|Ajax/Superior smaller of the Ajax wrenches for Ajax ridding and Superior walking cultivators ~1888 – ~1895 listed as “Superior wrench” in 00PL|
|Ajax & Superior larger of the Ajax wrenches for Ajax ridding and Superior walking cultivators ~1888 – ~1895 listed as “Superior wrench” in 00PL|
|Buy rock island listers mid to late 1880’s to mid 1890’s|
|wrench unlabeled wrench for listers shown in 00PL|
|wrench unlabeled T handle wrench for riding listers shown in 00PL|
Gen 4 late 1890’s -early 1900’s
This list is primarily generated from the 1900 (00PL) parts list cross referencing with advertising. By this time, wrenches were being numbered to make referencing easier. The disc plow wrenches are something of an oddity as RIPC was a significant seller of disc plows in Texas and the western market. By that standard, there should be a number of these wrenches available but so far I have not been able to identify any. This likely means they are unmarked and may differ slightly from the drawings.
|34 ( 1 1/8″ small opening) shown in 00PL for listers, small opening variant|
|2331 shown only in 00PL for prince cultivator. Same as Empire wrench with different numbering, number appears on the single opening end. placing it here due to Prince cultivator not appearing until ~1900.|
|S234 (3 OPENINGS) shown in 00PL plow plates and for stalk cutters and other tools|
|S234 (4 OPENINGS) not shown in 00PL, 12PL+ shows 5 opening. Likely in 1909 PL?|
|S329 (single opening) pictured on multiple parts plates for plows in 00PL, 2 opening shown in 12PL+|
|C188 ( 1 1/2″ large opening) shown in 00PL cultivators. large opening, C188 on head variant.|
|D27 shown in 00PL+ for disc plows|
|D89 shown in 00PL+ for disc plows|
|D109 shown in 00PL+ for disc plows|
|D145 shown in 00PL+ for disc plows|
|L262 monarch corn planter|
|N124 duchess cultivator|
|Y103 corn planters|
|Y153 corn planters check wire tool
|monkey wrench shown in 00PL+ for hayloaders.|
Gen 5 early 1900’s- early 1910’s
This list is primarily added from the 1912 parts list (12PL) for uses predating 1912. Starting in 1911 the pressed steel wrenches were standard issue for most new implements needing only standard size wrenches, rendering many of these obsolete.
|34 (1 1/2″ large opening) shown in 12PL+ for listers|
|B-34 Daisy Clipper plow|
|C188 ( 1 1/8 small opening, U variant) cultivators, U on hammer head, lettering on wings|
|H356 Defiance Disk Harrow|
|H358 disk and disk harrows|
|S234 (5 openings) general plow wrench, but also used on other products|
|S329 (2 openings) used for plows, hub wrench|
|S503 has similar appearance as S239 but is likely smaller.|
Gen 6 1911 -1927
Although they do not appear in parts lists until 40PL; I am lumping the addition of the Great Western line of manure spreaders, litter carriers, cream separators and gas engines into this generation as RIPC purchased them in 1911. This group also includes the addition of the Chambers, Baring & Quinlan Company, of Decatur, IL in 1912. The purchase of CB&Q added rakes and tedders to the lineup, while Rock Island sold off the remaining C,B &Q product lines to IHC.
|D239 Great Western manure spreader. C variant also exists, but appears to have no other differences. An entirely different version also exists, but is attributed to Kingman Plow Co (see below)|
|F-48 Great Western litter carriers|
|HR66 tedder and cylinder rakes from C,B & Q company|
|HR67 tedder and cylinder rakes from C,B & Q company|
|Great Western separator bowl wrench small for 30 & 40|
|Great Western separator bowl wrench large for other sizes|
|Great Western bicycle wrench for separator|
Gen 6.5 ~1916?
General Repair Catalog No.40 is a bit of a dilemma as it has no date, it treats the CB&Q rakes and tedders as standard products, but separates out the Great Western line into its own section with new products. There is no specific mention of tractor implement parts and no easy means to date it. The treatment of the GW line suggests it to be fairly early, but the introduction of the cast R1122, R1123 and R1124 wrenches makes little sense unless a steel shortage from the war effort was driving an alternative to the steel wrenches. 40PL also contains a couple of European market export plows. The 40 also makes no particular sense as it would make it 1925 from 1885 if it was years from the Rock Island Plow incorporation. 1855 would only make it 1895 which is far to early while a date from around 1878 or just prior would make sense. To complicate things, the repair catalog 60 has a 1920 date, but is no more than a few years later and the repair catalog 71 is from around 1925. My personal feeling at this point is that it dates to around 1916. 40PL in a lot of ways represents the end of the cast iron wrench era as most of the wrenches appearing after this were the more modern designs and style.
|E16 20th century walking planters|
|KW8 #78 cultivator, not in 40PL, obsoleted in the 1920 60PL. There are also an S8 version that is considered an orphan.|
|KW8 SU variant of KW8 with SU added, still believed to be RIPC but not listed. No size difference from KW8.|
|These cast wrenches are an oddity as they appear after the pressed steel general purpose wrenches and then were quickly obsoleted.R1122 large
| R1437 Great Western Manure Spreaders
w70 cream separator wrench (no picture) the same as above now numbered?
w71 cream separator wrench (no picture) the same as above now numbered?
Sanders Disc Plow Wrenches
RIPC sold their own disc plows until the 20’s when they began selling Newall Sanders Disc Plows. In 1927 RIPC purchased Newall Sanders and continued to sell them under the Sanders name. At the time of the buyout, RIPC listed in the 1927 Sanders Disk Plow parts list:Later RIPC parts lists only listed V4179 and V50021. I will eventually update this with the full line of Sanders Disk Plow wrenchs so gave it its own section.
|V50021 steel pressed wrench for late RIPC built Sanders Disk Plows. Large wrench, likely mistaken for railroad.|
Heider Tractor wrenches
Besides the V4179, V4180 and V4181 wrenches above, the Heider C and D parts book lists four unpictured socket wrenches and two Waukesha specialty engine wrenches.
Rock Island Tractor wrenches
The following is the actual listing from the parts book for Rock Island tractors 1927+ (the model G used the 2718 above also). No pictures are given. I have not yet identified the difference between the TF536 and A versions. At this time, I have never seen an original set of Rock Island tools so do not have information on the individual tools aside from ones pictured below. The flat wrenches today are still useful for working on Rock Island tractors due to their thin nature. The fan nut and the magneto adjustment especially. Besides the listed tools, such items as the Splitdorf magneto tools may have been used.