Mechanic’s fine tools salesman card from around 1897
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    Default Mechanic’s fine tools salesman card from around 1897

    Found this on ebay a couple of years ago; title was just ‘salesman’s card’ in the collectible tool section. The front shows 25 Standard Tool Co. tools, but none of these illustrations are from STC’s catalogs or advertisements. They must have been created at some expense just for this card.

    The rear is a photograph and is just fabulous to a tool collector like me. I’d date it to 1895-1900 based on the Starrett screwdrivers in the smaller case that were only in their 1895 catalog and the Richardson levels that STC replaced with their own design seen in their 1901 catalog. None of the tools are rare. The bottom of the photo shows the case with the two panels above that fit into the case. The smaller case shows non-STC tools.



    stc_card_front.jpg

    stc_card_back.jpg


    The best part to me is not the tools, but the glimpse into how tool salesman operated in the day with their cards and samples. Research by PM member Honrick found Geo. Snyder’s passport application from 1893 that I have included below. His face is described as regular, dandy(?) mustache. Maybe it’s not dandy, but it’s appropriate. Honrick pointed out that the passport witness was Frank E. Wing who was a big shot at Starrett, and Charles Churchill & Co. in London was a major importer of American tools.

    ————————————————————————————————————
    information from his passport application Sept. 18, 1893 / passport was issued Sept 20, 1893

    George W. Snyder
    -born May 29, 1860 at Waterport, Orleans County, New York
    -his “permanent address” is Athol, Worcester County, MA
    -occupation is “travelling salesman”
    -Age: 33 years old
    -Stature: 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches
    -Forehead: medium
    -Eyes: blue
    -Nose: German
    -Mouth: medium
    -Chin: regular
    -Hair: dark
    -Complexion: medium
    -Face: regular. (dandy ?) mustache

    -witness to application is Frank E. Wing, Athol, Mass.

    -passport is to be sent to George W. Snyder,
    -care of Charles Churchill & Co. Ltd.
    21 Cross St.
    London, England

    record-image_3qs7-99d6-hymf.jpg



    Here’s a link to a PM thread on a STC beam micrometer with some discussion questioning if its engine turned pattern is original. The closeup of the two from the card shows the pattern is probably original. I’ve never seen this pattern on other STC beam micrometers. So maybe they were made for salesmen, and maybe the one on this PM thread is from George’s case.

    Standard Tool, Athol, Ma. World Record Price!

    beam_mics.jpg

    george.jpg

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    How could one not 'like' this note. And, 'German nose,' of course.

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    Tip of the hat to apolune. First finding this salesman's card and then sharing it with others is a really big deal. I know I was both surprised and elated when I first saw it.

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    Wow! Very cool.

    Wouldn’t as collectors we would love to find that case! Funny thing now that I think about I can’t think of any tool salesman’s cases for any type of tools have ever hit the market? The closest thing I ever had was a leather brief case, silk lined fitted out with all sizes of flashlights.

    You would think there would have been lots of salesman on the road? Once heard them referee to as drummers,to drum up business.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    Wow! Very cool.

    Wouldn’t as collectors we would love to find that case! Funny thing now that I think about I can’t think of any tool salesman’s cases for any type of tools have ever hit the market? The closest thing I ever had was a leather brief case, silk lined fitted out with all sizes of flashlights.

    You would think there would have been lots of salesman on the road? Once heard them referee to as drummers,to drum up business.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Here is the one that sold for more than I wanted to pay...

    I collect the Eifel Flash Plierench and have a very large number of them, along with the paper items that advertise and instruct. Eifel was a cool guy with unique advertising skills, along with inventing one of the best tools ever. His initial patent was issued in 1916. I got my first example around 1956 and instantly loved it. Eifel tried to get independent salespeople to buy a package of kits and sell them on street corners and in garages and such (think Snap-On dealers). I have a booklet that Eifel printed that instructed his sellers on how to demonstrate the tools. He showed an assortment of props that highlighted the unique benefits of the tool. Each tool was sold in a cloth pouch (early ones had a belt loop) containing the pliers, two or more additional jaws, and an owners' manual. The early 1920's books are fascinating. Eifel suggested that you could stand along a busy city street with your tool handy, waiting for an automobile to break down. Then you whip out your tool and fix the car, quickly making enough money to pay back the $5 cost.

    I have a letter sent by Eifel to a potential salesperson who failed to place an order for a stock of tools after inquiring about them. It is wild.

    Old-time correspondence- rudeness from Joseph Eifel of PlieRench fame

    Anyway, someone on eBay had an actual original 1930's Plierench salesman's case containing the selling props that I had seen pictured in my books. I have forgotten what it sold for, but I did not get it. I did save a couple of low res pictures from eBay.

    The last picture is a 1924 Plierench kit.

    Larry

    copy-plierench-salesmans-case.jpg copy-plierench-salesmans-kit.jpg


    plierench-world-flight-1.jpg

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    I've never seen "Introducer" as a job title.

    I guess that's more like an application specialist than a salesman.

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    Looks like I now have a halloween costume for this year!


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