Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

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raincrowe
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Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by raincrowe » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:20 am

I would like to feature a 4 inch adjustable wrench marked....Billings & Spencer Hartford Conn U.S.A....with a B triangle...
The unusual thing about this wrench is that on the backside inscribed is... U.S. Army with someone initials..
Since it was a bicycle wrench I was thinking did the army use bicycles? When looking up this information I found a photo
showing the...American Bicycle Corp at Fort Missoula Montana in 1897... The amazing thing is I've never heard that.
Motorcycles but not bicycles..
It would be interesting to know more about someone who served in this unit like pictures, ect.. any information welcome!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry
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cottage hill bill
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by cottage hill bill » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:58 pm

It looks very similar to some WWII British wrenches I have. However, tool design didn't change a lot from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. Normally tools and other items would have been marked by stamping, sometimes with single letter stamps, rather than scratching an id in them. At least up until the invention of the electro pencil type of engraving tool. I'd like to be able to look at it in hand.

Most armies experimented with the use of bicycle troops from the late 1800s until after WWII. The British, French and German armies all had large numbers of bicycle mounted troops in WWI. The Germans still moved a lot of men on bicycles in WWII. It tended to work better in Europe where distances were shorter and there were more roads. In the US distance and lack of roads probably worked against bicycles as opposed to horses.

Still, a neat tool for your collection. Even though I picked them up as an addition to my British militaria collection I still reach for mine occasionally when working on a project.

doglegg
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by doglegg » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:53 pm

raincrowe that is indeed a cool find. ::tu:: ::tu::

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rea1eye
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by rea1eye » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:54 pm

Interesting read and post.

Bob

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1967redrider
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by 1967redrider » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:00 pm

That's awesome and the type of tool I like learning about (those with a military background). Thanks for posting!
Pocket, fixed, machete, axe, it's all good!

You're going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking out of your @#$. -Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter

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tongueriver
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by tongueriver » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:10 pm

Few people realize that in the 1880s and 1890s it was considered to be common knowledge that bicycles and their ilk were the transportation norm of the future (along with railroads, of course). The newfangled automobiles were given short shrift at that time, no more than a passing anomaly. Bicycles were HUGE! People watched bicycle races indoors and out by the thousands. I am still rather fond of the devices. I, at the tender age of 73 3/4, reached my 2020 goal of 1000 miles on my geezer bike day before yesterday. My bicycle wrenches are not as interesting as the OP wrench. Nice thread!

raincrowe
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by raincrowe » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:15 pm

I looked up the pat numbers on the wrench
U.S. Army and initials was inscribed by the individual who owned or was issued the wrench after market..
Would like to say thanks all for their input..

http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPa ... p?id=22754

knife7knut
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Re: Bicycle Adjustable Wrench Billings & Spencer

Post by knife7knut » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:16 am

Here is a knife I picked up a long time ago and it took awhile to figure out it's purpose.The blade is etched,"Tru-Sport" and has a fish scaler type false edge with a cap lifter built-in.The top of the tang under the handle is a file and when the handle is removed exposes a series of open end wrenches(with one box opening where the snap holding the handle on goes. The tip of the tang appears to be a spoke wrench. I thought it would be appropriate to post on this thread.
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Adventure BEFORE Dementia!

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