I always assumed that it was because you could
open them wide and use them to tighten the packing
nut on a pump shaft. A job that doesn't take a
lot of torque and would be well suited to a slip-
Think water pump on the farm, or in the back yard, or maybe in the
kitchen if you were in a ritzy part of town.
Before running water was accepted as a given.
I had heard at one point that hese type pliers were actually included
with a new pump as a matter of course, but I have no cites on that.
Pretty certain tha the water pump was not one on an automobile, though.
Model Ts didn't have a water pump.
However from a 20s tool catalog, an explicit description:
"No. 1520 Williams' Chrome-Alloy Superpliers
For Water-Pump Packing-Gland Nuts
Serviceable in adjusting packing-gland nuts on practically
all cars, trucks, tractors and smaller industrial engines. Jaws
close entirely, they grip any thickness up to 2 inches.
Knurled handles provide a firm hand grip.
Drop-forged from special chrome-alloy steel and heat treated. Length,
Gray satin finish; faces and sides are polished.
No. 1520. . . . ... . . .. . . .. . . .each $2.20"
The pliers illustrated are slip jaw type.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
The old hand well pumps didn't have packing in them. The old jet pumps did.
The hand well pumps had what were called leathers. They are actually made
from leather. They were flat or cupped. There was one at the bottom of the
cylinder acting like a check valve. Then the one in the cylinder that did
the actual pumping. This one was usually cupped and was connected to the
pump handle by a long rod. Look at the link below for Lehmans, an amish
hardware store. Btw if you ever get a chance to visit their store in person
you'll be amazed at everything they carry. Jesse
My grandad's favorite tool! Must have had 3 dozen pairs in the
basement when we cleaned it out, all too slippy to grasp anything.
Got good scrap price for them, though. About all they're good for
today is grinding grooves in them to remove those OEM spring wire hose
clamps on cars and these wouldn't have worked for that.
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