Patented and Distinctive Bit Braces & Augers, a Research Study
George Langford, Sc.D.
Updated December 18, 2016
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Spofford's-patent braces
These patented braces were made for a long time - between 1859 and the 1950's, first by John S. Fray and his associates, and then, after he died, by the Stanley Works. I have a study of the progression of patents and maker's marks on Spofford braces for much of this period on another page. They are nearly indestructible, except by the ignorant folks who attempt to use them to drill holes with large, round-shanked bits, for which even a wrench cannot keep the bit from slipping in the chuck.

Representative Images
(right-click & view image)
Found by GB

Patent Dates
(chronological order)
Directory of American
Toolmakers: active years
Nelson Spofford/
Fray & Pigg
Chuck apart
188 25,984
November 1, 1859
1859-1869 (Fray & Pigg Co. per Sandy Moss)
Nelson Spofford; John S. Fray/
John S. Fray Co.
Chuck apart
73 219,574
September 16, 1879
March 23, 1880

Nelson Spofford/
Stanley Works-Fray-made parts
Sweetheart era
Overall; makers' marks
40 237,780
February 15, 1881
1859-1916 (John S. Fray)
1920-onwards (the Stanley Company, per Sandy Moss)