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Yankee Braces - A Type Study of Sorts
by George Langford
February 17, 2007; updated June 4, 2008.

Group F - Three eight-inch swing braces made for the Bell System,
one made by North Bros. after the first two patents had expired,
another, also made by North Bros., made before the two chuck patents were ready,
and the third, made after their acquisition by Stanley, when no patents remained in effect.

Both the eight-inch swing Yankee braces below were made by North Bros., first (at left) as an independent entity and the second (with the domed ratchet enclosure) as a division of Stanley Tools after all the patents had run their course.  Their mechanisms are nearly identical, except that someone, whether at Bell or at Stanley, became uneasy about trusting the owners of the braces with the task of lubricating them, so one of the two oil holes for the ratchet mechanism was taken away as seen in the closeups of the heads at right.

The older brace at left, designated B&D-F1, has been SOLD, and the North Bros./Stanley brace at right, designated B&D-F2, is also SOLD

A third brace, B&D-F3, recently SOLD, is shown at the bottom of this page.

The heads are arranged with the right hand brace below the left hand brace.

The pads below are also arranged with the right hand brace below the left hand brace.

Mixed-vintage Yankee braces

Heads of the two Yankee braces

Pad of left-hand brace

Pad of right-hand brace

This is brace B&D-F3, SOLD.

Overall view of brace B&D-F3

Chuck & ratchet
The cover of the ratchet housing has several dents from hammering by an owner too lazy to sharpen the bits ... but the mechanism & ball bearing chuck work fine,  and the jaws don't look used at all.
Cracked wrist of B&D-F3
The wrist handle has a tight, 3/4 inch crack as seen at the right hand end.

The pad, below, has all the red inlay remaining.

"YANKEE" molded into pad
Underside of pad
"YANKEE" is stamped into the metal in two places as well as molded into the pad.
"YANKEE" on chuck
"YANKEE" on ratchet

Two patent dates on ratchet
The ratchet housing is stamped with the dates of the first two patents, US Patent No.1,473,423 (the wrist handle) and US Patent No. 1,523,187 (the ratchet mechanism).
"BELL SYSTEM" stamped into bow
Model No. 2101-8IN