NORTH BROS. MFG. CO. "YANKEE" Radio Tool Sets

Last updated: 22 November 2016

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Radio Tools store counter display stand (front)

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Radio Tools store counter display stand (back)

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From early 1920's A. Weber Company Distributor catalog


In the days of Radio's infancy - the 1920s and early 1930s - radio manufacture, rebuild and repair was very much the province of wood workers. The chassis for mounting components and the speaker cabinets were mostly made of wood. I used to assist my father, who was a great tinkerer, in repairing and modifying radios belonging to friends and relatives during the late 1930s and 1940s. I also built my own crystal radios.

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1924 NORTH BROS. ADVERTISEMENT

.......... and for work on electrical appliances, odd jobs, and general home maintenance.


"YANKEE" Radio Tools were available in two sets: No. 105 packaged in the standard North Bros. pale green cardboard box with a descriptive yellow label and as No. 106, which consisted of the No. 105 Tool Set plus a No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill, in a fitted wooden chest (which in turn was in a standard North Bros. cardboard packing box). Both of these sets were listed by North Bros. in their tool catalogs from the mid 1920s until sometime in the late 1930s.


The "YANKEE" N0. 105 Radio Tool Set consists of a No. 230 Ratchet Tool Holder plus a set of attachments and a special wrench in a standard North Bros.cardboard packing box. Although a bent wire sample was illustrated on the box exterior, it was not included in the tool set.

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No. 105 Radio Tool Set with paper wrapped attachments in original factory box

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No. 105 Radio Tool Set original factory box top label

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No. 105 Radio Tool Set original factory box end label


The "YANKEE" N0. 106 Radio Tool Set consists of a No. 105 Radio Tool Set plus a No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill fitted in a mahogany stained wooden chest contained within a standard North Bros. cardboard packing box.

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The chest is made from straight grain soft wood - the exterior is stained mahogany per the catalog description - the interior is bare wood without any fabric covering.

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This "YANKEE" Radio Tool Set No. 106 label is pretty much intact and in reasonably good condition.

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The individual tool attachments are secured in a spring activated drilled out block in the chest lid and are extracted after elevating the block by pushing down on the left edge of it. The retaining blocks in the chest lid are glued in place. The special wrench is secured in the lid via a spring steel retainer. Each tool attachment is stamped "YANKEE" as is the wrench. The No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill and No. 230 Ratchet Tool Holder are snugly secured in place by wooden blocks which are in turn affixed to the chest floor by brads.


The No. 230 Ratchet Tool Holder was only sold as part of the No. 105 and No. 106 Radio Tool Sets.

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Barrel is stamped:
"YANKEE" No. 230
NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.
PHILA. PA. U.S.A.
Pat. 2-97
May 4-06 -- MAY 4-15

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The No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill, although diminutive in size (9 1/2" long), is ruggedly made and embodies the renowned North Bros. quality of manufacture. The No. 1431 Hand Drill was offered separately from the No. 106 Radio Tool Set as a stand alone tool in the North Bros. catalogs.

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No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill packed in original 1920s era factory box

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No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill in original 1920s era factory box

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No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill original 1920s era factory box top label

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No. 1431 Radio Hand Drill original 1920s era factory box end label

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Handle ferrule is stamped:
"YANKEE" No. 1431
NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.
PHILA. PA. U.S.A.

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Chuck is stamped:
"YANKEE"
NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.
PHILA. PA. U.S.A. PAT. MAR 15, 12


NOTE

The No. 1431 hand drill was superseded by the No. 1431A sometime in the late 1930s. It appears that this hand drill was never intended to be included with the No. 106 Radio Tool Set (probably discontinued by the time of the No. 1431A hand drill introduction) as its overall length of 9.75" makes it too long for the No. 106 Radio Tool Set chest which has a 9.50" opening.

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The No. 1431A chuck ........................................ No. 1431 chuck

The No. 1431A chuck is .25" longer than the No. 1431 chuck
and is stamped in two lines:

"YANKEE"
NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.

Note: I own two No. 1431A Hand Drills who's (long) chucks are stamped simply "YANKEE"


The No. 105 and No. 106 Radio Tool sets were discontinued by Stanley Tools when they acquired North Bros. Mfg. Co. in 1946, but the No. 1431A hand drill was continued as a stand alone tool and was subsequently stamped with the Stanley name.


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1925 NORTH BROS. ADVERTISEMENT


Link to Vintage Woodworking Hand Tools Directory