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Rexos Automatic Spanner

Patented in 1910 with the number 19234, the Rexos Automatic Spanner was distributed - and possibly manufactured - by Alfred Herbert Ltd. of Coventry.  Described as having a self-acting release, it was unnecessary to left the spanner off a nut or bolt head, the spanner working as if equipped with a spring-loaded ratchet  - through without the ratchet or the spring. The Rexos was made to fit Whitworth nuts in sizes of 1/4", 5/16", 3//8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8" and 1" and could be provided in set in "strong roll-up bags". 
Made from a forged and case-hardened steel, the loose jaw pivoted on a pin, the design ensuring that the pin acted merely as a hinge with no load upon it as the spanner worked. But, did it work and was it a success? Today, a trickle of examples turn up on auction sites in former British colonies, so it must have been widely exported. However, the advent of sockets and ratchet bars would have made it obsolete - through today a modern replacement is available in the form of spanners with a built-in ratchet ring at one or both ends - a design first seen by the writer on the French market during the 1970s.
The Rexos publicity literature reproduced below was found in a folder with printed literature, pencilled-in dates and letters from 1913. The advertising "puff"  - "
The greatest time saver of the century" and "The greatest labour saver ever invented" - might be considered just a little wide of the mark. The cost was also considerable, a full set being priced at 2 : 14s: 4d at a time when average manufacturing wages varied between 1 : 6s : 4d and 1 : 14s : 0d per week. Today, 2017, the cost of the spanners, based on the "Historic Standard of Living Index" would be 245.



email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Rexos Automatic Spanner