I inherited my grandfather’s Snap on and Blue Point tools. He worked at the Chevy plant in Kansas City in the 1940s and 50s. My original tools are from that period and they were basically something that sat in a box for 60 years.
I restored a number of cars (MGs, Olds, a 350SL, Corvettes, old Chevys, a 66 Ford, and many others) and started to buy tools as needed during these restorations. Most of the tools were Craftsman. One day I stumbled over the old box with my grandfather’s tools rediscovering them. I never used this set in part because it was incomplete.
I started to look around and fill in the set. Then I bought other Snap on period tools. I found a chart to date these tools. I started buying old catalogs. I wanted to know what was available and very little was written down. No resource, no master list, no book exists on. This was in 2003.
Each purchase filled in a little gap, each catalog was one piece of the puzzle. There is a nearly complete set of Catalogs in this site (I am missing Catalog F). These are fascinating and a wealth of information. These were the original source for this site, but the picture formed through all these catalogs is inaccurate. The actual tools have huge variations, some tools are not listed at all, others are listed but have never been seen. There exists some part number confusion, at times the same number is used for different tools. At times they change part numbers but there is no change in the tool, other times the tools transform with no part number change at all. This site is in transition toward a study on the actual tools.
This web site started on a business trip in a Tokyo hotel room. Early morning jet lag and no where to go at 3AM is the cause. I wondered – How can I get information about a topic nobody seems to know anything about? – My answer was – if my questions were posted, others would contact me and I could piece the story together. For $75 on a credit card, and an on line web site creation program this website started from that hotel room at 3AM. It worked – hundreds of people have emailed me about their tools and pictures. This web site grew to the point where that original $75 on line tool just could not cope with the size and scope of the information. This resulted in a total rewrite of the site in 2009.
The outline of the picture is fairly complete now. We know the start and finish and the scope of the tools over this period. Some of the details are well done, others untouched. For example – there is no torque wrench or distributor wrench sections. This site is limited to 1923 – 1970, it is an arbitrary ending point. My interest is in old tools, even though I have a complete set of newer Snap on tools as well. I just cut it off at 1970.
People like you make “collectingsnapon” work. Where I had or have access to the actual tools – I used them in this site. People sent their photos and I used these too. There have been a lot of discussions about “who, what, when, where and why”. In some cases I have had 10 or 20 copies of a tool in front of me, other times, not a single copy. Other people have proofed large parts of this site – and their aid has been invaluable. . (The spelling mistakes are still 100% mine) More feedback and pictures still directly adds to the site and the whole body of information. I want your comments and photos.