What were the guarantee statements really say?

Start to 1946

Catalog A Undated, but likely 1924
The first guarantee statement appears. One Year Guarantee. Every Snap-on unit is guaranteed for ONE YEAR from date of purchase against imperfections or defects in workmanship or materials. Should any unit break within this period – due to causes which in your judgment are faults of the wrenches themselves – simply mail the broken part to us and it will be replaced promptly free of charge.

Catalog B 1925
The guarantee was unchanged from Catalog A. This has a 1925 copyright. They were located on 1270 South Pierce Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Motor Tool Specialty Company was their sales arm and was based out of Chicago.  There were a mere 17 offices, but they have coverage from New York to Los Angeles.

 

Catalog C 1926 Copyright 1926, The guarantee changed slightly and reads “GUARATEE, Every Snap-On Unit is guaranteed for ONE TEAR from the date of purchase. Should any unit break within this period – due to defects in workmanship or materials – hand the broken part to the salesman or mail it to our nearest Branch Office and it will be replaced promptly – free of charge”

Snap on boasted 175 Sales People, 19 Branches and 12 factories

Catalog D 1927 The guarantee was unchanged from Catalog C. The factory was listed in Milwaukee. the offices were listed as Chicago. Snap on boasted 250 Sales People, 26 Branches and 12 factories. (still growing fast)

Catalog E Dated January 1928 – The guarantee was unchanged from Catalog D. Snap on boasted 300 Sales People, 24 Branches and 12 factories. (2 less Branch offices)

 

Catalogs F Dated May 1928 – This catalog is a copy with low resolution and is not on the site. The guarantee was unchanged from Catalog E. The number of branches, sales people and factories is not listed, but Milwaukee is still the factory location  

Catalog G Dated January 1929 – The Guarantee changed “GUARANTEE Snap-On and Blue Point Tools carry an honest guarantee that always has been and will always continue to be faithfully and strictly lived-up-to on our part. These tools are guaranteed for one year from date of purchase against defects in workmanship and materials. Should any tool break within this period, due to the above causes, it will be replaced promptly, free of charge. Snap-On and Blue Point users realize and appreciate our fairness in this respect and it has won for many friends” Milwaukee is still the factory location, no sales people numbers or branches are listed.

Catalog H Dated January 1931 – The Guarantee changed period of one year was dropped. “OUR GUARANTEE If “Snap-On” or “Blue-Point” tools become unserviceable, due to breakage or any other cause resulting from defects in workmanship or material, and not caused by abuse, replacement of the tool without cost will be made at once by our nearest branch, our factory or our representative who calls on you” It had been 2 years from Catalog G to H and the Wall Street Crash of October 1929 had caught Snap-On in a major expansion. The factory was now in a huge plant in Kenosha Wisconsin, stock levels were very high, sales dropped off and little work was done in the new factory/ Basically Snap-On expanded at exactly the wrong time. Note – tools marker “Milwaukee” are made BEFORE 1931. And tools made in 1931 on are generally marked Kenosha

Catalog I Dated April 1932. The Guarantee changed “OUR GUARANTEE  Snap-On – Blue-Point tools are built to meet the particular and exacting working requirements of professional mechanics. The product of an organization that is committed to the highest quality it is possible to produce. Every tool is rigidly inspected before it leaves the factory; however, any tool which may prove defective in materials or workmanship will be cheerfully replaced without charge. For obvious reasons we can not replace tools that have been abused or misused, such as grinding, filing or deliberately broken. Neither can we make free replacement on tools that have been worn out from actual use. Our guarantee always has been and always will continue to be faithfully lived-up-to. Adjustments are made promptly on the basis of our fair dealing with you and your fair dealing with us.” The economy was stabilizing and the branches (29) and Salesmen (300) were listed again

In Catalog J Dated 1933 the guarantee did not change from Catalog I. There were 32 branches and 350 Salesmen

 

In Catalog K Dated 1933 The Guarantee changed “OUR GUARANTEE. Pursuant to Industry Code all express guarantees are withdrawn and are limited to defects in materials and workmanship. No claims will be allowed until after shipment is received and determination by us of defect.” Clearly a huge change is policy.
425 Sales People, 34 Branches.

Catalog L 1937 Dated April 1936; The Guarantee reverted to the 1932 Catalog I version
“OUR GUARANTEE  Snap-On – Blue-Point tools are built to meet the particular and exacting working requirements of professional mechanics. The product of an organization that is committed to the highest quality it is possible to produce. Every tool is rigidly inspected before it leaves the factory; however, any tool which may prove defective in materials or workmanship will be cheerfully replaced without charge. For obvious reasons we can not replace tools that have been abused or misused, such as grinding, filing or deliberately broken. Neither can we make free replacement on tools that have been worn out from actual use. Our guarantee always has been and always will continue to be faithfully lived-up-to. Adjustments are made promptly on the basis of our fair dealing with you and your fair dealing with us.” 35 branches, 525 sales people.

Catalog M June 1937; The Guarantee was the same as Catalog L. 37 branches, 540 sales people.

Catalog N 1939  The Guarantee changed “OUR GUARANTEE Snap-On – Blue-Point tools are built to meet the particular and exacting working requirements of professional mechanics. The product of an organization that is committed to the highest quality it is possible to produce.

Every tool is manufactured and sold by this company has been carefully inspected before leaving the factory and, to the best of our knowledge, is free from defects in material or workmanship. Any tool found to be defective in materials or workmanship will be replaced cheerfully. Tools which have failed for reasons other than those stated above, or because of abuse, intentional or unintentional, will not be replace”

A star was used in the catalog to mark tools that were not covered

. 37 branches, 540 sales 35 branch offices and 550 sales people.

1941 Catalog O Dated Jan 1941  Snap-on was producing huge numbers of tools for the war effort. The first notes about metric and whit worth sizes for our customers working on machinery overseas appears. There was a different supplemental catalog showing these. 

1942 Catalog P The Guarantee statement was unchanged . There was an important notice.
“Because of increasing costs and future uncertainties in the raw materials market, it is impossible to guarantee prices.” It goes on to state the price will be set at the time of shipment and design changes may occur – clearly the war effort was consuming materials Snap-On needed (Like chrome) and was having difficulty getting at all. Pricing, which was listed in earlier catalogs, was now dropped. This may have been debated, because the label “price” and a series of dots leading to where the price normally would be – remained, just the actual numbers are missing.

1945 Catalog Q The Guarantee statement was unchanged, There was another series of important notices.

“Because of military needs, chromium and other essential materials are not now available for plating purposes. Therefore, you will find Snap-on tools adequately protected by other types of finish such as brushed zinc, oil-black, etc. We will return to our high polished chrome finish as soon as supplies are again available.”

  1. “We reserve the right to make changes in design or construction at any time without incurring any obligation to incorporate such changes in tools or equipment previously sold….also to discontinue the manufacture of any tools or equipment at such time as we deem it necessary”

 

  1. “In conformance with the Government’s Simplification and Elimination Order L-216 it is necessary for us to suspend temporarily certain units from our line….such items are indicated in this catalog by the symbol (S). As soon as permission to reinstate them is forthcoming, these tools or improved models will again be made available.
  1. Also, in 1944 and 1945 all known tools are market G or E and carry no guarantee. Basically, 100% of Snap-on was government contract or military during WWII. The antique tool market is still (60 years later) is flooded with tools carrying E and G date stamps

 

1946 Catalog R The Guarantee statement was the same, but the 3 notes listed for Catalog Q (1,2 and 3) disappeared.

Frank
f.murch@sbcglobal.net

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