Coes Wrench Co.
L. Coes & Co.
A. G. Coes & Co.
L. & A.G. Coes
Worcester, Massachusetts

Please do not contact the Davistown Museum and ask us to evaluate any Coes wrenches.  All the information we have is shown below.  The majority of Coes wrenches are very common and have a value of $5 - $20.  If you have a rare Coes wrench, please contact Herb Page mroldwrench@mchsi.com.


DATM (1999) includes the following information on the Coes of Worcester.  The price list graphic is reprinted from the EAIA.  Click the graphics to see a larger version.
wrench price list
L. & A.G. Coes
In 1836, Loring and Aury Gates Coes bought the wool machine business of Kimball & Fuller and continued making these machines until 1839 (apparently using some other name.)  In 1841 they formed the L. & A.G Coes partnership and started making wrenches under a 16 April 1841 patent.  The mark used was L. & A.G. COES | WORCESTER, MASS.  In 1853, they bought the shear-blade and knife business of Moses Clement.  In the early 1860s they bought the Taft & Gleason wrench business.  In 1869 they separated forming the two businesses described below.

Herb Page adds: "During the period of 1848 to 1852 the firm of L & A.G. Coes contracted with the firm of Ruggles, Nourse & Mason on a 5 year term to market the entire production of wrenches produced by this fledgeling firm.  R.N.& M. had branches in both Worcester and Boston and the wrenches produced during this time period were stamped with 1) "L. Coes Patent", 2) "Ruggles, Nourse & Mason" if space permitted, depending on size of wrench and 3) "Boston & Worcester" indicating the sales outlets of the marketing firm.  These wrenches were manufactured in Worcester at the firm of L & A. G. Coes."

Loring Coes & Co.
Loring Coes was born in 1812 and died in 1907.  His company's working dates are from 1869 to 1900 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He was formerly part of L. & A. G. Coes.  L. Coes & Co. began with the shear blade and knife part of L. & A. G. Coes, but later resumed making wrenches.  Coes Wrench Co. merged back into L. Coes & Co. in 1888 and the company continued using both names.  The company mark is L. COES & CO. | WORCESTER, MASS.  Loring Coes had wrench patents dated: 10 Nov. 1863, 23 Feb. 1864, 23 March 1869, 1 June 1869, 10 Aug. 1869, 26 Oct. 1869, 9 Jan. 1877, 6 July 1880, 8 July 1884, 12 July 1887, 15 Dec. 1891, 29 Dec. 1891 and 14 Aug. 1894.  The Davistown Museum has received communications from an owner of a wrench with the L. Coes mark and a pat'd date of Apr. 30, 1895.  A second owner has a bar wrench (crescent wrench) with this patent date.

Aury Gates Coes & Co.
Aury Gates Coes was born in 1817 and died in 1875.  His company made wrenches from 1869 to 1881 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He was formerly part of L. & A. G. Coes.  His sons continued the business after his death until changing the name to Coes Wrench Co. in 1881 or 1885 (sources differ).  The company mark is A.G.COES & Co. | WORCESTER | MASS with the name line curved.  His wrenches were also commonly marked with just his name and the patent date 6 March 1866 or 26 Dec. 1871.

Coes Wrench Co.
This companies working dates are from 1885 or 1881 to 1928 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  It was originally A.G. Coes & Co. and made both knives and wrenches.  The company merged back into the L. Coes & Co. in 1888, but both names continued to be used as marks.  At some time, the company was acquired by Billings & Spencer or Bemis & Call (sources differ.)  The mark was different configurations of the maker name, city and state.

For more information on Coes wrenches see the discussion in our information file on Boston wrenches.

Coes Reservoir is a 100-acre property at the Worcester headwaters in the Tatnuck Brook Watershed. The historic Coes Knife Company - where the monkey wrench was invented in 1840 - formerly occupied the site.

References
 
Cope, K. The Coes Wrench Company.
Page, Herb. Reach for the wrench: Coes key model.
  • To the right is the cover from The Fine Tool Journal issue containing this article.  "Mr. Oldwrench stands beside the 6-foot Coes Key Model that did not, in the end, get away.  Patent diagram to the right." (pg. 3).  Click the photo to see an enlargement.
Page, Herb. "No name" wrenches.
Page, Herb. Reach for the Wrench: The Evolution of Baby Coes Wrenches.
Page, Herb. Reach for the Wrench: The Song of the Monkey-wrench.
Page, Herb. The brothers Coes and their legacy of wrenches.
Mr. Oldwrench

Links
Blue Book of American Shipping: Marine and Naval Directory of the United States, 1903, Cleveland, OH: Marine Review Publishing Co., page 443.

The Edinburgh City Libraries: Glasgow reference page states:
"Andrew Young McDonald (b.1834), born in Eglinton Street, was orphaned at an early age and emigrated with his aunt to America in 1854. He worked as a plumber in Cleveland, Ohio, then St. Louis, Missouri before finally settling at Duboque, Iowa where he established his own plumber's business. He became a US citizen in 1860. He enlisted in the First Iowa Infantry on the side of the Unionists in the Civil War. He invented a screw wrench that was identical to the monkey wrench used today and sold the patent to Coes & Co. of Worcester, Massachusetts, one of the country's leading manufacturers."  The Chicago Scotts club adds "he was granted patent #38316 for improvements in screw wrenches. He was offered $500 for his patent."


Coes pattern wrench

Loring and Aury Gates Coes tools in the Museum collection.
Tatnuk Brook Watershed site
http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/scripts/Page.asp?PageID=3825 – A page from the Blue Book of American Shipping: Marine and Naval Directory of the United States
http://www.chicago-scots.org/clubs/History/Names-McD-Mu.htm - The Chicago Scotts club adds “he was granted patent #38316 for improvements in screw wrenches. He was offered $500 for his patent.”
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfs/tool/re10.html