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 Collectable Corner: Tools of the Trade

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Do you have a collectible piece of Ford history you’d like to share and have featured on @Ford Online’s Collectable Corner?

​Submit a photo of your Ford collectable, with a brief description, to

Then, each Thursday we’ll spotlight an employee submission along with pictures of other items from Ford’s history.

​DEARBORN - This week we’re talking shop, and by “shop” we mean tools. A pair of Ford logoed wrenches which may have been included with the purchase of certain models and a set of precision gauge blocks designed and manufactured by C.E.  Johansson top our list of featured items for the week.

The wrenches appear to have been included with Ford vehicles at some point. The 1921 parts price list featured in the photo shows that Ford supplied basic tools as regular equipment with some of its cars, but we could use some help from our loyal Collectible Corner fans; do you recognize these double-ended and adjustable wrenches?  If you do, we’d appreciate your help in identifying which year and model car they came with.

Continuing with our theme of tools, Steven Baldwin, warranty manager, Allen Park, sent in photos of his C.E.  Johansson precision gauge block set. The blocks, each representing a precise width, were the creation of Carl Edward Johansson, a Swedish inventor and scientist. Johansson developed the gauges in the late 1800s and began selling them in 1907. Henry Ford eventually purchased Johansson’s gauge business, CE Johansson Inc., and moved the production to Dearborn, Mich.

According to Baldwin, Ford Motor Company used hundreds of sets of these blocks in its daily operations. The measurement tool was so important, Henry Ford once wrote “the accuracy of practically every manufacturing operation carried on today may be traced directly to the use of these gauges.” 

Baldwin thinks his set is from the 1930s due to its Bakelite case and stampings on the majority of the blocks, although he said a few of the blocks appear to have been replaced in 1953.

A manual, He Measures in Millionths written by James Sweinhart, which complements the use of the gauges was given out at the 1934 World’s Fair. Baldwin also provided a photo of his copy of the manual.

Johansson precision gauge block set.

Johansson precision gauge block set.

A manual, He Measures in Millionths written by James Sweinhart.



7/25/2013 11:00 AM