W. BINGHAM Carpenters Ratchet Brace 12 inch No. 126
This is a nice clean 1920's era 12" swing, quality made ratchet auger bit brace marked "THE W. BINGHAM CO. NO. 126" on the swing arms. The W. Bingham Co. was a tool and hardware distributor in Cleveland OH in the early 1900's era. This brace was most likely (by appearance made by JOHN S. FRAY & CO. BRIDGEPORT CT. U.S.A.). The chuck patent type and the pewter ring that holds the 2 pc. rosewood swing handle are the same at least. (In the case of this brace, one pewter ring is missing, but a good copper wire repair done, and holding very well). This brace is in very good working condition with the rosewood handles in very nice shape, a few dings and scratches, but look nice. There is some wear on the finish, some light tiny dings in a few areas, darkening of bare steel, but no rust, no damage or repairs to any steel components. The chuck sleeve knurled area, threads, and jaws are in great shape, movement is very smooth. The ratchet system works great also. The chuck jaws and jaw spring have been tested, and are in good working order. The chuck is designed to hold wood auger bits with the tapered square ends.
JOHN FRAY CO is a well known, respected tool maker in the early 1900's-1940's era. Bingham's sold top quality tools, later their label was BBB that stood for Bingham's Best Brand. Names of good reputation were very important in the day, pride craftsmanship was priority for many distributor and manufacturers alike.