Tools & Trades History Society

Older Queries

A Belzer Screwdriver

Igor Odintsov hopes that TATHS visitors could help with identifying  the original manufacturer of a particular Belzer screwdriver. (See picture attached, please).  It bears a prominent "British made" logo.

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The matter is, the German Werkzeugfabrik Robert Belzer produced such screwdrivers itself, and not for the Belzer brand solely. The German DOWIDAT-Werke Willi Dowidat used to have screwdrivers with very  similar handles. (See pictures, please.) And not by chance, of course.

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After being bought  by Saarbergwerke AG in 1970, Werkzeugfabrik Robert Belzer was united with  Werkzeugfabrik Dowidat in 1975-76, and they created DWU (Deutsche Werkzeug-Union) - German Tools Union.

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Then in 1988, Belzer was sold to the Swedish Bahco AB. Then in 1991, Bahco AB sold Belzer to another Swedish enterprise - Sandvik AB, which in its turn sold the Belzer brand to the American Snap-on. But, through all this turmoil  the Belzer's plant was producing such screwdrivers. More over, these screwdrivers were the last "made in Germany" product by the Belzer's plant. Their production ceased in 2004.

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   So, getting back to the British made Belzer screwdriver, is it possible to identify the original manufacturer? Igor speculates that  it might have been J.Stead & Co., Ltd. (Manor Lane, Sheffield, 2) famous for its Steadfast brand. But he concedes that it just a pure guess unsupported by facts.

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If identification is not possible, Igor would welcome some clues as to the time line for the "British made" logo/mark application.

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Finally, Igor understands the mark  was a predecessor  of "made in UK" and "made in Great Britain",  

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