Stories Organisations Projects About Login


From the Collection of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village 89 Merri Street Warrnambool Victoria

Drop hand forged steel wrench with unusual locking mechanism to size jaw opening made by J E Bleckmann, Solingen Germany.
L 35 cm x W 2.5 cm
Object Registration
manufactures, tools, engineering, blacksmith, workshop tool, dropforged, handmade, wrench, adjustable wrench, phoenix steel, j e bleckmann, solingen, murzzuschlag, steel mill, cutlery, steel foundery
Historical information
Johann Elias Bleckmann (1784-1856) founded a steel goods shop in Ronsdorf near Dusseldorf Germany. After completing a business education in his father's business, his son Johann Heinrich August Bleckmann (1826-1891) gained further experience through travel in North and South America. When his father died, he took over the steel goods store and moved it to Solingen.
He bought a hammer mill in Mürzzuschlag Styria (Austria) in 1862 and converted it into a modern crucible casting steel smelter. His "Phoenix Steel", which he produced himself, achieved worldwide renown. He then went on to establish a file and tool factory and later founded a steel and plate rolling mill. Apart from cutlery blades, the company's self-produced steel was also processed into tools, scythes, rifle parts, etc. His sons Eugen and Walter continued after his death in 1891 at the Phoenix steelworks. However, by the end of the First World War, the two brothers fell into economic difficulties as a result of eliminating a large part of their foreign trade. In 1921, the company was converted into a public limited company and merged three years later with the company Schoeller & Stahlwerke. 
When Made
Late 19th Century
Made By
Johann Heinrich August Bleckmann (Maker)
Made by Bleckmanns a significant Austrian manufacture of cutlery and tools in a recognized area of Germany famous for the production of steel items. The item is giving a snapshot of early colonial and European trades persons tools and gives an interesting insight into the development and progression of European tool and steel development and innervation prior to the First World War.
Inscriptions & Markings
Machine stamped on handle of wrench LOTUS L R GEBRAUCHS under has MUNSTER, J E BLECKMANN, SOLINGEN Germany. [ Translated: LR Gebrauchs= use,usage, or custom application] [Lotos] Translated: Lotus ie flower] [Solingen =town in Rhine valley]
Last updated
26 Feb 2020 at 11:48AM