Star Tool Co

Tool Makers of
Middletown, Connecticut


Tools Made: Machinists' and carpenters' tools. Patented Star bevels and try squares, spring steel machinists' rules, brass and wood rules, screw drivers, marking gages, levels, calipers and dividers. Manufacturers of iron and Brass Castings, Blind fastenings and Trimmings, Axle Pulleys, Ice Tank's, Saw Vices.

Working Dates: 1872-1878 (in Middletown). Incorporated 1872.    Decertified 1905. Ref. 64 Page 534.

Sold to Elias K. Burrall in 1878.

     The logo consisted of a "STAR" with "TOOL CO" inside. Also, the bevel squares have a patent date of Nov 5. 1867. The patent is for the recessed area by the thumb screw.  I have tools with  variations of this logo. A few squares with the patent date only and one with the "STAR" but no "TOOL CO". The factory  was in the South Farms district on the Durham road Rte. 17. Ref. 10 shows a cluster of buildings on the Durham Road (South Main Street) and Highland Ave.  Map J.   This is the Long Hill district.


     The building below might have been part of the company.


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    They also made a patented shutter fastener, #17,243 issued May 5, 1857 to Horace Vansands. Star had tools at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.    

   The company moved from Meriden to Middletown in 1872 according to a newspaper article in the Constitution, page 2. Started by George W. Hallett. He was listed in the 1872 Meriden City Directory making a patented bevel square. This was Leonard D. Howard's patent #70,570 for improvements in bevels. Both Howard and Hallett are from St. Johnsbury, VT.

Elected directors:

President                L. D. Vansands.

Secretary               George W. Burke.

Treasurer              Henry M. Smith.

Superintendent     George W. Hallett.

Ad from the 1873 Connecticut Business Directory.

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In January 1873 the following were elected officers:

President and Superintendent.    George W. Hallett.

Treasurer and Secretary.            James P. Norton.


   In 1873 the firm of James C. Ferree and Randolph Hayden consolidated with the Star Tool Co.. They produced ice tongs patented 1866 and other hardware.


President                  J. C. Ferree

Secretary                 Frank Ferree

Superintendent        George W. Hallett

Treasurer                 Randolph Hayden


See Hotchkiss & Smith, Hayden and Hayden & Ferree.

They made the following patented tools.

Leonard D. Howard was issued patent #70,570 on Nov 5. 1867 for improvements in bevels.

Wessel Brodhead was issued patent #76,884 on Apr. 21, 1868 for a carpenters’ gage.

Thomas McDonough was issued patent #173,802 on Feb. 22 1876 for calipers.

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     Five Star squares. Top most is a sliding T-Bevel. Next is a machinist square. These were made in various sizes. The handle is metal with wood infill. The third is all metal. The handle is concave, probably to reduce the weight. The forth has a brass plate on both ends of the handle and the last has a single brass strip. The STAR logo can be on the wood, metal or both for the try squares. The only location for the logo on all the T-Bevels, that I have seen, are on the wood handle.


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    Pat. Nov. 5. 1867

     The Logo on both the try and bevel squares are the same. The logo consisted of a "STAR" with "TOOL CO" inside. Also, the bevel squares have a patent date of Nov 5. 1867.

     The sliding T-bevels have three types. Type 1 and 2 both have brass plates for the thumb screw and on the bottom where the two pieces of the body are joined. Type 1 uses screws and two rivets. Type 3 has a steel plate and a tapped, steel pin for the thumb screw to screw into. The body is one piece and has two steel pins on the bottom. See below.

Star15.jpg (14063 bytes)       Star16.jpg (12546 bytes)     Star17.jpg (22830 bytes)

Sliding T-bevel type 3.

     The gages below are patented,  #76,884. They use a cam type of locking action.

     The top is a 16 inch marking gage. Center, an 8 inch slitting gage. Bottom, an 8 inch marking gage with a brass end on the left. All three use the cam locking mechanism in the Wessel Brodhead patent.

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     The gages below are, from top to bottom, a 15 inch panel gage, 3 inch mortise gage, 8 inch marking gage and 8 inch slitting gage. The three smaller gages have graduations, 15 inch panel gage does not. All have the Star Tool Co. Mark a STAR with Tool Co. inside. Around the Mark is PAT.D. APRIL 21. 1868. Upper right corner of the picture.

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     The mark on the head piece of the gages has the Star Tool Co. logo with "PAT’D APRIL 21 1868" ringing it.

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4 and 6 inch rule.

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Mark on the rules. The top picture is a Star with TOOL CO. in the inside and on the other side SPRING STEEL.

The rules came in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 36 inch lengths.


Star12.jpg (8825 bytes)     Star13.jpg (13560 bytes)    Star14.jpg (14321 bytes)

     Star 4 � inch screwdriver . It is marked in three places. On the both sides of the handle and once on the blade. Marked on the handle in the middle the Star Company logo and on the outside Pat.D April 21. 1868. The blade has the Star Company logo.

A pair of McDonough patented calipers, 5 inches long. A divider and an inside caliper.


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The divider has the Star Company logo on one leg. The other leg is marked PATD / FEBY.22.76. The inside caliper has the same patent date but is marked SMITH & CO. / N.Y.

All came in 3and 5 inch sizes.


Patent papers for the McDonough Caliper.

Page 1

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Page 2


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References:   3, 6, 7, 10, 18, 20, 24, 64.   Back Home

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2021 Richard D. Dickerson. All Rights Reserved.