Vertex Angle – Summer 2006

In the last issue we asked “Do you know in what year Mr. P.L. Robertson was issued his first Canadian patent for the square head screw and screwdriver?”

1. 1890
2. 1903
3. 1909
4. 1914
5. 1928

Well, number three is the correct choice. Robertson began to manufacture of a screw with a square recess impression in the head in Milton, Ontario, Canada in 1908. His first patent was issued in 1909 and the last patent expired in 1964, 55 years later. The introduction of the Robertson screws and screwdrivers marked a revolutionary change in the fastener industry.

Mr. Robertson invented the square-headed screw and screwdriver after badly cutting his hand while using a slot-headed screwdriver. A screw could be driven more quickly with this new design and since it was self-centering, only one hand was required for the task. In addition, the Robertson driver fit more tightly in the screw's head, thereby reducing the chance of the screwdriver slipping out. The Robertson screw was a big hit with industry as it sped up production and reduced product damage. The Ford Motor Company was the first major customer. Ford used more than 700 Robertson screws in each of its Model T cars. Today, Robertson Inc is a global supplier of standard and specialty fasteners and has operating facilities located throughout the world.

 

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