On Feb. 23, 1926, Robert J. McLean of New York City was granted U. S. Patent Number 1,574,497 for his "Combination Tool." The patent was assigned to Sloan & Company, a New York corporation. McLean's claims relate to the pivoting segments which lock in place by contacting a stop-pin and thus serve as the handle for "a helically formed member" (corkscrew). Although his invention discusses cap lifters, box openers, nail removers and key blanks, these are not part of his patent claims.
Sloan was a jewelry manufacturer and their trademark was first registered July 21, 1914. The registration was last renewed in 1974 by Sloan & Company, then located in Newark, New Jersey. The trademark expired in 1995.
A close-up view of the "pivoting segments which lock in place by contacting a stop-pin."
McLean describes Ref. 21 as "a suitably placed perforation for attachment of the implement or tool to a watch-chain or the like." This example from Joe Balaban's 1981 Six Best was made as shown in the patent. It is marked PAT APLD FOR, STERLING and SECURITY (on the key). It is engraved "W. O. L. Stanton."
Same as 1A except the opposite side is shown. This example is marked PAT APLD FOR, STERLING and SECURITY. This one is like the patent drawing and the ring for attachment to a watch-chain is located as shown in the patent drawing.
Like No. 1A but the key has been cut. Marked STERLING PAT. APLD FOR.
This gold example of McLean's Patent is marked on the top of the cap lifter " Pat. Feb. 23, 1926" and "14" with the Sloan trademark.
This gold example has the cigar box opener formed at the end of the cap lifter and is shown at Ref. 10 in the patent drawing below. Ref. 13 in the drawing is the cigar box nail remover. All versions have a key blank, a bottle cap lifter and a corkscrew.
This gold example does not have the cigar box opener. It one is marked PAT APLD FOR and 14 with the Sloan trademark on the top of the cap lifter. The key blank is marked SECURITY on one side and 1888 on the other.
This silver example is marked on the bail STERLING 1044 and has the mark of James E. Blake Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts (1898-1936). Blake made this without the cigar box opener and nail remover. The Blake buidling was at the intersection of South Main and Mill streets
This gold one does not have the cigar box nail remover and the ring for attachment to a watch-chain is located at the end of the cap lifter.
This is the only example in this series marked with the patent date: PAT. FEB 23, 1926 14K. It has two keys which have been cut.
Top view of two key McLean.
Are there other variations of the McLean Patent?
©2001 Donald A. Bull