A Successful Internet Search for Sidecutting Pliers

This page describes how I sought and found a certain kind of pliers via the Internet. This is a minor example of one way to attempt an Internet search.

The quarry

The pliers wanted are described on a Web page that I wrote for the purpose.

Since we still had one pair of pliers of the type we wanted, that gave us several invaluable pieces of information:

Initial avenues of inquiry

The first step was to obtain digital photographs of the pliers and to create a Web page describing what was sought and providing the photographs and all known clues. Having this Web page made it easy to give everyone the full description, especially the photographs.

A trail of results leading to success

A two-minute power search on MetaCrawler for "Schollhorn New Haven" (all three words required) found listings of Schollhorn tools in three informal catalogs maintained by broker/dealers of used and antique tools. I emailed my question to all three dealers.

One dealer sent the following email reply the next night:

there was some talk about Schollhorn pliers and the Bernard Patent on the oldtools list. The patent was applied to a lot of diffrent configurations of pliers. Sargent and Company bought Schollhorn during the early part of this century. They sold that section of their company years ago. As I remember the new owners are in New York or New Jersey. Anyway they are supposed to still be in business. And Sargent is still in business (locks and hardware) as far as I know. I see a variety of these pliers on the old tool for sale lists and in antique and second hand stores. Good luck.

That was most encouraging. A little bit of searching via Yahoo! revealed that Sargent is really the SARGENT Lock Company of New Haven, Connecticut. At SARGENT's Web site I used the comment/guest book facility ("Contact Us") to ask what had become of the W. Schollhorn Company.

A SARGENT company representative emailed the following reply on the next business day:

Yes, you are correct, SARGENT did once own the Shollhorn [sic] Tool Company and later sold it to former SARGENT employees. The new company is run under the name of Rostra Tool. They are located in Branford, CT, ph. (203) 488-8665. Good luck in finding what you need.

Yahoo! and MetaCrawler provided address and fax information for the Rostra Tool Company of Branford, Connecticut, but no Web or email address. I sent a late-night fax to the Rostra Tool Company.

The next morning I was awakened by a phone call from Rostra. The representative explained that sometimes these pliers are called "fishing pliers" and had at one time been sold under the SportMade label. He said they are relatively expensive because they require a good deal of machining. He suggested they might be available from the McMaster-Carr Supply Co. of New Jersey. He provided McMaster-Carr's phone number and the following email address: nj.sales@mcmaster.com.

With "mcmaster.com" in the email address, it was a safe guess that www.mcmaster.com might be their Web site. Sure enough, that is their Web site, and it provides their entire catalog in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. Eureka! The pliers page included pictures of the exact model I was seeking; it called them "parallel pliers". Several sizes are available. Model 3728A4 priced at $47.38 is the large 8-inch version. McMaster-Carr sells in any quantity and provides several means for ordering.

Possible avenues of further inquiry

This page is http://www.PhilDavidson.com/sidefind.htm . Best viewed with any browser
[Description of the pliers that were sought]
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Phil Davidson / Phil@PhilDavidson.com / Last modified 30 September 1999