Fact File about the Invention of the
Wrench: Invention: Wrench *** Date of Invention: 1922 *** Name of Inventor:
Jack Johnson *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1878 -
1946 *** Nationality of Inventor: African American *** Historical Period:
Second US Industrial Revolution *** Country of Origin:
Facts about the Inventor, Jack Johnson, and the invention of the Wrench ***
1: Who invented
the Wrench? Contrary to popular belief the American inventor Solymon
Merrick is often mistakenly
credited with the invention of the wrench. However, Jack Johnson was the first
to patent the wrench on April 18, 1922 (U.S. patent number 1,413,121) whereas Solymon Merrick patented his
version of the monkey wrench much later on May 7,1842.
Fact 2: Who invented the Wrench? The Wrench was invented by Jack
Johnson in 1922 during the Second US
Industrial Revolution era of inventions and was a significant addition to advancements made in the area of
Fact 3: Who invented the Wrench? The inventor of the
Wrench, Jack Johnson, was born on March 31, 1878 in Galveston, Texas and died on
June 10, 1946.
Fact 4: Who invented
the Wrench? The early years of John Arthur Johnson were spent in
Galveston, Texas where he was raised by his family. Jack Johnson came from a
poor family and received a limited education.
Fact 6: Who invented the Wrench? The
first jobs of Jack Johnson centered around the busy Port of Galveston
docks, piers, wharves and warehouses where he worked loading boats with
bales of cotton. At this time Galveston was the world's leading port for
cotton exports. He hated the work and found work exercising horses at
the race track and became apprenticed to a carriage painter called
Fact 6: Who invented the Wrench?
Walter Lewis took a keen interest in boxing and passed his passion for
the sport on to Jack Johnson. Jack began watch sparring matches and his
interest in the sport of boxing continued to grow. Inevitably, Jack
Johnson became a prize fighter and then heavyweight boxer.
Fact 7: Who invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson had an imposing
stature standing 6′ 1″ and weighing 192 lbs which would earn him the
nickname of the "Galveston Giant". Jack Johnson made his debut as a
professional boxer on November 1, 1898, in Galveston which he won with a
Fact 8: Who invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson made his debut as a
professional boxer on November 1, 1898, in Galveston. Just five years
later, on February 3, 1903, he beat Denver Ed Martin on points in a
20-round match and won the title of World Colored Heavyweight Champion.
Fact 9: Who invented the Wrench? In 1910 the former undefeated
heavyweight champion white American James J. Jeffries (1875 -
1953) came out of retirement to challenge Jack Johnson. The contest was
billed as the "Fight of the Century" and James J. Jeffries was
given the title of the "Great White Hope". The boxing match was fuelled by racial tension.
The "Fight of the Century" took place on July 4, 1910. The contest
resulted in a win for Jack Johnson when Jeffries' corner "threw in the
Fact 10: Who
invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson earned a massive amount of money,
equivalent to nearly 2 million dollars at today's rate. Jack Johnson had
beaten a white man a black man was the undisputed champion of the world.
Fact 11: Who
invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson's victory in the "Fight of the
Century" triggered race riots across the United States.
Fact 12: Who
invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson had become a wealthy celebrity. He
was disliked by many whites and his flashy lifestyle and highly public
personal life enraged many as he ignored the social “rules” of the day
and openly dated white women. He married three times and all of his
wives were white. He married his first wife, Etta Terry Duryea, in
January 1911 but suffering depression, she committed suicide in
September 1912. He shocked many by almost immediately started dating
another white girl called Lucille Cameron.
Fact 13: Who
invented the Wrench? The situation came to a head in 1912 when he
was arrested for violation of the Mann Act. This Law, passed in 1910,
made it a crime to transport women across state lines "for the purpose
of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose".
Fact 14: Who
invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson was charged with taking his white
girlfriend, Lucille Cameron, across state lines for "immoral purposes".
He was convicted of the crime by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and
sentenced to Federal prison for one year. But before he could be
imprisoned, he skipped bails and with Lucille Cameron fled to Europe.
They married on December 4, 1912.
Fact 15: Who
invented the Wrench? The couple eventually returned to the United
States on 20 July 1920 and Jack Johnson was sent to Leavenworth Federal
Prison in Kansas. It was here that he invented the wrench.
Fact 16: Who
invented the Wrench? Whilst serving time in prison he realized the
need for a tool that would help him loosen or tighten nuts and bolts.
The type of tool he needed did not exist so he made his own wrench,
improving all existing designs of such tools.
Fact 17: Who
invented the Wrench? He designed the Wrench with a powerful gripping
action and the ability to be quickly disassembled for replacement or
Fact 18: Who
invented the Wrench? Whilst still in prison he patented his invention of the Wrench.
The patent was applied for on March 23, 1921.
Fact 19: Who invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson was released from
Leavenworth Federal Prison on 9 July 1921.
Fact 20: Who invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson was granted his
patent for the wrench on April 18, 1922 (U.S. patent #1,413,121).
Fact 21: Who invented the Wrench? Jack Johnson died in a car crash on June 10, 1946
at Franklinton, North Carolina (aged 68). He is remembered as the first
black undisputed champion of the world following his victory in the
"Fight of the Century" and his defeat of James J. Jeffries, the "Great
White Hope". Few people are aware of his other claim to fame as the
inventor of the wrench.
Fact File: Country of Origin: America *** Name of Inventor:
Jack Johnson *** Nationality of Inventor:
African American *** Date of Invention: 1922 *** Invention:
Wrench *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1878 - 1946 *** The Inventor and Invention of the