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Could You Have Made it in Construction With These Tools From 1951?

A collection of ads for tools that were, at some point, on the cutting edge of technology. Things have changed since then.

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A vintage ad for a table saw | Construction Pro Tips

Is this a good deal?

At first glance, $46.50 seems a pretty fair price for a Tilt Arbor Saw (aka table saw). But never forget to read the fine print, which in this case casually states that the saw comes “less extensions, switch and motor.” No motor? We’re guessing there were at least a few unboxing disappointments with this table saw.

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A vintage ad for a magnetic tool holder | Construction Pro Tips

All for $5.85

At first, we thought they were selling just the magnet organizer, but “a carefully selected trio” of tools was also included. That is a pretty good deal, although we are still not sure what a “tool house” is.

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Vintage ad for a jig saw sander filer and blower | Construction Pro Tips


This is a lot of tool for under $15, but we’re skeptical that the blower on this machine was useful enough to be categorized as “1” of the “4” tools. We’ll count it as half of a tool. Also- why did they call it a “jig saw” when it looks like a scroll saw? At least this tool actually comes with a motor and a switch.

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A vintage ad for a Super Jet Tablet Fuel Blow Torch | Construction Pro Tips

Fire-breathing torch

A 2000-degree torch without an off-switch, strapped to the end of a toothbrush…what could go wrong?  How many houses burnt down before they pulled this fire-hazard-nightmare from the shelves? Admittedly, however, if these tablets were still available we would absolutely have a box of them in our shop. We’re not sure what we would use them for, but they’d be around just in case.

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A vintage ad for a speedy spray painter | Construction Pro Tips

No motor again?

Apparently selling tools without motors was a recurring thing back in 1951. The Speedy Spray 444 could be powered with an electric motor or gas engine (electric motor or gas engine not included).

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Vintage ad for 3-in-1 oil | Construction Pro Tips

The test of time

3-IN-ONE OIL is still around, and so is Plastic Wood! But the agency who came up with this creepy enlarged-head concept probably can’t say the same.

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Pocket tool kit | Construction Pro Tips

Wait a minute…

We thought Tim Leatherman invented the first multi-tool with a pliers, but it says here that this one was made by a famous French craftsmen (who shall remain nameless). Seems fishy…

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A vintage ad for a 36-piece electric work kit | Construction Pro Tips

Metal is scarce

Apparently, metal was so scarce that this tool company couldn’t afford to cover up their drill’s electric motor’s copper coil windings. We think it might be best to skip the “mixing” process with this electric work kit. Remember: liquid + electricity = no good.

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Vintage ad for a circular saw blade that 'stopped all kickbacks' | Construction Pro Tips

Fear sells

After seeing this guy getting hit in the head with a flying board, there is no way anyone could have resisted buying the PTI Original Safety Blade. After all, it was “tested and approved by leading laboratories, government agencies, and industrial concerns.” What are the chances that the “government agencies” might just be a brother-in-law who works for the post office? Hmmmm.