Item #1966 is a Turned Oval Ash Cabinet screwdriver with a Steel Ferrule .

Marked on the handle with a Black Semi-Oval MARPLES mark and with a Brown 'hat'!

The 2 examples shown here illustrate that they were manufactured with stamped marks and/or electro-etched marks and are seen in the 1971 Catalogue.  Probably a replacement for #1967 which had a Beechwood handle.

I am still trying to identify this screwdriver.

It may be a #1965 'General Purpose Screwdriver' shown in the 1971 catalogue.

The 8" version had a yellow high impact resistant colour coded handle, but this photo does not seem to show an 8" screwdriver! and the contour does not look like the illustration in that Catalogue.

1928 Catalogue:

In the 1909 Catalogue there appears a slim screwdriver, Item #1977  'Electrician's Cabinet-blade Turnscrew, worked -oval Boxwood handled.

In 1928 this item# became #1983 [available 3-10"]  This was a much slimmer version of it's larger brother Item #1968.  It endured thus until c.1965.

Below is the larger #1968above with the slim #1983below.

1938 Catalogue:

The Table below shows the Item # against the Description and an estimate of the Years that model was available.  Again, it must be noted that the years given are the years that the Screwdrivers can positively be identified in Catalogues and therefore were probably available slightly before and after the dates given.

Totally the same as both #1966 and # 1968 except that the handle is of Beechwood.  Item #1967

1909-1965+.   Replaced by #1966 in the late sixties.

The SEOVAL mark on the handle is in Silver.

Item# 1988  Round Blade [Electricians'] Screwdriver with Insulated Plastic Moulded handle.  1931-1971

4"  Black

5"  Green

6"  Red

8"  Black


1921 Catalogue:

Item#1985  Electrician's Round Blade Black Fluted Hardwood handle with Steel Ferrule.

Available 1938-1959+

1938: 1.5;2;2.5;3;4;5;6;8;10"

1959:  3;4;5;6;8;10"

To the left is an old Copper engraved printing block from probably c1900

As above, but a later mark had the same inscription in BLACK.

1959 Catalogue:

Item#1997  Engineer's Square Shank  

1938-1965.  This one is War Dept. from 1952.

1965 Catalogue:

The 1873 Catalogue shows these pages:

1909 Catalogue:

From the catalogues it appears that 'Turnscrews' were one of the earliest tools manufactured by Wm. Marples.  The earliest reference I have is the 1846 Broadsheet shown here:

Item#2001 General Duty Phillips' Screwdriver is first seen in 1959, when 3", 4" and 6" sizes were available. However it was probably introduced before then.

But by 1965 only 3" and 4" are shown. The fluted handle [Hardwood] appears to be a dark African Hardwood.

I am unsure as to how long these Screwdrivers were available.

#1984  Electricians' Round Blade Turnscrew which was re-numbered from # 1976 in 1928.

Available 1909-1965.  Octagonal Boxwood handle with a Brass Ferrule.

Earliest variety has 2 incised rings at the top and bottom of the Octagon. [Top in Photo]

The 'MARPLES, SHEFFIELD ENG.' impression is shown in the 1959 Catalogue andwas probably in effect before that. The second style is shown in the middle of the Photo and has 2 incised rings at the top of the Octagon and down close to the Ferrule. The newest style shown at the bottom of the Photo has only 2 incised rings down close to the Ferrule.  The blade is first described as being 3/16" in the 1938 Cat.

As can be seen in the above Catalogue pages, the length of the blade did vary widely with time, from 1.1/2" to 10".

Available c1931-1940 this Radio Turnscrew had a 2.3/4" blade and a Knurled Ebonite Handle


An Old and trusted Screwdriver pattern # 1950.  LONDON PATTERN

Beech handled and Brass Hooped  1897-1965+

Sizes by years:

1897-1909: 3;4;5;6;7;8;9;10;12;14;16;18"

1921: 3;4;5;6;7;8;9;10;12"

1928-1938: 3;4;5;6;7;8;9;10;12;14;16;18"

1959: 3;4;5;6;7;8;10;12"

1965: 4;6;8;10"

These are GREAT screwdrivers!

1971 Pocket catalogue and Supplement:

Item #1992 Engineers' or Motor Turnscrews. Short Strong Flat-blade. Beech Handles. 

Blade length:  1.1/2"-3"  Handles sized accordingly.

1909-1959   Was re-numbered from #1972 in 1928.

The Two Tables presented below represent the Screwdrivers listed by both Description and then Item Number.

The third Table describes the Short Forms used to describe the items therein listed.

Item# 1968 is a Turned Oval Boxwood Handled Cabinet Screwdriver with Steel Ferrule. Similar in all aspects to #1966 and available 1909-1971+.  Again to be found with stamped and/or electro-etched markings and Black SEOVAL mark .       Sizes are to be found in the Catalogue listings.

By the time we get to the 1861/2 Catalogue the range has increased somewhat:

These are the two marks stamped onto each side of the blade close to the shoulder. There was no order as to what inscription was in line with the MARPLES stamp on the wooden handle.


Item #2016  Radio Screwdriver Assorted colours of [Age variable] Brown, Green and Red. 1931-1971 

Later versions were Black, Green and Red.

Lengths changed with years: 

1938   2.3/4"

1959-71  3 or 4" 

Item #1986  available 1955-1971.   Electrician's Round Blade screwdriver with Transparent Splitproof Insulated handle

Here [to the right] is a perfect set of 'SlimGrip' screwdrivers.

Item # 1964. Shown in the 1965 Catalogue and may have been available for only a short time before/after that date.

Splitproof and Flameproof handles. Available only in 4"; 6" and 8"sizes as shown here and below.

There were 2 different fonts that show the differences from the 'stamped'[S] variety and the 'etched ' variety.[E] 

Not only were the [S] earlier and with better boxwood but they had a script different from the latter, [E], variety.   To the left you will see that the top photo [S]shows a different font to the late style [E] [below].  Note that the style [S] is more upright..the 'M' in Marples has a more vertical style whereas the other 'M' in the later [E] variety has the M in MARPLES showing a splayed leg outwards.     

Basically on the same length Screwdriver the the earlier variety [S] [stamped] will have a shorter length script.

1897 Catalogue: