Henry F. Phillips

From Academic Kids

Henry F. Phillips (1890 - 1958) was a businessman from Portland, Oregon and inventor of the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver. His inventions built on an earlier concept credited to the inventor J. P. Thompson.

The importance of the crosshead screw design is its self-centering properties, useful on automated production lines that utilise powered screwdrivers. Phillips' major contribution was in driving the crosshead concept forwards to a point where it was adopted by screwmakers and automobile companies.

Although he received patents for the design in 1936 (US Patent #2,046,343, US Patents #2,046,837 to 2,046,840), it was widely copied so that by 1949 Phillips lost his patent.

The American Screw Company was responsible for devising a means of manufacturing the screw, and successfully patented and licensed their method; other screw makers of the 1930s dismissed the Phillips concept since it calls for a relatively complex recessed socket shape in the head of the screw - as distinct from the simple milled slot of a flathead screw.

The Phillips Screw Company and the American Screw Company went on to devise the Pozidriv screw, which differs from the Phillips in that it is designed to accommodate greater torque than the Phillips.

External link

  • Phillips or Pozidriv? (http://www.justbrits.com/pozi/pozidriv.html) from the Austin Healey Magazine February 1996
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