The Chicago screw is a fastener consisting of a flanged barrel nut post and a flanged screw; commonly used for connecting pieces of tack -- such as attaching a headstall to a bit. It was first manufactured and marketed in the 1870s by the Chicago Screw Company. The flanges of the barrel nut and the accompanying machine screw are designed to sit flush on either side of the items being fastened. In addition to its use in joining pieces of tack, the Chicago screw is commonly used in binding thick books such as swatchbooks and scrapbooks.
The Chicago screw was probably developed by Harry Clinton Goodrich, a founder and the majority shareholder of the Chicago Screw Company. His many patents included inventions for horse shoes, boot soles, safety elevators, noiseless slate for schools, bicycles, curling iron heaters for lamps, baking or roasting ovens, water heaters, and attachments used by many different sewing machines.
A successful businessman, Goodrich was a great horseman and owned several horses, including a well-known trotting horse named Bodine.
Photos by Bob Lemen. All rights reserved.