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Vintage Solder, Solder Tins, and Soldering Supplies

The Chicago Solder Company - Kester
Kester was founded in 1899 as the Chicago Solder Company and manufactured flux-cored solder. The Kester manufacturing process had a major impact in the radio and electronics industry. Kester opened manufacturing facilities in Brantford, Ontario, Canada in 1931 and Anaheim, California in 1959.
Kester solder Tins Kester Solder Tins, 1920s-1930s
These early tins held Rosin-Core solder for radio work. Directions are on the back of each tin. The last patent date listed on them is 1936.
The tins are 2 5/8" diameter by 7/8" deep.

Larger Photo A - Front and Back
Larger Photo B - Front and Back
Larger Photo C - Front and Back

Kester Solder with raised lettering The original rosin core solder contained in the solder tins above is actually flat with raised lettering. The lettering on the solder reads "KESTER RADIO SOLDER (ROSIN - CORE) CHICAGO SOLDER CO.".

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Kester solder Kester Solder

These small boxes of Kester solder were included in many vintage soldering gun kits in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The red box is used for electrical soldering (Rosin-Core), and the green box (Acid-Core) for joining metal or plumbing.
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Kester soldering Paste Kester Soldering Paste

Kester soldering Paste was applied to clean surfaces before soldering to allow a smoother flow of solder. Paste was generally used on plumbing or sometimes on larger elctrical connections to help with heat transfer.
Larger Photo
Back with instructions

Gardiner Solder Tin
Gardiner Rosin Core Solder
Gardiner Radio Solder Tin

This Gardiner Radio Solder Tin appears to be from the 1920s. Note the pre electric soldering iron pictured on the top.
Directions are on the back of the tin. Tin is 2¼"x7/8".

Gardiner Radio Solder
The solder the tin contains is flat and has "THE GARDINER METAL CO. ROSIN CORE SOLDER" in raised letters.
Manufactured by the Gardiner Metal Co. Chicago USA

Larger Photo - Top
Larger Photo - Back
Larger Photo - Solder

Glaser Radio Solder Tin Glaser Radio Solder Tin

Glaser Radio Solder Tin. Most likely around mid 1930s. Instructions on bottom of tin.
Glaser Lead Company Inc., Brooklyn New York.
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Tri-Core Radio Solder Tin Tri-Core Radio Solder Tin

This is a Tri-Core radio solder tin. Tri-Core solder was sold for radio and electrical use by Alpha Metals Inc., Brooklyn I, N.Y. Solder wire directions are on the bottom of the tin.

Note: The "I" after Brooklyn denotes the number 1 postal zone of Brooklyn prior to the use of ZIP codes. One or two digit zone numbers were used in larger cities from 1943 through mid-1963, originally to aid mail sorting by less-experienced substitute employees during WWII.

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Johnson's Soldering Paste Tin Johnson's Soldering Paste Tin

Johnson's soldering paste tin. Instructions are on side of tin. "Clean metal. Apply Paste. Heat. Add Solder, Preferably Johnson's Pure Solder."
FYI - no relation to me.
Larger Photo

Kwickettes Sprague Kwickettes
Kwickettes were handy little pre-made coils of wire surrounded with flux and solder. They were used to easily hold replacement resistors, capacitors, etc. on a circuit board using remains of the old components leads without having to remove all of it from the board and avoid applying heat to the trace. See the ad for instructions.

I seldom used them as if I had to, I would wrap a piece of solid wire around a lead to form a coil and then just add my own solder. The photo also shows a package of earlier "Quigs".
Kwickettes Advertisement (1966)

Jiggers Jiggers
Jiggers were used to to solder wires together using only a Jigger and a match. Twist the striped wires together and slide a Jigger over the bare wires. Light the end of the Jigger with a match. After the jigger burns just pull off the burnt shell and the wires are soldered together.
Instructions (back of box)


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