Henry F. Phillips


Henry F. Phillips

Henry F. Phillips (1890 – 1958), a U.S. businessman from Portland, Oregon, has the honor of having the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver named after him.

The importance of the crosshead screw design lies in its self-centering property, useful on automated production lines that use powered screwdrivers. Phillips' major contribution was in driving the crosshead concept forward to the 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 so widely copied 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 slotted type 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.


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  • Phillips — proper name of a cross slot screw and corresponding screwdriver, 1935, named for its inventor, U.S. businessman Henry F. Phillips (1890 1958) of Portland, Ore. It was designed for car makers, hence the handyman s complaint that they are difficult …   Etymology dictionary


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