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Thomas Robb Coughtrie (25 November 1917 – 27 August 2008) was credited by the Times as the inventor of the Mole wrench. However, this conflicts with other references that show the invention of the Vise Grip  in Nebraska with an initial patent in 1921 and fuller developments patented in 1924. It could be surmised that M. K. Mole and Son produced their own version (the Mole Grip) based on the existing American Vise Grip. The likeness between the two is clear even from sketch drawings.
In 1947 he started working for the Birmingham engineering firm 'M. K. Mole and Son', founded in 1835. When the second Mole brother died in 1950 he became managing director of the company. In 1955 he patented the self-grip wrench. In 1960 the Mole company, and Coughtrie, relocated to Newport, South Wales.
- The Times obituary, 18 October 2008
- Living History Farm - invention of the Vise Grip, patented 1921 by William Petersen
- 1935 Popular mechanics magazine, page 326 - invention of the Vise-Grip in Nebraska, 1935
- email@example.com. "Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". www1.hw.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
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