CMS-Japanese Motorcycle Supply Parts

Kismet Engineering Works Tools and Vice History and Information

Before using this site please read the site disclaimer. Also please note that any links provided may be part of an affiliate programme (viz. eBay, Amazon) which helps support the site as I will earn a commission when visitors make a qualifying purchase.

Kismet Engineering Works made vices and tools in Australia during and after World War II. Here's all I can find on them. If you have more information or pictures, please drop me a line!

The Brisbane Courier reported on the 6th May 1918 that a Patrick William Moran of Ch. Towers had been wounded in WWI. Is it the same fellow as who was involved with Kismet? Perhaps not - on the 10th May 8 years later The Telegraph (Brisbane) ran a piece on how Patrick William Moran of Moran's Garage on French St., Coorparoo was NOT the person who appeared in court that April 12 for being in charge of a motor-car whilst drunk. Obviously there were two people with the same name running around at that point.


27th Feb 1930 - The Brisbane Courier reported that a previous employee stole from Patrick William Moran's garage at Coorparoo. The Courier Mail reported on the 18th June 1935 that he was living at Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo and had copped a parking fine of £1 for not keeping his motor-car as near as practicable to the footpath.


The Telegraph (Brisbane) ran an advertisment on the 2nd December 1941 for Kismet Engineering Works, who wanted a boy for munition work. Applicants were to go to Moran's Garage in Coorparoo.

The Telegraph (Brisbane) ran an advertisment on the 13th Oct 1942 for a clerk position at Kismet Engineering Works, of Coorparoo.

The Brisbane Telegraph on the 3rd Dec 1945 ran an advertisment Brett & Co., of Grey Street South Brisbane who were selling a 4" Kismet vice for 75/4, a 5" Kismet for 93/10 and a 6" Kismet for 112/0.

6 Aug 1946 saw The Telegraph (Brisbane) report that thieves had broken into Moran's Garage in Logan Road, leaving a note which read "To the cops. Better luck next time. I had fun; hope you have same finding me". They did get caught. Patrick William Moran was named as the garage owner.

The Northern Star (Lismore) ran an advertisment on the 19th April 1947 for Ray Granger that stated the following: "Kismet Fabricated Steel Vices for use in work shop, factory, garage and farm. The case hardened jaws are component parts, welded in, and never come loose. Made of solid steel, the shoulder and body are of remarkable strength. The "Kismet" bench vice is your logical choice for quality. ... 4" - £3/16/4, 5" £4/15/9, 6" £5/13/6.". They have below this a separate listing for a 6 ½" semi-offset vice for all garages and metal-workers for £6/5/8, though it's not clear whether that's also a Kismet or not.

The 30th Dec that same year The West Australian ran an advertisment for Kismet vices which were billed as having unbreakable jaws and coming in 4/5/6" in standard form, and 4 ¾", 5½", and 6½" in semi-offset.

22nd July 1948 saw The Central Queensland Herald run an advertisment for Williams Rockhampton which showed a drawing of a Kismet vice:

Here is an advertisment showing a Kismet vice from 1948

13th October that year The Bulletin ran a piece on water in tractor tyres. What does that have to do with vices? "A few weeks ago Mr. Moran demonstrated a tractor-tyre water filler, made by Kismet Engineering Works, Coorparoo...". Looks as though Mr. Moran may have been involved in Kismet, given the job application address given above and the fact that he was demonstrating their products.

11th Nov that year The Chronicle (Adelaide) ran an advertisment for Motor Parts & Service Ltd., which had another drawing of a Kismet vice:

Here is an advertisment showing a Kismet vice from 1948

The text says: "Only Kismet all-steel Vices will stand all stresses and strains of rough and rugged work. Will not break or snap as cast vices. Spindle precision-machined to full size square thread. All vices 4in. and over have full 1" spindle. Spindle is spring-loaded to eliminate backlash. Case hardened jaws are of special design to allow insertion of large work. Specially designed nickel bronze nut will take side and end thrust up to 25 tons strain. Slides accurately ground to fine tolerance. Solid steel base allows wide spread to bolt holes.


24th Dec 1954 saw the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) run the following advertisment:

Here is an advertisment showing a Kismet vice from 1948

Evidently they had by then added a full offset vice to their lineup.

Someone sent me in this picture from Dawn's GNR period (1959-1973, see this article):

Here is an advertisment showing a Dawn-Kismet vice

The Australian Made boomerang logo came into use in 1961, as far as I'm aware, which helps narrow the timeframe down a little.

If anyone has any more information on the relationship between those two companies please drop me a line.

Search MotoFaction:

Follow us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

CMS-Japanese Motorcycle Supply Parts

Search MotoFaction:

In 2019 the server has had to double in capacity to support the growing site... please consider dropping the site a donation to help cover the costs! Check out our Patreon for support options, buy a shirt, buy our apps, use my NordVPN affiliate link to sign up to their service or donate via Paypal:

Paypal $5 link ->>
Paypal $10 link ->>