These were important tools for opening crates of goods being transported. My first experience of one was with an elderly Asian importer opening a wooden crate for inspection of goods. He quickly and deftly removed the nails from the crate and lifted the lid for inspection.
William C Morrill filed a patent May 23rd 1904 (see Morrill patent application)
The patent was issued (Extract from patent)
NAIL EXTRACTOR SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No 770,018 dated September 13 1904 Application filed May 23 1904 Serial Ho 209,174 No model
Compared with Crescent Bridgeport USA
Morrill on the bottom, Crescent (top ) with pry bar on side and double collar hand protector