I picked this tool up as a "band clamp" at a swap meet many years ago. Once I figured out how to use it, it turned out to be very handy in getting the cover on. What I finally learned was that, with the cover off, the tool's fingers compress the band springs and hold them while you pick up the cover with the tool on it, align the clutch fork, and the cover drops right down into place if the bands are held with cable ties or the like. Took less than 2 minutes to get the cover on, start to finish.
I now have an even more firm grasp of the obvious.
The piece connected with the long chain to the spring clamp tool is a pedal clamp that is a part of the tool. It keeps the pedals from flopping around every which way, but with the O-rings in the bushed holes in the cover, I didn't need it. Instead of using the clip, seen dangling below the pedal clamp, I used cable ties.
I always thought that type of clamp was intended for use on the bands, but I couldn't see how to use it without its being right in the way. Using it on the springs makes a lot more sense. And every time I've tried to use that U-shaped band ear holder (dangling above), it's right in the way too. So I use zip ties, as you do.
The tool was especially useful since I used the longer band springs, which make cover installation much more difficult. Squeezing the thing shut on three longer springs at once was a bit of a bear. Once done, though, the cover dropped right into place. I couldn't believe it.
Was this a tool from the Model T era, and if so, was it specifically for T service?
It's not a Ford service tool; it was made and sold by an accessory firm, and yes, it was specifically for servicing Ts.
Here's a photo of the complete tool. It's a 3-in-1 type deal: band springs compressing pliers, pedal clamp, and band retaining clip.
The name on it is "A.D. Brochu, Hartford, Conn."