September 6, 1819
- Thomas Blanchard, of Millbury, MA, received a patent for
"Machine for Turning Gun Stocks"; profile lathe; capable of
manufacturing irregular forms (such as gun stocks); could
produce work of 13 operators; provided finished materials at
much less cost.
April 18, 1834
- Solyman Merrick, of Springfield, MA, received a patent for a
"Wrench"; moveable jaw which could be moved against a fixed jaw
via a screw-threaded connection of the rack bar with the handle.
- Cullen Whipple, of Providence, RI, one of ten incorporators of
The New England Screw Co.; August 18, 1842 -
received patent for a "Machine for Cutting the Threads of
Wood-Screws"; April 6, 1843 - received a patent
for a "Machine for Turning or Shaving the Heads of Blanks for
Wood-Screws"; July 6, 1852 - received a patent for
"Screw Threading Machinery";
August 10, 1852 -
received a patent for "Machinery for Threading Wood-Screws";
November 30, 1852 - received a patent for
"Improvement in Machinery for Shaving the Heads of
Screw-Blanks"; December 14, 1852 - received patent
for a "Mechanism for Pointing and Threading Screw-Blanks in the
Same Machine"; added more cutters to point screws in same
machine; credited as inventor of first practical machine for
pointing screws (early screws had no point, required a starter
hole be drilled before use); assigned to the New England Screw
Company; January 1, 1856 - received a patent an
"Improvement in Screw Machinery"; assigned to the New England
Screw Company; June 3, 1856 - received a patent
for "Making Screws"; screw machine (screw-blank feeder
August 31, 1842
- Micah Rugg, of Southington, CT, received patent for a "Machine
for Dressing Bolt Heads"; to trim heads of nuts and bolts;
1838 - Rugg and Martin Barnes established the first
U.S. nuts and bolts factory in Marion, CT (capacity production
was 500 bolts a day).
- Frederick Trent Stanley established
Stanley's Bolt Manufactory
in New Britain, CT to manufacture door bolts, other hardware
from wrought iron;
1857 - Henry Stanley (cousin) founded
The Stanley Rule and Level Company;
1920 - Stanley Rule merged, formed Hand
Tools Division); 1972
- acquired Ackley Manufacturing Company, world’s leading
manufacturer of hydraulic handheld tools;
1984 - acquired HED, Inc., largest U.S.
manufacturer of mounted hydraulic breakers, compactors;
1992 - acquired
LaBounty Manufacturing, Inc., global market leader for mounted,
2, 2009 -
acquired Black & Decker (founded 1910) for $4.5 billion; renamed Stanley Black & Decker.
April 5, 1864
- William Nicholson of Providence, R.I. received a U.S. patent
for a "File-Cutting Machine" for cutting files; put to use in
the first successful U.S. file factory, Nicholson File Company
(1864); proved quality of his files matched those made by hand.
February 21, 1865 - Joseph
R. Brown, of Providence, RI, received a patent for
"Screw-Threading Machine" ("Improved Milling Machine");
four-speed, 1,800-lb machine could quickly make any size twist
drill, replace previously tedious handwork in spiral milling or
gear-cutting operations; ; assigned to J. R. Brown & Sharpe;
J.R. Brown and Sharpe to manufacture his products;
November 28, 1865 - received a patent for an
"Improvement in Screw-Cutting Machines", assigned to Joseph R.
Browne & Sharpe.
July 23, 1872
- Elijah McCoy, of Ypsilanti, MI, received a patent for
"Improvement in Lubricators for Steam-Engines" ("construction
and arrangement of a lubricator for steam-cylinders"); allowed
machines to continue to operate as oil continuously flowed to
gears and moving parts, revolutionary way of lubricating steam
engines without having to shut them down; saved an enormous
amount of time and effort in transportation and in industrial
production; term "real McCoy" refers to the oiling device used
for industrial machinery; May 27, 1873 - received
patent for "Lubricators" ("construction and arrangement of a
steam-cylinder lubricator"); designed to be attached to a steam
engine cylinder and provide oil to the steam chest chiefly when
the steam was exhausted, but close a valve otherwise; glass
viewing port in the side towards the top permitted visual
inspection of the oil level; April 19, 1887 -
received a patent for a "Lubricator Attachment" ("in connection
with air brake-cylinders";
May 24, 1887 -
received patent for a "Lubricator for Slide Valves" ("novel
apparatus for lubricating the slide-valves and cylinders of
locomotive engines"); May 29, 1888 - received a
patent for a "Lubricator"; improvement on April 19, 1887 patent;
December 18, 1900 - Elijah McCoy received a patent
for a "Lubricator" ("displacement lubricators").
- the "Real McCoy"
- Arthur James Arnot, William Blanch Brain invented electric
drill in Melbourne, Australia.
February 28, 1893
- Edward G. Acheson of Monongahela, PA, received a patent for
"Production of Artificial Crystalline Carbonaceous Materials";
carborundum (one of hardest industrial substances); assigned to
the Carborundum Company; 1894 - established
Carborundum Company in Monongahela City, PA to produce grinding
wheels, whet stones, knife sharpeners, powdered abrasives;
May 19, 1896 - received a patent for an "Electrical
Furnace" used to produce carborundum; core of carbon rods
provides a path for electric current to pass through the
furnace; strong heating effect results from the resistance of
that path; December 6, 1898 - received a patent
for an "Article of Carborundum and Process of the Manufacture
- U.S. Patent Office named carborundum one of the 22 patents
most responsible for the industrial age;
1977 - acquired by Kennecott Copper for $560 million;
1981 - acquired by Standard Oil of Ohio; 1987
- acquired by British Petroleum; February 29, 1996
- acquired by
Industrial Ceramics Corporation subsidiary of Compagnie de
January 30, 1894
- Charles B. King of Detroit, MI, received a patent for a
"Pneumatic Tool"; hammer (exhibited it at 1893 World's Columbian
Exhibition in Chicago); inside the hammer, piston in
cylinder driven by air pressure to hit a striker and tool.
1895 - Wilhelm Emil
Fein invented hand-held, portable electric drill in Stuttgart,
February 19, 1901
- Frederick W. Taylor and Maunsel White, of Bethlehem, PA,
received a patent for a "Metal-Cutting Tool and Method of Making
Same" ("tool specially adapted for cutting very hard metal and
capable of running efficiently when cutting such metals at
higher speeds and greater temperatures than has heretofore been
- S. Duncan Black, Alonzo G. Decker established small machine
shop in Baltimore, MD; November 6, 1917 - received
a patent for an "Electrically-Driven Tool";
hand-held drill combined pistol grip, trigger switch; assigned
to The Black & Decker Manufacturing Company; 1936
- went public; 1946 - introduced Home Utility line
of drills, accessories; 1956 - Robert D. Black
(brother) named chairman of board, president; 1960
- Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. succeeded as chairman, chief executive
officer; acquired DeWalt, Inc. of Lancaster, PA; 1975
- first non-family member headed company; June 26, 1984
- registered "Dustbuster" trademark first used November 1978
(Hand-Held Household Vacuum Cleaners and Replacement Filter Bags
and Nozzles Used Therewith); introduced household appliances;
1985 - name changed to The Black & Decker
Corporation; 1989 - acquired Emhart Corporation,
($2.8 billion in revenue),
nearly doubled company’s size;
2, 2009 -
acquired by Stanley Works (founded 1843, 2008 sales of $4.5
billion) for $4.5 billion, renamed Stanley Black & Decker.
October 22, 1910
- Leo Bethke, Frank Lueck, Charles Krause incorporated American
Grinder and Manufacturing in Milwaukee, WI; produced
'self-oiling' hand grinders that sharpened tools used in
hardware and agricultural applications;
1919 - started Blackhawk Manufacturing
as subsidiary; February 1, 1924
- Herbert Brumder, son of George Brumder, well-known Milwaukee
businessman who had built a German-language publishing business,
assumed control (family had lent money, taken stock, Brumner
named treasurer in 1920); 1925
- changed name to Blackhawk Manufacturing Company;
October 20, 1925 -
American Grinder Mfg. Co. registered "Blackhawk" trademark first
used January 20, 1925 (water circulating pumps);
1927 - acquired
Hydraulic Tool Company, small manufacturer of hydraulic jacks;
October 1955 - hand
tool line of Blackhawk Manufacturing acquired by New Britain
Machine Company; 1960
- industrial and construction lines renamed Enerpac;
1961 - Blackhawk
name changed to Applied Power Industries, Inc.;
January 1973 -
renamed Applied Power Inc.; 1987
- went public; 1989
- acquired Barry Wright Corp. in $147 million hostile takeover;
1991 - sales of
$500 million; July 2000
- APW Electronics, maker of electronics enclosures, spun off
from APW Ltd.; APW Industrial began trading under name Actuant
Corporation; 2001 -
formally renamed Actuant; February
2002 - went public;
March 2002 - APW Electronics declared
bankruptcy; later acquired by Oaktree Capital Management;
2006 - Actuant
revenues of $1.2 billion.
July 7, 1936
- Henry F. Phillips, of Portland, OR, received a patent for a
"Screw" ('...improvements in any type of screw formed with a
tool-engaging recess in one of its ends'); received second
patent for a "Means for Uniting a Screw with a Driver"
('...composite structure of a screw and a tool or driver...when
brought together in the ordinary manner of presenting a screw
driver to a screw, will cause the two to become securely
- Black and Decker introduced first cordless drill (developed by
Robert H. Riley, Jr. who focused on battery technology for
drills that would allow workman to complete installations
without additional source of electricity;
October 19, 1965 - Riley, of Towson, MD
and Daniel M. Elligson, of Baltimore, MD, received a patent for
a "Heavy-Duty Industrial-Type Battery Powered Electric Drill" -
cordless electric drill;
assigned to Black & Decker
(Biggers Industrial Gerlinger), B. Carolyn
Thinking Big: The Story of John Biggers and Biggers Industrial
Gerlinger. (Placentia, CA: Aristan Press, 109 p.). Biggers,
John, 1926- ; Biggers Industrial Gerlinger (Firm)--History;
Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Machine parts
(Burgmaster Corporation), Max Holland (1989).
When the Machine Stopped: A Cautionary Tale from Industrial
America. (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 335
p.). Burgmaster Corporation--Management--History; Machine-tool
industry--United States--Management--Case studies; Consolidation
and merger of corporations--United States--Case studies;
Machine-tool industry--Government policy--United States;
Machine-tool industry--Government policy--Japan; Competition,
(Cincinnati Milacron), Cincinnati Milacron
Cincinnati Milacron, 1884-1984: Finding Better Ways.
(Cincinnati, OH: The Company, 218 p.). Cincinnati Milacron, Inc.
-- History; Metal-working machinery industry -- United States --
History; plastics machinery industry -- United States --
(Carborundum Corporation), Raymond Szymanowitz
Edward Goodrich Acheson Inventor, Scientist, Industrialist; a
Biography. (New York, NY: Vantage Press, 628 p.).
Acheson, Edward Goodrich, 1856-1931; Industrialists--United
Acheson - Carborundum
(Cleveland Twist Drill Company), Jacob Dolson
Building an American Industry; The Story of the Cleveland Twist
Drill Company and its Founder, an Autobiography.
(Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Twist Drill Co., 179 p.). Cleveland
Twist Drill Company.
(J.B. Ehrsam and Sons Manufacturing), Edward
G. Nelson (1956). The Company and the Community.
(Lawrence, KS: Bureau of Business Research, School of Business,
University of Kansas, 433 p.). Enterprise, Kan. -- History;
Alternate au Ehrsam (J.B.) and Sons Manufacturing Company,
Enterprise, Kan. Incorporated in 1902, bought by Combustion
Engineering in 1968, bought by Asea, Brown, Boveri, Ltd. (ABB),
of Zurich, Switzerland in 1990.
(Federal Mogul Corporation), Jeffrey L.
The Legend of Federal-Mogul. (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write
Stuff Enterprises, 175 p.). Federal Mogul Corporation--History;
Bearings industry--United States--History; Machine parts
industry--United States--History; Steel alloy industry--United
States--History; Roller bearings--United States--History.
(Ferracute Machine Company), Arthur J. Cox and
Thomas Malim (1985). Ferracute: The History of an American
Enterprise. (Bridgeton, NJ: A, J. Cox, 197 p.). Ferracute
Machine Company (Bridgeton, N.J.)--History; Machinery
(Alfred Herbert Ltd.), Roger Lloyd-Jones and
M.J. Lewis (2006).
Alfred Herbert Ltd and the British Machine Tool Industry,
1887-1983. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 352 p.). Professor
of Economic History (Sheffield Hallam University, UK); Senior
Lecturer in Business History (Sheffield Hallam University, UK).
Alfred Herbert Ltd--History; Machine-tool industry--Great
Britain--History. Economic, business
history of British machine tool industry.
Alfred Herbert (standing) - Alfred
Herbert Ltd (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ozwUnFsBLBA/SoxZQHA0hrI/
(Jones and Lamson), Joseph Wickham Roe (1937).
James Hartness, A Representative of the Machine Age at Its
Best. (New York, NY: The American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, 147 p.). Professor of Engineering (New York
University). Hartness, James, 1861-1934; Jones and Lamson
Machine Company; Machine-tool industry--Vermont--Springfield,
VT. Superintendent at
struggling Jones and Lamson machine shop; revitalized
company; invented flat turret lathe (increased efficiency,
productivity), held 120 patents; President of American Society
of Mechanical Engineers; inspiration to Springfield,
became booming manufacturing town.
(Jones and Lamson), Wayne G
Precision Valley. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 274 p.
[Reprint of 1959 ed.]). Benjamin Ames Kimball Professor of the
Science of Administration Emeritus, Amos Tuck School of Business
Administration (Dartmouth College). Jones and Lamson Machine
Company, Springfield, Vt.; Fellows Gear Shaper Company,
Springfield, Vt.; Bryant Chucking Grinder Company, Springfield,
Vt.; Machine-tool industry--Vermont--Springfield.
(B. & S. Massey Limited), H. Hurford Janes
(1961). Sons of the Forge: The Story of B. & S. Massey
Limited, 1861-1961. (London, UK: Harley Pub. Co., 104 p.).
B. & S. Massey Limited; machine parts industry.
(Safety-Kleen), Jim Bowman ; introduction by
W. Gordon Wood (1989).
Waste Not ...: The Story Safety-Kleen. (Chicago, IL:
J.G. Ferguson Pub. Co., 152 p.). Safety-Kleen (Firm)--History;
Machine parts cleaning machinery industry--United
(Alden O. Sherman Company), Jane E Sherman
Alden O. Sherman-An American Original: The Story of the Man and
His Company. (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 288 p.). Sherman,
Alden O.; Machine parts industry. Entrepreneur started a small
business manufacturing vanes for the aerospace industry and made
it a 50-year success.
(Stanley Works Inc.), Jeffrey L. Rodengen
The Legend of Stanley: 150 Years of The Stanley Works.
(Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Syndicate, 191 p.). Stanley
Works Inc.--History; Tools--United States; Hardware
Andrew Dawson (2004).
Lives of the Philadelphia Engineers: Capital, Class, and
Revolution, 1830-1890. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 302
p.). Machinery industry--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--History;
Machinery industry--United States--History; Philadelphia
(Pa.)--Economic conditions--19th century; Philadelphia
(Pa.)--Social conditions--19th century.
Anthony DiFilippo (1986).
Military Spending and Industrial Decline: A Study of the
American Machine Tool Industry (Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press, `199 p.). Machine-tool industry -- Government policy --
United States; Military weapons -- Economic aspects -- United
States; Industrial policy -- United States -- Case studies;
Technology and state -- United States -- Case studies. Series
Contributions in economics and economic history.
David R. Meyer (2006).
Networked Machinists: High-Technology Industries in Antebellum
America. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press,
320 p.). Teaches Sociology and Urban Studies (Brown University).
Machinists--United States--History; Metalworking
industries--United States--History. Networked behavior of machinists
helps explain: 1) rapid transformation of metalworking
industries, 2) foundation for sophisticated, mass
David F. Noble (1986).
Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation.
(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 409 p.). Drexel
University. Machine-tools--Numerical control--Social
aspects--United States; Automation--Social aspects--United
States; Technology--Social aspects--United States.
Joseph Wickham Roe (1926).
English and American Tool Builders. (New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill, 315 p. [orig. pub. 1916]). Professor of Engineering
(New York University). Machine-tools; Industrial
L. T. C. Rolt (1986).
Tools for the Job: A History of Machine Tools to 1950.
(London, UK: H.M.S.O., 274 p.). Machine-tools -- History.
Harless D. Wagoner (1968).
The U.S. Machine Tool Industry from 1900 to 1950.
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 421 p.). Machine-tool
Robert S. Woodbury (1972).
Studies in the History of Machine Tools.
(Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 592 p.). Teaches the
History of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of
Technology). Machine-tools --History. History
of the gear-cutting machine; a historical study in
geometry and machines, c1958; History of the grinding
machine; a historical study in tools and precision
production, c1959; History of the milling machine; a
study in technical development, c1960; History of the
lathe to 1850; a study in the growth of a technical
element of an industrial economy. c1961.
Business History Links
American Precision Museum
The Museum preserves the heritage of the mechanical arts,
celebrates the ingenuity of our mechanical forebears, and
explores the effects of their work on our everyday lives; housed
in the original Robbins & Lawrence Armory, holds the largest
collection of historically significant machine tools in the
Directory of American Tool and Machinery
Cooperative effort of the OldWWMachines and OldTools mailing
lists. It is intended to be a clearinghouse for information on
antique tool and woodworking machine patents, allowing
collectors of these tools to easily find information about the
history of tools and trades.
Tool Industry Timeline
Events that have shaped the tool industry over the last
100+ years, with a focus on company foundings, patents,
Ephemera & Books on Early Tools, Trades, Crafts and