Alloy Artifacts  

A Tool Industry Timeline

This page will look at some of the events that have shaped the tool industry over the last 100+ years, with a focus on company foundings, patents, and trademarks.

Table of Contents


The tool industry has been shaped by numerous events, notably the founding of companies, innovations leading to patents, and the establishment of trademarked brands. In an effort to better understand these factors, we have summarized the more important tool industry events into the following table.

The events in the table have been grouped into three categories: Company events, Patents, and Trademarks. These are indicated in the "Type" column by the letters "C", "P", and "T" respectively.

Timeline Table

Decade Date Type Event Description Related Links
1820 01/01/1826 C C.S. Osborne Founded C.S. Osborne founded by Thomas English in Newark Osborne
1850 01/01/1856 C Mayhew Tools Founded Mayhew Tools founded in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts Mayhew
01/01/1857 C M. Klein & Sons Founded Mathias Klein & Sons founded in Chicago Klein
1860 01/01/1860 C Kraeuter Founded Kraeuter & Co. founded in Newark Kraeuter
01/01/1869 C Lowell Wrench Founded Lowell Wrench Co. founded in Worcester, Massachusetts
1870 11/01/1870 C Peck, Stow, & Wilcox Formed Peck, Stow & Wilcox (“Pexto”) formed by a three-way merger Pexto
01/01/1873 C Billings & Spencer Founded Billings & Spencer Co. founded in Hartford, CT Billings
01/01/1877 C Bonney Founded Bonney Vise & Tool Works founded Bonney
01/01/1879 C Champion Founded Champion Bolt Clipper Co. founded by George DeArment Champion
1880 01/01/1881 C Herbrand Founded Herbrand Co. founded in Fremont, Ohio Herbrand
01/01/1884 C Williams Founded J.H. Williams & Co. founded in Brooklyn, New York Williams
01/01/1887 C New Britain Founded New Britain Machine Co. founded in New Britain, CT New Britain
1890 01/01/1893 C Armstrong Founded Armstrong Bros. founded in Chicago Armstrong
01/01/1895 C Bridgeport Hardware Founded Bridgeport Hardware Mfg. Founded in Bridgeport, CT Bridgeport
01/01/1895 T “New Britain” First Use New Britain Machine first uses “New Britain” trademark New Britain
01/01/1895 C Utica Founded Utica Drop Forge & Tool founded Utica
01/01/1895 C Vlchek Founded Vlchek Tool Co. founded in Cleveland Vlchek
01/01/1896 C Barcalo Founded Barcalo Mfg. Co. founded in Buffalo, New York Barcalo
09/01/1897 T “Strong-Arm” First Use Armstrong Bros. First uses “Strong-Arm” trademark Armstrong
01/01/1898 C Smith & Hemenway Founded Smith & Hemenway founded in New York City S&H
01/01/1899 C Mossberg Founded Frank Mossberg Co. founded in Attleboro, Massachusetts Mossberg
1900 01/01/1900 C Bay State Tool Founded Bay State Tool Co. founded in Boston Bay State
02/02/1904 P Contal 751,055 Camille Contal patent for Auto Clé ratchet wrench Mossberg 751055
01/01/1905 C Champion Moves Champion Tool Co. moves to Meadville, PA Champion
01/01/1905 C Moore Founded Moore Drop Forging Co. formed in Springfield, MA Moore
12/01/1905 C Auto-Clé socket set offered Auto-Clé socket set (developed in France) first offered in US Mossberg
01/01/1906 C Miller Combination Founded Miller Combination Tool founded in Syracuse, NY Miller Combination
01/01/1906 C Walden Founded Walden Mfg. Co. founded in Worcester, MA Walden
02/01/1906 C Miller Combination Set Offered Notice for Miller Combination Tool “Giant” socket set published Miller Combination
10/01/1906 C Syracuse Wrench Founded Syracuse Wrench Co. founded in Syracuse, NY [date uncertain] Syracuse
01/01/1907 C Champion Set Offered Syracuse Wrench advertises “Champion Ratchet Wrench” socket set Syracuse
01/01/1907 C Plomb Founded Plomb Tool Co. founded in Los Angeles Plomb
02/26/1907 P Miller 845,716 Charles Miller patent for ratchet wrench Miller Combination 845716
07/23/1907 C Crescent Tool Founded Crescent Tool Co. incorporated in Jamestown, New York Crescent
01/01/1908 C Diamond Calk Founded Diamond Calk Horseshoe founded in Duluth, Minnesota Diamond
01/01/1908 T “M-Circle” First Use Moore Drop Forging first uses M-Circle trademark Moore
03/01/1908 C “Yala” Socket Set Offered Syracuse Wrench advertises “Yala” socket set Syracuse
12/01/1908 C Bay State Autokit Offered Bay State Autokit socket set advertised Bay State
12/01/1908 C Mossberg Acquires Auto-Cle Frank Mossberg Co. acquires the Auto-Clé socket set line from Q.M.S. Mossberg
05/01/1909 C Vlchek Opens New Factory Vlchek opens a new factory at East 87th street in Cleveland Vlchek
06/01/1909 C C.M.B. Wrench Founded C.M.B. Wrench Co. founded in Syracuse, New York C.M.B.
1910 01/01/1910 C American Grinder Founded American Grinder Mfg. Co. founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Blackhawk
01/01/1910 C United Hardware Established United Hardware & Tool Corp. established in New York City
12/01/1910 T Utica Registered Utica Drop Forge registers “Utica” trademark Utica
01/01/1913 C McKaig-Hatch Founded McKaig-Hatch founded in Buffalo, NY McKaig
01/01/1913 C Sears Autokit Socket Set Sears offers its first socket set, the Aristocrat No. 1 Auto Kit Craftsman Bay State
11/11/1913 P Mossberg 1,078,059 Mossberg patent for reversible ratchet wrench Mossberg 1078059
01/01/1914 C Charles E. Hall Acquired Charles E. Hall Company acquired by Barcalo Manufacturing Barcalo
01/01/1914 C Alloy Steel for Pliers Kraeuter uses nickel steel for 2801 “Dreadnought” lineman's pliers Kraeuter
01/01/1914 C Sherman-Klove Founded Sherman-Klove founded in Chicago S-K
01/01/1915 C Cold-broached Sockets Will B. Lane introduces cold-broached machined sockets Lane
01/01/1916 C Duro Metal Founded Duro Metal Products founded in Chicago Duro-Indestro
12/01/1916 C Walden Renamed Walden Mfg. Co. renamed to Walden-Worcester Walden
01/01/1917 T “None Better” First Use New Britain Machine first uses “None Better” trademark New Britain
01/01/1919 T “Diamond” First Use Diamond Calk Horseshoe Co. first uses “Diamond” trademark Diamond
01/01/1919 C Hinsdale Founded Hinsdale Manufacturing Co. founded in Chicago Hinsdale
05/01/1919 C Blackhawk Founded Blackhawk Mfg. Co. founded as division of American Grinder Blackhawk
07/01/1919 C Blackhawk Socket Set Blackhawk socket sets first advertised Blackhawk
11/14/1919 C Cornwell Founded Cornwell Quality Tools founded in Cuyahoga, Ohio Cornwell
1920 05/20/1920 C Snap-On Founded Snap-On Wrench Co. founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Snap-on
01/01/1921 C P & C Founded P & C Hand Forged Tool Co. founded in Lebanon, Oregon P&C
01/01/1921 C Charles Miller Renamed Charles Miller Company renamed to Miller Wrench Company Charles Miller
01/20/1921 T “Indestro” First Use Sure Seal Bottle Capper first uses “Indestro” trademark Duro-Indestro
03/08/1921 P Myers D57,252 Myers (design) patent for handles on “Vacuum Grip” pliers Forged Steel
07/25/1922 P Blackmar 1,424,069 Blackmar patent on 12-point wrenches, used by Snap-On Snap-on 1424069
11/01/1922 T “CV” First Use Bonney first uses “CV” trademark for alloy wrenches Bonney
01/30/1923 P Johnson 1,443,413 Johnson patent for early Snap-On ratchet adapter Snap-on 1443413
02/27/1923 T “Truth” Registered Truth Tool Co. registers “Truth” trademark Truth
09/15/1923 T ”Blue Point” First Use Snap-on first uses “Blue Point” trademark Snap-on
11/01/1923 T “Van Chrome” Advertised Earliest known public use of Herbrand “Van Chrome” trademark Herbrand
01/01/1924 T “Husky” Registered “Husky” trademark registered for Husky Wrench Company Husky Wrench
01/01/1924 C Husky Wrench Founded Husky Wrench Company founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Husky Wrench
01/15/1925 C Champion Tool Renamed Champion Tool Co. renamed to Champion DeArment Champion
08/01/1925 C American Grinder Renamed American Grinder renamed to Blackhawk Manufacturing Blackhawk
09/01/1925 C OTC Founded Owatonna Tool Co. founded in Owatonna, Minnesota OTC
01/01/1926 C Stevens-Walden Formed Stevens-Walden-Worcester formed by merger Walden
01/16/1926 C P & C Box-End Wrenches P & C begins offering 12-point box-end wrenches P&C
01/01/1927 C Apco-Mossberg Formed Frank Mossberg Co. reorganized as Apco-Mossberg Mossberg
01/01/1927 C Wright Tool Founded Wright Tool founded in Barberton, Ohio Wright
05/20/1927 T “Craftsman” First Use Sears, Roebuck first uses “Craftsman” trademark Craftsman
07/01/1927 C Cornwell Moves Cornwell Quality Tools moves to Mogadore, Ohio Cornwell
12/01/1927 T “Boxocket” Registered “Boxocket” trademark registered, used on Blue Point tools Snap-on
01/01/1928 C Husky Wrench Renamed Husky Wrench Co. renamed Husky Corporation, moves to Kenosha Husky Wrench
07/01/1928 C Vlchek Cr-Mo Wrenches Vlchek Tool announces chrome-molybdenum wrench sets Vlchek
08/27/1929 P Gillett RE17,417 Gillett wrench patent reissued, assigned to Blue Point Tools Snap-on RE17417
1930 01/13/1931 T “Duro-Chrome” First Use Duro Metal Products first uses “Duro-Chrome” trademark Duro-Indestro
10/13/1931 P Klein 1,827,202 Klein patent for early Snap-On ratchets Snap-on 1827202
04/19/1932 P Hummel 1,854,413 Hummel patent for reversible ratchet, used by Snap-On Snap-on 1854413
05/01/1932 T “Channellock” First Use Champion DeArment first uses “Channellock” trademark Champion
09/01/1932 C MTF Merged Milwaukee Tool & Forge merged to form Lectrolite Corporation MTF Lectrolite
12/01/1932 T “S-K” First Use Sherman-Klove first uses “S-K” and S-K Diamond logo S-K
01/01/1933 C Husky Corporation Acquired Husky Corporation acquired by New Britain Machine [date uncertain] New Britain
01/01/1933 T “Bet'R-Grip” First Use J.P. Danielson first uses “Bet'R-Grip” trademark Danielson
04/25/1933 C Plomb Combination Wrenches Plomb announces the combination wrench in company newslatter Plomb
05/01/1933 C Bonney Combination Wrenches Bonney announces Zenel combination wrenches in catalog supplement Bonney
06/01/1933 C Indestro Acquired Indestro Mfg. acquired by Duro Metal Products Duro-Indestro
10/03/1933 T “Zenel” Registered Bonney registers “Zenel” trademark Bonney
03/06/1934 P Manning 1,950,362 Manning “Channellock” patent for Champion DeArment Champion DeArment 1950362
05/08/1934 P Kress 1,957,462 Kress patent for reversible ratchet, used for Williams S-51 Williams 1957462
08/21/1934 P Pfauser RE19,287 Pfauser patent for Blackhawk Mfg. socket release button Blackhawk RE19287
11/20/1934 P Rueb 1,981,526 Rueb patent for S-K, first fine-tooth ratchet design S-K 1981526
05/28/1935 P Pfauser 2,003,155 Pfauser patent for gearless ratchets used by Blackhawk Mfg. Blackhawk 2003155
01/14/1936 P McNaught 2,027,982 Duro Metal patent for hot-broached sockets Duro-Indestro 2027982
07/07/1936 P Phillips 2,046,840 Phillips patent for cross-point screws and screwdriver 2046840
01/01/1937 T Indestro “Streamlined” Design Indestro Mfg. registers “streamlined” wrench design Duro-Indestro
01/23/1937 T Dunlap First Use Sears first uses Dunlap brand Craftsman
01/01/1938 C Moore Craftsman Contract Moore Drop Forging Co. gets Sears Craftsman contract Moore Craftsman
07/11/1938 C Mechanics Tool Founded Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. (later Mac Tools) founded in Ohio MAC
03/06/1939 T “Bonaloy” First Use Bonney first uses “Bonaloy” trademark Bonney
1940 01/01/1940 C Cragin Tool Acquired Cragin Tool (Bog Manufacturing) acquired by Plomb Tool Bog Plomb
01/01/1941 C Penens Formed Penens Corp. formed as a reorganization of Cragin Tool Penens Plomb
01/01/1941 C P & C Acquired P & C Hand Forged Tool Co. acquired by Plomb Tool P&C Plomb
02/18/1941 P Rueb 2,232,477 Rueb patent for fine-tooth ratchets used by S-K Tools S-K 2232477
06/30/1942 P Chapman D132,891 Chapman (design) patent used for Snap-On tool handles Snap-on
01/01/1946 C Mac Allied Tools Founded Mac Allied Tools founded as an associate of Mac Tools MAC
01/01/1946 T Plomb Sued for Infringement Plomb Tool Co. sued by Plumb for trademark infringement Plomb
02/26/1946 P Odlum 2,395,681 Odlum patent, first asymmetrical dual-pawl ratchet Duro-Indestro 2395681
08/01/1946 T “Armaloy” First Use Armstrong first uses “Armaloy” trademark Armstrong
01/01/1947 C J.P. Danielson Acquired J.P. Danielson Co. acquired by Plomb Tool Danielson Plomb
01/01/1948 C Forged Steel Acquired Forged Steel Products (“Vacuum Grip”) acquired by Snap-On Forged Steel Snap-on
01/23/1948 T Proto Registered Plomb Tool registers “Proto” and begins using on tools Plomb Proto
1950 01/01/1950 C Pexto Acquired Pexto acquired by Billings & Spencer [Date approximate] Billings Pexto
03/14/1950 P Lang 2,500,835 Lang patent for laminated ratchet box wrenches 2500835
03/25/1950 T Last Date for “Plomb” mark Final date for use of “Plomb” name on tools Plomb
01/01/1956 C Utica Acquired Utica Tool acquired by Kelsey-Hayes Utica
12/04/1956 P Johnson 2,772,763 Johnson patent for dual-pawl fine-tooth ratchet (e.g. Williams S-52) Williams 2772763
01/01/1957 C Bonney Moves Bonney moves from Allentown, PA to Alliance, OH Bonney
04/16/1957 P Able 2,788,690 Able patent for socket reinforcement (Proto “Dyna-Ring”) Proto 2788690
12/18/1959 C Vlchek Acquired Vlchek Tool acquired by Pendleton Tool Industries Vlchek Proto
1960 01/01/1961 C Herbrand Acquired Herbrand acquired by Utica Tool Herbrand Utica
01/01/1961 C Mac Tools Formed Mechanics Tool and Forge Co. renamed as Mac Tools Inc. MAC
04/25/1961 P Kilness 2,981,389 Kilness patent for high-strength fine-tooth ratchet New Britain 2981389
01/01/1962 C S-K Tools Acquired S-K Tools acquired by Symington-Wayne Corp. S-K
01/01/1962 C Lectrolite Acquired Lectrolite Corp. acquired by Symington-Wayne Corp. Lectrolite
01/01/1962 C Utica Moves Utica Tool moves to new factory in Orangeburg, SC Utica
01/04/1962 C Billings Acquired Billings & Spencer Co. acquired by Crescent Niagara Corp. Billings Crescent
01/24/1962 C Williams Acquired J.H. Williams acquired by United Greenfield Corp. Williams
05/08/1963 C Channellock Formed Champion De Arment renamed to Channellock Champion
01/01/1964 C Bonney Acquired Bonney Tool acquired by Utica Tool Bonney Utica
01/24/1964 T SK Wayne Registered Symington-Wayne registers “SK Wayne” trademark S-K
02/01/1964 C Proto Acquired Proto Tools acquired by Ingersoll-Rand Proto
04/28/1964 C Fleet Tool Formed Penens Corp. renamed to Fleet Tool Corp. Proto Penens
02/01/1965 C Kraeuter Acquired Kraeuter & Co. acquired by Dresser Industries Kraeuter
09/20/1966 P Knudsen 3,273,430 Knudsen patent for Snap-On “Flank Drive” Snap-on
01/01/1967 C Triangle Tool Formed Triangle Tool Group formed to acquire Utica Tool Utica
01/01/1968 C Crescent Niagara Acquired Crescent Niagara acquired by Cooper, Inc. Crescent
01/01/1968 C Moore Acquired Moore Drop Forging Co. acquired by Easco Moore
01/01/1968 C S-K Tools Acquired S-K Tools (Symington-Wayne) acquired by Dresser Industries S-K
01/01/1968 C Torque Controls Acquired Triangle Tool acquires Torque Controls, Inc.
01/01/1969 C Vlchek Factory Closed Vlchek factory at East 87th street in Cleveland closed Vlchek
09/16/1969 P Haznar 3,467,431 Haznar patent for quick-release ratchet used for Craftsman “V” Craftsman V
1970 01/01/1977 C Vlchek Plastics Acquired Vlchek Plastics purchased by Flambeau from Ingersoll-Rand Vlchek
01/01/1979 C Matco Formed Matco formed when Mac and Mac Allied Tools split MAC
1980 01/01/1984 C Proto Acquired Proto Tools Division of Ingersoll-Rand acquired by The Stanley Works Proto
01/01/1985 C S-K Tools Acquired S-K Tools acquired by FACOM S-K
12/09/1989 C Duro Metal Products Closes Duro Metal Products/Indestro cease operations Duro-Indestro
1990 01/01/1990 C Easco Acquired Easco acquired by Danaher Group Craftsman V
01/01/1993 C Williams Acquired J.H. Williams acquired by Snap-On Williams
12/01/1994 C Armstrong Acquired Armstrong Bros. acquired by Danaher Group Armstrong
01/01/1999 C Bahco Acquired Bahco Group AB acquired by Snap-On Snap-on
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