Tool History Composite Timeline

  • 02/29/64

    In 1864, the Nicholson file was formally born. **Comments: 0 **Comments:
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    Billings & Spencer is Born **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    On July 23, 1872, The Connecticut House of Representatives approved the petition on behalf of the Roper Sporting Arms Company to reorganize as the Billings & Spencer Company.

  • 11/30/76

    C. S. Bonney & Son is Founded by C. S. Bonney **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    It is believed that the company was founded in late 1876 or early 1877 although no exact date has yet been uncovered.  While Charles had 2 sons (Albert and Henry), based on newspaper articles from the 1900's we believe the "& Son" refers to Henry George (H. G.) Bonney.

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    Williams & Diamond is Founded **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    According to Wikipedia, James Harvey Williams and Matthew Diamond started the Williams & Diamond Co. in Flushing Queens, NYC in 1882.

  • 04/30/84

    J. H. Williams & Co. Files the W Diamond Trademark **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    On May 2, 1884, J. H. Williams filed Trademark application #11,905 for the famous W inside a Diamond stamp.

  • Railway Master Mechanic - February, 1885


    J. H. Williams & Co. Re-organizes **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1885 the company reorganized with a partnership between J. H. Williams and William H. Brock.  Image is from the February, 1885 edition of Railway Master Mechanic

    The firm of J. H. Williams & Co., Manufacturers of drop forgings, 9 Richard Street, Brooklyn has been dissolved. Mr. Matthew Diamond is the retiring member, the firm from now consisting of James H Williams and William H Brock, the latter gentleman is well known in our town, he having for some time carried on business at Corona, where he was a resident. We trust that the new firm will have the success that good workmanship merits.
    The Newtown Register, November 26, 1885 -- Information courtesy of Maggie Blanck's Website - See the Media Link Below.

  • 05/31/85

    J. H. Williams & Co. Move To Brooklyn **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The March 1, 1885 edition of The Hub published this article detailing the move of the Williams & Diamond Company from Flushing Queens, to Brooklyn on June 1, 1885.  Interesting to note the article refers to "Williams & Diamond" as the entity relocating, while the footer labels them as "J. H. Williams & Co."

  • 12/31/89

    Armstrong® 1890 Founding **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Four sons of a Scottish immigrant blacksmith launch Armstrong Bros. Tool Company in Chicago. In the beginning, the company manufactures and distributes bicycle parts

  • 11/30/95

    New Britain Machine is Born **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The New Britain Machine Co. was born out of what appears to be a fairly involved law suit in June of 1896.  Ultimately, the company was formed in order to purchase the J. P. Case Co. and the Dubuque Specialty Machine Company, with the intent of manufacturing the Case engine. 

    When selecting the link, please begin reading the entire lawsuit at page 557 - "Smith vs. Lee et. al."

    New Britain Machine Co. filed it's certificate of organization on December 6, 1895.

  • 03/31/99

    Alphonse Plomb Becomes a Naturalized Citizen **Comments: 0 **Comments:


  • 12/31/05

    Charles Bonney Reemerges **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Charles Sherpard Bonney basically disappears after patenting his pipe vise in 1887, until his patent of the Pipe Wrench/Cutter around 1903.  In his family history he is listed, among other things, as a "Commercial Traveller."  This announcement appears in the January 25, 1906 edition of the Iron Trade Review.  It announces the formation of the Bonney Vehslage Tool Company at 135 Coit St. in Irvington, NJ by Charles S Bonney, Ernest C. Vehslage and Arthur L. Fullman.  The Company still exists today.  This event is also announced in the 1/10/1906 edition of the N Y Times.

  • 12/31/06

    Walden Manufacturing Company Established **Comments: 0 **Comments:
  • 12/31/08

    Bonney Moves to Allentown **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Based on this article from the Iron Age, November 19, 1908, Bonney officially moved to Allentown, PA in January of 1909.  A notice in the November 11, 1908 Allentown Leader newspaper announces the move, and indicates it will take place in the coming winter.  This announcement also appears in the December, 1908 Edition of Steam Magazine.  All indications are that the move to Allentown facilitated their entry into the mechanics tools market.

  • 11/30/10

    New Britain - Massive Product Diversity and Expansion **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    By 1910, New Britain was producing engines, saws, various milling/screw machines, and a diverse line of shop oriented "office equipment."

  • 01/31/18

    Duro Metal Products is Established in Chicago, IL **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    This announcement appears in "Industrial Distribution" of 1918.  It clearly identifies the establishment of the company, and the principles Alfred W. Bays, 109 North Dearborn street, and Albert N. Powell and mentions nothing of Messrs McNaught and Odlum.  However, the official state registration lists Messrs Gertude, McNaught and Odlum as registrants.

  • 04/30/19

    Presenting: Blackhawk! **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    This advertisement is the earliest we have found to date presenting the Blackhawk line of tools on behalf of the American Grinder Manufacturing Company. It comes in the May, 1919 edition of Hardware World. Beginning in the June issues of most notable automobilia publications of the day, the Blackhawk line peppers their pages in what appears to be an all out media blitz.

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    Cornwell is Established in Cayahoga Falls, OH **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The Cornwell Tools Co. was established circa August of 1919 in Cayahoga Falls, OH with $50,000 of capital stock.  B. L. Coleman - President; Eugene Cornwell - Vice-President; H. L. Wandschneider - Secretary, Treasurer & General Manager.  A report to the Secretary of State dated 1920 also mentions a C. L. Barnes, but indicates no position or title.  A brief article from the Iron Age publication dated 1919 also mentions previous forging operations utilizing the "Cornwell Process" in Pittsburgh, PA. Research continues on that facet of Cornwell history.

  • 12/31/23

    The Husky - Snap-On Connection **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Sometime in early 1924, Mandl lures the manager of the Snap-On Company, Joseph Wirtish, away and, along with Oscar W. Engerson and John Zummach, they form the Husky Wrench Co.  According to the trademark for "Husky Wrenches and Husky Socket-Wrench Sets," Mandl claims first use on January 29, 1924.

    The announcement reads:  "The Husky Wrench Co. of Milwaukee has been organized by a number of men formerly with the Snap-On Wrench Co. of that city to engage in the line of manufacturing mechanics' tools, especially for garage and repairshop use and for original car kit equipment.  Joseph O. Whirtish, formerly manager of the Snap-On Company, and Sigmund Mandl, and Oscar Engerson are the principals in the company."

  • 05/31/29

    New Britain Acquires Control of Gridley Machine Co. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    At some point in 1929, New Britain acquired a majority interest in Gridley Machine Co. of Hartford Connecticut and began operating as the New Britain-Gridley Machine Company.  In 1936 the corporation was disolved and henceforth operated as a subsidiary, New Britain-Gridley Machine Division of New Britain Machine.

  • 05/31/33

    Bonney Forge & Tool Works Establishes Gray Bonney **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The Iron Age Publication, Volume 131, 1933 announces that Bonney Forge established the Gray-Bonney Tool Company, Ltd., in cooperation with Gray Forgings & Stampings Ltd.  The exact date in 1933 is not known.  The Tool Archives has a 1961 catalog representing the fact that this was an enduring relationship of at least 27 years.

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    Bonney Introduces it's TUHEX Economy Line **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The 1934 Bonney Catalog first lists the TUHEX branded Combination and Double Box End Wrenches.  By the 1941 edition of the Bonney catalog, the TUHEX wrenches are no longer listed.

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    Moore Drop Forge Begins Manufacturing for Sears **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Springfield, Volume II reports 1938 is when Moore began producing tools for Craftsman/Sears.

  • 09/30/43

    Charles R. Williams Passes in Los Angeles, CA **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Plomb co-founder and honorary Chairman of the board of directors Mr. Charles R. Williams passed away on October 31, 1943 at 81 years of age.

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    New Britain Machine & Husky **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Recently, we found a snippet in the USPTO Gazette referencing the transfer of Trademark #186808 for "Husky Wrenches and Husky Wrench Sets" from Husky to New Britain Machine Co. on July 22, 1944.  The date New Britain took over Husky is still elusive, but we believe this provides the strongest clue yet.

  • 05/31/48

    New Britain Acquires Control of Storms Drop Forging Co. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    At some point in 1948, New Britain acquired a majority interest in the Storms Drop Forging Company of Springfield, Massachusettes.

  • 05/31/48

    New Britain Acquires the Lucas Machine Tool Company **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    At some point in 1948, New Britain acquired the Lucas Machine Tool Company of Cleveland, OH.

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    New Britain Machine Sells off it's Shop Furniture Division **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1952, New Britain sold off it's Shop Furniture Division to The Industrial Bench and Equipment Manufacturing Company, 89 South Street, New Britain, Connecticut

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    Bonney Forge & Tool Works Purchased by Miller Manufacturing of Detroit **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In March of 1953, Miller Manufacturing of Detroit acquired all outstanding capitol stock of Bonney Forge & Tool Works.

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    New Britain Machine Acquires Koehler Aircraft Products Company of Dayton, Ohio **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In January of 1955, New Britain acquired Koehler Aircraft Products Company of Dayton, Ohio

  • 09/30/55

    Blackhawk Manufacturing Company (Hand Tools Division) Acquired by New Britain Machine for $612K **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    This paragraph is from the New Britain Machine Company Annual Report to Stockholders for 1955.  This firmly identifies the acquisition timeframe in October of 1955.

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    Utica Drop Forge & Tool Purchased by Kelsey-Hayes **Comments: 0 **Comments:
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    Herbrand Purchased by Kelsey-Hayes **Comments: 0 **Comments:
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    Kelsey-Hayes Moves Utica-Herbrand from Utica, NY to Orangeburg, SC **Comments: 0 **Comments:
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    Kelsey-Hayes Purchases Miller Tools & Bonney Forge **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    Kelsey-Hayes Purchases Miller Tools and Bonney on March 31, 1964.  Shortly thereafter, all tool manufacturing operations are moved to Orangeburg, SC.  It should be highlighted that ONLY the tool divisions of Miller and Bonney were purchased (Alliance, OH).  Other forging operations by Bonney in Allentown (pipe fittings and commercial forgings) continued under Miller Manufacturing.

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    New Britain Machine Acquires the American H Boker & Co, Inc. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1964, New Britain acquired H Boker & Co, Inc, Maplewood, NJ, producer of pliers, shears, and other hand tools and cutlery.  Subsequent to the Litton acquisition, H Boker was sold to Wiss & Sons in 1969 or 1970.

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    New Britain Machine Acquires Carlson and Son, Inc. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1967, New Britain acquires Carlson and Son, Inc. of Metuchen, NJ

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    Bonney Forge Purchased by Utica Tool Co. / Triangle Corp. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The acquisition date appears to be 9/27/1967.  It appears that Utica was then immediately purchased by The Triangle Corp. but still operated as Utica Tools.

  • 11/30/68

    New Britain Machine Acquired by Litton Industries. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    On December 23, 1968, New Britain is acquired by Litton Industries.