Company Historical Timeline

Click here to view the company history in a timeline view:

Below is a timeline of various events, changes, and tool/feature debuts I have compiled over time through various resources. Contributed by Conductor56.

1907: Plomb Tools founded by Alphonse Plomb, Jacob Weninger and Charles R. Williams in Los Angeles, CA

1917: John Pendleton buys out Alphonse Plomb's 50% stake in the company

1921: Plomb markets their first wrenches

1923: Plomb introduces their "Big Bertha" sockets covering sizes 15/16" - 2"

1928: Plomb purchases Paschall

1933: Combination wrenches introduced

1934: Plomb replaces the letter "O" with the upside down triangle in their stampings

1938: Plomb goes public (which it remained until 1964)

1939 (late): USA replaces Los Angeles in Plomb tool stampings

1940: Plomb acquires Cragin Tools

1941: Plomb acquires P&C Tool

1942: Plomb acquires Penens

1945: (Late) Pebble finish first appears on the majority of Plomb's offerings. The pebble grain design first appeared in the late 1930's on plier handles which were made for Plomb under contract with other manufacturers.

1946: Plomb is sued by the Fayette R. Plumb tool company.

1947: * Morris Pendleton settles the pending lawsuit agreeing to cease using the Plomb name in advertisements by Mar 24 1948 and the Plomb Trademark by Mar 24 1950.
* Pendleton purchases J. P. Danielson Company of Jamestown, NY

1949: After a contempt lawsuit by Fayette R. Plumb over the manner in which Plomb was advertising their tools (PROTO -Mfd. by Plomb Tool Co.), the lawsuit is settled for the final time allowing Plomb to mark tools as Plomb and advertise them as "Proto Tools, formerly Plomb tools" up through March 1950. Plomb was also required to pay Plumb $250,000 in non-interest bearing notes.

1950: last dual stamped roll off the line on March 24th

1952: Proto Canada established
The term "Bet'R Grip" is used to describe screwdrivers for the first time. (The term Bet'R Grip was used by J.P. Danielson as early as the 1920's on pliers)

1954: Non-Stillson pipe wrenches appear for the first time.

1955: (September 29th) Plomb acquires Tubing Appliance Corporation

1956: USA replaces Los Angeles in Proto tool stampings

1957: (January 9) shareholders of Plomb Tool voted to change the corporate name to Pendleton Tool Industries

1959: "Clik Stop" Adjustable wrenches appear
Vlchek Tools acquired (December 18th)

1962: Proto markets it's first wrenches made with cadmium free steel

1963: Proto Mexico (Protomex) established

1964: Proto purchased by Ingersall Rand on February 29th.

1970: Proto begins to turn it's focus almost entirely to the industrial market

1974 P&C brand discontinued (note-- under IR ownership. P&C factory remained in operation producing Proto, Challenger, and contract tools)

1978 P&C factory complex demolished and new metal building erected (note-- under IR ownership. Still producing non P&C branded tools)

1984: Proto purchased by Stanley on April 30th for $34,958,000

1986: Stanley's purchases National Hand Tool thus acquiring the Blackhawk, New Britain, and Husky brands.
Sockets become stamped or "cold forged" rather than machined.

1990 The new P&C factory is shut down, all production ceases, and all employees laid off (note-- this under Stanley Works ownership)

1994: Proto introduces their "Torqueplus" box end design.

2001: Proto introduces their ASD "Anti-Slip Design" open end

2006: Stanley acquires Facom and Virax

2013: (July) Proto introduces air tools to their line.
Proto I-Beam logo first appears. Complete changeover completed later in 2014