Plomb Tool Company

See our Plomb Research Page

Plomb Company Timeline Page

From the Proto Website: Proto was founded in 1907 in Los Angeles, CA by Alphonso Plomb, Jacob Weninger, and Charles Williams as PLOMB To​ols. They began making punches and chisels from Model T axles. In 1917, John Pendelton became a partner, and his son Morris Pendelton became the General Manager in 1922. In the 1930's, Morris introduced the first line of combination wrenches to the market. They were based on the original design by Mr. Plomb. Throughout the 1940's, PLOMB Tools acquired several other companies including Cragin Tool of Chicago, IL in 1940, P&C Tool of Oregon in 1941, Penens Tool of Cleveland, OH in 1942, and J.P. Danielson of Jamestown, NY in 1947. A lawsuit was filed by the Plumb hammer company when PLOMB Tool added ball peen hammers to the line, and the brand name had to be changed. A lady working in the factory won the naming contest when she suggested PROTO. The name was derived by combining the first few letters of the two words that described its products: "Professional" and "Tool." Morris Pendleton sold Proto to Ingersoll Rand in the early 1960's, and in 1984, The Stanley Works purchased Proto to form Stanley-Proto Industrial Tools. Today, Proto offers a complete line of more than 5,000 tools and sets that are manufactured to the highest standards in the USA. Proto tools exceed ASME specifications, feature TorquePlus™ drive configuration on sockets and wrenches, and carry a limited lifetime warranty. As a result, Proto is the most recognized brand and the most often used hand tool in the industry. Stanley Black & Decker provides Proto Industrial Tools with a history of industry leadership. For over 160 years, the Stanley® brand has been synonymous with quality, reliable products. Within Stanley Black & Decker, Proto Industrial Tools are a part of the Industrial Automotive Repair division, which also sells mechanics tools under the Stanley, Blackhawk by Proto and Facom brand names.​

Plomb Tool Co. (Anaheim, CA)

Sub Brands: / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Wilpen (Deep Offset DBE)
  • Proto (First use 1/23/1948) // Proto (2) // Proto (3) (First use 3/14/1949)
  • Toolmobile with upside down triangle stylized "o's" (Roller Tool Boxes) (First use 12/13/1946) - Cancelled 1956 // Toolmobile without stylized "o's" re-registered 11/27/1956 with same first use claim.
  • BetR-Grip (Screwdrivers & Wrenches) (First use 7/31/1962)
  • Proto Flying Lady Logo (Seen on Tool Boxes but references all tools) (First Use 8/15/1949)

   * Penens Corp (Los Angeles, CA)

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Challenger (~1953 - 1975) (Under Challenger Tool Co. [Div. Ingersoll Rand] from ~1966)
  • Fleet (~1963 - 1977) (Under Fleet Tool Co. [Div. Ingersoll Rand] from ~1970)
  • Fleet Quality Tools (First Use 8/29/1947)
  • Socketeer (Socket Wrench Sets) (First 3/31/1954)

   Contract Production for

  • Vlchek
  • Air Force "WF"
  • Bell Systems
  • ArtCraft (Pep Boys) (Ratchet, Drive Tools)
  • Mastercraft (Coast-to-Coast Stores)

  * Fleet Tool Corp. (Schiller Park, Ill)

Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks

  • Fleet (First use on wrenches 8/1/1947) (Registered 1965)
Image: