Whitman & Barnes

Whitman & Barnes (Akron, OH) ​- The 10/3/1877 edition of The Summit County Beacon (Akron, OH) announces the merger between the Whitman & Miles Manufacturing Company of Fitchburg, MA and the George Barnes & Co. of Syracuse, NY.  Key individuals named in the announcement are George and James Barnes, and W. H. Gifford of Syracuse, Joel Thayer of Skanesteles, NY, A. Whitman of Fitchburg, MA, and A. L. Conger and George W. Crouse (See Akron Tool Company) of Akron, OH.  Officers noted are A. Whitman - Pres., A. L. Conger - VP, George Barnes - Treas., I. C. Alden - Asst. Treas., George E. Dana - Sec.  The announcement further notes that the Fitchburg location will be closed, and the company will operate out of Syracuse and Akron.  Perhaps foretelling the merger is the passing of CAPT. E. T. Miles on 6/26/1876.  Mr. Miles was President of Whitman & Miles, which included the Akron Knife Works at that time.  According to Fifty Years and Over of Akron & Summit County, in the biography of Arthur Latham Conger, Whitman & Miles established the Knife Works at Akron in 1868.  This document was published in 1892 and identifies A. L. Conger as President of Whitman & Barnes at that time.  Please use the link to discover multiple companies in the Akron area where COL. Conger held officer positions at the time.

Whitman & Miles Manufacturing (Akron, OH) - According to this 1864 MA Act, the company was incorporated on 5/13/1864 in Fitchburg, MA.  Incorporators noted were August Whitman, Eugene T. Miles, Lowell M. Miles, and Jarod Whitman Jr.  According to the June 24, 1920 edition of Iron Age, this company has it's roots in an 1846 partnership between Augustus Whitman and Alfred G. Page who operated as Page, Whitman & Co.  The broader context of the above Iron Age article is the recent consolidation of Whitman & Barnes and J. H. Williams.

Sweet, Barnes & Co. / George Barnes & Co. / Sweet Steel Co. (Syracuse, NY)​ - A mini-biography on George Barnes from the 9/14/1887 edition of the Summit County Beacon notes that Messrs. Sweet and Barnes couldn't get along and in 1868 split the business with Mr. Barnes taking the mowing machine knife business and renaming it to George Barnes & Co. in 1871, and Mr. Sweet taking the steel business.  In 1895, the Sweet Steel Co. failed with $400,000 in liabilities but was reincorporated in March of 1898.  In late 1904 the company was moved to Williamsport, PA.  An article in The Post-Standard from 1949 notes the Sweet Steel Co. was founded by William A Sweet in Syracuse in 1870.  In 1876 it was purchased by the Sanderson Bros. of Sheffield, England, and in 1910 (hard to read, could be 1900) it was purchased by the Crucible Steel Company.

Whitman & Barnes produced all kinds of tools and equipment for the modern farm around the turn of the 20th century. According to the Davistown Museum, W&B was in business from 1848-1915.

Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks

  • W&B (Inside a triangle similar to below) (All tools) (First Use 1877) **No image for mark available**
  • W&B (Inside single line diamond) (All Tools) (First Use 1877)

  • W&B (Inside double-line diamond) (First use July, 1896)

  • W&B Triangle - Bold (Bits, Mills, Mandrels, Reamers, etc.) (First Use 1906)

  • W&B Co. (Earlier TM Registration of next example below) (All tools & implements) (First Use 1877 ****Same mark with G & B Co. was used by predecessor since 1875 by George Barnes & Co., and since at least 1871, the same mark with S B & Co. was used by Sweet, Barnes & Co.
  • Sweet, Barnes & Co. (Integrated with diamond) (Cutters for harvesters and other articles of iron & steel) (First Use Not Listed) 1871

  • Sweet, Barnes & Co. (Integrated with Diamond) (Cutters for harvesters and other articles of iron & steel) (First Use Not Listed) 1873

  • W&B Co. (integrated with diamond) (Countersinks, Machine Bits, Mandrels, Twist Drills, Reamers, Taps, Arbors, Sockets, and Sleeves as parts of metal and woodworking machines) (First Use 1877)

  • Hercules (Twist Drill and Reamers) (First Use 2/1/1923)

  • HERCULES - Block Text (Twist Drills, Reamers, End Mills, Cutters, Hollow Mills, Counterbores, Countersinks, Sockets, Sleeves, Reducers, Inserted Point Centers, and Arbors) (First Use 10/11/1926)
  • "HERCULES" - Block Text with quotes (Twist Drills) (First Use February, 1909)
  • HERCULES with WB Diamond - (Punches, Chisels, Reamers, Mills, Reamers, etc.) (First Use 5/29/1930)

  • HERCULES HS - (Arbors, Bits, Chucks, Counterbores, etc.) (First Use 4/23/1912)

  • WBD Diamond (Twist Drills, End Mills, Reamers, etc.) (First Use 10/14/1926)

  • BLUE DIAMOND - Block Text (Metal & Wood Drills) (First Use 3/1/1929)

Here is the full text of the first 100 year history of the company.

Image Description: 

This is an example of an "S" wrench which was a popular style in the early 20th century. It is unplated steel and very well made.

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