The 1927 edition of Mergent Moody's Industrial reports that the original company was founded in 1856 by Johnathan Yerkes in Frankford, PA. In 1869, Fayette R. Plumb entered into partnership with Yerkes and together they founded Yerkes & Plumb. Upon his retirement in 1886, Yerkes sold his interest in the company to Plumb and and shortly thereafter, Plumb began operating under the Plumb name. On November 5, 1892, a large fire damaged approximately $70,000 worth of "ready to be shipped" inventory. The company was incorporated in 1897. It appears the company was incorporated under the name Fayette R. Plumb Tool Works. Fayette R. Plumb Sr. passed in 1905 and he was succeeded by his son, Fayette R. Plumb Jr.
The February 13, 1903 edition of The Carpenter reports the erection of a $1,000,000 plant in St. Louis by the Fayette R. Plumb Company. Henceforth, they will operate out of both Philadelphia and St. Louis.
During WWI, Plumb was a major supplier of bayonettes and axes to the military.
Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks:
- PLUMB - Block Text (All manner of Hammers, Sledges, Wedges, Chisels, etc.) (First Use 1893)
- PLUMB - Hollow Block Letters (Adzes, Axes, Chisels, Files, Hatchets, Hammers, Sledges, and Wedges) (First Use 1876 by Yerkes & Plumb)
- PLUMB inside Rectangle (Hammers, Hatchets, Axes & Sledges) (First Use 8/1/1917)
- PLUMB Double Life inside Rectangle (Hammers, Hatchets, Axes & Sledges) (First Use 4/15/1919)
- Handle Paint Scheme - Tool Head is black, Handle "stained red." (Handled Hammers, Hatchets, Adzes, Axes and Sledges) (First Use 5/24/1919 by predecessors)
- All Work - Block Text (Files) (First Use 1/10/1922)
- LIBERTY - Block Text (Hammers, Hatchets, Axes, Adzes, & Bush Hooks) (First Use 7/26/1917)
- LIBERTY - Arch Text (Axes) (First Use 7/26/1917)