Tools & Materials
Companies That Stood the Test Of Time
According to Entrepreneur.com, about 25% of businesses fail in the first year and about 50% of them are kaput after five years. Check out these vintage ads from the early 1950s, all from brands that are still alive and kicking.
Linus Yale Sr. started designing locks in his Yale Lock Shop in Newport, New York in 1840. In 1865, Linus Yale Jr. patented pin tumbler technology that was inspired by a wooden lock system used 4000 years earlier by the Egyptians. Today, Yale still manufactures door openers, padlocks, door handle-sets, smart home locks and many other security products.
The Franklin Glue company was founded in 1935 and was the first to make “ready-to-use” hide glue. In 1992, they developed the first peel-and-stick adhesive for the United States Post Office. Franklin still manufactures dozens of different adhesives, sealants and glues for many different industries. Titebond is their most recognizable brand on the market today.
Hans Jorgensen, a Danish cabinet maker, patented an improved handscrew clamp in 1901. In 1903, he teamed up with salesman Marcus Russ and former opera singer Adele Holman to form the Pony Jorgensen Company. And yes, we did say “former opera singer”. Pony Jorgensen still makes high-quality clamping products for woodworkers.
“Plastic Wood” was bought by DAP in the 1990’s. Today, it’s marketed as a wood filler, not a radiator repair product.
Duo-Fast started out in 1937 as Fastener Corporation. They made some other tools along the way but are still known for their fasteners, especially staplers. Today’s glazier’s tool looks virtually identical to this Duo-Fast Putty Knife.
Orlando McLean Scott started out selling farm equipment and seed to farmers in 1868. In 1907, Orlando’s oldest son, Dwight Scott, came up with the idea to start selling lawn seed through the mail. In 1928, Scotts came up with a fertilizer specifically designed for lawn grass called Turf Builder. Scott’s Miracle-Gro is still working hard at keeping backyards green and weed free.
Molly screw anchor
Okay, it’s true that the Molly Corporation is no longer around, but Molly Bolts are still a popular way to hang heavy stuff from drywall.
Duraham’s Water Putty
Duraham’s Water Putty has been mending cracks and patching holes since 1932. It was one of many of Donald Durham’s products that were sold from the automobile trunks of traveling salesmen across the United States in the twentieth century.
Trade-Wind was only a couple of years old when this ad came out. They must be doing something right, because they are still making their fans and vents today in Phoenix, Arizona.
Here’s a good trivia question for you. In 1894 George W. Cole creates an oil blend for bicycles designed to perform what three functions? Answer: lubricate, clean and prevent rust. The 3-IN-ONE line has since expanded to nine different formulas including Dry Lube for locks and the RVcare product specially designed to lubricate RV slide outs and windows. Now there’s a niche market!
Bilco is still making basement doors and has been since 1926. Unfortunately, the “rumpus room” has not enjoyed the same longevity. Kind of a shame, really.
Edward Taylor Lufkin created the E.T. Lufkin Board and Log Rule Manufacturing Company in Cleveland Ohio in 1869. His company started out servicing the logging industry. In 1890 Lufkin became the first company in the USA to produce a metal measuring tape. Lufkin is now part of the Apex family of tool brands
Edmond Michel invented the circular saw (sometimes still called the Skilsaw) in the early 1920s. In 1924, he partnered with Joseph Sullivan to form Michel Eclectic Handsaw Company. Michel left the company in 1926 and Sullivan changed the company name to Skilsaw, Inc. In 1937 they introduced the Model 77 worm-drive circular saw. It is often referred to as “the saw that built America.”
You might not have heard of this company recently, but they are still making epoxies, along with rubber, foams, plastics, adhesives and more. However, most of their products are geared towards non-consumer based industries, including the movie-making business. They’re concoctions are used to make everything from prop boulders to zombie masks. Their products have appeared in all sorts of films and tv shows, including Star Wars, The Hobbit Trilogy, Iron Man, Harry Potter, James Bond, Aliens, and The Walking Dead.
Albert J. Dremel started his company in 1932 by marketing the first high-speed handheld rotary tool, a tool they are still know for today. They branched out in the 1950s with other tools such as these sanders and the Electric Moto-Saw.