175 Years Of Innovation | History Of Stanley Black And Decker

History Of Stanley Black And Decker

Plenty of companies made their large persona in the manufacturing world. Hopefully Black & Decker was at the top of those successful companies. But every company has its ups-down besides changing of hands and spin-offs to keep up the growth. We look into the history of Black & Decker which is the largest tool manufacturer and collaborator in the United States.

Dawn Of Black And Decker

The year was 1906, and two innovative people named S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker met while working at Rowland Telegraph company. The 23 years old boys started their first job designing machinery for making milk bottle caps and candy dipping with only 1200 USD in their pockets. Later in 1910, they founded the “The Black & Decker Manufacturing Company” which was the base of their brand.

Black & Decker especially started getting popular for their invention of portable and compact tools. With a newly introduced design, they manufactured the first portable power drill in 1917. Inspired by a grip of a Colt pistol they had implemented a pistol grip in their tool which was pretty comfortable to hold. So, they patented it, and around the same time, their first manufacturing plant opened in Towson. And in just two years, sales surpassed $1 million annually.

In 1943 they received the Army-Navy “E” Award for production. Because their portable drill and other equipment were so useful on the battlefield during World War II. Almost every aircraft used its electric drill and impact drivers. In an interview, Alonzo G. Decker Jr. who is the son of the company’s founder stated that he was offered a position in the military to collaborate with the soldiers. Instead, he chose to stay in the company of his own.

After that, the firm began making electric drills, drill-bit sets, portable circular saws, jigsaws, and sanders for the DIY market. And in 1949 they obtained the first US trademark award. In 1951, Alonzio Decker became the president and got a chance to implement his vision in works to multiply production. In 1960, he managed to take over DeWalt, another giant tool manufacturer brand in America.

Combining all this, in 1957, Black & Decker entered the outdoor market with the first electric lawn edgers and hedge trimmers designed for consumers. Following that, in 1962 they brought in the first cordless hedge trimmer.

Eventually, their innovation started going out of the world day by day. They brought the first power tools into space in 1963, by developing a minimum torque tool to use under weightless conditions on Project Gemini. In 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts took core samples from the moon with a Black & Decker-built powerhead.

So, with more confidence and power, they started making all sorts of components. They made the world’s first handheld vacuum in 1979, calling it by a magnificent name “dustbuster”. Black & Decker always concentrated on the development of modern technology. Hence, adopting the design of a modern computer mouse, they brought in an ergonomic-looking sander in 1998, and the popularity of their products goes on.

Dawn Of Stanley

In the year 1826, besides working as an employee on steamboats Frederick Trent Stanley and his brother decided to start a partial business. They bought a chunk of the iron manufacturer business in Hartford, Connecticut. After four years the pair invested in a brass foundry named Stanley Woodruff & Company and began their innovations. In 1843, Frederick Stanley started The Stanley Works, a small shop in New Britain, to manufacture bolts, hinges, and other hardware of high quality from wrought iron.

Henry Stanley, the cousin of Frederick, founded The Stanley Rule and Level Company in 1857. Later in 1920, the two companies merged together and became a regular tool manufacturers acquiring the British J. A. Chapman company and some others.

When They Became Stanley Black & Decker?

On a Monday afternoon in 2009, after a series of meetings and discussions, Stanley agreed to buy Black & Decker for about $3.5 billion in an all-stock transaction, creating a global tool maker worth about $8.4 billion.

Starting operations in 2010, they preferred the company to be called Stanley Black & Decker, along with Stanley’s FatMax and Bostitch and Black & Decker DeWalt and Porter-Cable offerings. Although the companies are the same now, they have slight differences in their products. Stanley is best known for hand tools and construction equipment while Black & Decker is for power tools.

Either way, nowadays they are popular around the world offering power tools, accessories, outdoor yard care equipment, home cleaning products, automotive and lighting products, hardware including other home improvement products. People tend to choose American tools over all other brands. For that, Stanley’s Black Decker has a larger value in the US market share besides the global market, for their durable performance and brand value.


This is the history of Stanley Black and Decker. We hope now you know the backstory of the products that served you from generation to generation making your equipment so reliable and easy.

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