Early History of Stanley Tools


The manufacturing company known as the Stanley Works, appropriately takes its name from its founder, Frederick T. Stanley.  After a few years' residence at the South, he returned to New Britain and resumed manufacturing.  In 1842 he commenced making wrought bolts, hinges, door and chest handles, in a building on Washington Street, which had been used as an armory.  At first the business was limited, and but few workmen were employed, but in a short time the demand for the goods was such that the working force was increased, additional buildings were occupied, new machinery specially adapted to this work was employed, and the products of the manufactory were soon introduced in the principal cities.

In 1852 a joint stock corporation, with a capital of $80,000, was formed.  Additions have been made to the paid-in capital until it amounts to $325,000; the most improved machinery used in this business has been introduced, and the facility for the rapid production of superior goods has been greatly increased.  In 1871 new buildings were erected on Myrtle Street.  These have been enlarged, until the main building is more than 460 feet long by 40 feet in width, and three stories high.  The boiler-house is 66 feet by 40, the storehouse is more than 100 feet long, and other buildings complete the provision for the successful prosecution of the business.

The lower floors of the main building are laid in concrete, and the other floors are so prepared that the flooding of either floor may be secured without damage to others.  The lighting of the building at night is secured by a system of Brush electric lights, run by this corporation.

The company has railway tracks connecting with the New York & New England, and the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroads, by which it is enabled to receive the raw material direct to its yards, and to ship its finished goods to market without cartage or transhipment.

In 1888, in the old shop on Lake Street, the manufacture of tacks, brads, and certain varieties of nails, was added to the other business of the company.  The manufacture of wrought iron butts and builders and cabinet hard-ware was continued.  Frederick T. Stanley was president of the company from its organization until his death in 1888.  The present officers are William H. Hart, president and treasurer, and L. H. Pease, secretary.  The company has a warehouse at 79 Chambers Street, New York, under the immediate charge of Peter MacCartee, the vice-president.

*Location Note: The map below is using the location address of 480 Myrtle St, New Britain, CT 06053, which is referenced in the article as being constructed in 1871.

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