Brown & Sharpe Co.
Providence, RI

The business now conducted by the Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. was founded in 1833 by David Brown and his son Joseph R. Brown.  David Brown retired in 1841 and the business was continued by Joseph R. Brown until 1853, when Lucian Sharpe became his partner, and the firm of J. R. Brown & Sharpe was formed.  The Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. was incorporated in 1868.  The manufacture of Steel Rules and other tools of precision was begun by Joseph R. Brown in 1850.  In 1852 a similar line of work was begun by Samuel Darling and, in 1866, the partnership of Darling, Brown & Sharpe was formed, the business being carried on under that name until the partnership was dissolved by the purchase of Mr. Darling's interest in 1892." (Brown & Sharpe small tools: Catalog no. 34, pg. 4).

The Brown & Sharpe Co. is still making tools today.

Also see more biographical information about Samuel Darling in our essay on Precision Toolmaking.

Brown & Sharpe. 1902: Catalogue: Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co.: Machinery and tools.
Brown & Sharpe. Brown & Sharpe small tools: Catalog no. 34.
Brown & Sharpe. The mircrometer's story: 1867 - 1902.
Cope, Kenneth L.  A Brown & Sharpe Catalogue Collection, 1868, 1887, 1899.
Registry of Maine Toolmakers: Samuel Darling, Darling and Bailey, and Darling & Schwartz.

Brown & Sharpe Co.'s website.
A history of Brown & Sharpe (compiled by Rose Antique Tools)
The Early RI Toolmakers and Tradesmen website contains photos of marks, newspaper articles and a timeline.

Tools of the Brown & Sharpe Co. in the Museum collection.