DATM (1999) states that "the Stanley family had been making hardware in New Britain from 1831 on; they used a series of other names before they became the Stanley Works in 1852. In 1854, brothers August and Timothy Stanley and Thomas Conklin (an earlier rule maker in Bristol, CT) formed [the August Stanley & Co.] ...concurrently, they acquired the rule business of Seth Savage, Middletown, CT. In 1857, this company merged with Hall & Knapp as the Stanley Rule and Level Co." (pg. 748).
DATM continues on page 749 to state that Henry Stanley was the first president of Stanley Rule & Level Co. Henry was concurrently the president of the Stanley Works, a maker of hardware, which maintained a separate corporate identity from Stanley Rule & Level Co. until 1920 when they merged. "The S. R. & L. Co. continued to expand its product line by acquiring other companies making tools they wanted to add and to expand their market volume by acquiring competitive companies. Their major pre-1900 acquisitions were:"
The following history is excerpted from a 1937 Tool Talks publication by Stanley Tool:
The manufacture of "Bailey" Planes by Stanley marked a turning point in the Company's history. Other hand tools were soon added to the Stanley line-Mitre Boxes, Screw Drivers, Wood and Iron Levels, Bit Braces, Hand Drills, Hammers, Try Squares. With these new tools, The Stanley Rule & Level Co. produced the most complete line of woodworking tools in the world.
Stanley's dominant position was recognized by carpenters and mechanics everywhere who turned over their problems and suggestions to the Company. This created a demand for specialized tools to perform certain jobs better than they could be done with regular size or style tools. Stanley responded by increasing its line to still greater proportions to include many more hand tools that helped craftsmen do better work. A search of the U. S. Patent Office would undoubtedly disclose that The Stanley Rule & Level Co. took out more patents during this period than any other industrial organization in the country.
NEW COMPANIES ANNEXED
In the early years of this century the march of progress continued. In 1904 the George E. Wood Company, of Plantsville, Conn., manufacturers of "Hurwood" Screw Drivers was bought. The business was enlarged under Stanley leadership and Stanley "Hurwood" Screw Drivers became the biggest selling quality drivers in the world.
Two other companies were purchased in 1913 and 1916. The products of these companies, Atha Tool Co., of Newark, N. J., and The Eagle Square Manufacturing Co., South Shaftsbury, Vt., brought handled hammers, sledges, wedges, anvil tools and carpenters' steel squares to the Stanley line. Today both these plants are busy producing hand tools as branch plants of the Stanley organization.
To maintain leadership in the Canadian market, a tool plant was opened by Stanley at Roxton Pond, Quebec in 1906. Known in Canada as the Stanley Tool Company, Ltd., the Roxton Pond factory now makes 80 per cent of all the Stanley Tools sold in Canada.
In 1920 The Stanley Rule & Level Co., for many years a full-grown organization merged with another New Britain firm, The Stanley Works.
Jacob, Walter W. Stanley
tapes measure the world part II.
Jacob, Walter W. Stanley tapes measure the world part III.
Jacob, Walter W. Stanley tapes measure the world part IV.
Jacob, Walter W. The turn of the screw: The history of Stanley screwdrivers.
Jacob, Walter W. (December 2008). Stanley hand drills part VI: Defiance brand hand drills. The Chronicle. 61(4). pg. 166-70.
Jacob, Walter W. (2011). Stanley woodworking tools: The finest years: Research and type studies adapted from The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association.
Lamond, Thomas C. The Bailey Tool Co. -- The Stanley Rule & Level Co. -- Edw. Preston & Sons, Ltd.: A circumstantial connection? or... whatever happened to the Defiance spokeshave line?
Lamond, Tom. (Fall 2009). Stanley hatchets and axes.
Pernis, Paul Van. Leonard Bailey's first planes.
Roberts, Ken. The Stanley Rule & Level Company's combination planes featuring the development and use of the Miller, Traut, and Stanley 45 and 55 planes. Miller's patent combined plow, filletster and matching plane.
Rodengen, J. L. The legend of Stanley: 150 years of the Stanley Works.
Sellins, Alvin. The Stanley plane: A history and descriptive inventory.
Smith, Roger K. Transitional and metal planes: Stanley no. 18 and no. 19 knuckle-joint block planes, general information and type study.
Stanley, Philip E. Boxwood & ivory: Stanley traditional rules, 1855 - 1975.
Stanley, Philip E. A concordance of major American rule makers.
Stanley. Stanley Tool history.
Stanley. Facts about tools: A message from Stanley.
Stanley. Stanley improved labor saving carpenters' tools including "Bailey" adjustable plane.
Stanley. 1859 Price list of boxwood and ivory rules, levels, try squares, sliding T bevels, gauges, &c., manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Company, also including the price list of boxwood and ivory rules manufactured by A. Stanley & Co., New Britain, Conn. Jan. 1855.
Stanley. (1867). Price list of U. S. standard boxwood and ivory rules, levels, try squares, gauges, handles, mallets, hand screws, &c. manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Company, New Britain, Conn., and Brattleboro', VT
Stanley. (January 1872). Price list of U. S. standard boxwood and ivory rules: Levels, try squares, gauges, iron and wood bench planes, mallets, hand screws, spoke shaves, srew drivers, etc. manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Co., New Britain, Conn. Reprinted in February 1981 by Ken Roberts Publishing Company, Fitzwilliam, NH. IS.
Stanley. (1879). Price list of U. S. standard boxwood and ivory rules, plumbs and levels, try squares, bevels, gauges, mallets, iron and wood adjustable planes, spoke shaves, screw drivers, awl hafts, handles, etc. manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Company, New Britain, Conn., U.S.A.
Stanley. (Jan. 1, 188?). Bailey's patent adjustable bench planes and other improved carpenters' tools manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Company, New Britain, Conn.
Stanley. (1888). Price list: Improved labor-saving carpenters' tools manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Co.
Stanley. (1892). Price list: Improved labor-saving carpenters' tools manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Co.
Stanley. (1898). Price list of U. S. standard boxwood and ivory rules, plumbs and levels, try squares, bevels, gauges, mallets, iron and wood adjustable planes, spoke shaves, screw drivers, awl hafts, handles, etc. manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Co. New Britain, Conn., U.S.A.
Stanley. The Stanley bed rock: A new plane.
Stanley. Catalog: Carpenters & Mechanics Tools: No. 102.
Stanley. "55" plane and how to use it.
Stanley. Read this before you use Stanley planes: A plane is no better than its cutter.
Stanley. The Stanley catalog collection, 1855 to 1898: Four decades of rules, levels, try-squares, planes, and other Stanley tools and hardware.
Stanley. Catalog: Stanley tools ~ in sets.
Stanley. Stanley tools for carpenters and mechanics: Catalog no. 129.
Stanley. Catalog: 45 plane: Seven planes in one.
Stanley. Catalog: Stanley tools.
Stanley. Combination planes: Historical development, patents and uses.
Stanley. (1994). Tool traditions catalog.
Stanley. (1995). Tool traditions catalog.
Stanley. Insert: Read this before you use: Combination plane no. 46.
Walter, John. Antique & Collectible Stanley planes: 1988 price guide.
Walter, John. Antique & Collectible Stanley tools: A guide to identity & value.
Walter, John. Antique & Collectible Stanley tools: 2000 pocket price guide.
Walter, John. Reproduction of a Stanley Tools newsletter: The Iron Age: Thursday, November 3, 1898: The making of the cast iron carpenters' plane.
An excellent website on Stanley Rule & Level Co.'s Miller's Patent Plow Planes, full of information and photographs has been created by Don Bosse.
The New Britain Industrial Museum has a history of The Stanley Works on their website.