Hand Tools Archive 2009
>What is often overlooked is that the "Bed Rocks" stanley made for Winchester were thier obsolite older round top design. Winchester didn't enter the hardware / plane market till 1920 by which time Stanley had been making the improved flat top bed rock for almost 10 years so what winchester got was the old design. I often wonder if the only reason some winchester planes are the old bed rock style is that Stanley had lots of round top frogs they needed to get rid of.
After WWI Winchester had planes to get into the hardware bussiness in a BIG way, wasn't going to a side line but they hoped it to become thier main bussiness. Bought up companys as well as retooled to make lots of the stuff they planned on selling...not all was made by some other tool company for them for example Winchester made thier own chisels.
Winchester had this plan of opening up hardware stores that were only allowed to sell winchester items in effect having a monopoly.Once this became evident they did have trouble with some tool makers, namely Sargent, that wasn't keen to supply tools to a company that was in bussiness to put them out of bussiness. Winchester had lots of trouble with this idea of a Winchester Store and in 1922 merged with Simmons [of Keen Kutter fame] which was probably the largest hardware store in the USA. They then sold Winchester marked items....This lasted only till 1929 when winchester was re organized and got out of the hardware bussiness.
Winchester net worth went from 22 1/2 million to only 8 million during the time they were in the hardware bussiness. Winchester probably actually made money on thier tool line but lost money big time on expensive things like washing machines and fridges. Finaly got smart and cut back and stuck to what they were known for...Guns
I always wondered if there were ever any talk at Stanley about making or selling guns. Think about it...Stanley made lots of stuff had access to hardware stores and you would think they would be the perfect company to make and sell guns too....OH well...it would be neat to have a Stanley pistol now wouldn't it?.....Todd