Above, a curious pair of BMC locking pliers I picked up somewhere.
Saul W. Botnick started the Botnick Motor Corporation as a prominent Binghamtom Chevrolet dealership in 1922. In 1944, he set up a tooling shop in the basement of the dealership to manufacture locking pliers patented by Francis A. Snell:
|Popular Mechanics, 1946|
In 1947, the company was also offering offset screwdrivers, the "Ready-Ray Trouble Light" (which plugged into a car's lighter socket) and the "Change-a-Blade scissors," again patented by Mr. Snell, but assigned to the Change-a-Blade Corporation of New York City.
That same year, the company went in a completely different direction, and began to produce toy wheel goods. As the toy business expanded, the company changed its name to the Binghamton Manufacturing Corporation (or, colloquially, the "Bike and Motor Club"). Its ads show "BMC Manufacturing Corporation" which is remarkably redundant. At its height, it was employing 300 people and making 300 pedal cars per day. In March of 1954, Saul Botnick sold the company to American Machine and Foundry (AMF), which had bought the Junior Toy Company two years before. BMC, which at that time had dwindled to 200 employees, was to be maintained as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMF. (To see a wider example of their wares, click here.)
|Life, November 1951|
BMC seems to have run its course in the 1960's, perhaps as the parent firm, AMF, graduated to bigger toys when it purchased Harley-Davidson in 1969.
As for the Botnick Motor Corporation, it's still a going Binghamton concern: Botnick Chevrolet!