Saturday, December 5, 2015

Vanished Tool Makers: New Britain Machine Company, New Britain, Connecticut

I have found very few New Britain tools over the years.  Above, a New Britain stamped wrench, a forged monkey wrench and two sockets.

Founded in 1885, New Britain Machine was a major supplier to the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) from its founding in 1925 until the late 1970's.  In the 1930's, they bought the Husky Wrench Company of Milwaukee, and then the Blackhawk Manufacturing Company in 1955, also out of Milwaukee.  Blackhawk became their premium line, sold through non-NAPA stores.  They also produced tools for sale under both the Sears Craftsman and J.C. Penny Penncraft brands.  According to Alloy Artifacts, Craftsman tools made by NB can be identified by either the initials "BE" or an H in a circle stamped on them.  After 1947, Sears changed to another supplier.  In 1972, the New Britain Machine Company was acquired by Litton Industries, which sold the hand tool division (including the Husky and Blackhawk brands) to National Hand Tool of Dallas, Texas in the 1980's.  In 1986, NHT got swallowed by Stanley.

 New Britain also had another economy brand, Sparta.  Below, one of those sockets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my Dad worked at New Britain machine and recently gave me a set of 1" sockets from new Britain hand tools almost in new condition.