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History: Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp

June 4, 2012



Milwaukee Tool Corporation was officially established in 1924 and has steadily built a brand name that has become synonymous for being an American quality tool. This stand on quality dates back to the very beginning of the Milwaukee brand and follows through to present day.

Albert F Siebert bought the remaining assets at auction to the A.H. Peterson Company, in which he had been a partner, after a tragic fire claimed the store. A move he made mainly to become the sole owner of a device called the Hole-Shooter. The Hole-Shooter was a revolutionary power tool developed for Henry Ford’s automobiles by A.H. Peterson. The Hole-Shooter was later made stronger and more durable by staff engineers and became a must-have tool for workers throughout the automotive and metalworking industries. With this and the stores other assets Siebert opened Milwaukee Tool Corporation.

In the 1920’s Milwaukee’s major source of income relied on tool repair. As customers brought back their tools for repair the Milwaukee staff made notes regarding innovations that could be made and methods for improving the tools designs. The standard of innovation became Milwaukee’s mindset as the company continued to innovate for its consumers needs. In 1930, Milwaukee Tool Corporation obtained an equipment rating from the U.S. government for its newly designed electric drill. Milwaukee again applied for U.S. Navy standards for the new portable hand grinder, electric hammers, sanders, and polishers. Later in 1935 Milwaukee developed a lightweight ¾” electric hammer-drill, the invention of which sparked the subsequent design of a shorter, lighter precision drill. Later, as the Milwaukee Tool brand became heavily relied upon by welders in the late 1930’s, Milwaukee decided to fill the market by improving on their existing lines of metalworking tools. Doing so led to yet another innovation in the single-horsepower sander/grinder that weighed only 15 pounds, but could stand up to any abuse it received in the field.

Milwaukee’s very first great novelty the Hole-Shooter became fundamental to the United States military aircraft manufacturing during World War 2. In fact because of Milwaukee Tools prior commitment to quality by building everything to the U.S. equipment rating standards, the U.S. Navy placed a tremendous amount of orders for Milwaukee Tools.

Milwaukee Tool Corp continued to produce tools that changed industries such as the first ½” right-angle drill in 1949, which allowed one to drill holes in wood and steel. The Sawzall Reciprocating Saw was developed and brought to the public in 1951. The Sawzall, still stands as probably the most defining Milwaukee tool, it was the very first portable hacksaw to have a reciprocating mechanism. Milwaukee later improved the already innovative Sawzall with a complete line of blades for cutting differing types of materials.

As Milwaukee continued its high standards of excellence, it also continued to change the tool industry. Already assured of its title at being the very first and very best at bringing out new and vital American tools, since 1924, the company continued to prove their relevancy in the marketplace. In the 1970’s The Hole Hawg, was introduced by Milwaukee Tools, it became the first drill ever fashioned for large whole drilling of the studs and joists in the home construction industry. Continuing their behind the scenes effort to fill industry niches, Milwaukee premièred the Magnum Hole-Shooter, their first ½” professional pistol drill, and once again became the first American manufacturer to produce a 4-1/2” angle grinder. Milwaukee debuted their Super Sawzall in 1991; the Super Sawzall came complete with a built-in counterbalance, a gear-protecting clutch and 5 different patents. Super Sawzall set the worldwide standard for fast, vibration-free reciprocal saws. The 90’s continued with a new line of miter saws and 18-volt Contractor Cordless tools, which included the ease of using the same battery and charger systems.

Today, Milwaukee still leads the herd by setting the bar high with a commitment to industry first innovation like their recent invention of battery powered, heated apparel. Their tradition of excellence is still seemingly well suited, which is as it should be, after all they have only been excelling now for nearly 90 years.




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