Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Stanley history as told on PBS

Came across this film yesterday. It was made for PBS in 2018.
It recall the birth, rise and fall (?) of the company to this day.

It's a one hour documentary, but very interesting.  Highly recommended

A couple things learned:
Things we take for granted today...
Stanley was the first to put in boxes a pair of hinges with the screws included.
Later in the 50s they came out with shrink wrap on a piece of cardboard, so you could hang the hardware or tool on a peg board for easy display and retrieval.

Various Stanley products thru the years:

The first genius idea was to put in the screws with the hinges together.
They still do that to this day. So much more convenient !!
BTW National hardware is now owned by Stanley

Tools came in various packaging, but started with a cardboard box
From L-R
Stanley USA (New Britain CT) Stanley Canada (Roxton Pond Qc) Stanley UK

Spoiler alert: The arrival of giant distributors like Home Depot and Walmart changed the landscape...
Hello China :-)

Meanwhile I was planning on doing more yard clean up today, but my back as other ideas, so I guess it will have to wait...

This is were I am now

Hoping to have the fire pit lit again, if the weather cooperate.
All mostly oak's branches

The oak on the side is all cleaned up, remain only my log

Got this small one to finish cleaning up

One side of the driveway is done

The other I was hoping to get done today, but I don't think so...

Now my biggest problem is to figured out how I am going to move my logs.
Fresh oak logs are a tad on the heavy side...

Two down there...
...and one here

I am going to need some younger people with strong backs and forearms :-)

Bob, nursing his broken back this AM and thinking about building
a steam powered log crane Thing-A-Majig.. Hummm


  1. Bob,

    If you find them (YFSB) send some this way :-).

    Anymore it is always the case of the CEO paying more attention to his bonus than the value of the product. We need to go back to a 90%+ marginal rate. Make the last dollar earned worthless then maybe some sanity will return.

    Damn off my meds again, sorry I spent too many years watching after and taking care of the Masters of the Universe.


  2. Hi Bob. I envy the amount of space you have, but realize how tough it must be to keep it maintained. It was long a dream of mine to have some property with space, but I'm not sure I would want to (or could) take care of it. I'm spoiled living in a townhouse with the only outdoor maintenance being our 20 foot by 15 foot back yard. But I still dream ...

  3. Ha Ha Ken, not sure what would be the tariffs charged for exporting Young Farts with Strong Back your way??
    Probably cheaper to go locally :-)

    Currently reading a book about Ma Bell monopoly, I know what you meant by the masters of universe, or so they think :-)

    Bob, on his meds for his back

  4. Oh yes Matt, with the acreage comes works... lots of it, if you want it. Or you can just let the forest next door take over :-)

    My first Adobe that I rebuilt from the ground up was a centenary farm house sitting on nearly 5 acres. Lots of room for the kids to build tree houses. When I ran out of screws or nails, I just had to follow the trail of shiny fasteners back to their forts :-)

    Bob, who never understood why the kids took the jigsaw in the wood?? :-)

  5. Hard to import YFSBs in Ken's neighborhood with the new wall and everything.

    I worked for a company in CT (not CN!) that made consumer products of pens, razors and lighters that shall remain unnamed. In addition to the toll taken by HD and Lowe's on companies like Stanley, the big retailers like Sam's Club (part of Wally), Costco, etc. would put major squeezes on companies like mine. The retailer would present an all or nothing landscape where they would buy a suite of products from one company so if you walked into a warehouse store you would see a Gillette group of products like paper mate, gillette razors, liquid paper, etc. Bic would have their own equivalents but the winner was based on pricing for the whole lot. Miss the bid and lose all the business. It puts enormous pressure on companies for costing and offshoring is frequently the result. Even if the company is able to retain manufacturing in the states or North America the margins are greatly diminished. It's a real poop sandwich for the companies trying to get the business.

    And that's why I throw up in my mouth a little when I go to a big box.

  6. Thanks for the insight Steve. And, oups, I will relocate New Britain to CT from CN

    Bob, with a red face :-)

  7. I think my other comment got lost. I'll cut you some slack for not knowing the 50 postal abbreviations for the US.

    We used Conn. like the box says until the 70's (?) then 2 letter abbreviations were rolled out.

    We also have zip +4 that identifies an address to the block that it's on, but you didn't want to know that.

  8. Thanks for the tip on the PBS Stanley show on Stanley. I'm always looking for things to share with my dad (now 80) when I visit him weekly. If I can find it online, he will get a kick out of it.


  9. You are welcome Joe. To find it just click on the link on my blog.
    Enjoy with your Dad


  10. Thanks again Steve.
    It may sound like arcane information, but those little things help with dating tools when the box or paper work is present. I did no knew that Conn was changed to CT and etc.

    And you are correct, I probably do not know all of your 50 states abbreviations, I on the other hand has only to remember 11 provinces :-)