The Millers Falls Company began in 1861 as a clothes wringer manufacturer, which was owned by Levi Gunn & Charles Amidon of Greenfield, Mass. Both Amidon and Gunn were veteran toolmakers and immediately recognized the market potential of the new Barber brace. In 1864 they purchased patent rights for the new brace, and within 12 months were in full production. By the year 1885 the companys products dominated the domestic drill brace market and had gone into worldwide distribution. Between 1872 and 1931 Millers Falls acquired the Backus Vise Company, George Rogers Co., which made metal mitre boxes, Goodell-Pratt, Stratton Level and the Ford Auger Bit Company. In 1978 Millers Falls Company was purchased by a division of Ingersoll Rand Corp. and continues to make fine hand tools today.
Ingersoll-Rand traces its history to 1871 when Simon Ingersoll patented a steam-powered rock drill, the watershed event leading to the formation of the Ingersoll Rock Drill Company.
In 1872, Albert Rand started Rand & Waring Drill and Compressor Company and changed the name in 1879 to Rand Drill Company. Later that year, the first Rand air compressor was introduced.
In 1885 the Sergeant Drill Company was formed when Henry Sergeant left the Ingersoll Rock Drill Company. In 1888 the Ingersoll Rock Drill Company merged with the Sergeant Drill Company to form the Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Company. In 1902, the type X portable compressor line is introduced by Rand.
In 1905 Ingersoll-Sergeant merged with Rand Drill to form Ingersoll-Rand, headquartered in New York City. In 1921, Ingersoll-Rand (India) Private Ltd. is formed. In 1920, the Schlage Lock Company was formed by Walter Schlage. Ingersoll-Rand would acquire Schlage in 1974.
In 1934, the first air-powered Impactool was introduced. In 1963, Ingersoll-Rand Japan was formed. In the 1960s, the company completed nine acquisitions, including Von Duprin in 1965 and The Torrington Company in 1968.
In 1972, Ingersoll-Rand moved its headquarters from New York City to Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. In 1980, Union Carbide and Ingersoll-Rand partner to form Niject Services Company. In 1985, the Fafnir Bearing Division of Textron was purchased and merged with Torrington.
In 1995, Ingersoll-Rand acquired Clark Equipment Company which included the Bobcat, Club Car and Blaw-Knox product lines. The Steelcraft door manufacturing business was added to the company portfolio in 1996. In April of 1997 the company completed the acquisition of Newman Tonks, a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of architectural hardware.
In 1997, the company acquired Thermo King, the world leader in the transport temperature control business, from Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
In June 2000, Ingersoll-Rand Company acquired Hussmann International, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of food-store equipment and commercial refrigeration products. Hussmann joins Thermo King in the Climate Control sector of the company, expanding IR's market in the "cold chain" to the distribution channel.
|The Ingersoll Milling Machine Company
Young Winthrop Ingersoll of Cleveland, Ohio wanted to play professional baseball, but his father Judge Jonathan Ingersoll did not agree. The father's solution was to purchase an interest in W.R. Eynon & Co., a local machine tool company.
The year was 1887. Winthrop eventually took over Eynon, and in 1891 with a loan of $29,000 from Rockford businessmen, moved the company there. "One of the prettiest places I have ever seen, " Ingersoll explains. "And they have the very best class of mechanics."
The first shop was 50 by 150 feet; the first payroll was for 19 employees. But Winthrop Ingersoll developed his company's capability to adjust to the machine tool industry cycles early. In 1903 he doubled the size of the company in a bid to win a large contract from General Electric Co.
Ingersoll obtained the order, and by 1906, the firm had completed the largest milling machine of its time 157.5 tons for GE.
The company grew on the crest of the boom in the automobile industry in the first 25 years of the twentieth century, and then on that of World War I production. By 1916 the firm had recorded its first million-dollar sales year, added an assembly shop, and more than doubled the payroll to 451.
In 1917 the company built $750,000 worth of machinery to build 50-caliber machine guns. By the end of the year there were almost 600 employees. One of those who joined that year was Robert M. Gaylord who had married Ingersoll's daughter, Mildred.
Revenues passed the million-dollar mark in 1918. The following year Winthrop Ingersoll, responding to the urging of his employees, put in writing the policy that Ingersoll would conduct its operations in ways that labor unions would not be needed.
It has remained so to this day.