This page serves as directory to an encyclopedic study of the Millers Falls Company, a hand tool manufacturer once located in Western Massachusetts. The site features a company history, biographies of figures associated with the business, guides to some of the its hand tools and an illustrated list of publications it distributed. A Massachusetts-based entity until 1982, the firm was incorporated as the Millers Falls Manufacturing Company in 1868, was renamed the Millers Falls Company in 1872 and became a division of Ingersoll-Rand in 1962. Operations were relocated to New Jersey in 1982 following a leveraged buyout.
The pages at oldtoolheaven.com include information on the history and tools of a number of hardware businesses that were either absorbed by the Millers Falls Falls Company or affiliated with it in some way. Notable among these are the Goodell-Pratt Company; the Langdon Mitre Box Company; Gunn, Amidon & Company and the various enterprises of Charles H. Amidon and Quimby S. Backus. The tools manufactured by these latter firms were of excellent quality, and like Millers Falls products, they are prized by collectors of antique tools and woodworkers alike.
Although the company's hand-powered woodworking tools are emphasized here, the firm manufactured and distributed precision tools, mechanics' tools and power tools as well. The site's emphasis on hand planes, bit braces, drills, miter boxes, screwdrivers and the like can be deceiving. Those using these pages should be aware that for the last forty to fifty years of its existence, the operation was dependent on the success of its electric tools.
The product of eighteen years' research, the site is revised as new information comes to light. The author, Randy Roeder, has been an academic librarian for thirty-five years and has written a half dozen tool-related articles for the Gristmill, the journal of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association. He continues to research the Millers Falls Company, its predecessors and the businesses related to it.
Randy Roeder's detective novel is finally out!
It's taken two years, but my dectective novel, Sins of Intent, has been published and is available on Amazon.com. The e-book goes on sale May 1st, 2017. The softcover paper version comes out two weeks later.
Set in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1968, the tale features haberdasher and ballroom dancer Cletus Efferding and his sidekick Lumir (Loomer), a woodworker who assists him as he investigates a friend's mysterious death. Clete has just put his life back together follwing a personal disaster when the woman's body is found in an abandoned car, and he becomes prime suspect in a murder case.
Cletus wants the matter settled, but when the police department mysteriously drops the investigation, he can't let it go and vows to crack the case. With no experience and nothing to go on, Clete finds himself in over his head when local toughs discover his inquiry and attempt to silence him.
With his life in danger and the prospect of defeat threatening to destroy his very soul, Cletus Efferding must answer the question, "How far can a good man go?"
The story's hand tool content: Though the plot does not center on hand tools, Lumir's workshop serves as the background for a number of scenes. A retired packing plant worker, he spends his time building furniture in the two-story-shed behind his home. ("A man's shop should be bigger than his house.") As the story develops, Lumir befriends a local boy and teaches him how to care for hand tools. There's a saw-sharpening scene, and another in which Lumir must defend himself with one of the tools in his shop. Super glue eventually plays a role in getting the villain to confess.
To learn more about the author and Sins of Intent, point your browser to randyroeder.com