A Millers Falls Company History

Millers Falls factories This illustration, showing the two main factories once operated by the Millers Falls Company, is taken from its 70th Anniversary Catalog: No. 42, dated January 1938. The plant shown at top is the Millers Falls factory located in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Millers Falls acquired the property in 1931 when it merged with the nearby Goodell-Pratt Company. Formerly the chief fabrication facility for Goodell-Pratt, the Greenfield site served as Millers Falls Company headquarters from the time of its purchase until 1978, when all aspects of the operation were relocated to Deerfield, just three miles away. The factory shown at the bottom is the original plant at Millers Falls, Massachusetts, a site perhaps ten miles from Greenfield. It was the company’s premier manufactory and the location of the home office from 1868 to 1931. The company certainly received its money’s worth when it commissioned the original artwork for this half of the illustration. The image dates to 1912, and it was still in use as late as 1959 when it appeared in the company’s Hand Tools, Parts catalog.

Not pictured are any of the several smaller sites that the Millers Falls Company acquired at various times during its long existence. The company picked up a small operation at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, as part of the Goodell-Pratt merger. Prior to the merger, Millers Falls had acquired other properties when it purchased the National Machine Company, in Brattleboro, Vermont, and the West Haven Manufacturing Company, in West Haven, Connecticut. The Brattleboro plant produced automobile and truck jacks; the West Haven plant, hacksaw blades and punches. The factory of a small manufacturer of precision tools, the Union Tool Company, of Orange, Massachusetts, was acquired in 1957.

This history of the Millers Falls Company is based on a mix of primary and secondary resources. A number of them are problematic in that names and dates conflict. The difficulty is compounded by the company’s wildly inaccurate reporting of its own history. Using the best sources available to me, I have worked hard for accuracy and have labored mightily to avoid error and misinterpretation. References to resources consulted are included either as part of the text itself or as numbered notes. In general, the company’s own publications are not cited. Histories of the Goodell-Pratt Company, the Langdon Mitre Box Company and the various businesses of early company employees Charles H. Amidon and Quimby Backus are found elsewhere on this site.