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.
A number of recent additions to this site have been made possible by The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, an organization located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, that seeks to preserve the rich history of the machine and hand tool industries once located in the vicinity. The museum's stated mission is to preserve the physical artifacts, archival materials and social history of industrial Franklin County and provide related educational programs.
The professionalism, courtesy and helpfulness shown the author by the museum's staff have earned it a rotation in the site's sponsor category. The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage is the site's first cultural institution to be featured in this manner.
The museum houses its collections in the historic Newell Snow building, an industrial site located on the banks of the Green River that has housed manufactories of the Wells Brothers, Franklin Shoe, and Greenfield Machine Companies. Though it is currently open by appointment only, the public is invited to visit the museum and consult its archives. Contact information is available on the museum's web site.