|Vulcan Tool brochure, old, undated|
Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
History of Vulcan Tool Manufacturing Co.
Vulcan Tool Manufacturing Co. of Quincy, Massachusetts has made specialized paving, masonry, and steel tools. Historically, their line included 2 stone hammers, a paving hammer, hand drills, wedges and shims, Belgian paving rammer, diagonal point dog chisel, brick clamp, air-powered paving breaker bits, and tools for riveting steel. Note that the hammers are pictured without handles. I have links to several Vulcan publications:
"The Vulcan Company, Inc. was first incorporated as Vulcan Tool Manufacturing Company in 1908 with Alexander Clark as its first president. Clark was first trained as a blacksmith in his native Scotland at age 14. He came to the United States at age 25 and opened a small blacksmith shop in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1890, which supplied tools used in local granite quarries. Quickly developing a reputation throughout the Boston area for his high quality products, Clark started Vulcan Tool Manufacturing Company; the company name being fashioned after Vulcan, the Greek patron god of workmen who used fire to forge weapons.
"Alexander Clark's son, A. Wendell Clark, entered the business in 1910. With the transition from stone to concrete being used in construction and the paralleled evolution of pneumatic hammers and rock drills, the company began to gain an outstanding reputation for the design and manufacture of pneumatic hammer tool accessories."
"A. Wendell guided the company's growth from 1942 to 1966, when his son, W. Gordon Clark became president. Under his direction, the company moved in 1978 from Quincy to a new, modern manufacturing plant in South Hingham, Massachusetts, where it is located today. The move also brought a name change. The corporate name was shortened to The Vulcan Company, Inc.
W. Gordon Clark's son, Alexander G. , became president of the company in 1985, and is still leading the business today. His son, Alex Jr., represents the fifth generation of the family to work for the company."
Vulcan has a slide show of old plant photos and company leaders on their website.