Please note

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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

History of Kraft Tool Co.

Kraft Tool Company of Shawnee, Kansas is a relatively new firm, dating to 1981. Kraft is noteworthy for several reasons. They have bucked the trends of industrial consolidation and outsourcing, and in 2001 they purchased W. Rose Brick Trowel Co., America’s second oldest tool manufacturer, established in 1798. Kraft also owns the venerable Sands Level & Tool Co.

Kraft logo on bronze groover
Kraft is a privately held company founded by two former Goldblatt Tool Co. executives, Simon Kraft and Ronald G. Meyer. Like Goldblatt, Kraft is located in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Note that Kraft’s mailing address, Shawnee Mission, is a Postal Service creation. Kraft is located in the city of Shawnee, where they built a nearly 100,000 square foot plant in 1996. Kraft’s brands, in addition to W. Rose and Sand’s, are Superior Tile Cutter and Hi-Craft.

Simon (Si) Kraft (1924-1990) was Goldblatt Tool Co.’s Sales Manager in the 1960s, according to advertisements and catalogs. He signed the letters to customers that appeared in the catalogs, a role that Norman Goldblatt had before Bliss and Laughlin bought Goldblatt.

Ronald G. Meyer (1948- ) has served as President of Kraft Tool Company, although I have not verified his current status. Mr. Meyer was National Sales Manager of Goldblatt Tool Co. until 1981. He graduated from William Jewell College and earned a Degree in Business in 1970. Mr. Meyer’s father, Max Meyer, following a 37-year career as a funeral director, worked with his son at Kraft Tool for another 20 years. Ronald Meyer holds several US patents on masonry tools and tool features.

Kraft Tool website

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