|FIBCO finishing trowel, 11.5" x 4.5"|
Frederick I. Blake founded the company with his name between 1910 and 1918. He was born in early 1868 in Maine, and worked as a machinist and superintendent of a machine shop. This experience apparently led him to begin manufacturing machinist's small tools, sharing a building at 24 Washington Square, Worcester in 1918.
After Blake's death 18 July 1930, his daughter Ruth took over the business and ran it until at least 1962. This makes her one of a very few women known to have managed a tool manufacturer.
Ruth Alice Blake was born 7 Apr 1892 in Worcester, and married John H. Beck. In May 1935 Ruth Beck began using the brand name FIBCO, and she applied for a trademark 29 Nov. 1945. By 1941, the operation had moved to 31 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, where they remained. Ms. Beck was manufacturing finishing trowels for concrete and plaster by 1958. It's unknown when the F.I. Blake Co. went out of business, but it appears to be in the early 1960s. The center of Wooster has been extensively redeveloped, and no old buildings remain at either of F.I. Blake Co.'s addresses. Frank Blake and Ruth and John Beck were living at 9 Winslow St. in 1920, and the Becks were still there in 1940.
|Popular Mechanics 1953|
|FIBCO Multiple Gage Plate|