The genesis of Sandusky Tool Company is rooted in the small
general woodworking enterprise Allen, Dorsey & Tenney.
This company operated in Sandusky since 1868, starting with
general woodworking jobs and transitioning into making wooden
planes and tool handles by the end of 1869.
Sandusky of To-day - 1888
by George G.
If there is one identical
institution of which Sandusky has need to feel prouder then
another, it is assuredly this.
Incorporated in 1869, with capital
stock of $125,000, which since has been increased to $150,000,
the Sandusky Tool Company has steadily kept moving, giving
employment to an average 200 hands and promptly meeting a
monthly pay roll of from $4,000 to $7,000.
This prosperous firm has the outmost facilities
(shared by no other similar institution) for manufacturing to
order a vast variety of tools and novelties, but their principle
products consist of carpenter and cabinet makers' planes and
other tools, planters' hoes, and awls. Also bench and hand
screws, coopers' wood tools, gauges, chisel, auger and other
small tool handles, etc., the perfection and attractive finish
imparted to their manufactures being unsurpassed in the world.
From 200 to 300 car loads of white birch timber are required
for their planes, which is cut expressly for these works in the
northwestern counties of this state and Michigan. The ash
for 10,000 dozens of hoe handles is also annually secured from
the adjacent counties of this section, while forty to fifty car
loads of sugar maple are made up into bench screws, and other
In addition to this, twenty to thirty car loads of hickory
are each year used in the construction of small tool handles,
while of fancy woods, such as apple, boxwood, rosewood, ebony
and lignum vitae, from 50 to 100 tons are kept on hand for the
manufacture of croquet balls, fancy planes, panel plows, etc.
A stock of beech and maple is further kept for two years ahead,
which, by additional dry kiln facilities, is most thoroughly
seasoned before being used, and if the slightest bit of heart
wood appears in the top, the plane is marked a "second".
Description of the Plant
The plant covers some five acres of
ground on the bay shore, having a track from Lake Shore road
through the centre. The main building is of stone, 60 X
160 feet three stories high, with wing 22 X 100 feet for engine
and boiler rooms.
The grinding room is 40 X 60 feet;
the iron department 50 X 104 feet, and the hoe finishing and
shipping department 22 X 136 feet, the second story being used
for storage of handles. The warehouse is 24 X 80 feet, two
stories, and separate from all other buildings, and stored with
a large surplus of finished goods, while here and there are
dotted around five other buildings, 216 X 40 feet each, for
curing and seasoning the timber.
The packaging and storage room is
34 X 60 feet, two stories, with wing 16 X 60 feet, while the
offices, blacksmith shop, with several other buildings, are
found on the premises, the several structures being built with
intervening spaces in case of fire. The several
departments of the main building are replete with every modern
device known to the trade, hence they are enabled to turn out so
many as 1,000 to 1,500 hoes daily, the entire hoe being made of
the best steel, oil tempered and in one piece.
In the manufacture of the different
kinds of plane irons, the company have a capacity of 50 to 75
dozens per day. In the grinding room 16 to 20 huge stones of one
and one-half to two and one-half tons are used, and they use up
about 200 tons of these stones annually. A magnificent 200
horse-power engine, with two lesser ones are here found in
operation and some idea of the operations of this factory may be
gleaned from the fact that it consumes for packing boxes alone
nearly half a million feet of lumber annually.
Sandusky of To-day