Site of the former Collins Company, Canton – (Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation): Collinsville CT:
The first ready-to-use axes produced in the USA came from the Connecticut-based Collins & Company established by Samuel W. and David C. Collins in 1826 with the purchase of an old gristmill and a few acres of land along the Farmington River in Canton, CT.
The company started small with eight men, each making eight axes per day. As the company grew and gained a national reputation for its high-quality axes, new orders flooded in. Prior to the firm’s establishment, consumers either purchased unground axes imported from Europe or looked to a local blacksmith who, along with his other activities, might also make axe heads. Throughout its 140-year history, the company produced and sold axes, machetes, and other edge tools to most of the world.
In May of 1871, Samuel Collins died. At the time of his death, the Collins Company had produced more than 15 million axes and had annual sales of more than $1 million. However, after the Flood of 1955 wiped out the railroad line, the company could not match the foreign competition. Portions of the business were sold to the Stanley Works in New Britain and to other firms. In 1966, the Collins Company closed after 140 years in business.
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