In 1774, Captain John Ames began making the colonies’ first metal shovels in his blacksmith shop in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. By 1835, his son Oliver was running nine four-ton tilt hammers and turning out 480 shovels per day. By 1870, Oliver Ames & Sons were producing 60 percent of the world’s metal shovels, filling orders from Europe, Australia, South America, Africa and China. The AMES and True Temper companies merged in 1999 to form Ames True Temper, which today is known as The AMES Companies, Inc.
In 1895, Télesphore Garant founded a forge in Saint-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, Québec, where he manufactured and repaired farm implements and wheels for carriages and carts. Over the course of several generations, the Garant family built his business into one of Canada’s leading manufacturers of snow removal and garden tools. The company became part of Ames in 1991, and carries on today as part of The AMES Companies, Inc.
In 1808, blacksmith Alexander Miller began forging hoes and other tools in “The Old Stone Shop” in Wallingford, Vermont. In the 1830s, the shop passed to Lyman Batcheller, and in 1902, Batcheller & Sons joined 16 other forging companies to form The American Fork and Hoe Company. By 1930, the company was supplying 90 percent of hand tools for America’s farmers, and in 1949, it was renamed for the quality pledge associated with their tools: True Temper®. In 1999, True Temper merged with AMES to form Ames True Temper, which today is known as The AMES Companies, Inc.
In 1876, Caleb Jackson left his manufacturing job to start a wheelbarrow company in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, founding a business that would go on to become the largest wheelbarrow manufacturer in the world. The company was purchased by True Temper in 1981.
In 1907, George Britton Durrell, an officer of American Fork & Hoe, arranged the merger of Continental Tool Co. of Frankfurt, New York and several other companies to form The Union Fork & Hoe Company in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1993, Union Fork & Hoe was renamed UnionTools, and in 2006, UnionTools became part of The AMES Companies.
In 1937, Captain Edward Durrell, an employee of The Union Fork & Hoe Company, designed a shovel that was thicker along the spine for exceptional strength. He named it Razor-Back after North American wild hogs, which have a tough, raised spine and a reputation for tearing up turf. The Razor-Back brand of professional tools joined the AMES family of brands in 2006.
In 1945, Lancelot (Lance) Leonard Hill returned home from the Second World War. He found his wife Sherry struggling to hang the washing between the overgrown trees in their back yard, so he took some old pipe, a welder and an innovative idea and created what was to become a world famous Australian icon and the Hills Hoist was born. Over the years, Hills has expanded into clothes line, ironing boards and gardening products. Hills was acquired by The Ames Companies in 2017.
Westmix was founded in 1972 by Michael Cantone in Kewdale, Australia, and rapidly grew into Australia’s leading supplier of products to the hardware industry. Westmix includes the Kelso brand, a leading Australian wheelbarrow manufacturer. The company was acquired by The AMES Companies, Inc. in 2010.
The AMES Companies, Inc. acquired the Southern Patio brand of decorative planters and pots in 2011. For more than 30 years, Southern Patio has continued to grow and offer one of the most diverse lines of planters in the market.
In 1897, George Westmoreland established a pottery factory in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Today, Northcote is the largest distributor of pottery and garden décor in Australia and New Zealand. Northcote became part of The AMES Companies, Inc. in 2014.
With more than 100 years of history in Australia, Cyclone Tools is a market leader in the supply of garden and hand tools to the Australian retail and industrial hardware markets. Cyclone includes the Cyclone, Nylex, Supercraft, Gardenmaster, Weldcorp and Eagle brands. It was acquired by The AMES Companies in 2014.
Trojan provides digging, cultivating, lawn maintenance, and pruning tools for the home and garden and DIY projects. Trojan tools are available Australia-wide through all Bunnings stores.
In September 2010, AMES True Temper was purchased by Griffon Corporation, a diversified management and holding company. In May 2014, the companies announced a name change to The AMES Companies, Inc.
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