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Manufacturers Index - Van Dorn Electric Tool Co.

Van Dorn Electric Tool Co.
Cleveland, OH; Towson, MD, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: May 7 2019 8:48AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

This company first appeared in 1915 as a spin-off of gear-maker Van Dorn & Dutton Co., which dated back to about 1910; the two companies shared factory space and some employees.

In 1928, both companies changed ownership. Van Dorn & Dutton became the Gears and Forgings, Inc., as the result of a merger with Fawcus Machine Co. of Pittsburgh and William Ganschow Co. of Chicago; in 1934 the company reorganized as Ohio Forge & Machine Corp. Meanwhile (in 1928), Van Dorn Electric Tool Co. was acquired by Black & Decker, although the Van Dorn name survived until about 1951. If you have a Van Dorn item where the address is Towson, Md., then it post-dates the B&D acquisition.

Illustration from article in October 1929 "Machinery"

Van Dorn was primarily a maker of handheld power tools, especially drills. But they also made bench grinders, which is why Van Dorn is listed here.

Handheld power tools are outside the scope of this web site. Please do not upload pictures of handhelds!

Information Sources

  • Correspondent Tim Brown brought this firm to our attention as a maker of bench grinders. We had already known of them as a maker of handheld power tools, which are outside the scope of this site. Tim also provided the information that B&D bought Van Dorn in 1928.
  • Patents provide the information on Van Dorn & Dutton and also give us some data points on the years of operation.
  • The 1915-10-04 issue of The Iron Age mentions a new factory that was being built for the Van Dorn & Dutton Company and the Van Dorn Electric Tool Company.