History & Milestones



Since 1843 STANLEY® tools have been on the belt and in the hands of professional contractors and accomplished homeowners. Synonymous with quality, reliability, innovation, and value, STANLEY is the first name in tape measures and trusted worldwide for accuracy and dependability.

We’re proud of our reputation for excellence and dedicated to continually testing, designing and improving our products to ensure quality and maximum function. Maintaining our standing as the world's best at what we do is vital to us and what you expect from a name like STANLEY.

For more than 175 years our innovative products have helped build, repair and protect our world. Today that legacy continues. Explore our history by using the interactive timeline below.


Milestones

1843

Founded in 1843

In 1843, Frederick Stanley founded the Stanley Works in New Britain, Connecticut.

1854

1854

STANLEY begins to manufacture boxwood rules.

1857

1857

STANLEY begins manufacturing levels.

1863

1863

STANLEY introduces hammers to their line up.

1869

1869

Purchased Bailey, Chaney and Company and acquired the right to manufacture tools under Bailey’s patents.

1870

1870

STANLEY began manufacturing screwdrivers.

1920

1920

A new logo is introduced to symbolize the merger of the Stanley Rule & Level Company and the Stanley Works. The Stanley Rule & Level Company was founded by Fredrick's cousin Henry Stanley in 1857.

1931

1931

STANLEY introduces the first steel tape rule.

1936

1936

STANLEY introduces utility knives in 1936.

1963

1963

STANLEY builds the largest hand tool plant in the world in New Britain, CT. The same year, we introduced the PowerLock® Tape Rule.

1969

1969

The PowerLock® Tape Rule represented Stanley as part of Apollo 11’s Lunar Landing Gear.

1999

1999

STANLEY introduces the FatMax® Tape Rule and the FatMax Anti-Vibe® Hammer.

2008

2008

Stanley re-introduces Sweetheart Planes.

2011

2011

STANLEY launches carbide blades.

2015

2015

STANLEY heads into the future of smart measuring with over 75 years experience.

2019 & Beyond

2019 & Beyond

STANLEY continues to introduce new and innovative products that change the way we work.