Black & Decker

Black & Decker Corporation is a corporation based in Towson, Maryland, that makes and markets:

  • power tools and accessories,
  • hardware and home improvement products, and
  • technology based fastening systems.


Black & Decker (the corporation) is distinct from "Black & Decker" the brand; the latter is used by more than one corporation. In particular, "Black & Decker"-branded household products in the Americas (but outside of Brazil) are marketed by a division of Applica, a Florida-based corporation much smaller than Black & Decker Corporation.

The Black & Decker Corporation markets its name under various brands:

Company timeline

Black & Decker Corporation was founded in 1910 by S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker as a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1917, Black & Decker invented the familiar portable electric drill, obtaining a patent for a hand-held drill combining a pistol grip and trigger switch.

  • 1917 - Received a patent for the pistol grip and trigger switch on its drill. The first factory was opened in Towson, MD.
  • 1922 - First foreign subsidiary, Black & Decker Manufacturing Company, Ltd., is built in Canada. This was also the first year the electric screwdriver was produced by Black & Decker.
  • 1925 - Black & Decker, Ltd. was established in London, England.
  • 1928 - Black & Decker acquired Van Dorn Electric Tool Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1929 - Established a Black & Decker subsidiary in Sydney, Australia.
  • 1936 - The company's common stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • 1941 - The Towson plant began to manufacture fuses, gun shells, and other ordnance for the Allies. Power tools were still being created at other sites.
  • 1943 - Black & Decker received the prestigious Army-Navy "E" award for production, one of four WWII citations awarded to the Company.
  • 1946 - After learning that workers in factories were taking drills home for personal use, Black & Decker begins the “do-it-yourself” revolution with the Home Utility line of drills and accessories. In addition, a subsidiary was established in São Paulo, Brazil, responsible for sales and manufacturing of company products.
  • 1951 - S. Duncan Black, co-founder and president since 1910, died, and Alonzo G. Decker Sr. became president.
  • 1954 - While continuing to serve as president, Alonzo G. Decker, Sr., was elected to the newly created position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • 1955 - Black & Decker South Africa was set up as a wholly owned sales and service subsidiary in Johannesburg (relocated to Cape Town in 1958). A new manufacturing plant was opened in Croydon, Victoria, Australia
  • 1956 - Alonzo G. Decker, Sr., died. Robert D. Black, a long-time executive of the Company and brother of S. Duncan Black, was named chairman of the board and president.
  • 1957 – 1958 - Several plants were opened across Europe. These include plants in Brussels, Belgium; Auckland, New Zealand; Dusseldorf, Germany; and Rotterdam, Netherland.
  • 1959 - A subsidiary called Master Power Corporation was established to acquire Master Pneumatic Tool Company, a manufacturer of portable air tools with operations in Ohio and Canada.
  • 1960 - Alonzo G. Decker, Jr., succeeded Robert D. Black as president. Mr. Black continued as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Black & Decker acquired DeWalt, Inc. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • 1965 - Towson plant was converted to a research and development site.
  • 1967 – 1968 - The United Kingdom company was awarded the Queen's Award to Industry for outstanding achievement in increasing exports. The Italian company won the coveted Oscar del Commercia from the Italian government for its overall contributions to the domestic economy.
  • 1970 – 1971 - The Company acquired the Carbide Router Company, Inc. of Moonachie, New Jersey. Black & Decker opened two more subsidiaries (one in Nigeria, the other in Argentina)
  • 1972 - The Japanese government granted approval for Black & Decker to manufacture power tools in that country. Nippon B&D KK became the first non-Japanese company in five years to be given such approval on a private ownership basis.
  • 1973 - The first double-insulated power tools are marketed to consumers at no increased cost to them.
  • 1974 - The first one-year customer satisfaction guarantee was introduced by Black & Decker in the U.S.A.
  • 1975 - Francis P. Lucier succeeded Alonzo G. Decker, Jr., as chairman of the board. This is the first time that a member of the Black or Decker families did not hold the post.
  • 1979 - The U.S. power tools business was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name of Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. The Dustbuster hand-held cordless vacuum is marketed, creating an entirely new category of household appliances.
  • 1984 - As part of a major reorganization plan, several sites were closed including plants in Maidenhead and Harmondsworth, England; Kildare, Ireland; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Solon, Ohio. During the same year General Electric's small household appliance business was bought and rebranded as Black & Decker products.
  • 1984 - The company modernized its familiar logo, which had previously been the image of an orange six-sided nut containing the initials "B&D."
  • 1985 - The Company’s name was officially changed to The Black & Decker Corporation.
  • 1986 - Nolan D. Archibald is named chief executive officer.
  • 1988 - The Company was awarded the Medal of Professional Excellence by Purchasing Magazine for its world-class purchasing operations and expertise.
  • 1989 - Black & Decker acquired Emhart Corporation. The purchase included the brand names Kwikset, Price Pfister faucets, Molly wall anchors, POP rivets, True Temper golf club shafts and many other consumer and commercial products. Black & Decker was inducted into the U.S.A. Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame for its cordless power tool achievements and contributions to NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs.
  • 1992 - Were mentioned in guitar magazine "Fret the Way" by Geraint Cronin because Eddie van Halen "could pluck the guitar twice as fast as a Black and Decker drill ever could with a plectrum glued to it."
  • 1992 – Black and Decker launched the entirely new DeWalt line of professional products for North America.
  • 1993 – The Company’s earned the Vendor of the Year awards from Wal-Mart. Also launched the selected Elu line of professional power tools for Europe.
  • 1994 – The SnakeLight flexible flashlight is one of the Company’s most successful new product launches.
  • 1995 – The new line of DeWalt Professional Power Tools & Accessories launches in Europe.
  • 1998 – The Company divests most of the household appliance business and completes the divestiture of non-strategic businesses acquired with Emhart.
  • 2003 – Black & Decker sells its European security hardware business to Assa Abloy. Baldwin Hardware Corporation and Weiser Lock Corporation are also bought this year.
  • 2004 - Black & Decker acquired the Tools Group from Pentair, Inc. (). The Tools Group, included the Porter-Cable, Delta, DeVilbiss Air Power, Oldham Saw, and FLEX businesses.
  • 2006 - The acquisition of Vector Products, Inc. adds an automotive and electronics platform to Black & Decker's consumer business.


Further Reading

External links


Search another word or see commercia'listicon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature