Ames Tools: Older Than the U.S.
President Lincoln personally asked Oakes Ames (son of Captain Ames) to supply shovels for the Union cause during the Civil War. During WWII, Ames produced armored tank plating, shell casings and 11 million of those familiar folding entrenching tools. In 1928, Ames shovels proved themselves invaluable on Richard E. Byrd's expedition to the South Pole. Now, after 240 years, you'll still find Ames shovels anywhere DIYers dig.
HANDy Paint Pail
Success with a simple solution: In 2001, Mark Bergman's hand was tired of holding a paint container, so he rigged up a coffee can with a duct tape handle. It became the prototype for the HANDy Paint Pail, which is now used by do-it-yourselfers nation wide. Ingenuity in action!
Leatherman Multitool: Inspired By a Clunker
Tim cut pieces of cardboard to make a pattern for the prototype, which he built in his garage. He shopped the tool around to prospective manufacturers without success, so he decided to manufacture them himself. His first sales came through a mail order magazine. He'd hoped to sell 4,000 'Pocket Survival Tools' that first year, but ended up filling 30,000 orders. The Leatherman Tool Group was born. It currently makes more than a million tools each year in Portland, OR.