Black & Decker: First Portable Electric Drill
While sitting at Al Decker's kitchen table, the two men thought about a lighter and easier-to-use industrial drill. (A Colt automatic pistol lay on the table?Colt was a customer.) Legend has it, they both looked at the gun and had a 'eureka' moment. In 1917, they received a patent for the first 1/2-in. portable electric drill, equipped with a trigger and pistol grip, remarkably similar to the Colt.
Factory workers loved the tool and often brought one home to use on their own houses. Black & Decker saw an opportunity and in 1946 introduced the world's first portable drill for consumers. They sold their millionth drill five years later.
Maze Nails: From Freebie to Industry Leader
When the price of zinc skyrocketed in the early 1900s, Maze developed a system for dipping steel nails into vats of molten zinc. These ZINCLAD nails were even more popular with carpenters because they were harder than zinc and still rust resistant. Today, Maze has the world's largest variety of specialty nails, and after 167 years, the lumberyard is still in business!
Maglite: 'The Cadillac of Flashlights'
In 1979, he introduced the Maglite flashlight made from aircraft aluminum. He marketed the flashlights to police and firefighters, who loved them. It turned out that the general public was also more than willing to pay a premium for 'The Cadillac of Flashlights.' Mag Instruments has won many design awards over the years and currently produces dozens of different products, every one of them in the United States.