Briggs & Stratton: Started with a School Project
Briggs & Stratton did have some success making parts for the fledgling auto industry, and even produced a small car named the Briggs & Stratton Flyer, which sold for less than $150. Eventually the company focused on small gasoline engines that powered lawn mowers, outdoor power equipment and even some early washing machines. Briggs & Stratton is currently the world's largest manufacturer of air-cooled engines, building more than 9 million engines in the United States each year.
Klein Tools: Began with Half a Pair of Pliers
The Klein Company profited from being one of the few forges to survive the Great Chicago Fire. The company also grew along with the electrical and telecommunication industries, adding more than 100 varieties of pliers. But the original lineman's pliers was so popular that generations of electricians called their pliers simply 'Kleins.' Klein Tools Inc. is going strong, still owned and managed by members of the Klein family.
Bobcat Skid Steer Loaders: Born in a Turkey Barn
In 1960, the more familiar four-wheeled M400 was introduced, and skid loaders quickly went from poultry barns to practically everywhere. They're called skid steers because the wheels don't turn to steer. Instead, the wheels on each side rotate at different speeds, which causes a skid.