Black & Decker

Looking east along Joppa Road, about one-quarter mile from this spot, is the location of Stanley Black & Decker. Samuel Duncan Black and Alonzo Galloway Decker of Baltimore originally established the company in 1909 as the Black and Decker Manufacturing Company. By 1916, with the development of small but powerful electric motors, they were working on designing a hand-held electric drill. In 1917 patents were granted to the two men for drill gearing and for the first trigger switch for a pistol-style handheld drill. These innovations were some of the most important in creating the modern hand-held drill, and the tools rapidly became very popular.

Black and Decker opened their first factory in East Towson in 1917. During the 1920s, B&D acquired several other smaller manufacturing companies, including Marschke Manufacturing Company of Indianapolis (grinding machinery, especially bench grinders) and Domestic Electric Company of Cleveland (fractional-horsepower electric motors), moving those operations to its East Towson factory. It became a publicly traded company on the NY Stock Exchange in 1936.

The company continued to grow and expand through the 20th and 21st centuries, acquiring other companies over the years, including name brands such as De Walt (1960) and Craftsman brand from Sears (2014). In 2010, it merged with The Stanley Works to become Stanley Black & Decker, the world’s largest tool company.

Black & Decker employees about 1918. Photo courtesy of Baltimore County Public Library collection.

Black & Decker sign

Turning right on Fairmount, go south into Historic East Towson. Continue straight on Fairmount rather that following the bend in the road.

Our next turn is a right (west) on Lennox Avenue, which will bring us to the historic Carver School and a cabin from the early settlement of East Towson.

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