History of BLACK+DECKER™

Since our earliest days as a Baltimore machine shop, BLACK+DECKER™ has remained steadfastly focused on customer needs.

So what was the chain of events that grew the small machine shop of the early 1900s into today's global manufacturing and marketing powerhouse?

  • 1910the beginning

    Two young entrepreneurs, S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker, founded a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. They called it The Black&Decker® Manufacturing Company. Their earliest products included machines for making milk bottle caps.

  • 1912the hexagon

    The new company designs and launches a logo that would soon be recognised around the world. The Black&Decker® hexagon was selected to represent a hexagonal nut used for a bolt or cap screw, a universal fastener symbolic of the machine tool trade.

  • 1916patented portability

    In 1916 the company files its first patent for a ½” portable electric drill with pistol grip and trigger switch. This innovation transformed a stationary tool into a portable one and set the cornerstone for today's power tool industry.

  • 1919major milestones

    Just nine years after its founding, BLACK+DECKER™’s annual sales exceed $1 million.

  • 1921mass appeal

    Full page BLACK+DECKER™ advertisements appeared in print, signalling the beginning of BLACK+DECKER™’s use of mass media advertising to reach mainstream consumers everywhere.

  • 1922overseas expansion

    The Company forms its first international subsidiary, starting first with Canada in 1922, UK in 1928 and Australia in 1929. The Company soon becomes a worldwide brand.

  • 1946diy revolution

    BLACK+DECKER™ introduces the worlds first portable electric drill for consumers – a true market breakthrough. After learning that workers in factories were taking portable drills home for personal use, BLACK+DECKER™ starts the do-it-yourself revolution within its home utility line of drills and accessories.

  • 1961cordless breakthrough

    BLACK+DECKER™ introduces the world’s first cordless electric drill powered by nickel-cadmium cells. This is followed in 1962 with the world’s first cordless outdoor product, a cordless hedge trimmer.

  • 1963space race

    BLACK+DECKER™ does its share for the space program by developing a cordless, minimum-torque reaction space tool for NASA astronauts to use under weightless flight conditions. Then later in 1971 the Apollo lunar surface drill, with a power head built by BLACK+DECKER™, removes surface samples from the moon during NASA’s Apollo 15 mission.

  • 1973workmate® wins

    The workmate® portable workbench is launched in the UK and receives an award of excellence from England's Design council.

  • 1979dustbuster® dominates

    A completely new concept in household cleaning, the dustbuster hand-held cordless vacuum cleaner is invented and introduced, expanding the cordless revolution from the workbench to all parts of the house and beyond.

  • 1994fresh flexibility

    BLACK+DECKER™’s innovative VersaPak® cordless power tool system and its phenomenally successful Snakelight® flexible flashlight hit the shelves – both delivering new convenience and versatility to consumers.

  • 1998meet the mouse

    Inspired by the computer mouse, the easy-to-use and ergonomic BLACK+DECKER™ Mouse® sander is launched, going on to sell millions.

  • 2009smart solutions

    Knowing the right setting for a power tool isn't easy – so in 2009 BLACK+DECKER™ created a smarter range of power tools, with Autoselect® technology. Simply select the project and the tool automatically selects the correct setting - taking the guesswork out of DIY and helping you to achieve the best results every time.

    Find out more here.
  • 2011the Steam-Mop™

    BLACK+DECKER™ launches the Steam Mop™, creating a new category for the brand - effortlessly clean your floors with super-heated steam and achieve a dry, streak free finish in seconds.

  • 2012a new twist on screw driving

    BLACK+DECKER™ introduces the Gyro Driver™ - world’s first motion sensing screw driving that controls variable speed and direction – providing DIYers with a new twist on screw driving. The Gyro Driver™ goes on to win a number of industry awards that celebrate its ground-breaking design and quality.

    Find out more here.
  • 2013another world’s first

    BLACK+DECKER™ launches the Duosand™ - the World’s first* 1/3 sheet sander with a dual fan system and wrap around dust collection facility, for cleaner, faster sanding.

    Find out more here.
  • 2014BLACK+DECKER™ rebrand

    In 2014 a new global brand identity was announced for power tools, outdoor power equipment and home products – a move in which Black & Decker became BLACK+DECKER™. The new identity revitalises one of the most recognisable brands in the world through a simplified and focused redesign. The new BLACK+DECKER™ logo was designed to be simple, clean and powerful. To build on its position as a strong global brand, BLACK+DECKER will launch new products and campaigns to energise the brand, as well as engage with its customers through a stronger home-living experience, showing why the brand is welcome into homes around the world and the difference it can make every day.

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