Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedLos Angeles, California, United States (1907 (1907))
  • Alphonse Plomb
  • Jacob Weninger
  • Charles Williams
United States
ProductsIndustrial tools
ParentStanley Black & Decker

Proto Tools (formally Stanley Proto) is an American industrial hand tool company. Founded as Plomb, it is presently a division of Stanley Black & Decker. The company is credited with creating the first combination wrench in 1933.


Proto was founded in 1907 by Alphonse Plomb, Jacob Weninger, and Charles Williams as the Plomb Tool Company, a small blacksmith shop making chisels in Los Angeles. In 1933, Plomb released what is commonly credited as the first combination wrench.[1]

Plomb acquired a number of companies during the 1940s, including Cragin Tool of Chicago, Illinois in 1940, P&C Tool of Oregon in 1941, Penens Tool of Cleveland, Ohio in 1942, and J.P. Danielson of Jamestown, New York in 1947.[2] Penens Tool would produce tools under the Fleet and Challenger brand names after its acquisition.[3]

In 1946, Plomb was sued by another tool manufacturer—Fayette R. Plumb, Inc., now a brand of Apex Tool Group[4]—for trademark infringement.[5] The company began manufacturing its tools with the Proto name, a portmanteau of "professional" and "tools," in 1948. In 1957, the company began operating as Pendleton Tool Industries.[6]

In 1964, Proto was acquired by Ingersoll-Rand, and in 1984, it was acquired by Stanley and became Stanley Proto Industrial Tools.[7]


See also


  1. ^ "Plomb: A Gallery of Tools". Alloy Artifacts. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  2. ^ Stanley Proto. "Company History". Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  3. ^ "The Proto Empire". Alloy Artifacts. p. 1. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  4. ^ Lamond, Tom. "Fayette R. Plumb Co". YesteryearsTools. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  5. ^ "CORPORATIONS: Plumb v. Plomb". Time. 1948-12-06. Archived from the original on 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  6. ^ "Plomb: A Gallery of Tools". Alloy Artifacts. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  7. ^ Thomas, Bob. "Company History". Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2010-01-31.