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The Start of a Security Legacy

In 1831, Frederick T. Stanley, in partnership with his younger brother William, opened a small facility in New Britain, Connecticut, to manufacture house trimmings and door locks. Though the business failed to survive the Panic of 1837, it seemed to serve as the prototype for another business venture:
Stanley Works—the company that gave birth to one of the most recognized brands in the world.

During its early years, Stanley Works was one of hundreds of similar companies in antebellum America that produced hardware, among other builder goods. Stanley stood out from the other entrepreneurs who took advantage of America's rapid industrialization when he chose to power his factory with a single-cylinder, high-pressure steam engine. This relatively sophisticated engine enabled Stanley Works to produce goods—whether bolts, T-hinges or wrought-iron straps—in a more cost-competitive and efficient way compared to shops in the area.

Our vision

Stanley's vision was to create a hardware company with unsurpassed customer service, product innovation and integrity—one that would become the first choice among professionals around the world.

With the early success of this mission and an increasing demand for his high-quality goods, Stanley began exporting his products in the 1870s. His sharp focus on building loyalty through branding allowed him to become one of the first hardware companies to leverage a global market.



In 1920, Stanley Works purchased the business of Stanley Rule & Level, a New Britain business.

For over 60 years, Stanley Rule & Level had been manufacturing levels and squares and, perhaps most famously, the Bailey Plane. The success of the Bailey Plane allowed Stanley Rule & Level to branch out into the production of other hand tools, and by 1900, the company was the largest manufacturer of planes and related tools in America.

In the decades that followed, Stanley Works negotiated its way through the era of corporate consolidations and mergers choosing new opportunities that best fit the company's business model.

Most recently, in 2010, Stanley merged with Black & Decker to form Stanley Black & Decker. Today, Stanley Black & Decker delivers the tools and security solutions that industrial companies, professionals and consumers count on to be successful when it really matters.

With such a long-standing history, a fearless commitment to growth, and an emphasis on branding in the global marketplace well before they were accepted business practices, STANLEY has become more than a household name for hardware on the openings of today's buildings. It's become synonymous with the right tools for everything from securing what's important to building what's next.

The STANLEY Timeline


Frederick T. Stanley founds Stanley Works in New Britain, Connecticut.


Stanley Works purchases Stanley Rule & Level in New Britain Connecticut.


Stanley Works acquires North Brothers Manufacturing Company.


Stanley Works purchases Proto from Ingersoll Rand and it becomes Stanley Proto.


Stanley Works acquires Blick, a UK integrator of security solutions, communication, and time-management solutions, and CST Berger.


Stanley Works acquires Best Access Systems. The acquisition also prompted the creation of a new Access Controls Group for Stanley.


Stanley announces plans to acquire Frisco Bay Industries Ltd., a Canadian provider of security integration services, as well as ISR Solutions, Inc.


Stanley announces plans to acquire Security Group, Inc., which was composed of two companies: Sargent & Greenleaf, Inc. and Safemasters.


Stanley acquires Precision Hardware.


Stanley furthers its standing in the security market by acquiring HSM Electronic Protection Systems after it had been spun off from Honeywell.


Stanley acquires OSI Security, a provider of battery-operated wireless lock technology and supplies to government, education and healthcare industries.


Stanley merges with Black & Decker.


dormakaba acquires STANLEY Security’s mechanical division to form BEST Access Solutions, Inc.


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