Since 1940, Century Drill & Tool Corporation has offered professional quality Power Tool Accessories and Hand Tools for contractors, professional tradesmen, commercial automotive shops and do-it-yourselfers.
Heritage of Product Quality History (1940s, 1950s and 1960s)
Century began as a retail brand of an industrial drill manufacturer located in New York City. While the brand was originally created in 1940, by 1949 the company which owned the brand became formally known as Avildsen Tools and Machines, Inc. The industrial nature of our original owner's product is a legacy that remains with us even today. Century was at that time, and is still today, designed to perform under the most challenging of industrial applications.
For most of these early years the company was operated out of a building in New York City that is still known today as the Avildsen Building. The building stands at 94-100 Lafayette Street in the Tribeca section of Manhattan. At various times throughout its tenancy in the building, Avildsen used this Lafayette Street location to manufacture, store and sell tools.
Together with several other companies, Century thrived in this area surrounded by a cluster of hardware storage and showrooms centered at Lafayette and Walker streets. This area remained vital until the early 1960s when the fruit and produce markets moved to the Bronx and city planners subsequently identified large tracts of Tribeca for urban renewal.
Since the beginning Century was known for its innovation. Century was the first company to retail package a drill bit and was one of the first companies to barcode Power Tool Accessories. We offered unique products and merchandising that was considered ahead of its time. These innovative and award-winning packaging improvements included blister-packed drill sets that remain an industry standard even today.
By the mid 1960s, if you owned a hardware store, you sold Century drill bits. Century had become the dominant cutting tool brand in the hardware market and the leading private label packager. It is not uncommon even today to find some of the original blue bulk drill cabinets still in stores, a throwback to these earlier times. Throughout this period of time, and before the more recent marketing creations of other brands, Century was the ubiquitous brand leader in the retail market.
|Heritage of Automotive Application History (1970s and early 1980s)|
While the exact timing is unclear, at some point during this period of time the company had moved to Chicago, IL.
During these years Century was a trademark and separate operating division of corporate entities that included Allied Products Corporation and Atlas Fasteners Corp. Early on, the brand and its private label business flourished with the growth of the Midwest hardware cooperatives.
In the late 1960s Alvidsen sold the Century brand to Allied Products Corp. In turn, the new management team deemphasized the private label segment and lead the brand to unprecedented growth in the automotive aftermarket segment.
By 1985 the majority of Century's volume was dedicated to automotive repair and heavy duty fleet maintenance. We still benefit from their legacy as we enjoy the dominant share of the Power Tool Accessory category in today's automotive aftermarket retailers.
|Re-emergence of one of America's Great Industrial Brands History (2008-Present)|
In April 2008, Century Drill & Tool was purchased by a small group of local Green Bay, Wisconsin investors assembled by the current President/CEO Darrin Purcell. This group of investors brought a wide variety of management, sales, marketing and finance experience to Century amassed through various careers spent in consumer packaged goods. These previous experiences included health and beauty, paper, personal hygiene, household cleaners, food and food preparation products.
In June 2009, Century expanded its line of Hand Tools. After years of primarily focusing on Power Tool Accessories, we decided to bring our high level of service and quality to an expanded line of products. With over 130 primary hand tool products including hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, clamps, files and hacksaws, we are positioned today to create an entire product offering that will deliver quality solutions to the consumer while providing expanded supply chain efficiency to our trade customers.
In May 2009, at the National Hardware Show, we premiered our new branding and packaging designs. One year later, at the 2010 National Hardware Show, these designs earned Silver Award recognition in the NRHA's first ever Packaging and Merchandising Awards Program. The new branding celebrates our heritage and our strong commitment to quality. The redesigned packaging offers visual cues that help our customers make quick, yet correct buying decisions.
These cues include color coding to differentiate our quality levels, life span ratings to rationalize progressive pricing, illustrated cutting materials to highlight intended use, added feature call-outs to drive further differentiation and tri-lingual product descriptions and warnings. One thing that has not changed is the primary use of blue on our packaging. However, "The Power of the Blue Wall" today inspires a stronger emotion that is aspirational, motivational and underscores the high-quality inherent in the products.