Home » What Do Ford and Milwaukee Tools Have in Common?
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Milwaukee Tools. They’re kind of like our parents- they’ve been around so long we don’t stop to think much about their origins. We just know they’re always on hand and reliable.

At the close of World War I, ca. 1918, Henry Ford was searching for a fabricator with the capability to produce a ¼” power drill that was both compact and lightweight. A young man by the name of A.H. Petersen accepted the challenge and created a five- pound power tool with a Westinghouse motor that Petersen called the Hole Shooter. It was the first drill light enough to be operated with one hand, strong enough to handle the task.

Eventually Petersen teamed up with a gentleman named Albert F. Siebert and together they formed the  A.H. Petersen Company, manufacturing tools. Tragically, in 1924, the factory was destroyed by a fire.

Siebert was able to buy the remaining assets of the company and reopened as Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation. Starting with the Petersen Hole Shooter- Milwaukee embarked on more than a century of innovation.

In the 1930’s:

Milwaukee obtains an equipment specification rating for a new, redesigned electric drill. They began applying Navy Standards to all of their portable tools.

Milwaukee develops a lightweight, ¾” hammer/drill, designed for drilling and sinking anchors into concrete.

In the late 1930’s, with a strong reputation among welders, Milwaukee is asked to develop sanders and grinders. The result was a 15 pound tool developed to take any field punishment thrown at it.

In WWII Milwaukee was a preferred manufacturer of hand tools, already building to Navy Standards, they were used on ship and airplane production.


Milwaukee adds a spring clutch to their sander/grinder. So popular, it was added to the circular saws.

Milwaukee introduces the ½” right angle drill- popular with electricians and plumbers. Drills wood and steel and allows access to tight places.

Sawzall Reciprocating Saw is introduced in 1951.

The ‘70’s saw significant expansion and a move to facilities outside of Wisconsin. Subsequently they introduced Hole Hawg, Super Sawzall, and an extensive line of 18volt Contractor Cordless Tools.

2008 the Ice Hardened Strengthening Technology, a cryogenic hardening technology outlasting their competition.

Today, Milwaukee continues to innovate. From Packouts to PPE for the job- and everything in between, Milwaukee continues to “disrupt” the tool industry- in a good way.

IECC is happy to have Milwaukee Tools for an Associate Partner and we thank them for their sponsorship of our Apprentice of the Month Program.

Jenny Boone
IECC Business Development
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