"The Disston History" photographscirca 1850-1920
- circa 1850-1920
- Henry Disston & Sons, Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.) (Organization)
- Satterthwaite, Elizabeth B. (Author, Person)
General Physical Description
In 1855, Disston brought steel workers from England to open the first mill in the United States devoted to producing steel for saws. A rolling mill was added in 1862. As Disston expanded the line of tools he manufactured and business grew during the 1860s and 1870s.
Disston's sons Hamilton Disston (1844-1896) and Albert Disston (1849-1883) joined the firm in 1865 and 1870 respectively. In 1872 fire destroyed a large part of the original factory, and Disston sought a new location for his works, settling on the village of Tacony, north and east of Philadelphia along the Delaware River. Construction on Disston's new saw works began in 1872 and by 1876, Disston was also building a large number of houses for employees to rent or purchase and contributing funds and materials for the building of schools and churches.
The firm remained under the control of Henry Disston's extended family after his death in 1878. The firm was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania in 1886. The Disston family sold the company to the H.K. Porter Company, Inc. of Pittsburgh in 1955. Operated by Porter as a subsidiary, Disston, Inc., the operation was sold to Sandvik AB of Sweden in 1972. It was sold to R.A.F. Industries, Inc., in 1984 and reorganized as Disston Precision Incorporated. The new company still manufactures saws and other flat steel products in custom lots under the Disston brand name in Philadelphia.
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- The Disston History photographs
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