Sam Collins and the Collins Company

In 1826, Samuel Collins, his brother David, and cousin William Wells formed “Collins & Company” (later The Collins Company) to establish a factory for the manufacture of axes.

They purchased, for $2,800 the old Humphrey sawmill and gristmill with breast water-wheels, water privileges with rights to build a log dam, on the east bank of the Farmington River along with five acres at South Canton, Connecticut.

They started out to build a superior quality axe business without reference to cost, and demand increased rapidly. The Company proved to be one of the most innovative edged tool manufacturers. It became the world’s largest manufacturer of edge tools, including: axes, adzes, bush-hooks, cane-knives, hatchets, hammers, hoes, machetes, mattocks, picks, plows, shovels and sledges. Collins axes and tools were known as the “Standard of the World,” a reputation rightly bestowed for the many years of cumulative experience of good tool making. Sam’s legacy includes the factory village of Collinsville, which he built in southwest Canton, 14 miles west of Hartford, Connecticut. He was respected for his honesty, integrity, progressiveness, along with his commitment to the Company, his employees and the Village of Collinsville.

From “The Collins Company of Collinsville, Connecticut” book by Thomas Dunmore Ayres, Kathleen McLeod Taylor. This book is available for sale in our online Gift Shop and in the Museum Gift Shop.

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