Short History

Why should you consider Snow & Nealley hand tools? One of the reasons is the company has a history of producing quality products for over one and a half centuries. It all started back in 1864.

Bangor, Maine was a hub for logging and shipbuilding in the state. Two men named Charles Snow and Edward Bowdoin Nealley observed that there was a demand for sturdy, high-quality tools. In 1864 they launched a shipping warehouse, which founded Snow & Nealley.

Nealley managed the operations, which helped the company to become quite a successful business. During his over three decades with the company, it launched various top-selling axes and mauls. They became the featured products of the brand.

Edward’s son named William Pope Nealley took over as president in 187. They realized that the use of steam in the industry had ended the shipping industry’s demand for chandler skills. However, the logging industry was still thriving up-river from the city of Bangor. Some companies in the area were developing big forests in the area. This required steel tools throughout the state of Maine.

Within time Nealley bought out Snow’s share of the company. Following World War I the growing middle class boosted demand for tools for homes and farms. Snow & Nealley helped to meet this demand by launched axes models that were used in the home.

Then in 1920, William talked about marketing the company’s products in a catalog that was owned by a Mainer named Leon L. Bean. The business relationship between L. L. Bean and Snow & Nealley lasted for decades.

William passed away in 1933 soon after the Great Depression started to affect Maine. His son then took over as president of the company. He ran the company for over two decades. He helped to guide the company through the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Edward’s son named William “Bill” became the next company president in 1956. Bill managed the company during the next 25 years. When he passed away his wife Louis took over as president in 1984. She developed a new line of garden tools that makes up over 70% of the company’s business now.

Louis loved gardening and used her knowledge to help affect the design of the company’s garden tools. She tested each new product prototype in her home’s garden. Some of the concepts that she helped to introduce were long handles for old gardeners and ergonomic handles.

These innovations and changes in Maine’s economy during the 1980s resulted in Snow &Nealley focusing mainly on garden tools. It still sold other products including axes & mauls. However, the company’s bread and butter during this decade were its garden tools.

The company decided to end it garden tool line in 2004. This was due to factors such as globalization and rising manufacturing costs. It’s difficult for US companies to compete with emerging markets where products can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost as in developed countries. The company now focuses on producing axes, which was included in its original product lines back in the 1860s