Timeline

  1. 1920sWhile working in a Kansas City scissor factory, Otto Froeschl fabricated the idea to angle the nose of pliers 32 degrees to create more leverage.
  2. 1922Brothers, Otto and Paul Froeschl, an engineer and banker by trade, along with Henry J. Wilde, establish Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Company in Kansas City, MO at 29th and Fairmount Avenue. Mr Wilde, a successful local fur trapper, invested in the new start-up and idea.
  3. 1928Wilde Tool Files for Patent Protection
  4. 1931Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Co. is granted US Patent #1,800,447 for inventing the Original Angle Nose Pliers, now a standard design for pliers worldwide.
  5. 1933Height of Depression – In need of distribution for mass production, Paul and Otto start soliciting their pliers to merchandisers.
  6. 1936Private-label begins with customers Montgomery Ward, Sears Roebuck Co., Western Auto, & J.C. Penney’s.  Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Co. is nicknamed The Pliersmiths for their patented Wilde Wrench.
  7. 1940Second Generation – The Paul Froeschl Family poses for a post-wedding picture. Paul Jr. and Phil Sr., each pictured on the far-right, will soon enter the military before returning home as second generation owners.
  8. 1941World War II – With steel being rationed and orders to fill, Wilde Tool gains government contracts to manufacture bayonets for access to steel and continued pliers production.

  9. 1943-ishWilde Tool is notified their bayonet contracts will not be renewed. The US Government advises Wilde Tool to continue manufacturing pliers and other hand tools for the war effort.
  10. 1945Production of Tongue and Groove Pliers (C-Joint / Groove Joint)
  11. 1951Great Flood of 1951 – With the manufacturing facility at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the flood forced looking at relocation.
  12. 1954Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Co. files as Wilde Tool Co., Inc. in the State of Kansas.
  13. 1955Groundbreaking – Production moves to new 32,500 sq. ft. forge and machine facility in Hiawatha, Kansas.


  14. 19562nd Generation (Paul Jr. / Phil Sr.) Take Over Day-to-Day Management




  15. 1957Wilde Drop Forge and Tool Company Dissolves
  16. 1960Grip Tight Clip Trademarked – Recognized in the industry on Water Pump Pliers, the Grip Tight Clip holds slip-joint pliers in positive alignment while under pressure.

  17. 1967Expansion 1 – 5,800 sq. ft. (Addition to Polishing Room)
  18. 1969Expansion 2 – 3,925 sq. ft. (Assembly / Packing / Shipping Room)
    Expansion 3 – 6,105 sq. ft. (Steel Storage / Shearing)
  19. 19703rd Generation Begins Full-Time Employment
    WITCO® Brand – An acronym for Wilde Tool Company, Witco was an industry-standard line of gripped pliers.
    Wilde® / Quality Hand Tools / Witco® Triple Circle Logo Introduced
  20. 1971Expansion 4 – 4,500 sq. ft. (Nickel and Chrome Plating Room)
  21. 1972Paul Froeschl Jr. Becomes President
  22. 1976Expansion 5 – 10,907 sq. ft. (Forge / Heat-Treating Room)
  23. 1980Pipe Wrench Plier® Developed – A regional pizza company, researching a tool to remove their new deep-dish pizzas, coordinated with Wilde Tool to develop the 90° nose and longer handles.
  24. 1981Pipe Wrench Plier® Introduced into Wilde Product Line
  25. 1984Phil Froeschl Sr. becomes President of Wilde Tool
  26. 1988Expansion 6 – 9,340 sq. ft. (Warehouse / Shipping / Offices)
  27. 1989Technology – Packaging Barcodes Implemented for Retail (0854320)
  28. 1990Expansion 7 – 8,435 sq. ft. (Maintenance Dept. / Tool and Die Shop)
  29. 19923rd Generation Takes Over Day-to-Day Management
    Dan Froeschl becomes President of Wilde Tool
  30. 20004th Generation Begins Full-Time Employment
    First Wilde Website Introduced
  31. 2003Marty Froeschl Becomes President
  32. 2010Initiative to Promote Wilde Brand
  33. 2011New Wilde Tool Logo
  34. 2012Flush Fastener Pliers – The counter-sunk nut and bolt allow the pliers to grip low-profile fasteners and reach into tight spaces.
  35. 2013Matt Froeschl Becomes President
  36. 20145th Generation Begins Part-Time Employment as Lawn Care Specialists
  37. 2017New / Current Wilde Website Introduced
  38. TBDSucceeding President – Phil Froeschl, Jr.

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