Whos Who - A history of drywall tools

 
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Automatic taping tools history


In 1939, brothers Robert and Stan Ames started experimenting with new ways of finishing drywall in Georgia. They were painters and plasterers who came up with the Corner Shoe, which was the first of a long line of drywall tools. The Corner Shoe applied joint compound to seams using air pressure and a long hose. Ames brothers came up with the pre-curser of today's Bazooka (automatic taper) in 1945. This first taper was battery powered and weighed more than 100 pounds when fully loaded. In 1951 Ames brothers introduced the first drywall boxes and nail spotters. In 1954 the automatic taper was invented by Robert Ames. The Ames brothers sold their company, Belmont Manufacturing of San Carlos California and its patents for $5.2 million dollars to Bliss and Laughlin Industries from Illinois in September of 1962. The company was renamed Axia Incorporated in 1982. In October 1984, Axia was acquired through a leveraged buyout by affiliates of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., certain members of senior management, and other investors.

Tape Tech Tools had been operating from Redmond, Washington. In 1982 TapeTech joined with Axia. TapeTech Tools and Ames Taping Tools Systems are wholly owned subsiduaries of Axia. Axia is a subsidiary under Ames Holdings. Ames Taping Tools were primarily involved in the rental and servicing of drywall tools. Tape Tech markets and sells the Ames drywall tools in a golden colour. Ames was in bankruptcy filing in December, 2009 for Chapter 11 protection with a debt of $161 million. In July 2010 they were converting to Chapter 7 liquidation. They have re-surfaced and still renting and selling tools. Ames is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia


Tapeworm – Tapeworm Automatic Taper by Murco Wall Products was the first brand of automatic taper available for purchase in 1977. Murco Wall Products have stores in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama, and California, and still market their silver coloured Tapeworm Tools.


Columbia – Columbia Taping Tools got its start in 1979 when Bernie St. James was involved in Nanaimo Tools then Tornado Tools. Bernie was making tools out of his garage on Vancouver Island at Columbia Beach (near Parksville) and changed the name to Columbia Taping Tools. They are now based out of Surrey, B.C., They are a family run business and make some of the best tools in the drywall business. Columbia also makes a wide variety of drywall tools for Marshalltown and more recently a taper for Wall Tools.


Drywall Master - Larry D'Souza founded Tapemaster Tools in 1980. He later formed Drywall Master in 2000. With the company is Larry's son Sunil D'Souza and Robert “Johnny” Payne who started with the Ames Brothers. Drywall Master is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and continue to produce quality tools.

Concorde Taping Tools, (Concorde Tools Corp.) Surrey, B.C. was owned by Donald Mark MacMillan, an inventor and former drywall finisher and Raymond Bernier. LFD Industries (Yee Bun Lee, David Fung and David ****) purchased Concorde in June 1990 and kept Macmillan on as a consultant. Macmillan left Concorde in 1997 and formed Northstar in December 1997 with Mr. ****. Concorde sold the patents on their red tools to Ames in 1999.


NorthStar Tool Corporation - The first tool Mark Macmillan built was the AdjuStar extendable flat box handle, acknowledged to be the “state of the art” in adjustable handles. The first Northstar AdjuStar was sold in March of 2000. Their products were a metallic green in colour and they were British Columbia based. In 2007 Northstar affiliated with ToolPro and their tools are no longer being made.


Drywall Tools Inc. out of San Carlos, California was started by many of the inventors of the original drywall tools at Ames and later became Premier Taping Tools.


Premier Taping Tools was based out of Stockton, California and started by Robert Ames, Stan Ames and Carl Raff in 1974. They developed what became know as the “Blue Tools”. The company was acquired by Axia and then shut down. The Premier tools became the basis of the TapePro and BlueLine tools.


Belmont Taping Tools - Belmont Taping Tools is owned and operated by Carl F. Raff in Belmont, California. Carl worked with Bob and Stan Ames as a principal developer of both the original Ames Taping Tools and the Premier Drywall Tools. They were a light purple in colour.


TapePro Drywall Tools – Stewart Orchard started this company in Australia in 2001. Stewart is a son of Graeme Orchard, owner of Wallboard Tools in Australia. Stewart had worked for some time at Premier Taping Tools


Blue Line Drywall Tools - Blue Line Drywall Tools was launched in 2002 with some of the key people from Premier Taping Tools. TapePro Drywall Tools is part owner of Blue Line. The company was based in Stockton, California.


Goldblatt - H. Goldblatt Tool Company in Kansas City was started in 1885 by Henry Goldblatt and was primarily involved in cement trowels. It ended up in the hands of Axia Incorporated and in 1992 it was purchased by Stanley Works. FinishPro Tools of Lenexa, Kansas purchased from Stanley the Goldblatt name in 2006. In 2010 Goldblatt Tool Company was sold to Hong Kong interests and renamed Goldblatt Industries. Goldblatt continues to operate in Kansas and Shanghai,China. They have a line of bright red coloured automatic taping tools.


Wilco Drywall Tools – Established in 1985 with Willis Trout in Pennsylvania.


*note – the above information was compiled by me from information obtained through the internet and may be subject to errors. If there is any errors you can contact me and I can make the changes. Mudshark...

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Old 01-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Very interesting information! Thanks for taking the time to compile.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


SO...In 1939 some redneck of Scottish decent was the founder of the production tool....SOB!!! I would have never guessed that one..
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Wow, you wrote that out all by yourself Mudshark, I'm impressed

Thank God Columbia didn't keep the name Nanaimo tools, I would get the munchies all the time, saying that name
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


In the year 2001 Gazman picked up a dunny brush, The end.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudshark View Post
Automatic taping tools history


In 1939, brothers Robert and Stan Ames started experimenting with new ways of finishing drywall in Georgia. They were painters and plasterers who came up with the Corner Shoe, Mudshark...
Don't agree
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools




The Ames Brothers were 4
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #8
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools



Really admire Ames Bros work. Not only they created the basis of what is ATM tools business today (bazooka, flat box, corner finishers, nail spoter) Fortunately their glory name is present at Ames brand but also they were also the basis of TapePro-Blueline USA company (greater atm tool innovator IMO)
Really don't unserstand how Robert and Stan inexplicably are not yet present at Wikipedia.

I'll copy paste an article by Rhardman I liked (from tapingandjointing.com) and may be important in the way of knowing Whos who in DW business, although most you have already read.

I spoke with Robert Ames back in the 90's just before he was going in for eye surgery. I've been kicking myself ever since for not following up with him afterwards. We had a tentative appointment to talk about some ideas I wanted his input on.

*As I understand it, Robert and Stan worked on the hose fed system for years until they finally came up with the batch method that is available today. They first started in the 30's and didn't make any real money until they sold their company, "Belmont Manufacturing" of San Carlos Californa for $5.2 million dollars to a company named Bliss and Laughlin in September of 1962. Carl Raff was also involved but I'm not sure how the partnership was structured. Carl started another company several years ago also called "Belmont Manufacturing" that sold the same Ames design.


After Bliss and Laughlin changed their name to Axia, the patents ran out and Tape Tech (of Redmond, Washington) became Ames first real competitor. Apparently they gained sufficient market share to convince Ames to buy them. Also in the 90's, I went to the Ames facility in Belmont, California for some research I was doing. About this time Robert started Premier Taping Tools which Ames (now Axia) also bought. During the years Ames has also purchased Concorde and a couple of other companies I can't remember the names of. Typically, Ames doesn't promote the purchase of their tools in areas were their rental market is good. And other than Tape Tech they scrap the company and no longer support the tools out in the field.


I have a lot of respect for Robert and Stan Ames. When I was trying to find Robert (to talk "ideas") I couldn't find him in the phone book but I did find Stan. When I called, I reached his wife who told me that Stan had died not long before. She was a wonderful lady and very nice. I told her of the research I had done and what a great thing her husband and Robert had accomplished. She was very sweet in the conversation and gave me Roberts phone number.


Today, the last member of the original Ames team is working at Drywall Master. With Robert and Stan he started as the shipping clerk. Now Johnny's the technical guru at DM. I talked with him a couple of weeks ago. He's a great guy and has wonderful stories. You can get a glimpse of Johnny in the first couple minutes on youtube if you search "Drywall Master." Johnny also has many of the orginal Ames prototypes. Apparently after Ames moved to Atlanta, the President of Ames told someone to throw all of the prototypes in the garbage. Thankfully they ended up with Johnny.


Axia later sold the company to an investment firm in New York called Cortec. A little over a year ago Cortec sold Ames to Aurora for just under $300,000,000.00. I was told by one of their competitors that they were having money problems but I didn't realize it was a Chapter 11 situation.


Rick

*The information I have was found by a ton of patent and library researching and by talking to several old timers. I think I'm fairly accurate on this but am always open to correction...
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudshark View Post
Automatic taping tools history


In 1939, brothers Robert and Stan Ames started experimenting with new ways of finishing drywall in Georgia. They were painters and plasterers who came up with the Corner Shoe, which was the first of a long line of drywall tools. The Corner Shoe applied joint compound to seams using air pressure and a long hose. Ames brothers came up with the pre-curser of today's Bazooka (automatic taper) in 1945. This first taper was battery powered and weighed more than 100 pounds when fully loaded. In 1951 Ames brothers introduced the first drywall boxes and nail spotters. In 1954 the automatic taper was invented by Robert Ames. The Ames brothers sold their company, Belmont Manufacturing of San Carlos California and its patents for $5.2 million dollars to Bliss and Laughlin Industries from Illinois in September of 1962. The company was renamed Axia Incorporated in 1982. In October 1984, Axia was acquired through a leveraged buyout by affiliates of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., certain members of senior management, and other investors.

Tape Tech Tools had been operating from Redmond, Washington. In 1982 TapeTech joined with Axia. TapeTech Tools and Ames Taping Tools Systems are wholly owned subsiduaries of Axia. Axia is a subsidiary under Ames Holdings. Ames Taping Tools were primarily involved in the rental and servicing of drywall tools. Tape Tech markets and sells the Ames drywall tools in a golden colour. Ames was in bankruptcy filing in December, 2009 for Chapter 11 protection with a debt of $161 million. In July 2010 they were converting to Chapter 7 liquidation. They have re-surfaced and still renting and selling tools. Ames is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia


Tapeworm – Tapeworm Automatic Taper by Murco Wall Products was the first brand of automatic taper available for purchase in 1977. Murco Wall Products have stores in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama, and California, and still market their silver coloured Tapeworm Tools.


Columbia – Columbia Taping Tools got its start in 1979 when Bernie St. James was involved in Nanaimo Tools then Tornado Tools. Bernie was making tools out of his garage on Vancouver Island at Columbia Beach (near Parksville) and changed the name to Columbia Taping Tools. They are now based out of Surrey, B.C., They are a family run business and make some of the best tools in the drywall business. Columbia also makes a wide variety of drywall tools for Marshalltown and more recently a taper for Wall Tools.


Drywall Master - Larry D'Souza founded Tapemaster Tools in 1980. He later formed Drywall Master in 2000. With the company is Larry's son Sunil D'Souza and Robert “Johnny” Payne who started with the Ames Brothers. Drywall Master is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and continue to produce quality tools.

Concorde Taping Tools, (Concorde Tools Corp.) Surrey, B.C. was owned by Donald Mark MacMillan, an inventor and former drywall finisher and Raymond Bernier. LFD Industries (Yee Bun Lee, David Fung and David ****) purchased Concorde in June 1990 and kept Macmillan on as a consultant. Macmillan left Concorde in 1997 and formed Northstar in December 1997 with Mr. ****. Concorde sold the patents on their red tools to Ames in 1999.


NorthStar Tool Corporation - The first tool Mark Macmillan built was the AdjuStar extendable flat box handle, acknowledged to be the “state of the art” in adjustable handles. The first Northstar AdjuStar was sold in March of 2000. Their products were a metallic green in colour and they were British Columbia based. In 2007 Northstar affiliated with ToolPro and their tools are no longer being made.


Drywall Tools Inc. out of San Carlos, California was started by many of the inventors of the original drywall tools at Ames and later became Premier Taping Tools.


Premier Taping Tools was based out of Stockton, California and started by Robert Ames, Stan Ames and Carl Raff in 1974. They developed what became know as the “Blue Tools”. The company was acquired by Axia and then shut down. The Premier tools became the basis of the TapePro and BlueLine tools.


Belmont Taping Tools - Belmont Taping Tools is owned and operated by Carl F. Raff in Belmont, California. Carl worked with Bob and Stan Ames as a principal developer of both the original Ames Taping Tools and the Premier Drywall Tools. They were a light purple in colour.


TapePro Drywall Tools – Stewart Orchard started this company in Australia in 2001. Stewart is a son of Graeme Orchard, owner of Wallboard Tools in Australia. Stewart had worked for some time at Premier Taping Tools


Blue Line Drywall Tools - Blue Line Drywall Tools was launched in 2002 with some of the key people from Premier Taping Tools. TapePro Drywall Tools is part owner of Blue Line. The company was based in Stockton, California.


Goldblatt - H. Goldblatt Tool Company in Kansas City was started in 1885 by Henry Goldblatt and was primarily involved in cement trowels. It ended up in the hands of Axia Incorporated and in 1992 it was purchased by Stanley Works. FinishPro Tools of Lenexa, Kansas purchased from Stanley the Goldblatt name in 2006. In 2010 Goldblatt Tool Company was sold to Hong Kong interests and renamed Goldblatt Industries. Goldblatt continues to operate in Kansas and Shanghai,China. They have a line of bright red coloured automatic taping tools.


Wilco Drywall Tools – Established in 1985 with Willis Trout in Pennsylvania.


*note – the above information was compiled by me from information obtained through the internet and may be subject to errors. If there is any errors you can contact me and I can make the changes. Mudshark...
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Re: Whos Who - A history of drywall tools


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudshark View Post
Automatic taping tools history



In 1939, brothers Robert and Stan Ames started experimenting with new ways of finishing drywall in Georgia.

I didn't think drywall came out till the mid to late 50's?
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