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|Key people||Eric Hawkins, Howard Hawkins, and Art Engstrom|
Park Tool Company is a leading American designer, manufacturer and marketer of bicycle tools and equipment for both professional and home bicycle mechanics. It manufactures over 300 products that range from wheel truing stands to hex wrenches.
In 1963, Howard Hawkins and Art Engstrom were the owners of a bicycle shop in the Twin Cities area. They noticed that there were no tools available to repair the increasingly complex bicycles of the 1960s, so they began creating their own tools. The first was a stand that held the bike off the ground allowing convenient access to any part of the bike. Other area bike shops and Schwinn Bicycle Company liked the stands and requested a production model. Soon after, the company expanded to include wheel truing stands, then expanded further into consumer wrenches and gauges. By the early 1980s, Hawkins and Engstrom were a perennial top ten Schwinn dealer with three stores but sold their bicycle shops to focus their efforts on the tool business. Today, both Art Engstrom and Howard Hawkins are retired. Park Tool is owned and operated by Eric Hawkins, Howard Hawkins' son, and now offers more than 300 bicycle repair tools in their line.
The founders of Park Tool along with James E. Johnson developed a clamping device on their original bike repair stand, for which they received a United States Patent in 1976. The company has applied for and has been granted many patents since then, including a pizza cutter shaped like a penny-farthing. and several patents for bicycle specific repair tools.
Park tools typically incorporate blue into their design. Handles are frequently colored blue although some tools are colored differently so as to avoid mechanics confusing different tools of otherwise similar appearance. The color blue is a registered trademark and trade dress of the company.