|Type||Subsidiary of Ideal Industries|
|Founded||1798 in Ivoryton, Connecticut|
Pratt-Read is an American manufacturing company based in Shelton, Connecticut, that produces screwdrivers. It is a subsidiary of Ideal Industries. It is one of the oldest companies in the United States, having been founded in 1798.
Pratt-Read was founded in Ivoryton, Connecticut, in 1798 as Pratt, Read & Company, originally producing beads, buttons, and billiard balls from elephant tusks imported from Africa. The company began to specialize in manufacturing ivory piano keys in 1839 and eventually piano action mechanisms.
The company made its first screwdrivers in 1834 but stopped in 1840, instead selling the handles and blades to smaller companies. During World War II, the company continued producing screwdriver blades and suspended production of piano parts to manufacture Waco CG-4 gliders for the military. The company built 956 of the fabric-covered wood and steel airframes.
Piano part production continued after the war, but the company gradually shifted its focus to manufacturing screwdrivers, and in the late 1980s, ended its piano parts business, closing a facility in Central, South Carolina, and began to focus on screwdrivers exclusively. Pratt-Read manufactures its own handles, blades, and—after a 2005 acquisition of Wisconsin-based American Industrial Manufacturers—bits, all in the U.S., which it sells directly to users under its own name, as well as to manufacturers such as Stanley, Snap-on, Danaher, and Klein.
Two Pratt-Read cushion-grip screwdrivers, manufactured for the Craftsman brand.
- Palank, Jacqueline (2009-03-30). "Connecticut’s Second-Oldest Company Fights To Survive". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Pratt-Read Corporation: Private Company Information". Business Week. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Malcarne, Donald L.; Milkofsky, Brenda. "Ivory Cutting: The Rise and Decline of a Connecticut Industry". ConnecticutHistory.org. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
- Lomuscio, James (2004-03-05). "HAVENS; Weekender: Deep River, Conn.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Pratt-Read. "Pratt-Read History". Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- General Capital Partners. "Investment / Acquisition Opportunity". Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Dawkins, Pam. "Pratt-Read files Chapter 11: Shelton screwdriver maker continues to operate". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "IDEAL Acquires Tool Manufacturer Pratt-Read" (Press release). Ideal Industries. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-03-22.