Highlights in Black & Decker's history

March 14, 2010

1910: Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker quit their jobs and form their own company with $1,200 in capital. They initially made a bottle-capping machine and a candy-dipping device. They soon begin work on a power drill from a plant on South Calvert Street in today's Inner Harbor.

1917: The firm patents a drill design, called the world's first portable power drill with a pistol grip. It is related to a portable air-compressor they had also patented. Also, Black & Decker's first plant opens in Towson.

1919: Sales at the young company surpass $1 million annually.

1923: The company begins selling a low-priced power drill.

1941: The company makes shells and tools for World War II.

1946: The first line of home utility drills is introduced after Alonzo G. Decker Jr., son of company's founder, notices that workers were stealing industrial power drills from defense contractors. The firm begins making electric drills, drill-bit sets, portable circular saws, jigsaws and sanders for the do-it-yourself market.

1961: Black & Decker introduces the DustBuster cordless vacuum. It also brought out the first battery-powered drill.

1968: Black & Decker develops a cordless power drill used on the Apollo 16 and 17 missions to the moon. The drill is used to drill the moon's surface in the early 1970s.

1995: Black & Decker begins operations in India and China. It introduces its DeWalt power tools to Europe and Latin America.

2003: Black & Decker acquires Baldwin Hardware.

2009: The company sees earnings decline in part because of the downturn in housing construction but says the demand for its products has started to stabilize.

Nov. 2, 2009: Black & Decker Corp. announces plans to merge with The Stanley Works in a $4.5 billion all-stock deal.

March 9: Black & Decker defended the independence of a company board member who approved the pending acquisition and a lucrative compensation package for chief executive Nolan D. Archibald, despite the director's real estate partnership with the CEO.

March 11: The New York Stock Exchange rebukes Black & Decker, saying it should have considered the real estate partnership when deeming that board member independent to evaluate the Stanley Works merger.

March 12: Shareholders of Black & Decker and Stanley Works shareholders approve the merger.

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