Goodell-Pratt is another forgotten maker of hand tools and small machine tools in the USA. I believe they were absorbed into Millers-Falls. G-P made good hand tools, some machinist tools, and small lathes and bench drills. Not top of the line, but serviceable for light/hobby use.
Nicholson, the file maker, was in Providence, R.I. I have a booklet entitle 'File Filosophy', my late father having gotten in prior to my birth (1950). In that booklet, Nicholson speaks of the file brands they absorbed: Johnson and Kelly come to mind. With hand filing almost an unknown skill, good files made in the USA are almost an unknown. I've had some very good files made by Simmons, the saw makers.
On this same tack: not so long ago, circular saw blades were made of steel and did not have carbide teeth. Portable compound mitre saws and similar did not exist.
Woodworkers and carpenters used steel hand saws and circular saws that had to be filed and set. Some carpenters, woodworkers, and small sawmill operators (such as farmers or woodlot owners) would hand file and set the teeth on their own saws- both handsaws and circular saws. This created a demand for 'threesquare saw files' and 'mill files', a file made to file the flat surfaces and gullets of circular saw teeth. Another type file that is about extinct is known as an 'ignition' or 'contact point' file. These were very thin fine cut files made to slip between contact points on automotive engine distributors or magnetos or electrical relays. I have a few of these 'contact point files' in my tools. After filing contact points, they were polished with a semi-flexible strip of very fine abrasive (some mechanics called it a 'points stone').
I have a hard time accepting the files marketed under Nicholson's name. Blue plastic molded-on handles on a poor substitute for what Nicholson once made. Molded-on handles on files just does not look right to me. A proper wood file handle is what I grew up using.
As for bearing scrapers, there was Mound Tool, of Wheeling, West Virginia. Mound seemed to be a prolific maker of 'spoon' type bearing scrapers as well as other forged tool steel bearing scrapers. They came in sets, either in a canvas roll, or in a wood box with sliding lid (and 'finger joints' at the corners). I have a number of Mound Tool bearing scrapers in my tools, and use them on babbitted bearings.
Speaking of files and bearing scrapers: a good file with the teeth worn beyond any use was (and still is, by me at least) considered as 'good file steel'. Grind off what's left of the teeth to create a smooth surface, and it's material for forging other tools. I've forged scrapers and knives from old files. The reason for grinding off the teeth (or 'cuts' as the grooves are called) is to prevent folding these over during forging and having a less-than-solid forged tool.
Hammer handles are another subject that set me back on my heels early last fall. I had been to a yard sale and bought a 'shingler's hatchet' for 5 bucks. Nice old hatchet, no damage, made by one of those edge tool firms that once existed in the US (forget the name). A buddy was putting standing seam metal roofing on our garage and on my blacksmith shed. He is a skilled roofer who does a lot of cedar shake roofs as well as skilled with copper and slate roofing. I showed him the shingler's hatchet and his eyes lit up.He said he had a big cedar shake job coming up. I told him I'd give him the hatchet in shape for him to use. The handle was bad, so I removed it. I went to the local hardware store and picked a "Link" brand hickory handle off the rack. Nothing fancy. When the clerk scanned the bar code on the handle, she told me it was SEVENTEEN DOLLARS ! I let go with an exclaimation of disbelief and had her check the price. Seventeen bucks. I bought the handle and for the coup de grace, it had only a wood wedge with it. I filed a steel wedge out of a piece of scrap.I like to drive the wood wedges in the slit in the handles, putting some wood glue on them. When the wood wedge is driven home, I drive a steel wedge cross-wise to it. I tend to save pieces of sledge handles and other hardwood handles and often will make a handle, but this time, I wanted to get the hatchet ready to give to my buddy. He was delighted with it.
There were once a large number US edge-tool makers. Most are long gone. Recently, a bro of mine and I were working putting 4/4's pine siding boards on my blacksmith shed. He had logged and milled the boards himself. We needed to fit the ends of some of the boards between a top header and a roof purlin. Some of the boards were a little tight (roof purlins also rough sawn lumber). My bro pulled out a cute little hand adze. He said it was a "cooper's adz (OK, who do you spell 'adz' ?). The cooper's adz was a yard sale find over 50 years ago. He had it stoned to a keen cutting edge and quickly adjusted the thickness of the boards to fit where they needed to go. I checked the name on the adz and the company that made it was out of business by 1880 or thereabouts. Still a good tool, held a keen cutting edge, and well made for the purpose. In my bro's hands, it was quicker and neater than using an angle grinder with a coarse sanding disc or using a hoof rasp (another tool I keep handy).
PEXTO is another brand of US hand tool that vanished. PEXTO is a kind of nickname for "Peck, Stowe, and Wilcox", a firm in Connecticut. Pexto made hand tools as well as tinsmith's and sheet metal working equipment such as 'jump shears', brakes, roll formers and similar. Pexto made snips, rivet snaps, tinners' hammers, 'wing' dividers', framing squares, and other hand tools. Good quality tools and good quality sheet metal working equipment.
In our home kitchen, I have a medium sized very old meat cleaver. It was made by "Bridge Tool Company". They were in St. Louis, but that is all I could find out about them. Dad bought the cleaver at an auction of a butcher shop down in Brooklyn well over 50 years ago and the cleaver was old then. It is really good steel, well made. I use it as a cleaver, and I also use the flat side of it for pounding meats to make schnitzel. A good overhand swing or two with the flat side of that cleaver, and you have a piece of meat thin enough to use for shim stock. Modern cleavers sold in 'gourmet' cook stores and thru catalogs are wimpy versions. As I wrote, Bridge Tool is otherwise unknown, but I wonder if they forged other tools.
In Hudson, NY, there was Mephisto Tool. Until recently, they forged cold chisels, pry bars, calking and yarning irons (for making up joints on cast iron soil pipe). They also forged and made 'ice tools' for handling ice cakes and the like. Their location, in Hudson, NY, was in the midst of a bygone industry: cutting cake ice when the Hudson River froze and laying it up in ice-houses or shipping down to NYC. Hence, the ice tools in their lineup. Mephisto, as a name still exists, but is elsewhere and likely not the forge shop it once was in Hudson, NY.
While not a 'vanished brand', I will mention the Vermont firm of Trow & Holden. They are a forge shop still in business, making tools primarily for stone carving and quarrying. A few years back, my bro (the guy who has the cooper's adz) called me to ask about stone carving tools. His wife was dying of cancer, and was at home with hospice in the house. My bro and his wife had decided on a 'green burial', so no 'raised' or 'above ground' grave stones. A flat slab of natural or native stone (bluestone in our Catskills) was allowed. I had learned of Trow & Holden from Bud Provin (Jim Rosen will know the name), a motorcycle mechanic in Vermont. Bud works on old motorcycles and used to take machine shop work to Trow & Holden. Bud had mentioned to me that I'd like their shop, knowing the kind of work I do.
I called T & H and talked to a nice, knowledgable and sympathetic lady. She recommended a few 'lettering chisels' and a small hammer with a 'truncated cone' head for tapping them. I bought the set for my bro, and he sat near his wife's bed, quietly tapping away to letter her name and epitaph on a flat piece of bluestone. I was a pallbearer as we carried her remains out of their house in a wicker casket, and helped set the bluestone slab on top of her grave after we backfilled it.
T & H has quite a shop, doing forging as well as machine work. They also make a line of carbide-tipped stone working tools, as well as tools for pneumatic sculpting and carving hammers, so have kept in step with the times.
Another brand that used to exist was Kraueter. Dad had a few pairs of electrician's or 'linemans' pliers made by them, and I have one firm joint caliper and pair of 'wing dividers' made by them. Good old tools, which I still use. Another one-of-a-kind tool that I have is a heavy 'S' shaped adjustable wrench with the name "Westcott" on it, as well "Oneida Chuck Company" as the makers. I bought that wrench new in an old hardware store on Reade Street in lower Manhattan, probably around 1962 for small money. I have an Oneida 4 jaw chuck on my 13" LeBlond Regal lathe, and have seen a few "combination" Oneida lathe chucks over the years.
As this thread evolves, I find myself remembering all the old names of US tool making firms that have passed from the scene. I am fortunate in that my late father liked good tools and accumulated a good assortment which passed to me.