History of Milwaukee

The Beginning

Near the end of World War I, a young man named Henry Ford met with a manufacturer called A.H. Peterson and brought to him a simple product request. Peterson had been producing tools for the Ford Motor Co. Henry Ford asked Peterson to build a smaller, lighter and portable 1/4" capacity power drill. 

From this request, Peterson created the Hole-Shooter - a 5 pound drill with a series type Westinghouse motor that can stand up against the same forces imposed on an electric drill designed for heavy work loads.

1n 1922, A.F Siebert joined Peterson and created the A.H Peterson Company. However, this was short lived as in 1923 a devastating fire struck their facility. Unable to overcome this they closed down and sent it to auction. A.F. Siebert bought this in 1924 with the intention to fully develop the Hole-Shooter. This began the start of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp (METC). 

The Early Years

At the start, the METC kept its business going by repairing tools that were already on the market. In doing this, they were able to keep up doing market research and discovering what the marketplace wants, learning how it can be supplied to them at a reasonable cost, while continuing to make a profit along the way. 

The Hole-Shooter underwent many changes and developments to make it stronger, more durable and making it meet the needs of the marketplace. 

The Hole-Shooter rapidly won acceptance within the automotive and heavier metalworking industries. In addition to this, Milwaukee also expanded its facilities to manufacture their own horsepower motors to meet specific speed and power requirements.

Setting the Standard

Word of the new improvements quickly spread and soon, specifications for tools produced by Milwaukee rivalled the equipment standards of the US Government.

In 1930, the company achieved an acceptable equipment specification rating from the government for its new portable electric drill. In no time at all, Navy technical standards were being applied to the manufacturing of Milwaukee tools. 

In 1935, a lightweight 3/4" electric hammer-drill for drilling in concrete. This was easily accepted and consequently followed by a shorter, lighter and more specialised unit which was designed specifically for precision drilling. 

World War II

This bought about the increase in need for tools. Hole-Shooters were used extensively in the manufacture of airplanes.

Milwaukee built more powerful motors at this time. This prompted the Navy to start ordering generous amounts from them.

Meeting a Need for Products

Milwaukee's success accelerated in the post-war years and they continued developing new tools to match the needs of professionals. This has continued to the present day where the company currently employs over 1,000 people globally.