I'm not firing on all cylinders yet this morning, so while waiting for Derrick's Death by Coffee to warm me up, I was perusing the latest issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. I saw a short blurb about Park Tool celebrating its 45th anniversary this past year, and thought it might be of some interest to some of our blog readers.
Park Tool got its start when Howard Hawkins and Art Engstrom, owners of the Hazel Park Schwinn store in St. Paul, Minnesota, realized that there were not enough bike-specific tools to make their repair jobs easier, and so took their business in a new direction. One of the first products they created was a stand that held a bike up off of the ground to make it easier for mechanics to reach any part of the bike. This product led to today's version of the popular bike workstands that are found in our shops, as well as just about every bike shop around.
Park Tool has become the de facto standard in the bike industry for reliable tools, kind of the equivalent of Craftsman Tools that you'd find in the average home garage or auto shop. They are what we use in our repair shops, and the first that we recommend for anyone looking to do their own bike repair at home.
Park Tool is still based in St. Paul, and is still a family-owned business, with Howard Hawkins' son Eric now in charge. Over 80% of their products are made here in the good ole' U.S. of A! You can read more about them at http://www.parktool.com/, and peruse their products that we either carry in stock or can order from our Special-Order Catalog.