Eugene Cornwell was a blacksmith from Ohio. He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell. Then he moved to Pennsylvania to work at the Keystone Forging Company. While there, Eugene and B L Coleman developed their secret process of forging, tempering, and treating tool steel.

Cornwell Quality Tools was established in Cuyahoga Falls in 1919. The first tools were largely hand forged punches and chisels. A joint venture with John A Kennedy occurred in 1925. The Kennedy Tool Company was incorporated in 1936. Kennedy left 2 years later to found Ken Tool.

Kennedy Manufacturing makes tool boxes in Van Wert, Ohio. Kennedy Manufacturing and the Kennedy Tool Company are two separate companies. Cornwell owns both. Kennedy Manufacturing was purchased in 2016.

Raymond H C Moeller and three others incorporated Cromwell in 1957 to acquire Cornwell. There were other changes in ownership. The company is employee owned today. Sales are through franchised tool trucks.

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