The Henry Cheney Hammer Company was known for their “One-Armed Man” hammers. Several Cheney families called Fly Creek in Otsego, New York their home. Henry’s father, Alva, manufactured wagons. Henry would have been about thirteen years old when he began working for the local blacksmith although some reference dates would put him at seven. While working for Orester Badger, Henry met Silas W LeRoy (LeRow). The two began making a few hammers using tempered steel about 1836. He would have been fifteen years old.
As he prospered, Henry needed more space and access to more power. He moved to Little Falls in 1854. An axe factory was purchased in 1874. The edge tools were marked Cheney Corp. Little Falls, NY. The factory was sold after only five years making these edge tools fairly rare. The Trask brothers bought the axe factory.
Henry died in 1878. The company was liquidated by auction in 1881. A relative acquired the hammer division and continued production. George Waterman was president from 1899 till 1916. Titus Sheard Hose ran the company from 1917 till 1925. The Prentiss Vise Company bought Cheney in 1925 and continued operation as an independent company. Edwin H Mulford was president of Prentiss. His son, Elmer Mulford, became president of the hammer company.
Charles Parker bought Prentiss in 1948. No changes were made in the hammer company until 1954. The Collins Axe Factory bought Cheney in 1954 and moved production to Connecticut. This was the end of Little Falls. Mann Edge Tools bought the United States assets of Collins in 1966. Mann continued the hammers until about 1978.
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