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Sam Collins PDF Print E-mail
"It has been said that our manufacturing villages have a demoralizing tendency. I wish to show there can be an exception. I would rather not make one cent than to have men go away from here worse than they came. My mind is not so bound up in the love of dollars and cents as to overlook the best welfare of our workman."

Samuel W. Collins, his brother, David, and a cousin, William Wells, founded the Collins Company in 1826. Prior to this time it took a blacksmith a whole day to fashion one axe and then it was not of very good material and was not sharpened. The Collins brothers were innovators; they brought together several workmen, made each a specialist in one step in axe manufacture (a production line) and produced a high quality, already sharpened axe. Daily output of finished axes steadily increased as newer machines and processes were introduced. Pennsylvania hard coal replaced the local charcoal and better grades of steel were developed. The iron originally came from the mines of northwestern Connecticut. The business prospered and expanded to the making of other edged tools. Axes and steel-bladed plows were needed to open up the West and Collins tools were used to help build the Trans-Siberian Railroad and also accompanied Admiral Peary on his polar expeditions.

More skilled workers were needed so Sam built duplex houses for them. He rented the houses for 25 dollars a year, provided they took in a single boarder employed by the Company, and provided that no alcohol was produced or sold on the premises - Sam was a confirmed teetotaler!

Pay was 12 to 16 dollars a month for a 72 hour work week, soon reduced to 60 hours (One of the first in the country to have a 10 hour workday). Room and board averaged about $1.50 a week! In the beginning, Mr. Collins paid his employees only once a year; this was to make certain they would stay on the job!

 
 
 
 

Hours of Operation

Summer Months:
(April through November)
Wednesday - Sunday 1 - 4 PM

Winter Months:
(December through March)
Saturday and Sunday 1 - 4 PM
or by special appointment.

Admissions:
Adults $4.00
Seniors $3.00
Children (ages 6-16)  $1.00
Tours: Available by appointment
starting at $20 based on size of group

Images of the Museum

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