The legacy of Chicago Pneumatic
From designing the world’s first impact wrench to playing a role in the Apollo 8 space mission and powering construction of the Riyadh metro network, we have evolved and transformed with every decade and for the future. This is our journey:
- John W. Duntley meets steel magnate Charles M. Schwab in 1901 and Chicago Pneumatic is incorporated.
- We patent the first single-valve pneumatic hammer, and develop a new line of products including air tools and rock drills.
- We expand overseas, opening new offices in UK, Canada, and Germany.
- We produce a horizontal, two-cycle, semi-diesel oil engine to power our compressors.
- We perfect the Simplate valve, which replaces mechanical valves on compressors – a technological breakthrough adopted by all compressor manufacturers.
- Production begins for the gasoline-driven CPT car and ‘Little Giant’ trucks.
- We develop a new line of products to meet a growing demand for air tools and rock drills.
- We begin production of a 2-cycle, semi-diesel engine to power Chicago Pneumatic compressors.
- We manufacture a diesel engine that will be used in racing cars around Europe.
- We begin manufacturing rotary oil well drilling equipment, a technology that will continue to be used for oil prospecting into the next century.
- We design and manufacture the world’s first impact wrench, in both pneumatic and electric versions.
- Our tools and equipment are used in the excavation work and construction of the Empire State Building.
- Our construction and mining equipment is used in the making of landmarks such as the:
- Lincoln Tunnel, New York
- Triborough Bridge, New York
- Chicago subway system
- Boulder Dam, Arizona
- Grand Coulee Dam, Washington
- Eight dams comprising the Tennessee Valley Authority flood control and power generation project, and the
- Golden Gate suspension bridge, San Francisco.
- The image of Rosie the Riveter with her Chicago Pneumatic riveting hammer debuts on the Saturday Evening Post; it will go on to become a cultural emblem.
- We develop the hot dimpling machine which is used in almost all aircraft manufacturing at the time.
- Our drill bits break depth records approaching 20,000 ft.
- We introduce a portable broach puller for aircraft rivets.
- We introduce torque control impact wrenches in steel erection for the Tishman Building in New York.
- Our CP610 impact wrenches are used to assemble the Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Our torque control impact wrenches are used exclusively in assembling the deck structure of the Glen Canyon Bridge which connects Utah and Arizona.
- CP G-900 Tracdrils equipped with CP-450 DR drifters, CP-69 sinker drills and CP-39A sinker drills are used in construction of the two-lane highway through the historic Donner Pass.
- Our electric motor powers a pump that inflates three bags on the Apollo 8 capsule, upon splashdown in the Pacific.
- We customize tools for new aircraft designs: the Boeing 737 and 747, Lockheed L1011 and C5A, the Douglas DC-10 and British Aerospace’s Concorde.
- Our rock drills, compressors, and impact wrenches are used to construct the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.
- We introduce the world’s first speed ratchet, the CP728.
- We introduce our wrenches to an automotive market already familiar with our speed rachets.
- We roll out new industrial products: screwdrivers, assembly tools, and ratchet wrenches.
- Our logo gets a millennium-ready makeover.
- Atlas Copco acquires Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company.
- ‘The Classics’ are launched: the CP789H reversible drill, the CP828H ratchet, and the CP854 angle grinder. Our authentic styling is available today in The Classic Range.
- We win silver from the AMA for our ‘23 parts’ campaign which shows how just 23 interchangeable components can be used to make over 250 light assembly tools.
- We inaugurate a state-of-the-art Technocenter in Nantes, France. Here our teams will focus on R&D, design, prototyping, testing, and certifying industrial tools, with a view to advancing automation across industries.
- Through tough weather and geothermal conditions, our generators and light towers rise to the challenge, perform and deliver on the Riyadh Metro network.
- We open a new tool showroom for customers and distributors at our Rock Hill location in the US.
- The popular TV science series ‘Wicked Inventions’ features Chicago Pneumatic.
John W. Duntley meets steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, 1901
Interiors of consolidated works, Fraserburgh, Graces Guide 1907
Suplex air compressor, Graces Guide 1907
Fraserburgh Heritage, CPT Detroit plant, circa 1910
Winding room, electric motor assembly
Drafting department, 1970s
Employees at front entrance, 1970s