Pioneering the idea of interchangeable sockets and wrench handles, Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann formed the Snap-on Wrench Company in 1920. The company manufactured and marketed ten sockets that would “snap on” to five interchangeable handles, a concept that revolutionized the tool industry. Snap-on has to this day continued its innovative leadership across an ever-expanding line of products.
To sell the products, Johnson and Seidemann worked with Stanton Palmer, who took the tools directly to customers at their places of business and demonstrated the benefits, which became the cornerstone of the company’s marketing success. As a result of this successful sales strategy, Palmer enlisted Newton Tarble to share the increasing workload. These four founders — Joseph Johnson, William Seidemann, Stanton Palmer, and Newton Tarble — were responsible for putting Snap-on on the map.
Shortly after its founding, Snap-on entered the international arena in 1931. Also in the 1930s, Snap-on began offering credit to customers, the first in the industry to do so. In the 1950s, Snap-on expanded on the concept of bringing product to the customer by using fully stocked walk-in vans and, as a result, pioneered today’s familiar dealer van channel.
Through the years, Snap-on led the way with a vision of becoming the customer’s total solutions provider. Committed to meeting rapidly changing needs, the company enhanced its leadership position by increasing the capabilities it offered and expanding the availability of solutions, including diagnostics, under-car equipment, vehicle service information, product procurement/facilitation, and business management systems.
Today, Snap-on is a $2-plus-billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, offering products and services that are available around the world.