icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

This tool, made by the Millers Falls Company of Greenfield and Millers Falls, Massachusetts, is known as a "bit brace drill." The design, which goes back thousands of years, relies on hand power to provide rotation of the drill bit and hand pressure to make it cut. Tools like this, dating from the 1930's and 40's, were used to drill holes and drive screws in wood. During this period, the company was producing up to 10,000 bit braces each week. At one point during World War II (WWII), the company and its 1600 employees were shipping 20,000 bit braces a week for military use. In response to craftsmen's affection for quality tools, the company incorporated exotic wood and artistic styling into these tools. In 1928, while building the Garden Theater, in Greenfield, carpenter Fred Schmidt and three others spent a month drilling holes in the hardwood floors and screwing down 2,500 seats with this type of tool.


top of page

Bit Brace Drill manufactured by Millers Falls Company

creator   Millers Falls Company
date   c. 1940
location   Greenfield and Millers Falls, Massachusetts
height   24.5"
width   7.0"
process/materials   steel
item type   Tools/Mechanical Tools & Equipment
accession #   #M.61

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

Quality Control Lab Coat from Millers Falls Company

"Millers Falls Company Arises From Nash's Mill Ashes" article from Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Making High Grade Tools for Industry Since 1868" Millers Falls Company ad from Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

Breast Plate Hand Drill manufactured by Millers Falls Company

Dyno-Mite WWII newsletter cover from Millers Falls (Tool) Company

Nazi statement from Millers Falls Company employee

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback