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Klein Snapshot: May 15

Posted on:May 15, 2020

Klein Snapshot – May 15

Every month in 2020, we’ll be brining you a Klein Timeline Snapshot: a look back in time at a specific year, looking at what the world was like in said year, and what was happening with Klein Tools.

This month’s year: 1968

Chevrolet Impala, sport coup: $3,468
Gerber Baby Food: $.07 per jar
Hotpoint Washing Machine: $159

What was happening in the world:
-The first human lung transplant took place in Europe (and only fourth in the world), when 15 year old Alex Smith received the lungs of an 18 year old woman who had passed away only hours earlier.
-The Nobel Prize in Economics was created as a sixth category by the Nobel Prize Committee.
-The Beatles announced the foundation of their own record label, Apple Records, which served as a label for not only the band but also other artists like James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, and Doris Troy.

What was happening with Klein Tools: As Klein Tools has continued to grow over the years, the company has continued to build and diversify its product catalog. 1968 was the year Klein Tools officially expanded into leather and canvas products, as well as occupational safety gear, instead of relying on domestic sourcing. Due to this transition, Klein Tools also made its first-ever acquisition in 1968, of Fort Smith, Arkansas-based R.H. Buhrke, a manufacturer of bags, buckets, safety belts and other occupational protective equipment. Buhrke had an excellent reputation for quality, and had been Klein’s first supplier of leather and fabric product early in the 20th century. The acquisition allowed Klein to focus on maintaining Buhrke’s quality will controlling costs, and Klein added 29,000 square feet to the already 18,600 square-foot Arkansas facility. Within the first three years of Klein’s ownership, the plant nearly doubled its workforce, with many of the tool buckets and bags being sewn predominately by female workers – one of whom celebrated her 50th anniversary at the company last year.

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