Swap sale purchase earns loyal Klein customer $5,000

Finding 109-year-old pair of side cutting pliers in working order wins company contest

06/27/2013


A 109-year-old set of side cutting pliers won a $5,000 prize from Klein Tools as the oldest pair of pliers manufactured by the company still in use. Courtesy: Klein ToolsA $10 purchase at a California swap meet has turned into a $5,000 prize from a promotion from Klein Tools looking for the oldest working pair of side-cutting pliers.

According to a Klein Co. press release, Dan Schmidt found the 1904 pair of pliers at the Sky Village Mall in Yucca Valley, Cal. and purchased them for $10. They originally sold for $3.60 when they were made 109 years ago, but that included the 30 cents for the special nickel plating.

Klein Tools embarked on a nationwide search for the oldest pair of pliers, and company officials were thrilled both with the enthusiasm of their customers and the tales behind the submissions.

“We were overwhelmed with the inquiries and heart-warming stories of Klein tools being handed down from one generation to another,” said Thomas Barton, product marketing manager. “Stories such as our second oldest pair from Robert Armstrong, Jr. really exemplify what the Klein Tools’ brand is all about. His pair of 1906 pliers were handed down to his father in 1941 while on the job as a line foreman in Dyersburg, Tennessee and then handed down to Robert.”

There were other stories, like 89-year-old Gerald Schumacher, who bought his pair of pliers in 1956 and used them on the job for 30 years. Then there was 13-year-old Brody Tonelotti, who found a pair of 1952 pliers in good condition while rummaging at a yard sale.

“The value placed on our products is exceptional,” said Mark Klein, a sixth generation Klein who serves as the company’s vice president of domestic sales. “As a company, our goal is to produce the highest quality product possible. In exchange, we are rewarded with incredible customer loyalty.”


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