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Lawn & Garden


Digging Up A Little History…

One of the most important tools to any gardener is a quality spade or shovel, they are essential tools.  The Home Depot sells a complete line of shovels and spades, of the utmost quality.


The Ames shovel selection of long handled, garden tools in The Home Depot garden departments throughout the U.S. is one of the most popular, and widely shopped aisles in the store. Home Depot is proud to offer quality made products from a company whose tools, were present for the building of America.

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Captain John Ames, blacksmith and, sea captain, manufactured the first metal shovels in America in the year of 1774, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.   Oliver Ames, (born 1779) the third and youngest son of Captain John Ames, continued and grew the family iron works business in Easton, Massachusetts.  History states that; the Ames Company, by the year of 1837, manufactured shovels worth $130,000 and employed 72 workers; as of the year 1875 the company reported that they made shovels valued at $1,500,000.00 employing 500 workers.  The rate of production of was 450 dozen shovels (5,400) per day.


The Ames family, was wealthy, influential, and played numerous roles in the history of not only Massachusetts, but in the growing of our nation. Ames shovels and tools were instrumental, and present during the infancy, and construction of our country.


President Lincoln personally asked for Ames shovels to be supplied for the Union cause, during the Civil War, Lincoln also requested shovels be sent for the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Ames shovels were used in the creation of; the Bunker Hill Monument, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty.   In 1840 Ames shovels were used in the California Gold Rush, and were exported to Australia for their gold rush.  The making of the Interstate Highway System relied on Ames tools.   Admiral Byrd brought Ames shovels on his Antarctica Expedition.   Entrenching shovels were supplied to the U.S Army for World War II, and the Vietnam War.  Ames shovels have defied gravity and gone with N.A.S.A into space.


The Ames name is most likely on some tool that you own.   Ames merged with True Temper in 1999 and represents most of the snow shovels sold here in the Northeast.


Tried and true, made in America quality, that defines the Ames Company.   Buy quality,….shop The Home Depot, for  a vast selection of Ames products, take home a piece of history!


I totally believe that things happen for a reason…this past weekend while looking for a children’s museum, in Easton, Ma., map in hand, I see “The Old Shovel Shoppe” marked very close to our destination. Amazing as it was, we drove right into the town center of Easton, which I think should be called Ames-Ville. It seriously was the mecca of the shovel history. The historical society was located in the old train depot, which is not usually open on a Sunday, but there it was, flag flying “OPEN”. Believing as I do, I went in, and was greeted by the town historian and many busts of the Ames family including, Oliver Ames, Governor of Massachusetts. Antique shovels, stood at attention and hung on the walls. There were tea services that were used at one of the many Ames family estates, artifacts, maps, architectural plans, garden designs, what a place! The building itself was amazing. The town center was composted of gorgeous buildings erected by the Ames family, using Ames tools I imagine. I found myself truly amerced into, and digging up the past….

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Antique Shovels, Vietnam War and World War II artillery shovels

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Oliver Ames


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Old Shovel Shoppe, Easton, Ma.

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Historical Society, Old train depot

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Ames Memorial Hall

If you should happen to find yourself anywhere near Easton, Massachusetts, I totally recommend a little detour to see a tiny town center with grand buildings which represent our nations foundation; built by skilled craftsman using tools that were forged at the Ames metalwork shops within walking distance.

Ames tools are always being updated and improved but the guaranteed quality always remains tried and true, stop by your local Home Depot and walk the long handled tool aisle, a aisle that displays the roots of our nations history.           


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Posted 2012-01-12T17:55:37+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS Maureen_HD_BOS
Hi Maureen,

Great article, I have always enjoyed visiting museums and learning of the history of everyday products. It gives me a greater appreciation of our forefathers and their untiring efforts to make America the greatest country in the world.

Posted 2018-05-03T18:54:23+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
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Posted 2019-07-08T14:30:22+0000  by sunny546
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