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The Collins and Company Works factory buildings in Collinsville, Connecticut on the Farmington River, viewed from Connecticut Route 179

Samuel Watkinson Collins (1802–1870) was an American businessman and founder of the Collins Axe Company in Canton, Connecticut.

He was born September 8, 1802 in Middletown, Connecticut, one of seven children. His father was a successful lawyer in Middletown, and his mother came from Suffolk, England, and was apparently well educated. He died in 1871.

Collins began his company in 1826, producing axes. In 1832, he hired a 24-year-old Elisha K. Root, who made industrial improvements that improved the quality of Collins' axes, and revolutionized the efficiency of their manufacture.[1] The company expanded into other edge tools, becoming well known throughout Central and South America as a maker of machetes.[2]

Sam Collins Day is an annual celebration in Canton CT named in his honor.


  1. ^ Diana Muir, Reflections in Bullough's Pond: Economy and Ecosystem in New England, University Press of New England, 2000, p. 131.
  2. ^ Margaret Tierney, "Big Wheels Keep On Turning Up", New York Times, November 30, 2003