In 1947, Oregon Saw Chain Company was founded by Joe Cox in Portland, Oregon. Joe developed the modern saw chain design after viewing how efficiently timber beetle larva chewed through wood fiber. Like many other small companies, Oregon Saw Chain began as a small operation in Joe Coxâ€™s home.
In the years that followed, Joe expanded his saw chain business and hired several employees. Among these employees was John Gray, who eventually acquired the company in 1953 and led the company through a period of strong growth and expansion. In 1957, the company was renamed Omark Industries.
The company continued to grow over the next several decades. In 1980, Omark Industries was listed on the American Stock Exchange as OMK, and the following year opened a new corporate office in Portland, Oregon.
In 1985, Omark Industries was purchased by Blount, Inc., which at the time was a construction company headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. Its founder was Winton M. (Red) Blount, who started his career as a construction contractor and grew a successful business through world-class construction projects. In 1991, the company founded the ICS business, which focused on developing specialized chain saw applications for the construction industry.
Exiting the construction business in 1993, Blount, Inc. was renamed Blount International, Inc. and turned its focus exclusively to manufacturing. Almost overnight, Blount went from a worldwide construction company to a worldwide manufacturing company.
In 1997, Blount purchased Frederick Manufacturing Corp. of Kansas City, Missouri, a well-known and respected manufacturer of lawnmower blades and supplier of lawn and garden products. The acquisition marked Blountâ€™s substantial expansion of its outdoor equipment parts business.
In 1999, Blount was acquired by Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and five years later was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BLT.
In 2002, Blountâ€™s corporate headquarters moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Portland, Oregon to the headquarter offices of the companyâ€™s Outdoor Products segment that consisted of Oregon Cutting Systems and ICS.
Blount has grown its business by developing world-class manufacturing operations and a strong worldwide distribution network. The company expanded its operations through the addition of manufacturing plants in Guelph, Canada (1952); Portland, Oregon (1965); Curitiba, Brazil (1979); and Fuzhou, China (2005), as well as through acquisitions of complementary businesses, such as Frederick Manufacturing (1997), Windsor (2000), Carlton Company (2008), SpeeCo (2010), KOX (2011), and Woods Equipment and TISCO (2011).
In 2016, Blount was acquired by American Securities and P2 Capital Partners.