The company was founded as the H.G. Wilson Co. in 1852. It was purchased by Silas Felton in 1872 and renamed S.A. Felton & Company. By 1880, he had purchased both the Robie Company and L.H. Josselyn, consolidating all brush manufacturing in New England under single ownership. In 1884, Silas’ son, Dudley, joined his father's firm and the company was renamed S.A. Felton & Son Company—a name that would remain unchanged until 1975.
During the last twenty years of the nineteenth century Felton Brush developed and perfected many styles of hand- and power brushes for use primarily in the textile and leather-processing industries. In 1894, Felton purchased the Quimby Brush Company of Boston, Massachusetts and added the Farnham Brush Company of Honesdale, Pennsylvania a year later.
This Company are “the brushmakers to the American people,” while their goods are distributed all over the world. Agencies are operated for their sale in Great Britain, Australia, and all European countries, and this Company is among the foremost of our manufacturers in building up the commerce of Manchester and spreading its name and fame abroad.
Pub: The Manchester of America; 1900
In the early 1900’s, The United Shoe Machinery Corporation—then the world's leading manufacturer of automated shoe-making machinery—purchased a controlling interest in Felton. By 1910, S.A. Felton & Son Co. became the largest manufacturer of power brushes in the world, and at the same time one of Manchester’s oldest industries. Mr. Felton, formerly Agent for Manchester Shoe & Leather Co., realized the inefficiency of hand finishing of shoes, and developed the power brush having the reputation second to none in this country. As of 1913, this company supplied over 90 percent of all the brushes used by shoe factories in America.
In 1924, Felton acquired the United Brush Company of Toledo Ohio and in 1933, it added the Royal Brush Company, LTD of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This firm was to become Felton Brushes Limited and remained an integral part of the company until 1980.
In the early 1970’s, USM Corporation purchased the minority Felton family interest and Felton Brush became a wholly owned subsidiary of United Shoe Machinery Corporation. The last acquisition under USM took place in 1962 with the purchase of Dersal Corp.—a wire brush manufacturer in Worcester, Massachusetts—which it moved into the Manchester Facility.
In 1980, the Felton operating management purchased Felton Brush from Emhart Corporation, which had acquired the USM Corporation in 1974. This transaction also included the sale of Felton Brushes Ltd. to the Canadian Operating Manager. The company name was changed to Felton Brush Inc. in 1981.
In 1998, the company relocated its manufacturing and corporate headquarters to its current state-of-the-art facility in Londonderry, NH. In 2004, it implemented an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), expanding the corporate ownership to include the employee base.
The company continued to expand its capabilities with the acquisition of Spring Machine in 2007. And to better reflect and capture the company’s broader capabilities and “concept to delivery” business model, the company changed its name to Felton Incorporated in 2010.